I had Keith Bontrager build this custom cyclocross-based frame & fork back in 1989 and it remains one of my favorites to ride. Though unusual for Bontragers to be fillet-brazed, I requested this and chrome, too. (Keith termed it a "satin" chrome, though I'm still not sure what that is - maybe sand blasted? No matter, it has held up well and does not show scratches from rough use.)

He added nice little touches like a chain hanger, frame pump peg, color-matched Silca pump and Gipiemme horizontal dropouts. The fork crown is a sloping type. It has a high bottom bracket (11.70 cm) but handles well on the road, too. 72 degree head tube, 73 degree seat tube, with 16.70 chainstays. Though I usually ride a 56 cm frame, this measures 55.5, probably because of the high BB. (Keith put me through many pages of measurements and really dialed this one in for me. He really knew his stuff.)

The bike has seen many different configurations, starting as a triple, with a 7-speed rear. Later, the horizontal dropouts allowed use as a single speed for a number of years before I had one of those built. It's now a 1x7, using a 13/24 Dura Ace freewheel and a 38T FSA chainring mounted to an old Sugino triple crakset with chainguards both sides.

The original Mavic MA40's finally gave out last year and I had a set of 32h DT Swiss RR 1.1 rims laced to the original Phil Wood hubs. Though I have run knobbies, I'm currently doing a mix of pavement / dirt roads with it, so have mounted some bulletproof 700 x 35 Vittoria Randonneur Hypers (that actually measure 37mm). They fit fine, though the fork is nearly maxed at the crown and the bridgeless chainstays have allowed these on the back, too.

Other current components:
Deore XT rear derailleur
Suntour barcon
SRP Mr. Grumpy cyclocross brakes
Interrupter levers up top
Shimano 105 headset (original)
Suntour XC seatpost
Ritchey WCS V4 pedals

Finally, a crowning touch: a custom fillet-brazed stem by Steve Potts. (I've included a "studio" shot of this.)

I'd appreciate word from any other owners of fillet-brazed Bontrager cyclocross bikes out there!

Paul Germain
Midlothian, Virginia



Bontrager Cyclocross - Steve Potts' Stem detail
Bontrager Cyclocross - side view
Bontrager Cyclocross - side view closer
Bontrager Cyclocross - rear angle view
Bontrager Cyclocross - Fillet brazing detail
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