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Fisher’s 29in wheeled bike won’t see
Fisher will NOT be introducing a 29in wheeled bike for the 2001
season, despite the fact that Gary Fisher “loves” the concept. Fork sizing
and other reasons are probably a suitable reason not to push forward for a new standard,
and also the possiblity of offering small bikes would be limited.
Fisher has been riding a 29in wheeled bike built by Steve Potts of WTB since early
this year, and says it works really well in mud and sand. However, the difficulties
in taking a design like this to production, along with all the modifications that
would need to be done, and the new developments that have to go alongside a larger
wheel platform (tyres, rims, spokes, chainstays, forks) make this a bit of a nightmare.
Fisher isn’t afraid to develop new concepts to allow bike development. He made the
worlds first oversize headset, the huge Evolution unit which was 1/8in bigger than
the standard size used today. The larger 1.25in steerer tube gave huge amounts of
torsional rigidity, but Fishers system was based around a threaded steerer, and doomed
to failure after Dia Compe initiated the Aheadset system based around the 1.125in
Fisher built the Evolution to allow him to use a large diameter titanium or even
aluminium steerer tube in his bikes. However, making a headset is comparitively simple
to having to retool (and limit choice on) suspension forks, rims and tyres.
We’ll watch to see what happens, but with many dirt riders championing the 24in wheelsize,
and Fisher championing 29in, it’ll be interesting to see if the modern “mountainbike”
is indeed as disparate as say, chalk and cheese.