Where he’s been…Where he’s going
1963 Gary Fisher, age 12, starts competing in on the road and track in races sanctioned by the predecessor of the USCF, The Amateur Bicycle League of America.
1964 Gary discovers cyclocross, competes in five cyclocross races. Gary finishes second in the intermediate age group in the Northern California District Road Championships.
1968 Gary is suspended from bike racing because his hair is too long hair. From home-built equipment Gary starts a light show, called “The Lightest Show on Earth” which plays the major rock venues in San Francisco.
1972 With the “long hair” rule overturned Gary starts road racing again.
1973 Gary finishes second in the Tour of Nevada City and becomes a Category 1 USCF road racer.
1974 Gary finishes the Vuelta de Baja, the Tour of the Sierras and the Tour of Marin stage races. Gary builds his legendary Schwinn Excelsior X. With an unprecedented wide gear range and heavy duty braking, it’s the first off-road bike that, despite its 42 pound heft, was rideable up mountains as well as down . Gary pioneers the use of tandem drum brakes, thumbshifters, motorcycle brake levers and cables, a seatpost quick release and triple chainrings with extra long crank arms. Gary’s original mountain bike creation is voted one of the “Top Ten All Time Best Mountain Bikes” by Mountain Bike Action Magazine.
1976 Gary wins the Tour of Klamath Lake, a 125-mile Olympic development race. Gary places 12th in the national road championships. Gary helps his roommate, Charlie Kelly, stage the Repack Off-Road Downhill Race series. Gary begins writing a monthly road test article for Bicycling Magazine.
1977 Gary sets the Repack record of 4:22:14, a record that still stands. Gary finishes fifth in the National Cyclocross Championships and finishes the Red Zinger stage race in Colorado.
1978 Gary wins “Fastest Time of the Year” award for the Repack Downhill Race. Gary wins the Solo Division with the fastest overall time in the 209-mile Davis Double Century, with a time of 9 hours, 18 minutes. Gary finishes the Red Zinger stage race. Gary is one of the “Marin County Contingent” that introduces “Clunker” to Colorado riding.
1979 A sport is named: Gary Fisher and Charlie Kelly name their new company “MountainBikes”. The frames are built by Jeffrey Richmond and Tom Ritchey. Kelly and Fisher cover purchasing, assembly, marketing, shipping, sales and catalogue design. 160 “MountainBikes” are made and sold. Gary finishes the Coors Classic stage race and collects the Olympic development points to rank third in western division road racing.
1980 Gary wins the first Reseda to the Sea, the Central Coast Clunker Classic, and The Whiskeytown Downhill off-road races and places second in the Northern California District Cyclocross Championships on his mountain bike. Gary finishes the Coors Classic stage race. Gary coins the term “bullmoose handlebar”. Gary is the first to use a Shimano freehub and “Bear Trap” pedals on a mountain bike. Gary and Charlie Kelly edit the bicycle section of the “Last Whole Earth Catalog.”
1981 Gary wins the second Reseda to the Sea off-road race. Fisher sponsors a women’s team in the Coors Classic stage race.
1982 Gary wins the first Rockhopper Off-Road Race and sets the stage for Fisher riders to claim the next six. Gary wins the Paradise Divide Criterium in Crested Butte, Colorado.
1983 Gary develops and names the Unicrown fork. Fisher racer, Dale Stetina wins the Paradise Divide Stage Race. Gary is a founding member of the National Off-road Bicycle Association (NORBA) and fields a team, including Dale Stetina, Eric Heiden, Joe Murray, Tom Ritchey and John Lomis, in the first national championships including. Lomis is the top Fisher finisher in third place. Fisher has the first production bike with a brake under the chainstay. Gary introduces short chainstays and steeper seat angles to mountain bikes. Gary goes to France to introduce the mountain bike, racing downhill in the La Plagne Alps.
1984 Gary designs and builds the first mountain bike using Tange Prestige tubing. Fisher racer, Joe Murray wins the Whiskeytown, Rockhopper, Ross Stage Race, Pacific States Final, and NORBA National Championships. Fisher riders win 70% of all off-road races held. The Fisher Excalibur is the first production mountain bike with a Dura Ace freehub, toe clips and straps.
1985 Fisher Team riders work with Shimano to develop indexed shifting. Gary develops “Standover height” and “Effective top tube length” measurements to better describe off-road frame fit. Fisher racer, Joe Murray repeats his wins at the Whiskeytown, Rockhopper, Ross Stage Race and NORBA National Championships and goes to England to finish third in the Man versus Horse versus Bike race.
1986 Fisher starts a grass roots racing team – the largest off-road racing team in the world. Gary sells the name “Marin Mountain Bikes” name to Bob Buckley. Gary designs the “Bulge Bar”, the “Hipstay”, a super short chainstay, and 135mm over locknut rear hub spacing.
1987 Fisher Team member Sara Ballantyne wins a gold medal in the NORBA World Cross Country Championships and Fisher’s Mike Kloser wins a silver in the men’s event. The Fisher Procaliber is voted one of the “Top Ten All-Time Best Mountain Bikes” by Mountain Bike Action Magazine. Gary is named by Outside Magazine as one of “50 Who Left Their Mark” in the last ten years.
1988 Introduction of the Fisher CR-7, a collaboration combining Gary’s renowned frame design and Richard Cunningham’s expertise at joining aluminum and chrome-moly. Fisher racers, Mike Kloser and Sara Ballantyne win the Iditabike 200 Mile Snow Race in Alaska and the European World Off-road Championships. Bicycle Guide Magazine names the titanium Fisher Prometheus the “Best of 88”. Gary is inducted at the inaugural Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in Crested Butte. Riding a tandem with Sara Ballantyne, Gary and Sara win the tandem category and place 13th overall in the 150mile Desert to the Sea race.
1989 Gary introduces the Evolution headset, tubing and seatpost, the first oversize component system for off-road bikes. Fisher rider Sara Ballantyne wins her third world championship. Bicycle Guide Magazine names the Fisher Gemini Tandem “Best of 89”. Bicycle Dealer Showcase names Fisher a “Top Supplier” for 89. Fisher produces its first hybrid bicycle.
1990 Gary is named to the NORBA Board of Trustees. Gary’s collaboration with Mert Lawwill on the RS-1 full suspension bike wins Bicycling Magazine’s “Hot Bike” award. The Fisher Mt. Tam is the first production mountain bike with a front suspension fork (RockShox) and suspension ready geometry.
1991 Fisher starts it’s international mountain bike team , including world champions Albert Iten and Walter Braendli of Switzerland and Paola Pezzo and Paolo Rusola of Italy. Gary introduces 15.5″ chainstays on the Montare.
1992 Gary develops the Alembic Carbon Fiber Suspension bike with Toray of Japan.
1993 Trek Bicycle Corporation acquires the Gary Fisher Bicycle Company. The new Gary Fisher brand is launched in September with its most competitive range ever, including 10 models manufactured in the United States. Fisher rider, Paola Pezzo of Italy wins the UCI World Mountain Bike Championship in France.
1994 The Gary Fisher brand excels with a new racing team , more than 500 U.S. locations and more than 20 countries worldwide selling the brand. Gary is named the “Founding Father of Mountain Bikes” by Smithsonian Magazine. Gary receives a lifetime achievement award at the Korbel Night of Champions, cycling’s Academy Awards.
1996 Fisher rider Paola Pezzo wins the gold medal in the women’s mountain bike event at the Atlanta Olympic Games. Gary is re-elected to the NORBA board of trustees with the highest number of votes of any trustee. Gary is named “Product Manager of the Year” by Mountain Bike Magazine. The Fisher brand is the fastest growing bicycle brand in the U.S.A.
1997 Fisher starts a BMX team and introduces 10 BMX models including a Joshua-inspired aluminum Pro Issue team frame. Paola Pezzo dominates the Women’s XC field on her Genesis Geometry bicycle by winning seven of nine World Cup races, including the overall championship and the World Championship title. Gary himself has an incredible year in the racing scene, Winning the XC Masters catorory U.S. National Championships and earning a spot on the U.S. Masters team. Gary is named to the “Trips for Kids” Board of directors.
1998 Fisher shows the bike world that dramatic improvements to mountain bike frames are still possible by unveiling 1998 Genesis Geometry and makes it available to consumers around the globe. Gary wins the Trans Alp 8 day off road stage race in Europe.
1999 Gary Fisher teams up with Saab Cars USA to form the Gary Fisher Saab Race Team, further solidifying one of the sport’s top professional programs. Fisher Saab racer Michael Rasmussen wins the Men’s XC World Championship in Sweden. Paola Pezzo wins the St Wendel World Cup abord a new Fisher dual suspension the first woman to win a world cup race on a dual suspension bike. Gary is named to the “Snow bike Hall of fame”. Paola Pezzo is named to the Mountain Bike hall of fame.
2000 Fisher introduces Sugar, the full-suspension platform that’s light enough to be raced professionally.