Everything that has ever existed, will eventually be for sale on eBay.
Today as I looked for anything interesting, I found this unusual Gary Fisher frame. It’s aluminium bonded to a carbon rear end, and the seller states it’s a warranty replacement frame from the Trek factory in Wisconsin.
Looking at it more closely, it has some very interesting details that I didn’t realize were on any production Trek or Fisher at the time.
Carbon was still pretty new and expensive back then, so the alloy front, carbon rear approach was common. The way the rear end is bonded to the front at the seatstays is very reminiscent of the old Bontragers. Which of course makes you wonder if Keith Bontrager had anything to do with this.
The downtube is simply exquisite with it’s massive swaging at both ends. Swaging by the way, is a process whereby the diameter of a tube is made larger. In this case, it would give you a tube that was stronger and stiffer at the headtube and downtube, where you need it.
The dropouts are nicely formed with an integrated disc brake mount, and feature glued and screwed attachments to the seat stays. I believe this allows the dropouts to be used for more than one frame size. Different frame sizes would have a different angle of the seatstays relative to the chainstays, and having that bolted on link would allow the dropout to accept any angle.
The seller includes an email from a Trek rep stating that it’s a Gary Fisher AC/DC, and it was standard issue warranty replacement in ’05 or ’06 for the Ziggurat and Big Sur. I was only vaguely aware that these bikes existed, so now that I’ve Googled them and confirmed those details, I realize it’s not as exotic as I first thought.
Except that it has rim brake bosses. That’s very odd for bike made in 2006. My guess is that there was a Gary Fisher Ziggurat and Big Sur in 1999, and that bike had rim brakes, so Trek was still ready for warranty claims on those, seven years later.
I know from experience that you can sometimes get something really special as a warranty replacement. When I was working at Redbike, we had some replacement frames come in that seemed to be built in the Vancouver factory rather than overseas. I was thinking that this Fisher might be a special frame in the same vein, but if you look at the Ziggurat here, you can see it’s the same thing.
So it’s not really unusual at all, but, we wants it.
Imagine this frame with a Manitou Minute (or maybe a Fox TALAS), a set of Arch Supremes, some Mavic Crossmax wheels, newer RaceFace cranks…
That would be an XC rocket.