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.
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.
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.