2011 Trek Sawyer

Here's the latest retro influenced bike to hit the market, but I'm starting to get confused, is it a Trek designed by Gary Fisher or a Gary Fisher sticker on a Trek designed bike?

The Sawyer is a steel framed 29er hard tail that harks back to the start of mountain biking, when Mr Fisher and friends punished their modified Schwinns in deepest Marin County, California. In fact it's so retro you'd be hard pressed to spot the difference from the shot of Mr Fisher lower down in the article.

Technically it's an interesting beast, CrMo steel frame with a twin top tube and split dropout (can you say belt drive... yes you can) and some clever Bontrager handle bars to mimic the late 70's / early 80's insanity. Of course it's a 29er, but then all Gary Fisher designed bikes are these days and it's equipped with a pretty standard collection of SRAM and Bontrager components... and to me that's where I start to get suspicious that it's all going a bit wrong. It's not a badly made or poorly equipped bike, however it's a weighty piece of kit, a lot more weighty than most would put up with for a mountain bike.

I've voiced before my uncertainty about the relationship between Gary Fisher and Trek. Taking a mountain bike manufacturing and design legend and slowly turning him into a vaguely "hip" but ultimately neutered brand smacks of corporate cynicism. I mean for goodness sake, part of the Gary Fisher range includes a near copy of the Surly Big Dummy transport bike... what next a Gary Fisher fixie range?

Before everyone thinks I'm being biased against fixies and transport bikes, I'm not, different spokes for different folks, but what is happening to the Gary Fisher is toying with some emotionally charged history. For instance would you tolerate Trek putting Lance Armstrong's names on a DJ bike... no, because it's just fucking wrong.

So my question remains, did Gary Fisher design this bike, or have the corporate bosses at Trek decide to slap his signature on it? I'd like to think I'm wrong, but for a man who's been very vocal about innovation for the last three decades, I'd be very surprised that he suddenly woke up one day and said I want to design a bike that's heavier than anything I have designed... period.

Price: USD$1499 - Trek Sawyer

Source: Trek / Jim Merithew Wired Magazine

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