Golden Saddle Rides: Kjeld’s Bontrager Privateer Comp MTB

Words and Photos by Kyle Kelley

For most bike nerds there will always be that one bike that escapes them. It shows up on eBay, but never in the right size, or the seller is just asking way too much for it. For me, that bike has long been the Bontrager Cyclocross. For my friend Kjeld, from súpərdomestik, it was the Irie Bontrager Privateer Comp. In a combined case of the best/worst luck ever, he got his hands on one.

Kjeld found the frame (right size/right price) on eBay, but only after drinking himself into a terrible ankle injury in Austin that left him off the bike for months. He decided to use his recovery time to collect everything he needed to make his dream bike happen. It took a little over three months in total and just as Woody tightened down the last bolt, Kjeld was back in action.

This bike is nearly 100% period correct. It probably has more Bontrager bits and bobs on it than Keith has in his garage. Yanco even #jahblessed a Ramblin’ Roll and one of his new handlebar bags for the project. The end product is phenomenal. I don’t usually take this many photos of a bike, but this one was certainly deserving.



Follow Kyle on Instagram and at his blog Trackosaurus Rex.


  • Sean Talkington

    Such a great bike! Well done Kjeld.

  • mp

    This is a lovely bike. My buddy used to ride this same frame and color. What a classic.

  • Ted Barbeau

    What always gets me is the timelessness of Thomson stems/seatposts.

  • Dreams of my youth, beautiful! He needs a ‘Dart’ for the front though ;-)

  • hans

    patience is a virtue Kjeld! and this is a virtuous build if there ever was one!

  • boomforeal

    lovely, rideable history/art

    surprised the frame plays nicely with that much travel up front but the profile looks perfect

    never seen a ck/bonty hub before

    • Believe it or not, CK still makes some hubs for Bontrager…

      • Richard Smith

        That’s interesting! which ones?

    • mp

      My friend actually ran his with a 120mm fork which is quite a bit more than it was designed for… it was slightly choppered but with sag rode just fine.
      Matt boosting on the little dirt jumps circa 2003

  • Namkrad

    Nice! I bought one new and I still have it, the ride sure is sweet! I prefer it to my Race Lite :O I´m missing pics of the team rasta jersey though…

  • Ace Metric Cycles

    S O G O O D !

  • Brendan Mahoney

    What year is that? I have 1996 Privateer S and it’s a wonderful bike.

    • Namkrad

      It´s a 1998. The colour scheme was for the privateer comp. The last year of Bontrager bikes was 1999 and if I recall correctly this rasta look was on the privateer s. The cool thing about the 98-99 frames was that the head tube was 1 1/8″. Makes it a bit easier…

      • Brendan Mahoney

        Just need to switch out the XTR for the Paul rasta derailleur.

        Mine’s of the brown era, so I have to buy boring colored parts.

  • For Da Moder Land