Category Archives: Vintage

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…

Gary Fisher II

Yes, him again….

He’s the character that I love to be pretty much ambivalent about.

If you’re interested though, here’s an interview he gave at the Handmade show in Austin recently;

I didn’t even watch it.  The comments made it sound like some kind of freakshow, so I passed.  Besides, I can’t be bothered to watch an interview, because really, that’s a waste of one of your senses.  Make it a podcast so I can look at imgur while I listen.  Or make it text so I can listen to Deftones while I read.

Yes I know I can just start it and then open another tab, but that’s besides the point really.

The point is; who cares what Gary Fisher thinks about the health of the handmade bicycle industry?  Does he handmake bicycles anymore?  Is he even looking over the shoulder of the technical school trained kid at Trek, advising him where to click in his CAD/CAM program to place his signature decal?  What the hell does he do anyway?

Now that Trek dropped the other shoe, and has swallowed up Fisher mountain bikes, he’s seemingly just a figurehead for his not-really-existing-anymore bike company, and slowing morphing into the Don Cherry of cycling.

I guess he does provide some personality for what could be the most boring bicycle company ever.

I just don’t think I like that personality.