Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking Gear Reviews and Roundups





Bontrager 1999 Privateer Comp Hardtail Bike

4.93/5 (14 Reviews)
MSRP : $1699.99

Product Description

1999 Bontrager Privateer Comp, mountain bike, front suspension, Mountain Mix components, Rock Shox Sid XC, 2.5" travel fork

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Reviews 1 - 14 (14 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Philip Williamson a Cross Country Rider from Mill Valley

Date Reviewed: March 12, 2011

Strengths:    Strong. Cheap. Light. :^)

Weaknesses:    after 10+ years of 200+ lb rider, I pulled some spokes in the rear rim and had to move the hub and spokes to a new rim (Ritchey Girder offset - same ERD). The SID has a weird air fitting, so I bought two, and gave one to my local shop.

Bottom Line:   
My wife bought this for me for Valentine's Day 2000. It was $1300 on closeout, and rode better than the Ibis Mojo and Independent Fabrications bikes I tried.
This bike has given so much joy out riding on my own, or with the dog in the woods. When the 6'2" heavy guy outclimbs the 5'7" guy... that's some bike. I think the wishbone seatstays and no chainstay bridge let the bike flex enough to get in synch with my pedal stroke and just fly.
I've had the rear hub adjusted once in 10 years, and one rebuild of the fork. I am heavy, I ride in the rain and mud, and the bike just takes it. I've come to love the paint scheme, and even the hub-buzz. It means I'm flying down something steep, and I like that!

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Favorite Trail:   secret singletrack

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1300.00

Purchased At:   Dave's in Santa Rosa

Similar Products Used:   Peugeot Canyon Express, Rivendell Quickbeam, steel RockHopper

Bike Setup:   Stock, with midge bars (flared offroad drops) and flat pedals.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by KeithO a Cross Country Rider from Fort Collins, CO

Date Reviewed: November 28, 2009

Strengths:    strong, light, flexible, smooth, fast, light, comfortable, light,

Weaknesses:    wheels for sure. blew my rear wheel out over what seemed like nothing.

Bottom Line:   
best hardtail for the buck. i wish it was setup for disc brakes, but not a huge deal as i have survived 11 years without them. cant retire it. it is too good for me.

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Favorite Trail:   any in Colorado

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   Campus cycles in Den

Similar Products Used:   many, many others test-ridden before this.

Bike Setup:   pretty much stock. love the saddle. since retiring from racing, it is now used to pull the kids in around in the chariot. tioga city slickers.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by nicole a Cross Country Rider from boone, nc

Date Reviewed: January 9, 2005

Strengths:    Great frame, strong and light. It's hard to find such great steel frames. Great color sceme and solid components for recreational riders. Also, cromoly frame is nice for small, light riders.

Weaknesses:    Front wheel!!! The straight spokes that came on the factory 1998(maybe 1997) fromt wheel are not as strong as crossed spokes. They may look cool and are light, but I had about 5 or 6 spokes rip out of my front hub on a down heel, thus causing my rim to bend out of shape and my wheel to lock up.

Bottom Line:   
Awsome bike if you love cromoly like me. I would suggest replacing the front wheel or just keep on eye on yours.

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Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   East Coasters

Bike Setup:   Factory components, woman specific saddle, and straight handle bars.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Seth Stiles a Cross Country Rider from Wellington, FL. USA

Date Reviewed: December 31, 2002

Strengths:    high quality steel. Made by Bontrager. Old school racing geometry. Complete XT componentry. Awesome feel and handling for all situations. eye catching and rare now. Fits me (5'4" 130 pounds) like a glove! It's part of my body now.

Weaknesses:    They are not made anymore. I have a '97 Privateer Comp and I would buy a new one if they were still made. Although I still love the one I have.

Bottom Line:   
PERFECT! Caution: for the dicerning, classic-demanding, they-don't-make-them-like-that-anymore rider/enthusiest only!

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Favorite Trail:   Tsali in NC

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $999.00

Similar Products Used:   Old school Fat Chances or any small, old school geometry- dedicated steel frame builder. Today: Ionic, Idipendant Fab, Dean, a few others.

Bike Setup:   Judy XC (still awesome), full XT and Bontrager. THAT'S IT!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ryan a Weekend Warrior from Ancaster, Ontario, Canada

Date Reviewed: July 17, 2001

Strengths:    Amazing ride, light and strong wheelset, powerful components and excellent acceleration and cornering its weight sub-22.5 pounds (16 inch)

Weaknesses:    none, this bike is amazing. My only complaint is the brake pads on that come on the arch rivals aren't set-up for coating on the wheels and wear through fast.

Bottom Line:   
This bike is amazing. I was in Freewheel cycle and was trying out other bikes and the shop owner was sellin the bontragers for nearly half-off and I piked this bike up cheap. However the price was nice but the bike was even sweeter, I am 16 and am 5'3" and under 100 lbs. Since there is a short top tube the cockpit was a perfect fit for my body and the other bikes didn't come close in value or ride quality. Also, this bike can handle light free riding and corners like it was on rails.

The component selections on the bontragers are amazing the race-lites are lighter than crossmax and i think are better value, and the sid fork, bontrager and shimano parts are excelent. I would recommend this bike to any xc racer who wants a quality bike that is on par with a supercaliber. Also this is an excellent trailbike for racers and weekend warriors. All in all, this bike if you can find it and afford it will love this bike for its many attributes.

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Favorite Trail:   any tight singletrack

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1300.00

Purchased At:   Freewheel Cycle

Similar Products Used:   gary fischer paragon, brodie kinetic, 99 bontrager privateer S

Bike Setup:   Stock- Sid XC, xt/xtr drivetrain, xt cranks, bontrager Race-lite wheels, arch rival 40's and sd-1 leversand bontrager stem, seatpost, race-lite 620 flat bar, grips and tires.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ryan a Weekend Warrior from Chico, CA

Date Reviewed: March 20, 2001

Strengths:    Everything! Nothing is overlooked when built by the man!!

Weaknesses:    None that I have encountered, Bontrager builds tanks!!! Nothing that I have given it can destroy this bike!!!

Bottom Line:   
This is the best bike I have ever ridden. I was sold on Fisher for a while but the last Fisher I bought I ended up doing more repair than riding...go figure, ended up turning it into my townie and bought the Bontrager. Only had one major repair after I destroyed my fork (Judy) and headset. It was a sad day but amazingly enough I didn't put a scratch dent, or bend in the frame!!! Replaced my fork with a long travel and now have more fun than ever.

My Privateer Comp is a 97, it is still running as smooth as ever and I don't have to deal with that bad paint job.


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Favorite Trail:   South Rim, North Rim anything steep and fast!

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   supergo (closeout, great deal!!!)

Similar Products Used:   Fisher (a few), Specialized (two), and an old school SCOTT.

Bike Setup:   Judy long travel, XT Everything, The rest is from Bontrager...

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Charlie a Cross Country Rider from San Mateo, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: December 29, 2000

Strengths:    Light and Strong. Excellent parts mix, especially for the price. Quality frame that should last a lifetime.

Weaknesses:    Not Cheap. Less than fashionable color scheme (Blue, Cream and Orange? I'm a NY Mets fan and don't really like it). Bonty Revolt (low rolling resistance) tires are nice, but will need to be swapped out for fall/winter riding in most areas.

Bottom Line:   
So far, so good. Despite this bike's light weight and fragile (at first) feel, you can ride it with a bunch of confidence. It handles very nicely and climbs extremely well. It's also nice to descend on this baby, but there comes a point on the technical spectrum where a hardtail designed for XC racing isn't what you need under you. However, this bike should eat up the overwhelming majority of the terrain you can throw at it (your mileage will vary).

I was very happy to see that my rig came equipped with the King hubs after reading previous reviews. Yes, the "trademark buzz" is a bit annoying at first, but you do get used to it and there is an added benefit -- when you notice a change in that noise, you know something isn't right. Kind of an advanced warning system (not that I've had any problems thus far).

I haven't experienced any problems with the the RS SID XC as of yet and like its performance very much, especially for the weight and price.

There are a few of these rigs left out there and if you aren't looking for a COOL-RAD-BRO engineless motorcycle, you can do a whole lot worse than the Privateer Comp. Steel has fallen out of favor with the broad consumer market, so the few shops that do have these left are likely cutting nice deals on them. Jump if you have the chance!

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Favorite Trail:   Skeggs

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   Chain Reaction

Similar Products Used:   Last rig was a 95 Specialized Ground Control with a low end parts mix. I'm not much of a weight weenie, but it was at least 32 lbs. Basically, everything on this rig is a major upgrade for me which contributes to my overall satisfaction thus far.

Bike Setup:   Stock -- XT/XTR 9 sp., Bonty Race Lite Wheels (w/ King hubs), Avid Arch Rival 4.0, RS SID XC, Bonty bar, stem, post, pedals, etc. Great stock package!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Elliott Jones a Cross Country Rider from college station, TX

Date Reviewed: May 21, 2000

Strengths:    I just wanted to let you guys know why keith Bontragers frames are so special besides, steel is real, and awsome craftmanship.

Weaknesses:    Super steep dropins, you know the kind when you pull your brakes and you keep going. The bontragers are designed to rip up singletrack and climd like a billy goat.

Bottom Line:   
most cross country frame geometry has a 72 deg head tube and about the same seat tube. But what makes the bontrager so special is that the seat tube angle is forward 3 deg and the head tube is the same angle. SSSSSSooooooooo this makes the toptube shorter which puts more weight on the front wheel, which also has you sitting upright more. For single track and climbing the bike rocks but remember if its steep and technical its hard to get your weight off the back.

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Favorite Trail:   Amasa Back, moab

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   a lot

Bike Setup:   Bontrager race, atom bomb, and a whole bunch of other stuff that make my bike stong, light, and kick ass

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Marc kroon a Downhiller from bridgewater nj

Date Reviewed: May 5, 2000

Strengths:    The front shock is awesome and i love it. It can take anything you throw at it

Weaknesses:    ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Bottom Line:   
bike is phat as hell if you can afford it get it!

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Favorite Trail:   chimney rock trails

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Similar Products Used:   none like it

Bike Setup:   stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Kevin a Cross Country Rider from Boulder, CO

Date Reviewed: January 21, 2000

Strengths:    Love the feel of steel. Also great geometry- best in tight twisty trails, not that bad of a climber either. The race lite wheels scared me at first (not many spokes), but I trued them out of the box and have not had to touch them since.

Weaknesses:    Seem to go through brake pads quickly. Will probably replace the Avid Arch 40's with XTR to get rid of the play.

Bottom Line:   
Other than that, this is one sweet bike, I would recommend it to anyone interested in a high performance hardtail. I worked in a bike shop for some time and have seen a lot of bikes and worked on lot of bikes- this is a great bike at a resonable price considering all that you get. Go out and ride.

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Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Primarily GT Zaskar and Specialized M2. Have tried almost everything in price range.

Bike Setup:   Rock Shox SID, XT, Bontrager Race Lite Wheels (Sweet), etc...

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by CHRIS RAMONE a Racer from CA

Date Reviewed: September 3, 1999



Bottom Line:   

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Favorite Trail:   

Duration Product Used:   
more than 3 years

Similar Products Used:   

Bike Setup:   

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by The DUde a weekend warrior from Malaysia

Date Reviewed: February 18, 1999

Bottom Line:   

haven't rode the machine yet but from the pics and specs it looks rad man... can't wait to get my hands on it.. not to forget the price .. bontrager really have outdone themselves on this bike... great quality.... ultra cool price....

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Andy Payne a cross-country rider from Muncie Indiana USA

Date Reviewed: February 8, 1999

Bottom Line:   

Simply the coolest bike on the market...Steel rules for ride quality. Other builders should learn from Keith....Shame that Trek has talked about axing the line all together..even if they don't, you'd better buy one while you can

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Bruce JHF RMBC FOUNDER a cross-country rider from Georgia

Date Reviewed: December 20, 1998

Bottom Line:   

I wouldn't know about the Bontrager because it isn't in yet! I can't wait til I get he chance to test it out for real. I just wish they would hurry up. Oh well I will update this after I try it out I am sure it will be great !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reviews 1 - 14 (14 Reviews Total)

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