Urban Velo

Gary Fisher El Ranchero Long Bike

Long bikes are here, and seemingly ever gaining in popularity. Bringing the cargo carrying masses what they need – stability and capacity. The Gary Fisher El Ranchero is a concept that fits into Trek’s One World, Two Wheels campaign to get more people onto bikes that serve their actual daily needs. Product designer Nick Zeidler really explains it best:

This project was done as a pure concept. We recognize the potential of long tail bikes as a real solution to people’s everyday needs. Everyone needs transportation and everyone needs to transport their stuff. We’d like to help people with that task by making the whole scenario easy. It’s another part of one world – two wheels.

Our research showed a real need for people to carry their kids to school, soccer practice, or with them while they run some errands. The supermarket, home improvement store, and transportation to work were some of the common scenarios. To make this all easier, we added a dedicated child’s ‘cockpit’ complete with saddle, bars, and foot pegs. The bags keep your stuff dry, swallow a week’s worth of groceries, and instantly fold up to keep the bike narrow when not needed. We also added a front bag to keep some of the smaller items in easy reach and it’s detachable so you can take it with you. While loading up everything, the double kickstand keeps the bike planted so there’s one less thing to worry about.

Definitely an interesting take on the entire long bike category and how real people are actually going to utilize these bicycles. Total utility. The waterproof, fold up bags really hit the nail on the head in keeping the weight low and and out of the way with a double kickstand to make loading it up easy. Whether this design sees production or not, it’s good to see the biggest bike company in North America taking note of the cargo category. This bodes well for the future.


  1. sAugust 18, 2008 at 9:19 am

    omg – how do i get one!?

    a mesage for gary – gary, build that bike and make sure its available in canada!

  2. d*powAugust 18, 2008 at 11:34 am

    It will be interesting to see:

    a.) when this bike is actually produced
    b.) what it actually looks like when it is available

  3. urbanterryAugust 18, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    Looks like a modified Trek T900 Tandem. So they should already have a good start on producing the bike if they choose to do so.

  4. strategist41August 18, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    I wonder why the child seat is needed. Many users of this product don’t have kids. I’ll stick with Surly’s Big Dummy…

  5. Jim GAugust 18, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    Duh. The bags are waterproof, but the bike has no fenders…?

  6. StefanAugust 18, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    Thats fucking cool. I’ll take one!

  7. DuncanAugust 18, 2008 at 10:03 pm


    Ok, got that out of the way. Will they build it? who really knows but the fact that they took it as far as the bike pictured says a lot.
    I’ve been in the industry for over a decade and sold bikes from the Trek family on and off over the years. I know that the they (Trek) catch tremendous amounts of grief from core cyclists mostly because they are the biggest company in the industry. But lets remember a few things….
    1. They are still family owned and operated
    2. They have given more money to bicycle advocacy groups over the years than probably any other company in the industry and will be doing so for the foreseeable future.
    3. They are probably one of the most passionate group of bike nuts out there. Seriously, I have met many of them

    So, yes, Trek is playing with a long bike. And if they feel like it is a category that will survive and sustain itself then they will build a long bike, I would bet you money!

    I have two kids, and you better believe that if I could I would have both of them (one 6 months one 3.5 years) strapped onto one of those bad boys for delivery to school and daycare in the morning but it isnt an option for me to do so because there isnt a safe way to get my 6 month old on to one.


  8. Shiny FluAugust 19, 2008 at 5:22 am

    Although I find this ‘progression’ of the American bicycle market good- since there’s an obvious change for more commuter friendly bikes, it seems that companies like Trek and GF are really trying to reinvent the commuter bicycle.

    Anyone who’s been or lived in Europe will know that almost all commuter bicycles come with a Rack, fenders and dynamos. Whilst I’m not suggesting the designs are perfect for the American market, it would make sense to look at how a bike is put together in Europe and adapt it.

    For a long time it’s been normal to leave fenders, racks and lights off so that the shop can upsell these items to the customer, but in my mind that leaves the first time buyer or recent commuter convert sour.

    I’ve seen a better application for a ‘stoker seat’ here: http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t60/simon_majura/Germany%20December-January%202008/P1050086.jpg

    At least you can take them on and off as needed. Maybe they should send the Product Managers on a research-vacation.

  9. Yokota FritzAugust 19, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Trek has a design house in Europe that already designs Dutch style bikes for the European market. The American design team did the “research-vacation” thing there this last spring.

  10. meliAugust 19, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    this looks awesome!
    I was also very impressed with the simple series they introduced, def. a bike to consider for the rest of us!!
    thanks for posting, I could recommend these to my friends that would love to take the kids with them in a cool ride!

    On a diff. note Im happy I got to see Gary still kicking butt, last year in a CCCX race here in san francisco, was pretty fun.

  11. Ryan AtkinsonAugust 20, 2008 at 7:24 am

    Gary began preaching slow and functional bikes for years. He would come back from Asia and Europe and throw down with endless rants destined to be ignored. Now, his vision is being embraced. This bike looks really cool. Good job.

    Knowing that Gary was ahead of the curve on this, I wonder what is on his mind today. Because that is what we will be reading about in 5 years.

  12. grrshAugust 20, 2008 at 10:59 am

    A child’s cockpit that apparently the child does not use. Check the picture!!!

  13. prettyness… « i’m not drunk enough for this.August 30, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    [...] if they build the Gary Fisher El Ranchero, i might be [...]

  14. BårdMay 8, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Wonderful! Would rather have Magura HS-33 than disc brakes (for stronger wheels), though. And mid-fork eyelets for lowriders.

  15. PatrickJune 3, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Put on an internal hub and fenders and that would be one sweet bike. In the meantime I guess I’ll look into the Rwanda Coffee Bike that Ritchey makes.

  16. Transport: A longtail from Trek! » CycleliciousJune 16, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    [...] might recall the Gary Fisher El Rancero long bike that Fisher’s designers created as a concept in 2008. The Transport bikes clearly [...]

  17. Transport: A longtail from Trek! « Bike Monkey MagazineJune 16, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    [...] might recall the Gary Fisher El Ranchero long bike that Fisher’s designers created as a concept in 2008. The Transport bikes clearly [...]

  18. Cargobike CultJune 16, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    [...] Fisher made forays into cargobikes a few years back with the longtail El Ranchero, a concept bike developed as part of Trek’s 1 World 2 Wheels [...]

  19. oldcyclistSeptember 2, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    WOW Gary where you about 20 years ago with this bike!!! I needed a bike like this when I was commuting /Shopping/exploring foreign ports, by bicycles for the 22 years I was in the NAVY.. My new job requires me to have a truck.. I needed a bike like this when I was car-less (by Choice) …I am wondering if you are going to make this bike with road 700C or 29er wheel s, why 26in wheels. Plus I would like to be able to order it with an internal rear hub like the Rolf 14 speed..
    But I wouod still use one 700c/29er wheels and Rolf 14 speed

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