Category Archives: Fisher

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.


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.

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Completely irrational

I have very strong opinions with regards to cycling.  A lot of them have very little basis in reality, most of them don’t even matter.

But welcome to the Internet!  Every feeling that everyone has is somehow valid, no matter what.


1. I refuse to acknowledge Bradley Wiggins’ knighthood.  The guy is a jerk, period.  Also, not even born in the UK.

2. I refuse to acknowledge Chris Froome’s knighthood.  Oh wait – he doesn’t have that.  I just wanted to mention him because he was also not born in the UK.

2a. I refuse to acknowledge knighthoods. Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government, or recognizing achievements in cycling.

3. I really don’t care about Lance Armstrong.

3a. Wait – I do care!  I saw the TV documentary Stop at Nothing, and I can you that he is INSANE-O. He is a clinical psychotic.

4. Trek’s president, John Burke, is a jerk.  He forced Greg Lemond to apologize for claiming that Armstrong was doping.  And yet, when Lemond turned out to be right, what did he do?

Nothing.  Nothing is what he did.  Well, he also bought out Gary Fisher and eventually made his bikes disappear…

5. Treks are the most boring bikes made on this planet. The only current one I like is the Superfly, which was a Fisher before it was a Trek. Otherwise, cookie-cutter bikes with graphics maximized to appeal to consumers.

6. Specializeds are the most boring bikes made on this planet.  I don’t care how good the magazines say they are, I would never ride one.  If I see you riding one, know that I am secretly judging you.

7. I will not name my bikes nor will I refer to them as “rigs,” “steeds,” or “whips,” because doing so is silly.  (it’s cool if you name your bike though, I don’t mind) Bicycles are damn cool on their own and do not need to be compared to other vehicles.

8. I used to not like GTs just because of their “triple-triangle” design. I realise now though, that I was young and foolish, and that those bikes had fantastic paint, and just plain looked good.

eBay Finds, or, This Blog is Entirely About Gary Fisher Now…

If you’ve been paying attention to my blogging all these years, you might remember that I’ve mentioned often that vintage Gary Fisher bicycles and frames rarely come up for sale.

Things seem to have changed though.

I’ve posted before the seller in the U.S. with the insane, $25,000 price on the Procaliber. Which seems to be an “f-you” response to people telling him his $8,000 price was ridiculous. Today, there are three other vintage Fishers;

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This is a 1987 Procaliber, completely original with Shimano XT parts, chainstay mounted U-brakes, and the most awesome flat handlebar ever.  It’s funny that so many people will mention that their remembrance of vintage MTBs is 150mm stems and 0 or 3 degree sweep handlebars, because I remember these 10 degree bars.  Both of them disappeared from the market, but the big sweep flat bar made a comeback with the Rise of the 29ers.

The price is $700, which is right on the edge of “that’s pricey, but good given it’s condition” and “great bike, but that’s insane.”  And the reason it’s not completely insane is it’s rarity, and it’s place in the history of MTBs.

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Next up is a 1990 AL-1.  One of the first production aluminum bikes, this one, like the Procaliber, is in excellent shape.  It’s a little less original, but has the super cool Fisher Fat Trax tire on the front.

The price here is $950, which is really leaning into the insane.  I love the colour, but if I had to choose, the cheaper Procaliber is a pretty easy win.

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1991 Fisher Procaliber – I’m not 100% certain if that Control Stem is original, but even if it isn’t, the bike is 99% original.  Even the tires and grips, which are very rare to survive this long.   It too is in excellent condition, and has the added VRC cache of being a non-Shimano bike.  Plus for me, 1991/1992 are simply the best years for mountain bikes period.

So, it’s $850, splitting the difference between the two previous bikes.  But is that an insane price?  I don’t think I could ever pay that much for this bike.  But, I can’t say it’s insane, because if this was a Rocky Mountain Vertex, or Altitude, or Thunderbolt of the same vintage and condition, I’m buying it.

It really comes down to if its your brand or not.

Now it gets a little crazy;

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This is a 1990 Gary Fisher Prometheus.  Titanium frame, absolutely 100% original, clearly used, but in very good condition.  The rarest of the rare.  I spend a lot of time on – probably the biggest english website for vintage, retro, classic – and I don’t think anyone there has one.  And they have everything.

The price though is $12,000.

I’ve seen some bikes, like limited run Colnagos with special paint jobs and anniversary Campagnolo groupsets with asking prices like this, and I’ve thought; “I don’t think I’d ever be able to spend that much, but I don’t think that’s an unfair price.”

I don’t know what I think about this though.  It’s amazing but I don’t know if it’s that amazing.

Here it is if you’re wanting to pay the down payment on the guy’s house;

Gary Fisher I

This is a re-run here, going all the way back to my TeamCow Blogspot page.  I needed to get all my Gary Fisher posts in the same place.

So this fancy ad appears on the Fisher website today, touting the ‘Gary Fisher Collection.’

‘Literally a dream come true’ it says.

I was intrigued – it sounded like Trek had created an AMG-like premium brand for Fisher within the Trek empire.  A special set of bikes where Gary was allowed to run wild and do whatever he wanted.

But no.  It’s nothing that good at all.  From the press release;

Trek Bicycle and bike pioneer Gary Fisher are pleased to announce the Gary Fisher Collection, a line of Trek bikes that will replace the standalone Gary Fisher brand. The Collection will be distributed exclusively through Trek retailers.

So Gary Fisher the bike company doesn’t exist any more.  It’s been reduced to Gary Fisher’s signature on the Trek Rig, and the Trek Paragon.

It just doesn’t sound right.

This just feels like a strange move for Trek.  I felt like everything that was unique and cool about Fisher was simply brushed aside in ’93 after Trek purchased them.  Instead of bolted together CR-7s, we got Trek OCLV hardtails with Gary Fisher badges on them.  They felt as much like Fishers as the Cimarron felt like a Cadillac.

But slowly, things changed.  And eventually Fishers felt like Fishers again.  They looked good, and they felt like unique and cool bikes again.

They felt like a company I could like and care about again.

In fact, I bought an ’09 Rig recently.  Because it was a 29er, because it reminded me of the old Supercaliber with the big squiggle graphic on the top tube, and because it felt like a cool bike.

But now, they’re just Treks.

And it just doesn’t seem to matter what Trek does, they’re still bikes trying to appeal to the widest variety of people possible.  In other words, dull.

I swear Trek has some computer program that scans all of the most popular graphic design, and synthesizes it into the most inoffensive and vanilla thing they can come up with, and that what goes on their bikes.  I’m sure you can tell from this that I’m not a fan, but consider that I’ve known of them since 1988, and not once have they put out a bike that I’ve looked at and thought; ‘that looks good.’

Law of averages alone says that they should have come out with one aesthetically pleasing bike in 22 years – right?

And after this many years you’d think a company could come up with a damn logo to put on the head tube!

Fisher had a great logo…