Transport+ from Trek’s Gary Fisher Collection

Commuter, Electric bike, MTB, Road, Utility 4 108

There was a good bit of interest in the Gary Fisher El Ranchero longtail bike when I posted it in 2008. Though the El Ranchero was presented at Trek World ’08 as only a concept bike, Gary himself commented at the time saying, “we will make a long bike, E bike? RIGHT on!” Well… that time has finally come. Trek has now officially introduced the electric assist longtail that Gary promised. The aluminum framed Transport+ has a 350-watt rear hub motor and a battery pack that slides under the rear cargo deck. The Transport is also available in a non-electric version. Read more about it here at Cyclelicious.

Photo by Michael Browne

The Transport+ is the bike that caught my attention (because I have been waiting to see it), but there are some other very nice looking bikes in he new Gary Fisher Collection from Trek. I really the frame shapes and graphic treatments of the new Superfly 29er mountain bikes and Cronos road and cross bikes. The retro steel Sawyer mountain bike is another one that I think looks really nice. See more of it in the slideshow at the bottom of this interview with Gary on the Trek “King of the Mountain” blog. If you haven’t seen it yet, also check out Trek’s video about the announcement on Youtube.

I can’t really mention these new bikes without acknowledging that big announcement from Trek about the Gary Fisher Collection. If you were following any bike blogs on the web yesterday, you undoubtedly heard about Trek discontinuing the Fisher brand and introducing the Gary Fisher Collection in its place. Several blogs and cycling sites picked up on a Bike Europe story yesterday with the headline “Trek Drops Gary Fisher Brand”.The article pointed out that:

“The decision to drop the Gary Fisher brand is motivated by the dealers call for Trek 29-inch and Dual Sports models. Trek did not want to put engineers, product managers and designers for both brands parallel on 29-inch and Dual Sports projects.”

From a business standpoint, that second part makes sense to me. It also means better distribution for the products since there are more Trek dealers than there were Fisher ones. The big benefit of the collection within Trek though is that Gary can now really focus on developing the projects that he really cares about. I know from a brief conversation with him at Interbike last year that he is truly passionate about electric bicycles and other categories of “bikes that can change the world”. For that reason, I am excited to hear that, under this new arrangement, he will be more involved in the planning and development of bikes that bear his name. As Gary said on Twitter yesterday:

“You will see more of me not less. I am so not dead. The Fisher brand is getting a BIG boost! Thanks!”

Though the Gary Fisher brand is no more, I really do believe that we will see more of Gary’s influence on transportation-oriented bikes from Trek in the future. I am sure that some people will write off his optimism about this new announcement as marketing hype, but I believe that he is genuinely excited about his new role. If you ask me, the Gary Fisher Collection is off to a good start and I am looking forward to seeing how it evolves within the Trek brand in the future.

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4 Comments

  1. jamesmallon June 17, 2010 at 6:23 pm -  Reply

    Looks interesting, but reminds me of something that annoys me about this bike’s racks, and after-market racks from almost all makers: why leave so much clearance above the tires and fenders that cannot possibly be used, when lower racks would lower the centre of balance of the load, and improve handling. Looks like the frame here is better designed for 29/700 wheels. Wheels which the Kona Ute has, and rear-rack height better done, whether or not you like the rest of the bike.

  2. Patrick Mc June 17, 2010 at 10:28 pm -  Reply

    Overall I’m glad to see El Ranchero make it to production, but I’m confused or disappointed by some of the design choices.
    – There seems to be a lot of unnecessary clearance over the rear wheel and the rack doesn’t seem to be centered over the wheel, which will make handling unnecessarily difficult.
    – It’s unclear whether the rack is built to the Xtracycle Longtail Standard, as such, will the Peapod child seats fit the rack.
    – Overall I would have preferred to see the Transport keep the smoother lines and more low-slung feel of the El Ranchero, along with the passenger seat. It just doesn’t look as cool as the concept (which I guess isn’t surprising).
    – I’m curious about the hardware at the bottom rear, it looks kind of like the DIY QuickHitch http://everydayadventurers.com/2009/06/do-it-together-quickhitch/ but it’s tough to tell what’s going on there.
    – I’m not sure why the front rack isn’t better attached to the frame and more substantial. It seems like an afterthought designed to be removed.

  3. Easy Tiger June 18, 2010 at 1:05 am -  Reply

    Nope, in their infinite wisdom they’ve decided not to go with the Xtracycle open standard, so none of that stuff will fit.

    I really don’t understand the Fisher brand. Okay so Gary popularised the 29″ wheelsize, but aside from that, what has the Fisher brand actually brought to the party? Their suspension bikes have always sucked, I’m not even sure why anyone would buy a Fisher roadbike (Did he invent that, too?)…..and to top it off, the new range looks terribly corporate. Gary’s stylist should be designing the bikes, not him. The rug doesn’t match the curtains.
    In my eyes, Gary is little more than a marketing executive with a personal shopper. His biggest contribution is his own self-promotion, and his current crop of videos smack of egotism in the worst possible way. More mainstream Blando bikes from the king of spin – I don’t even know why this is getting any publicity at all (no wait, I do know why).

  4. Chrispy October 20, 2012 at 6:53 pm -  Reply

    Big mistake IMHO to not go with Xtracycle compatible racks.
    If you want to make bags – great. Just make them compatible.
    Looks like they didn’t do enough research and talk to their demographic.

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