The Most Influential Gear of All Time: Gary Fisher 29er

2001

Ryder Hesjedal was one of the first pros to race on a 29er     Photo: Courtesy of Trek Bicycles

Though historically bicycles have had many different sized wheels, a collaboration between Gary Fischer and WTB’s Mark Slate and Steve Potts brought the name “29er” to life, and the first mass-produced 29-inch wheel mountain bikes to market. Fisher was riding Pearl Pass, Colorado, sometime in the 1980s when he encountered huge rock obstacles in the trail and reportedly said, “We’re going to need bigger wheels to get over these things.” Independent manufacturers made 29ers before Fischer, including Wes Williams (Willits Bikes, 1988), and Geoff Apps (Cleland Cycles, 1981), but nobody else is credited with making the term go global.

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