Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Hey Bontrager Riders... Lookin' For a Fork?

Almost forgotten... This fork almost got lost in my bike room closet! But it's much too good to let go to waste, so I'm letting it go to a new home that'll make good use of it. Are you a Bontrager rider in need of a new fork? If so, get a hold of me.
 It's at moments like these that I realize I have a lot of bike parts... Recently, I was rummaging through the 'ol bike room closet, looking for an odd derailleur part for a bike I was building, and I ran across a very nice fork that I forgot about. It's an increasingly-rare one-inch steerer, 1998 model year Marzocchi Bomber Z2 BAM, with MountainSpeed Speed Springs and top-out springs (and 80mm travel top out spacers). The seals on this open bath-design fork (which is very, very reliable) were replaced when the MountainSpeed kit and new bushings were installed in approx. 2001.
This version has both cantilever brake studs and disc tabs. I've never used discs on this fork...
The upper tubes are free from nicks or scrapes and the wiper seals are in great shape. It's clear this fork was produced in an age long since passed, when everything was made of metal. The craftsmanship is evident...
 The fork saw very limited use from 2002 to 2005, when I purchased one of the last one-inch steerer forks produced by Marzocchi. Getting one of those last 1-inch Marzocchi forks was the only reason I stopped using this fork (and when I say "using," I basically mean it was "holding the front wheel on my Bontrager Race", as since 1999, the bike has been a permanent but rarely-ridden member of my collection).
Here's a photo of me riding the Marzocchi near Nederland, CO. in the fall of 1999. Photo: B. Ganzel, Layout: MG
I purchased the fork new in late-July of 1998 and raced with the fork on the front of my red Bontrager RaceLite during the last half of my first mountain bike season in Colorado (my last season as an expert). It was on this fork that I won the Expert 25-29 division of the 1998 Breckenridge NORBA National Championship Series race, and I give a lot of credit to my frame and fork that day... It was sketchy out there and it was on the descents that I was pulling away. This fork is an awesome performer, even today. You can feel how smooth it is when you push on the crown. It sinks into its initial travel effortlessly.
A preload adjuster sits atop each leg, while the left leg (right side of the photo) includes a rebound adjuster.
Being a coil-sprung fork, this fork features spring preload and rebound damping adjustments. At 155 lbs, I use very little preload on whatever Speed Springs I decided to run (please don't ask which they are -- I don't remember and I'm not breaking into the fork -- springs are appropriate for an aggressive 155 lb rider, and can probably handle a heavier rider by at least 10-15 lbs, depending on preference). I recall that, stock, one of the things I wanted was a bit more stiffness, so that was something I went after with the Speed Springs (along with a bit of additional travel).
While I used to own four fine Bontragers, I've divested all but this beautiful blue Race -- my original Bontrager frame. It gets ridden only occasionally, and then only when the sun is shining.
The fork will fit any steel Bontrager frame, with the only caveat being on an extra large frame, the stem will not be able to have any spacers between itself and the headset top cap. The steerer measures 168mm (6 2/3-inches).
Mirror finish... The crown and polished bits still gleam with a luster you have to see to believe! In the late-90s when this fork was produced, Marzocchi quality was unrivaled in the suspension world.
I'm asking $200, plus any applicable shipping. Please don't hesitate to get a hold of me if you'd like to purchase this fork, or if you have questions you'd like to ask me directly -- mattgersib at gmail dot com.

Thanks for taking the time to check it out... Now get out there and ride!


MG said...

I wanted to let folks know the price on the fork is now $150, plus any shipping charges.

Thanks for looking,

Jay said...

MG, you still have this fork? I'm an old school rider myself and also have too many bikes. However, I'd love to have a 1" bomber. If you've got it, I"ll take it off your hands.


MG said...

Hey Jay,

Thanks for your email as well. Sorry it took me a while to get back to you, but I did sell my Bomber. I knew I needed to update the site, but just hadn't gotten around to doing it. Thanks for the reminder! Good luck finding a fork for your sweet older Klein!


Golf My Way Home said...

Beautiful Bonty. What size is your frame? Large? I'm looking for shocks for both my large and medium and just picked up the exact shock you had listed here for the large (w/o the aftermarket springs and extra travel - so I think its 75mm travel?)

For the medium I'm leaning towards a NOS Mag21 because it is such a small frame and I think I can fit my original Bonty crown (the one that looks like an old RS1 with the allen bolts on the back) on the Mag21 legs and it will be like 390mm AtoC .. so should be perfect for that really small (medium) frame. Does that all sound reasonable to you?

I've heard those Z2 BAMs are heavy though, wondering if that will be a factor. What kind of cranks are those on your "last Bonty standing"?

thanks for the post,


Josh Corey said...

What fork did you replace it with? Do you know the axle to crown on the fork you put on?
I'm looking at going to an 80mm travel fork on my mid-90's Bontrager race (love the colors of yours, mine is the same) and wasn't sure how it would ride with increased A2C height changing the geometry...

vertical rabbit said...

Is this fork still for sale?