1990 Bontrager OFF-ROAD (MBA magazine Replica)

A master piece frame

A time lagged fascination


A good collectors friend in Hamburg sold the frame to me. I must confess, I only identified it´s beauty after the sales, enjoy the pictures, a 3.4kg master piece (incl fork and head set)

Get serious. Friends don´t let friends ride neon

The build plan to do something time correct was clear after a friend recommended this add from Keith Bontrager and Ross Schafer. Btw, I took teh chance to also buy the Salsa in parallel.

So we started a back to future photo shooting and this build thread

Steel fights back!

After this first fascination, I found the Mountain BIke Action article: Steel fights back from 1990 in the magazine issue: June - the built plan was born

The first parts

Most of the parts where clear, I aimed for NOS Shimano XT 732. But, I wanted to invert the colors (Black XTs instead of silver)

Some of the parts where unclear (Stem, bar), so I decided for Salsa Pro Moto bar and stem.

The (first) final mounting

A responsive Offroad Racer

The Bontrager OR behaves as a real steel bike. The tail kicks (reacts) with all the power you put it when standing up on hills or just from cold start.

First this feels a but wobbely, but if you know this, the Bontrager Off-Road turns into a full responsive machine which climbs like a goat thanks to the longer top tube but moves fast on trailes. ride with the ability to jump above roots and turns quick around stones and cliffs. Well done Keith, this is a keeper and already used for many many rides.

Frame and parts details




Bontrager OFF-ROAD True Temper APX tubing




Bontrager Bounded Composite

Stem Salsa Pro Moto



Salsa Moto Bar


Shimano XT 732


Shimano XT 732

Brake Levers

Shimano XT BL-733


Shimano XT FC-730 175mm + Shimano SG Chain wheels

Pedals Shimano PD 535
Bottum Braked Shimano BB730
Derailleur Shimano XT 732
Wheels Mavic MA40  + XT 730/730 hubs + XT HG cassette 
Tyres Onza ONYX
Seat Post Shimano SP-730
Saddle Super Turbo
Grips n.a.

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