Recognized as the Founding Father of Mountain Bikes, Gary Fisher is not a new name in the bike world. But after Trek took ownership of the Gary Fisher bike brand, it makes one wonder: are Gary Fisher bikes good?
Gary Fisher bikes, which Trek currently makes as ‘Gary Fisher Collection,’ are pretty good in build quality and performance. Their Genesis geometry is unmatched, and they enjoy quality frames and specs and an excellent 29er line.
Gary Fisher bicycles come in a fantastic 29er line that serves both entry-level and pro-level cyclists. So, as far as the mountain bike sector is concerned, Gary Fisher bicycles are still a top contender.
Of course, these bicycles have a few concerns that I’ll share later. But before then, let me talk about the brand history to help you understand the MTB line.
In a rush? Check out the hottest Gary Fisher-inspired Trek bikes below.
5 Best Gary Fisher-Inspired Trek Bikes (Gary Fisher Collection)
- 2011 Paragon: Best Racing Gary Fisher Hardtail
- Mamba 29er: Best Entry-Level Gary Fisher Hardtail
- HiFi Deluxe: Best Gary Fisher Full-Suspension Racing Bike
- Rumblefish 29er: Best Gary Fisher Full-Suspension Trail Bike
- 2013 Cobia: Most Affordable Gary Fisher 29er
About Gary Fisher Bikes – Brand History
Gary Fisher bicycles are named after Gary Christopher Fisher, a Californian who developed a love for racing bikes at 12 years.
Gary Fisher is recognized for inventing the modern mountain bike, which saw him get inducted into the 1988 Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. He was even honored as the Founding Father of Mountain Bikes by Smithsonian Magazine in 1994.
The journey, however, started in 1979 when Fisher and his colleague Kelly founder the first-ever mountain bike company, MountainBikes.
They obtained the bike frames for MountainBikes from Tom Ritchey, another inventor who would later start his own company.
Interestingly, the first mountain bike model that Fisher made sold for about $1,300, and a total of 160 bikes were made that year.
But after failing to trademark the mountain bike, the company (MountainBikes) dissolved early in 1983, and Fisher founded another company, Gary Fisher Mountain Bikes, the same year.
He, however, sold it to a Taiwanese company, Anien, in 1991 but stayed as president.
While at Anien, Fisher developed the first-ever commercially-produced full-suspension Gary Fisher mountain bike (Gary Fisher RS-1) with the help of Mert Lawwill, a renowned motorcycle racer.
In 1992, however, a famous bike importer Howie Cohen joined the company and helped broker the acquisition of Gary Fisher bicycles by Trek 18 months later.
But still, the Gary Fisher bike line was running as an independent brand.
2010, however, saw Trek make the most shocking announcement. They announced that Gary Fisher Collection, a Trek-branded fisher-inspired bike line, would replace the Gary Fisher standalone bike brand.
So, now, Trek owns Gary Fisher bicyclesand stocks all Gary Fisher-inspired bicycles under the Gary Fisher Collection.
Are Gary Fisher Bikes Good Brand? (The Good And The Bad)
Gary Fisher bicycles have come a long way. From the days they were known as just fisher bikers to being part of Trek, it has been an exciting journey.
But overall, there are justifiable reasons to argue that these bikes are good.
a) Impressive ‘Genesis’ Geometry
Gary Fisher mountain bicycles come with a unique geometry, the Genesis (Genesis 1 & 2), which promises a riding experience like no other.
The Genesis 1 Geometry shifts your weight and riding position to the back wheel to allow you to sit more laid back. This geometry makes it easy for both taller and petite cyclists to ride Gary Fisher bicycles.
But generally, the geometry favors short distances and casual rides. If you want to take on long stretches and probably compete, then this geometry is probably not for you.
Genesis 2 offers more stability and is a little slacker to encourage more aggressive cycling, making it best for serious cyclists. So, Genesis 2 is a much better option for long-distance mountain biking.
b) Wonderful 29er Bike Line
Gary Fisher bicycles concentrate a lot on the 29er (29-inch) bike line. The idea behind it was to provide cyclists with bikes that are more comfortable to ride and stable.
That saw them settle on 29ers, and Trek seems to continue the trend under the Gary Fisher Collection.
29ers are also swifter. They roll faster over obstacles, which is excellent when tackling unpredictable mountains.
Moreover, they allow taller guys to ride in a more natural geometry.
Fisher bikes are also lightweight, stiffer, and more robust, and you need that from your MTB. More importantly, they come with Genesis 2 Geometry, which makes them aggressive and effective climbers.
Interestingly, there are both hardtails and full suspension MTBs under the 29er line.
29er hardtails are for those who prefer an exceptionally lightweight Hardtail.
Overall, the 2011 Paragon is a fantastic choice.
It comes in a lightweight aluminum frame and 10-speed SRAM shifters that let you shift smoothly and race. Thus, the MTB is a superb racing choice.
But if you are looking for a more entry-level choice, you cannot go wrong with the Mamba 29er.
The Hardtail comes with a 9-speed Shimano groupset and enjoys an aluminum frame and disc brakes, thus reliable and good value for money.
Gary Fisher full-suspension 29ers are for those who want more than a casual bike. It’s for those who plan to take on more rugged terrains.
An option like the HiFi Deluxe has incredible speed, despite coming with an aluminum frame.
The MTB also comes with 10-speed SRAM shifters that are ever-reliable when shifting fast and enjoys top-end Genesis 2 geometry.
But if you are looking for a trail beast, you cannot go wrong with the Rumblefish 29er. Though this 29er full-suspension comes in aluminum construction, it feels as light as a carbon bike.
The bike also comes with 10-speed SRAM shifters and crank to allow you to take on just about any trail.
c) Expansive ‘Gary Fisher Collection’ Lineup
Trek doesn’t just stock 29er Gary Fisher bicycles, but there are mountain bikes for everyone. Apparently, Trek stocks 34 Gary Fisher-inspired mountain bike models.
I’ve discussed the hardtails that suit entry-level cyclists and the full-suspension best for serious cyclists.
I should mention, however, that most of these bikes come in five or more frame sizes. That allows them to target wider market size.
The other important note is that Gary Fisher bicycles come in all price points. An option like the 2013 Cobia is a fantastic choice for budget buyers.
This Hardtail MTB comes with an SRAM rear derailleur, crank, and shifters, something you rarely get from a budget mountain bike.
So, it’s such a good deal.
d) Excellent Frames
Gary Fisher bicycles mostly come in aluminum frames, which are genuinely lightweight and more robust. They are also rust-resistant and quite comfortable, suiting both entry-level cyclists and pro-riders.
The best part is that the aluminum frames enjoy limited lifetime warranties, just like other Trek bike frames. That shows the confidence that the manufacturer, Trek, has in the Gary Fisher Collection.
e) Amazing Bike Specs
Gary Fisher bicycles don’t just impress with the good frames and Genesis geometry but also other specs.
Starting with the groupsets, they come in SRAM and Shimano options, with some featuring both. Since the two brands are reputable, the groupsets are reliable in performance and exceptionally durable.
The brakes don’t disappoint either as they mostly come as disc type, thus reliable in various conditions. You’ll find the brakes even on the most entry-level Gary Fisher MTBs.
While the Genesis 1 geometry is incredible when taking on the hills casually, Genesis 2 is slightly harder to handle.
Sometimes, the bike feels twitchy and challenging when riding downhill or uphill. Overall, it takes time for beginners to master how to handle a bike with Genesis 2 geometry.
The other downside is that it’s hard to tell which of the 80 mountain bike models belong to the Garry Fisher Collection.
According to Trek, 34 of the 80 MTB models are Gary Fisher-inspired. Sadly, that’s where the confusion is, given that they all come with the Trek branding.
You may have to do some digging like I did or inquire from Trek when you want to buy a Gary Fisher-Inspired mountain bike.
How About the Original Gary Fisher Bikes?
Even though Gary Fisher bicycles are now sold under Trek and come with the Trek branding, you can still get the original Gary Fisher models.
There is a caveat, though. You’ll only get them in used options, and there is no better place to search than eBay.
You can get a used Gary Fisher mountain bike for as little as $125 on eBay.
1. How Much Does A Gary Fisher Bike Cost?
Trek’s Gary Fisher Collection bicycles start from around $630 for entry-level low-grade options to over $9,000 for high-end pro-level options. So, Gary Fisher bicycles cut across all price points.
2. What Happened To Gary Fisher Bikes?
Gary Fisher discontinued as an independent bike brand and was acquired by Trek. Trek now stocks Gary Fisher bicycles under the Gary Fisher Collection, but they come with the Trek branding.
3. Where Are Gary Fisher Bikes Made?
Trek makes most Gary Fisher Collection bicycles at their main factory in Taiwan. They, however, assemble a few others in the United States.
4. Are Gary Fisher Mountain Bikes Good?
Gary Fisher mountain bicycles come with lighter but stronger frames and impressive specs. Their groupsets employ both Shimano and SRAM components, and the mountain bikes utilize more efficient suspension systems.
Even though their Genesis 2 geometry is not the most beginner-friendly, the MTBs are worth it.
5. Are Gary Fisher Bikes Still Made?
Gary Fisher bicycles are no longer made as an independent bike brand. However, Trek makes Gary Fisher-inspired bikes under the Gary Fisher Collection, which offers bikes with the same design and component quality as the original Gary Fisher bikes.
6. Are Gary Fisher Bikes Any Good?
Although Gary Fisher bicycles are no longer made as standalone bikes, the existing original models are among the best bikes on the market. The newer Gary Fisher-inspired Trek bikes come with impressive specs and lightweight frames, thus very good.
7. Are Gary Fisher Bikes Made In USA?
Gary Fisher bicycles used to be made in the USA before 2014. Now, Trek produces Gary Fisher bikes under Gary Fisher Collection, majorly in Taiwan.
8. Are Gary Fisher Bikes Worth Money?
Gary Fisher bicycles come with excellent frames and enjoy great specs. Trek’s new Gary Fisher Collection bikes are amongst the most unique, durable, and reliable mountain bikes on the market. So, yes, Gary Fisher bikes are worth the money.
9. Who Owns Gary Fisher Bikes?
Currently, Trek owns Gary Fisher bicycles and makes the bikes under the category Gary Fisher Collection. Trek acquired the bike brand in 1993.
10. Does Trek Still Make Gary Fisher Bikes?
Trek currently stocks Gary Fisher-inspired bikes under the Gary Fisher Collection. The line features Trek branded bikes with the same design and quality components as the original Gary Fisher bicycles.
Are Gary Fisher Bikes Good? Closing Thought:
Though Gary Fisher doesn’t operate as a standalone bike brand nowadays, their dedicated Trek line ‘Garry Fisher Collection’ is still a top contender in the mountain bike sector.
So, for anyone serious about mountain cycling and who prefers a recognizable brand, the name Gary Fisher makes sense.