First it was Bontrager, then Lemond and Klein, and now Gary Fisher is discontinued as a stand-alone bicycle brand.
Whereas once the Trek Bicycle Corporation seemed poised to purchase as many high profile niche bicycle labels as it could, in recent years it's steadily proceeded to instead roll everything under the 'Trek' label. Bontrager is now the company's component, accessory and wheel nameplate; Klein is a mere shadow of itself available almost exclusively in Asia; it's hard not to remember what happened with Lemond and now even the Gary Fisher sub-brand will cease to exist. As of the 2011 model year, Gary Fisher bicycles will become Trek's 'Gary Fisher Collection'.
Business reasons seem to underpin the move: since the bikes are now branded as Treks, they will now be sold through the far broader Trek distribution channels – which Trek says will increase the number of dealers by eight-fold and expand the brand's internet presence by ten-fold. That's why Fisher himself is upbeat about the development: it will put bikes influenced by his ideas into far more dealers.
“This makes sense. I love this strategy,” says Gary Fisher in a press release sent early this morning. “I’ve been working with Trek on the Fisher Brand since 1996, but this puts me right in the middle of the best team of bike people. I can now bring my ideas to Trek, number one bike brand in the world. Better bikes and more people on those bikes. I love it.”
Lest anyone think that the brand will be killed entirely like those other bike brands, though, Trek looks to have invested a considerable amount of resources into further refining the line for 2011 with 29ers still occupying a prime spot on the Gary Fisher Collection stage.
New for 2011 is a fully revamped Superfly carbon hardtail frame with an integrated BB95 bottom bracket, tapered front end, direct mount front derailleur, and an expansion of the 'Fisher Control Column' oversized front hub and end-cap, all of which are expected to yield a stiffer and sharper handling bike than the original. The full-suspension Superfly 100 looks to be mostly unchanged with the main addition being a Carbon Armor plate beneath the down tube to protect the frame.
The new Trek Superfly Elite, from the new Gary Fisher collection
Last year's Rumblefish will continue to be the collection's 29" trail bike with 120mm of travel up front matched to 110mm out back controlled with the Trek-exclusive DRCV-equipped Fox Racing Shox air shock for a more linear-feeling travel than the Superfly 100. Added stiffness will come with thru-axles front and rear, including a new ABP Convert system using the 142x12mm standard.
An exciting new hardtail addition is the Sawyer, built around a retro-inspired steel frame with gracefully curved lines and twin top tubes. Versatility looks to be a main feature here with dropouts readily equipped for either geared or singlespeed use – and a split to accommodate a belt drive, too.
Changes to the road range are mostly cosmetic – which is fine with us as they were quite good already last year – but new for 2011 is the carbon fiber Cronus CX. An offshoot of the road-going Cronus frame, the CX will use similarly bulbous frame tube proportions, Gary Fisher's FCC oversized front end concept, integrated full-coverage fender mounts, internal cable routing, and a crown-mounted front brake housing stop to eliminate fork shudder.
Trek's new Gary Fisher Cronus CX is the brand's first carbon fibre cyclocross bike
The Gary Fisher Collection will also expand on Gary Fisher's utilitarian aims with the Transport cargo bike. Using a long wheelbase chassis, the Transport will include as standard equipment an enormous front rack and a versatile folding rear rack to accommodate a wide range of cargo, and there will also be an electric-assist version to give a helping hand when the bike is fully loaded.