If you ever have a chance to check out Trek’s factory in Waterloo Wisconsin, you should jump at the opportunity. Trek’s facility is an amazing factory with an awesome workforce, state of the art equipment, and an extremely progressive working environment.
Better yet? It is only a 5 minute ride from some of the best MTB trails you will find. From dirt jump to down hill, skinnies to singletrack, the Farm and Jim’s Trails have it. With so much opportunity for real world testing at their fingertips, I have to imagine that a lot of development and innovation has occurred in and around these hallowed trails.
I find it fitting that this was the location for which Trek chose to showcase three concept bikes that may or may not ever see production. The bikes included the Broadsider , a single speed version of the to-be-released Sawyer 29er, and a Fisher (collection) steel hardtail dirt jump bike dubbed the Gutter.
While the Sawyer is obviously closer to production, since it is basically what you can do to a stock Sawyer with some new parts, the other two bikes showcase the imagination and dedication of Trek’s designers.
First on display was the Trek Broadsider, a futuristic, badass, mega cruiser. With a twin top tube frame, hope disc brakes, and a dual crown inverted fork it looks the part. While most likely never making it to production due to an exorbitant amount of one off parts, it shows the depth of Trek’s imagination and the fact that in today’s market of wonderbikes, a cruiser can still take center stage.
The cockpit starts at the end of the twin top tube frame and meets the stylish dual crown/handlebar clamps. Also visible are the “skidplates” on the nicely curved bars that drop away from the front of the bike.
From the front end of the fork you can see the custom handlebar assembly along with the sweet Trek Broadsider headbadge.
Continuing the one off parts theme, custom grips made of some sort of grip tape with special clamps on either end cap the bar.
Working our way down there seems to be a custom lowered dual crown inverted fork (Shiver?), with similarly shortened stanchion guards. The fork holds a wheel custom built around a Chub Hub on the front end.
Looking back at the drive train yields a single speed built around a custom eccentric bottom bracket with what looks to be some sort of press fit bearings for the Race Face crank. The dedicated tubular chain guard is a nice touch as well.
The Broadsider sports cool number plates on both sides of the rear triangle, along with another Chub Hub wheel and a Hope disc brake handling stopping duties.
Finally, what post apocalyptic bike would be complete without a similarly tattered saddle. The leather patchwork and scuffs combined with the tape around the seatpost (to keep it from slipping?) demonstrate the design goal and the rawness of the prototype. The Broadsider is a seriously cool bike that would look more at home on a movie set than a bike show in Wisconsin.
Next to the Broadsider was a bike that either was the inspiration for the Sawyer 29’r, or was inspired by the Sawyer. Either way you can purchase almost this exact bike with gears, and could just as easily spec it with the White Industries parts you see here. This bike is very clean, very classic, and turns a lot of heads.
Up front was a gorgeous polished rim built to a White Industries hub.
Perhaps the best view of the bike, the twin top tube with the design with the cable routing in the center is a thing of beauty.
A very clean swinger rear end with more White Industries bling finishes off the bike. Gary Fisher is everywhere, even staring at you while you check out his bikes…
The last surprise on display, was a very intriguing steel dirt jump bike. Those of you that have followed the Trek/Fisher dirt jump story know that they have stuck with aluminum DJ frames, and some funky designs at that.
This frame looked that part, and had features like integrated chain tentioners that make me hope this isn’t just a concept, even though the poster behind states that it is “not about production.” By the way, I must add that right behind this display was a pretty serious set of dirt jumps and berms so I can guarantee that this bike has been put through its paces.
Sorry for the blurry picture, but you get the idea. The built in horizontal chain tug is a nice touch.
A nicely gusseted headtube may make up for a rather small looking downtube.
Finally, the asymmetric chainstay yoke holds the only key to the Gutter’s identity.