Saturday, August 26, 2017

Minus Ten Review- 34

Trek World '07: I really miss the visionary bikes you could actually buy from Fisher
Ten years ago on the blog this week I gave a visual report on some of the cool new 2008 models from Trek and Gary Fisher. You remember Fisher Bikes? Man! I miss the brand and its vision.

Gary Fisher infused his brand with style and a look forward to a day when bicycles could be everyday transpo for all. I know people at Trek still believe in this concept, but it isn't pushed forward like it was with Fisher Bikes. Now it is all electric assist, blah,blah,blah.... Stuff folks cannot really aspire to, nor is there anyone in the company that figures in to embodying the concept of the "everyman cyclist" like there was when Gary Fisher was at the helm of Fisher Bikes.

 It is just hard to get behind the corporate image of Trek, or Specialized and Giant, for that matter, when their visions and philosophies are so hard to relate to. I mean, what is Trek? It used to mean "touring", or "adventure" in the late 70's. It was a concept that embodied everything the company stood for. Now it is what? Heck, I don't know. Same goes for Specialized and Giant and several other companies. Unrelateable corporate entities with faceless persona. Sad. The loss of the Fisher brand is regrettable in that light.

Fisher Superfly. Image by Carl Buchannan
Consider that Fisher Bikes was the brand which championed 29"ers since 2001. In early 2005, the lack of sales almost cost the brand the big wheelers, but then in 2005 Dual Sport bikes, and The Rig brought back 29"ers from the brink of extinction. By 2007 Fisher Bikes were showing the new carbon hardtail dubbed the Superfly, and 29"ers were outselling 26"ers at Fisher Bikes. This all well before many brands had a single 29"er in their line at all.

Had the 29"er been left in Trek's hands without a person like Gary Fisher, what would have happened? I bet something very different would have happened and we'd be looking at a very different landscape for cycling now. Not just in mountain bikes either.

So, what else was going on ten years ago here? Well, I was talking about how 29"ers had brought back steel frames as a viable alternative frame material to aluminum and carbon fiber. I also was yakking about Trans Iowa v4 planning with my new co-director, David Pals. Also, the odd "News And Views" post found a home on Friday, finally, after several random appearances on different days of the week prior to that. I also hinted in that "Friday News And Views" that a "spicy" new 29"er was about to be announced, which was easy to figure out. It was a Salsa model, of course. Stay tuned for what that was in an upcoming "Minus Ten Review" post.

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