Editor’s note: This story first appeared in Dirt Rag issue #147, published in February 2010. Words and photos by Jeff Archer.
In the early 1970s, Gary Fisher was a member of the Grateful Dead Party Krew and spent time with the band. Later in that same decade, Fisher became better know for MountainBikes, a company he formed with Charlie Kelly. MountainBikes was one of the earliest companies to sell complete mountain bikes. Kelly and Fisher took frames built by Tom Ritchey and others, assembled them into complete bikes and sold them to the public. When Bob Weir, rhythm guitarist for the Grateful Dead, wanted a new mountain bike, Fisher seemed to be the natural source.
By this time, Fisher was having Tom Teesdale build many of his top model bikes, including this one. Prairie Prince, a graphic artist who was also traveling in the music world as a drummer for The Tubes and Journey, was asked to come up with a unique paint scheme for the bike. He designed and applied Grateful Dead themed graphics for the bike, including vertebrae and bones along the frame tubes. It was then built up and delivered to Weir.
In May of 1993, Trek purchased Fisher and got the company’s history as part of the deal. For the 1995 model year, Trek decided to take advantage of the Gary Fisher–Grateful Dead connection and offer a band tribute bike. The bike is a regular Hoo Koo E Koo with Grateful Dead graphics applied to the frame. The graphics pay tribute to the original Weir bike with a vertebrae decal along the top tube of the bike and bones decals along the down tube and stays of the frame.
From a single custom bike made for a band member to a mid-priced production bike for the largest supplier of bikes to bike shops: “What a long, strange trip it’s been.”
Rims: Specialized BX25
Crank: Cook Bros. Racing
Derailleurs: Suntour XC Pro
Shifters: Suntour XC Pro
Handlebar: Fisher Bulge
Hubs: American Classic
Brakes: Pedersen SE front, Roller Cam rear
Serial number: TT 21T077
Size: 21 inch