A Brief History of Bontrager

For those who'd rather spend their time riding instead of reading (and we don't blame you), here's the CliffsNotes version of "The History of Bontrager."

The Bontrager story is the stuff of legends. Keith Bontrager, an engineer, designer, physicist, mechanic, rider, and natural-born do-it-yourselfer, emerged on the nascent mountain bike scene in the late 70s with a scientific approach to frame design, materials understanding, and craftsmanship. Spending a good part of the 1980s "dumpster diving" for broken bike parts, Keith analyzed why they failed and then dedicated himself to coming up with better, more durable designs. All this reverse engineering led Keith to his famous aphorism: "Strong. Light. Cheap. Pick Two." Bontrager unabashedly opted for the first two, building a reputation on offering some of the strongest and lightest components available. Never faddish, openly skeptical about "conventional wisdom," and always grounded in the often harsh scientific realities of the universe, Keith demanded parts that are strong first, as light as possible second, and often not cheap. It's a no-compromise approach that rests on the proposition that discerning customers understand value is much more than price alone.

Bontrager's come a long way since the early days when Keith was holed-up in his garage, pouring over broken parts. Today there are more Bontrager parts in more categories than ever before. And Keith himself spends much less time dumpster diving and a whole lot more time field-testing products and ideas as he travels the world doing 24-hour (or longer) endurance events. With all that's changed, one thing hasn't: the B-dot logo remains your assurance that every Bontrager component, regardless of price or weight, is designed and tested to meet Keith's stringent standards for fatigue and impact strength and firmly grounded in a no-nonsense design philosophy.