Video: Gary Fisher on Why eBikes are the Next Big Thing!

Ken M

Well-Known Member
I do agree with Gary Fisher and so many others that ebikes should entice more people out of their cars but people get use to what they perceive as luxury and it's hard to convince them to consider an ebike a transportation tool. It doesn't help that so many of the ebikes are EU spec'd underpowered slow models that really don't fit well with the longer urban commutes most US riders will be faced with.

When a decent shape rider on road bike can sustain 30mph on a flat road for a few miles I don't think we need ebikers running around saying an assist faster than 20mph makes the ebike a mopen or motorcycle. We need ebikes as a solution for transportation, not to ride around the neighborhood at 15mph. The class 3 ebikes could be fast enough but most of them require a huge effort from the rider to sustain 28mph (they just don't want to tell you that in the marketing claims).
 

DougC

Member
Wow. Very engaging speaker. So much info and interesting ideas in that speech that I need to replay it a few more times to adsorb it all. Pretty cool video recording too. Made you feel right up there with him. And now I feel even better about buying my two Trek e-bikes.

Biggest problem with e-bikes is cost. When the bikes we're paying 5k or more for are retailing for 1k or less then e-bikes will take off and you'll see more people out of their cars.

And what wilderness is he talking about that bikes are allowed in? Was he talking about designated wilderness areas? Or was he just speaking of the outdoors in general?

I agree with the idea about bike paths being too narrow. One that starts about a mile from where I live and follows the Jordan River 50 miles or so up to SLC was probably built starting 20 years ago and is only about 10 feet wide. Really difficult for multi use of families out on a walk and bike users and skateboard users. But a much newer bike path nearby that was built over a canal that was replaced with a big pipe for thirty or so miles is 20 feet wide and is just awesome.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
Who's Gary Fisher? Should I know this?

Yes... the father of mountain biking from Marin, CA. ;)


Gary Christopher Fisher (born November 5, 1950) is considered one of the inventors of the modern mountain bike.[1]
Fisher started competing in road and track races at age 12. He was suspended in 1968 because race organizers cited a rule that his hair was too long.[2] By 1972 this rule had been repealed and Fisher's career continued. He won the TransAlp race in Europe and a Masters XC national title.

Fisher went to work in 1975 on his 1930s Schwinn Excelsior X bicycle. His innovations to the model included drum brakes, motorcycle brake levers and cables, and triple chainrings, all taken from "junkers" Fisher found at bike shops. The next year, Fisher participated in the Repack downhill race, promoted by his roommate Charlie Kelly. This used a tortuous downhill route on Pine Mountain near Fairfax, California, just north of San Francisco, in which riders used their coaster brakes so much that they had to repack the smoking hubs with grease after every run. Fisher holds the record time on the Repack course at 4:22.[3][4]

Gary Fisher speaks about his role as a pioneer in the sport of Mountain Biking in two video documentaries: Full Cycle: A World Odyssey produced by New & Unique Videos (1994)[5] and "Klunkerz" produced by Billy Savage (2007).[6] Original clips of Fisher on his mountain bike appear in both documentaries.

Charlie Kelly coined the term mountain bike in 1979, after a phrase used by a mechanic. That year, Fisher and Kelly founded MountainBikes,[7] the first company to specialize in the manufacture of this type of bicycle. Frames were built by Tom Ritchey, who later founded his own company. The first model sold for $US1300; 160 were manufactured in the first year.

1979 saw the introduction of Shimano components and an ill-fated attempt to trademark Mountain Bike. The company dissolved in 1983; Fisher founded Gary Fisher Mountain Bikes the same year. Fisher sold his company in 1991 to Taiwan's Anlen company, staying on as President. Fisher developed the first commercially produced full suspension bicycles designed by Mert Lawwill, a former champion motorcycle racer.[8] His bike, the Gary Fisher RS-1, was released in 1992. Its rear suspension adapted the A-arm suspension design from sports car racing, and was the first four-bar linkage in mountain biking.[8] In 1992, Howie Cohen, who had previously imported Nishiki, Azuki and Kuwahara bicycles, assisted Gary Fisher with his brand,[9] 18 months later brokering the acquisition of Fisher by Trek Bicycle Corporation.[9]


On June 16, 2010, Trek Bicycle Corporation announced "the Gary Fisher Collection, a line of Trek bikes that will replace the standalone Gary Fisher brand".[10]
 
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D

Deleted member 4210

Guest
E-bikes are not the Next Big Thing. They are the Right This Minute Big Thing, and only getting bigger from here. This statement was made over a quarter century ago. Give credit to Rick Vosper over at BRAIN. Great to see Gary finally caught up with the times.
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
Ebikes are growing, but I wouldn’t say they are big yet. I would say that cars are the current big thing and ebikes have a long way to get close.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Ebikes are growing, but I wouldn’t say they are big yet. I would say that cars are the current big thing and ebikes have a long way to get close.

You are correct Chris....It's hard to get a lot people to give up their cars even for some travel from their home.

Most people do not even realize the cost of driving everywhere - both to their finances and health. I started commuting on an ebike about 3 years ago and the health benefits were realized quickly and ongoing (unfortunately I did have a severe accident almost a year ago that I'm still trying to recover from but I will be back on the ebike frequently by spring...not good for a 57 year old guy to go head first into a fence post at like 22mph but it was my fault for not anticipating the freezing drizzle collecting on the wooden bridge). I still believe that if more people would just commit to say commuting on an ebike 2,000 miles a year (probably an average of less than 20% of the miles they drive each year) the ebike would pay for itself in 3 to 5 years and the health benefits would make that chump change in reality (they'll fell better, be sick less often, and more productive at everything they do).

The challenge is equivalent to prying that remote control out of someone hands while watching the Kardashians. Sad but true. The good news is that it will happen because ebikes are such good mobility solutions the masses will eventually take notice. Maybe while sitting stopped in a traffic jam a light will go off that they would be better off not in the car for every trip.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
Ebikes are growing, but I wouldn’t say they are big yet. I would say that cars are the current big thing and ebikes have a long way to get close.

Yes true. Unit sales in the US this year for new autos will be between 16 and 17 million (Used sales around 40 million?). E-bikes? I saw the article posted here that Giant is predicting 600K units alone but I think that was global.
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
Thanks! I’m glad I’m not alone in this. I’m in the Netherlands right now and it’s clear that eBikes have really taken off here, but we are a long way from this penetration in the US.

I do think certain cities have hope for this though. We have a lot more work to do though. This makes me happy and certainly excited about my job :)
 

Cowlitz

Well-Known Member
I think there might be another ebiker in my area. That might make 5 of us. Ebikes are an oddity here. I live in one of those places where the guys running for office usually have their pictures with cowboy hats on. There is a plethora of diesel pickups. There are no bike lanes. It can be scary to ride, although most of the traffic is well behaved. I do ride in it, but my friend will not.

Here are the drawbacks in my part of the world.

Fear of riding in traffic.

Winter. We have winter here. Snow, ice and cold. We also have hills.

Summer--one person mentioned that after a hard day's work in hot weather, he does not want to ride a bike several miles home. He wants air conditioning. Also, there's the wildfire smoke monster. That did not happen this year, but it did last year and the year before. I didn't ride much in it.

We don't have much in the way of traffic snarls here, so it does take more time on a bike. I take detours to get to the store because the main street is too scary for me to ride in.

The price of ebikes is considered by most people to be too much. In fact, most of the people I have talked to think my Rad cost at least twice what it actually did. My Gazelle is about what they think all ebikes cost.

"The word" is not getting out to the smaller towns that are far from cities.

Oh, people will ask me questions. The conversation usually starts out with "looks like fun." Then how far can you get on that battery? Then how much does it cost? And, these questions are often from guys driving diesel pickups.
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
Thank you for being an agent of change @Cowlitz I felt similar when I was given a 25k fine for selling “motorized scooters” in NYC, fortunately that was taken care of to avoid a PR nightmare and since then the city has really begun supporting eBikes. I hope you still find enjoyment in riding despite the naysayers and please stay safe. It is difficult to be in a place without support around you and I guess that’s why I like this forum so much and I thank @Court for creating it.

As much as ebikes are gaining popularity in SoCal the car is still king and it often feels like a David and Goliath fight in this place where it seems like ebikes are a no brainer. Infrastructure and Culture are the two biggest forces to challenge here. In NYC we are gaining on the infrastructure rapidly and it’s culture which is left. Fortunate for NYers, you’re not looked at a second class citizen because you ride for transportation. All walks of life ride because it just makes sense, I think NYers are more practical that way. LA has infrastructure around the beachs, but it’s generally spotty outside and most roads are designed for speeding cars.

As I write this I’m in the Netherlands just starting to learn about what they are doing right and trying to understand if we will eventually get there. For me I’m attacking this thing head on and I’m going straight to the source and I moved to do that, but from my perspective we have a very long road ahead. I don’t mean to sound bleak, but we need to deal with the truth. We won’t solve these issues by tip toeing around them. I’m not one for confrontation, but this is something worth fighting for.
 
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drewberz

Active Member
Gary is a cool guy thanks for sharing.

I thought it interesting he mentioned the Marin city meeting with an older crowd that advocated for e-mountain bikes. It's sort of a tailwind (pun fully intended) for e-bikes that the initial users, as best I can tell, usually are older who may also be more vocal, politically active, affluent etc.

It does make me want to be more active and vocal for the ebikes in general.
 

Browneye

Well-Known Member
I think there might be another ebiker in my area. That might make 5 of us. Ebikes are an oddity here. I live in one of those places where the guys running for office usually have their pictures with cowboy hats on. There is a plethora of diesel pickups. There are no bike lanes. It can be scary to ride, although most of the traffic is well behaved. I do ride in it, but my friend will not.

Here are the drawbacks in my part of the world.

Fear of riding in traffic.

Winter. We have winter here. Snow, ice and cold. We also have hills.

Summer--one person mentioned that after a hard day's work in hot weather, he does not want to ride a bike several miles home. He wants air conditioning. Also, there's the wildfire smoke monster. That did not happen this year, but it did last year and the year before. I didn't ride much in it.

We don't have much in the way of traffic snarls here, so it does take more time on a bike. I take detours to get to the store because the main street is too scary for me to ride in.

The price of ebikes is considered by most people to be too much. In fact, most of the people I have talked to think my Rad cost at least twice what it actually did. My Gazelle is about what they think all ebikes cost.

"The word" is not getting out to the smaller towns that are far from cities.

Oh, people will ask me questions. The conversation usually starts out with "looks like fun." Then how far can you get on that battery? Then how much does it cost? And, these questions are often from guys driving diesel pickups.


Pure reality here. 👍 It can be remarkable when new things come along and you think everybody is on board, then come to find out they're either clueless, or have an unfounded negative bias. For the life of me I can't understand the push-back, but whatever. As soon as I dug into it I thought it was a fantastic idea.

Bikes have always been a part of wife and I's life together - one of our first dates was to buy a pair of crossbikes and ride to the local winery for a picnic. That was thirty years ago! We love to ride, but about 12 miles of it and we're ready for a beer. LOL Our ebikes will easily take us two to three times that for the same effort. The ebike still has all the same benefits as a pedal bike - just 'more of you'.

We watched the Fisher vid last night on the big-screen - we dumped cable TV and a land-line some years ago. Internet (youtube) on the TV - bravo!! Anyway, he's surely a visionary, although we were doing the same thing building knobby-tired 'trick' bikes for the wooded trails around home, doing jumps and tricks - and that was in the 60's!! And no, the term 'mountain bike' had not been coined yet. Then later we converted dirtbike motorcycles into 'dualsport' bikes before THAT term had been coined. I always marvel at how people can capitalize on an idea and make a career or get notoriety for it. Good for them!

While he had some good things to say, and I enjoyed the film, he came across as a hickster hippy-dippy with goofy clothes and weird facial hair. LOL
Wife thought he was bougie. Oh well. Nevertheless, the ebike era is here and is just going to get bigger. Once they become mainstream everybody will have one - they'll skip the car for a quick-trip to the store for a forgotten something, or for a ride on the bike path instead of a walk. Mass commuting? I doubt that. At least not in Amerika!
 

CSH

Active Member
Thank you for being an agent of change @Cowlitz I felt similar when I was given a 25k fine for selling “motorized scooters” in NYC, fortunately that was taken care of to avoid a PR nightmare and since then the city has really begun supporting eBikes. I hope you still find enjoyment in riding despite the naysayers and please stay safe. It is difficult to be in a place without support around you and I guess that’s why I like this forum so much and I thank @Court for creating it.

As much as ebikes are gaining popularity in SoCal the car is still king and it often feels like a David and Goliath fight in this place where it seems like ebikes are a no brainer. Infrastructure and Culture are the two biggest forces to challenge here. In NYC we are gaining on the infrastructure rapidly and it’s culture which is left. Fortunate for NYers, you’re not looked at a second class citizen because you ride for transportation. All walks of life ride because it just makes sense, I think NYers are more practical that way. LA has infrastructure around the beachs, but it’s generally spotty outside and most roads are designed for speeding cars.

As I write this I’m in the Netherlands just starting to learn about what they are doing right and trying to understand if we will eventually get there. For me I’m attacking this thing head on and I’m going straight to the source and I moved to do that, but from my perspective we have a very long road ahead. I don’t mean to sound bleak, but we need to deal with the truth. We won’t solve these issues by tip toeing around them. I’m not one for confrontation, but this is something worth fighting for.


AMEN, Brother Chris !
@Chris Nolte Your passion for all of this is admirable.

Craig :cool:
 

Cowlitz

Well-Known Member
One thing I thought of this morning, and it is petty, but wouldn't it be great if the industry came up a uniform battery charger? A couple years ago, I rode to a friend's house, and we were going to recharge my bike. It was the same brand, same model, only a year younger and the charger configuration had been changed.
 

Browneye

Well-Known Member
Never happening - there will always be a variety of battery sizes and configurations.
Not even uniform for e-cars.
Hell, even the campgrounds and RV parks have 3 power configurations 15a, 30, and 50.