Part 5: The Next Level
Bontrager continues to expand and reach new heights.
1995: Keith sells Bontrager to Trek Bicycles, freeing himself from the stresses and financial struggles of managing a business and allowing him to focus on what he does best: design and test bike components.
1997: After years of research and development, Bontrager Wheelworks & Components introduces its first mountain bike tire, the Bontrager Jones.
1999: Already making some of the strongest, lightest mountain bike rims in the industry, Bontrager Wheelworks & Components turns its attention to lightweight mountain bike wheels, introducing the Race and Race Lite wheelsets, which use hubs, spokes, and rims specifically designed and engineered to function as a total system.
2002: Bontrager Wheelworks & Components introduces a full line of road wheels that feature a unique paired-spoke design, offering superior aerodynamics, durability, and lateral stiffness.
2003: Lance Armstrong and his USPS Cycling teammates ride Bontrager road wheels to Tour de France victory, proving the superiority of Bontrager wheels in the world's most grueling race. Bontrager wheels, powered by Lance and Co., go on to dominate the Tour for two more years. In 2007, Alberto Contador rides Bontager wheels to victory in Paris once again.
2004: Bontrager says goodbye to pinch-flats by pioneering Tubeless Ready Technology: a revolutionary system incorporating lightweight tire casings into a tire with a tubeless bead. With Bontrager's system, riders now have the freedom to run low tire pressures on lightweight tires without worrying about flat tires.
2005: Bontrager Wheelworks & Components uses its expertise in building lighter, stronger components to tackle the big hits, big air, and punishing world of freeride, introducing the Earl line of components.
2005: Born from collaboration with athletes like Lance Armstrong and Tim DeBoom, Bontrager fed the need for speed by introducing a line of speed components, giving time trialists and triathletes the wind-cheating performance advantage they need to go faster than the competition.
2005: Bontrager Wheelworks & Components meets the unique anatomical needs of women by launching its FIT line of components, addressing the bike's critical contact points and giving women components that not only fit them better, but also improve comfort and performance.
2007: True to Keith's "professor" methodology, science trumps fad and fashion as Bontrager Wheelworks & Components introduces inForm saddles: a complete line of saddles built from the ground up using key scientific data collected through the industry's first in-depth inquiry into the science of comfort. The research and science behind inForm saddles was gathered in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin's Department of Mechanical Engineering.