Category Archives: Trek

Gary Fisher

As many times as I’ve written about Gary Fisher, I’ve yet to actually talk about his vintage bikes. He’s often referred to as one of the fathers of the mountain bike, even though he didn’t actually weld the frames himself.  Even so, his bikes are highly sought after, innovative, and just plain cool as we’ll see.

Fisher Mt. Tam

Gary was an integral part of the Repack scene in California with Charlie Kelly, Joe Breeze, Tom Ritchey, and several others you probably wouldn’t know. In 1979 he started Mountainbikes with Kelly and Tom Ritchey. They only lasted until 1983, but Gary started his own company that same year. Unlike Ritchey or Breeze, he wasn’t making the frames himself, but he definitely knew what worked, so he got good people to make frames for him, like Tom Teesdale.

Fisher Montare

Things clearly went well for Gary, as he was importing frames from Taiwan by 1988. In 1991, he sold the company to Anlen of Taiwan, but stayed on as president. In 1993, Trek bought Fisher from Anlen, and ran them as a mostly independent line until 2010 when Fisher became just a name on a special series of Trek bikes. Then in 2014, Fisher the bicycle simply disappeared, with not one word from Trek – or from anyone else judging from the searches I’ve tried – to commemorate it.

A truly sad end to a truly cool company.

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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.

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The Trek Y-bike

I have written about old Treks before, but I didn’t go into any depth on their early full suspension bikes – apart from the 9000 that I used to own that is. The Y-bike was their second attempt at a suspension bike, and it made a splash due to it’s futuristic design. But, much like their first attempt, it was not particularly good.

Trek Y-Five-0

Trek Y-Five-0

Replacing the 9000 series with something better should have been an easy task. “How do we improve on the completely uncontrolled travel, and horrific chain growth on this bike?” Well… let’s put a proper shock on it, and we’ll go with a URT frame.

No wait! Not that second thing! Dammit…

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