The Gary Fisher Mountain Bike company was founded by Gary Fisher in 1979. Gary Fisher started his career in bike design when he raced a modified cruiser down Mount Tam in California. Although Gary Fisher’s company has grown substantially since he started back in the 1960’s, he is still heavily involved with the company. Gary takes part by looking for the latest trends and listening to what consumers want in a mountain bike.
Gary Fisher’s foray into the sport of mountain biking seemed short-lived when he was suspended from bike racing in 1968 due to hair that way too long. In response, Gary took to the hills, riding on dirt trails and eventually riding down mountain roads on bikes which he salvaged from the local dump. After a few years of this, Gary began to design bikes which would allow riders to ride up the mountain trails. Gary sold his bikes to friends and family, and his bikes soon won recognition for their sturdiness and control.
In 1979, Gary officially went into business with several partners, naming his company Mountain Bikes. Just one year later, the company was already selling more high-end bikes than many competitors. During this time, Gary competed and won many races and sponsored riders. In 1983, Gary founded the National Off-Road Bicycle Association, which now has nearly 30,000 members.
One of Gary Fisher’s main goals was to make biking accessible to everyone. To accomplish this, Gary took drastic measures to make bicycles more affordable, with innovative designs and efficient manufacturing. Gary was soon able to push down the cost of his bikes.
Although Gary Fisher was well-known for his bikes, he faced some challenges in the 1980’s, when he sold the company to Anlen in Taiwan. During this time, Fisher remained the president of the company, but he was out of the decision-making loop, and he often felt at odds with the company’s management. After just two years with Anlen, the Trek mountain bike company bought Fisher’s company and allowed Fisher to bring back his cutting edge design and creativity. Trek handled the every day business decisions, allowing Gary Fisher to devote his time to his designs. Gary Fisher is now President of the Gary Fisher Division of Trek.
The Gary Fisher mountain bike company has contributed a lot to the biking industry, from oversized headsets to the first production bicycle with front suspension. Some of the company’s innovations including the famous1974 Schwinn Excelsior X with its wide gear range and heavy duty braking, and the Unicrown Fork. Gary Fisher is also responsible for many modern innovations including the 19er Dual Sport, the Bigg’ns, an urban dirt jump bike, and the Fat Possum, a new lightweight all-mountain bike.
Gary Fisher has sponsored many successful bikers and biking teams. In 1981, the Fisher sponsored women’s team won the Coors Classic stage race. After Gary Fisher himself won the first Rockhopper Off-Road Race, Fisher-sponsored riders won the next six. Gary Fisher has sponsored famous bikers including Dale Stetina, Eric Heiden, Joe Murray, tom Ritchey and John Lomis.
Although Gary Fisher has had great success in the biking industry, the company’s president, Gary Fisher, has never forgotten his goal of providing every day people with access to high-quality mountain bikes. Today, Gary Fisher is still contributing his cutting edge designs and creative ideas to the sport.