Category Archives: Fisher

Wikipedia

I haven’t let it consume a lot of my time, because it could easily do that, but I have gotten interested in editing Wikipedia articles about cycling topics. My memory is not great, but it’s not bad on old cycling stuff, so I’d like to get what memories I do have saved somewhere.

The only page I have edited so far, is for Kona. I just happened to look it up one day, and found that it was a total disaster;

Kona Bikes is a bicycle company based in the Pacific of Unitied kingdom.

I’ve always wanted to visit the Pacific of Unitied kingdom – I hear it’s beautiful in the fall.

Now, I don’t really care about Kona one way or the other, but everyone has a limit right? I guess that fantastically insane factual errors with typos in them is my limit.

I changed it to “Kona Bikes is a bicycle company based in the Pacific Northwest” with a link to the Wikipedia page for “Pacific Northwest.” I’m not sure why I went with this region rather than just naming the actual city in Washington where they are located, but, there you go.

I would try to break down why someone would say this Canadian/American company was actually from the UK, but the Pacific of Unitied kingdom is just so insane, I don’t know where to start.

Today, I was doing research for yet another Gary Fisher post, and as always, I started with his Wikipedia page. I found it to be useful, but flawed. I’m not sure why the author put a link to “Gary Fisher Bicycles” but pointed the link to the Trek Wikipedia page for instance. Also, in the Talk section for the article, people ask why there’s a broken external link to the Gary Fisher website, and why there’s no explanation as to Trek dropping the Fisher name entirely from its lineup.

I’ve been looking for the answer to that question for a while.

Anyway, Trek now owns Gary Fisher, but the Gary Fisher Bicycle company was its own entity at some point, so a link to that page would be great, but it doesn’t exist. I figure it should be one of those red links you see on Wikipedia, which I thought meant we think there should be a page for this, but there isn’t. It definitely shouldn’t be a link to Trek Bicycles.

I think we’re getting into some high-level, organizational arguments about how Wikipedia should be arranged. Or at least, how Gary Fisher’s entry should be arranged. Should there be a separate page for Gary Fisher the man, and another for Gary Fisher the bicycle  company, or can they be one in the same?

I thought I would look at Tom Ritchey’s entry, because you can make the same arguments for him. He’s in important person in mountain biking, and he runs an important cycling company. On his page, I found a fantastic quote;

The company initially was called Ritchey Mountain Bikes, with Ritchey fillet brazing over 1000 bikes over the course of those beginning three years. This high volume of production lead to Ritchey becoming mountain biking’s first production frame builder, earning him the moniker, “The General Motors of mountain bike frame companies,” from Mike Sinyard of Specialized.

Mike Sinyard of Specialized – Specialized!! – calling Ritchey the General Motors of MTBs… This was 1982, well before Specialized became the literal General Motors of cycling that they are now, but this is still an awesome pot-calls-kettle-black comment. It’s generally accepted that the first batch of Stumpjumpers was 500 bikes, so even back in ’82, this is a comical comment from Sinyard.

There’s your Wikipedia fun for today – amaze your friends with your new found information!

Rare and unusual Gary Fisher

Everything that has ever existed, will eventually be for sale on eBay.

Gary Fisher AC/DC

Gary Fisher AC/DC

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.

Continue reading

Trek

It’s finally time to talk about Trek.

Starting out in Waterloo, WI, in 1976 with five employees, Trek has grown into a company of 1600, and revenues of $600 million. If you believe Wikipedia that is. First making touring bikes, they moved to road bikes, and marketed their first mountain bike in 1983.

But, as they moved through the Golden Age of Vintage, they did very little to stand out – until the Y-bike was introduced in 1995 at least – making plain steel and aluminum bikes. Compared to the “Canadian” geometry of a Blizzard or Brodie or a Kona, the Treks just looked like small road bikes with more tire clearance.

Trek 8000

Trek 8000

Couple that with really dull paint styles and colours, and it really felt like they just weren’t trying that hard. A Trek was the bike you bought before you realized what other companies were doing.

But, vanilla sells, so here we are in 2015, and Trek is still cranking out bikes while so many other companies aren’t.

Of course, Trek is the reason why some companies aren’t making bikes any more. In 1993 Trek purchased Gary Fisher – from a Taiwanese company though, not the man himself – and then in ’95 they bought Klein, Bontrager, and set up Lemond with a line of road bikes.

Continue reading

Freeride Revival is go!

Well, it’s not really a go yet because we don’t have the bikes, but, the time is right.

First though, we need to talk about what Freeride was, just in case you don’t know.

In the mid to late 90’s, a group of BC riders were getting themselves into Bike magazine regularly thanks to their ridiculous skills on the skree slopes of Kamloops.  Eventually, a large chunk of an issue was devoted to these guys – Richey Schley, Wade Simmons, Brett Tippie, and others – and the scene was blown wide open.  But, the scene needed better bikes.

image2

1998 Rocky Mountain Pipeline

The first bike that comes to mind when you think “freeride?” The Rocky Mountain Pipeline.  However, Cannondale desperately wanted their bike to be one you thought of first.  So much so that they trademarked the name “freeride.”  Which was kinda dumb given that skiiers had used it for years, but we’re talking about trademark law in the U.S. – logic and reason do not apply.

This threw a wrench into Rocky’s plans to use it obviously. Until someone at Rocky came up with Froriders.  History was made.

Continue reading