Gary Fisher swollowed by Trek

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Gary Fisher swollowed by Trek

Postby mtmajor » Wed Jun 16, 2010 3:16 pm

Just saw the 2011 Fisher line up. They are now Gary Fisher collection by Trek. ... ollection/
I believe they changed their Warranty on rear suspension also too 2 years?
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Re: Gary Fisher swollowed by Trek

Postby Tone » Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:02 am

I am not much of a mountain biker myself as most people know, but I am personally glad to see a big brand name bike company and a major bike designer name come together to produce a utilitarian cargo bike. Most people probably did not even notice the long-tail "Transport" model listed under the "Urban Utility" category of Trek's Gary Fisher Collection.

They even offer an electric-assist version. That might seem like cheating for most hard-core cyclists, but riding every day for a work commute, shopping/errands, and/or picking up little kids from school on an electrified cargo bike is way less cheating in my mind then just stepping on a polluting gas pedal and taking up road space with a car. Besides, it is way cheaper than a car and no one is forcing anyone to apply the electric-assist all the time. Pedaling a bigger long-tail bike with a heavy battery pack even just a little bit is almost more of a work out than pedaling a lighter bike all the time. I know of some people, who have long-tail bikes with electric assist with one of those solar windshield car battery chargers. They park their bike at work, plug in the foldable solar panel and have a fully charged bike battery for their ride home, which is even less of a carbon foot print as well as free power to get you home easy after a long day at work.

Anyone thinking about the Gary Fisher long-tail should be forewarned though. For anyone with practical knowledge of long-tail bikes, the design is not ideal. In fact Gary Fisher came out with the El Ranchero prototype at a bike show a couple of years back and that was a much better design, but they changed it for whatever reasons. The current bike's load area is too far back behind the rear axle. That could result in the front lifting while loading or at least getting less traction for steering when the bike is fairly loaded. It also does not come with a double kickstand, which is a definite plus for a cargo bike, especially when you are loading kids!

Personally I am fine with Gary Fisher's choice in tire thickness, but I should mention most cargo cyclists prefer 2.0" wide or fatter tires to cushion the ride since suspension is kind of pointless on a cargo bike. Also, the bike is aluminum, so do not even consider touring in rough terrain especially when vacationing in third world countries where welding aluminum for a repair is not likely. Aluminum will flex less so a loaded ride will feel more controlled/solid, but it obviously can not take as heavy a load under certain stresses. However, aluminum is clearly lighter and will not rust, so if you want a practical bike for commuting and doing around-town errands the Fisher would do the trick. Just do not expect to carry a significant load of lumber or go camping with more than a weekend's worth of gear.

In case people do not know, I have a Surly "Big Dummy" steel framed long-tail cargo bike myself. It is based on the open-source Xtracycle long-tail system, so it is adaptable to a wide variety of very useful accessories. Both Surly and Xtracycle are companies in America. Xtracycle has been making and selling Long-tail cargo bike extension kits for standard bikes for over thirteen years, so they know what they are doing and are always constantly improving their designs. Before I had my Big Dummy I had a fat-tubed aluminum Univega 750 FS with an Xtracycle long-tail extension. I had that set up for several years, including over three when I was still working as a bike messenger in New York City. You can probably say I know a little about cargo bikes. Other than Xtracycle, the Big Dummy, or the Gary Fisher Transport... there are many cargo bike options to suit the varying needs of many different people, such as Kona's Ute, Yuba's Mundo (Germany), the Bilenky Cargo Bike (front load, Philly), Bakfiet (front load, Netherlands, best for kids), or the Long John (also front load), and let us not forget all the trailer options available. I am just pointing these out to increase people's knowledge and let you decide for yourself.

As I said I am extremely glad Gary Fisher and Trek are putting out a long tail bike. I am just a little disappointed at what they came up with. Maybe it came down to the marketability of the price, but I have no idea what the cost will be. I met Gary Fisher in 2005 at the NY CMWC and spoke a lot about cargo bikes and my Xtracycle. He was into it then, and I know the dudes at Xtracycle have talked with him about their open source designs. It just saddens me Gary was not willing to learn from them. I just hope we will all see more bikes on the road for every day use.

Ride safe,
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Re: Gary Fisher swollowed by Trek

Postby Glancing Aft » Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:43 pm

Tone, interesting points about the center of gravity with the long tail bike, I'd imagine this problem would be even worse with the electric assist version of the bike.

In general I'm really disappointed with the news of this all. While never owning a Fisher I have been a fan of theirs for a long time. I think their G2 Geometry on 29ers kills it and I liked their ability to innovate unlike most major brands. I feel now with full trek integration they are going to be kept under a tight lid. Too many suites and ties discussing global product marketing on a new idea rather than just putting it out and seeing how it does... blah....

In any regards I wish the new Sawyer didn't have a Trek logo on it, I'd consider it! belt drive compatible, yummmmm...
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