Despite the Trek features, the Gary Fisher Roscoe is, in profile, clearly a Gary Fisher – the general layout mirrors that of the HiFi bikes. The Roscoe’s a lot stouter-looking than its brothers, though. The top tube is particularly eyecatching, with a kind of “inverted bell” cross-section that the shock and swing-link hang from. The shock is a Fisher-exclusive Fox DRCV, with a secondary air chamber that comes into play part-way through the travel.The Roscoe represents an interesting bit of portfolio management by the mighty Trek corporation. Despite being a Gary Fisher, it uses a couple of features from the Trek range – the flared 1.5/1.125in E2 head tube and ABP rear suspension pivot. It also sits between two models in the Trek lineup. The Roscoe has 140mm of travel at both ends, which is a bit more than Trek’s Fuel EX but a little less than the Remedy. At first glance it seems a slightly odd decision to fill in a gap in one range with a bike from another, but the gap’s a pretty small one – parking another Trek in there would probably just confuse people.
The other Fisher/Fox special is the fork, a 140mm travel unit with a 15mm axle. As well as the longer offset that’s the key part of Fisher’s G2 geometry, the fork has RP24 damping, which uses the same ProPedal damping as Fox’s rear shocks. There’s a two-position lever to switch ProPedal in or out, and a four-position clicker to choose how dramatic it is when switched on – 1 is very light, 4 is virtually locked out, 2 and 3 fill in the gaps.
The last Fisher we rode in anger was the HiFi Pro Carbon, a comfy but occasionally distractingly flexible mount. The Roscoe has all the comfort (and more), with a very agreeable, smooth, linear action from the DRCV shock. It also has the light steering feel that we gradually got used to on the HiFi – the G2 geometry is intended to improve handling at low speeds, which it does, but the downside is that you need to get used to the reduced levels of feedback. At first it feels like the bars aren’t connected to anything, which is mildly disconcerting.
It’s a world apart in terms of stiffness, though, with the chunky alloy front end delivering accurate tracking in spades. We’ll need more time on a Roscoe to be sure, but once we’re used to the steering (again) we’re sure that it’ll prove to be a very capable bike.
In the UK, Roscoes start at £1,900 for the Roscoe 1, going up to £2,800 for the Roscoe 3 shown here.www.fisherbikes.com