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Fisher El Ranchero longtail bicycle

by Richard Masoner

Trek World is Trek’s annual show where they show dealers what to expect over the coming year. I’ll have more about some exciting new bikes like the Trek District, a redesigned Soho (with belt drive) and others later, but first I want to mention Fisher’s El Ranchero cargo bicycle.

The El Ranchero looks superficially like a tandem with a large rear rack, but the ‘stoker’ position is a child seat with no pedals. The rear rack looks like it has a humongous cargo capacity, like the Surly Big Dummy and other similar longtail bikes.

The El Ranchero is just a concept bike, but you’ll recall that the Fisher Simple City was also introduced as a concept bike. Trek now reports that the Simple City series of bikes have been tremendously successful. If enough consumers clamor for the El Ranchero, perhaps we’ll see this cargo bike sometime next year.

You can spy some photos of the El Ranchero and other bikes at Trek World at Bicycle Design.

 
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16 Responses to “Fisher El Ranchero longtail bicycle”

  1. Guitar Ted says:

    Fritz, just wanted to say that I really am excited about the El Ranchero, (a Salsa Cycles moniker if there ever was one. How did they miss that?), I am looking forward to having that in Fisher’s line up.

    The concept bike is clearly based on Treks T-900 tandem with modifications. Perhaps the engineers will want to do more testing and refinements before this gets introduced into the line up.

    I think this bike would be a huge hit.

  2. siouxgeonz says:

    I remember speculation that longtails were in the “why didn’t I think of that?” category and that it was only a matter of time before Xtracycle was just one of many.
    My question is: how did they guide their design decisions? Like unto too many commuter bikes, in that a bike for an entirely different purpose (cruisers, the purpose of which I don’t really get at all or road bikes, where keeping weight down is so much more important than with a commuting bike) and stick a feature or two on it and call it a “commuter” bike? So, is this a tandem with a kiddie seat instead of a stoker, or does it have the “gravity juju” of the Xtracycle which didn’t happen by accident?

  3. Ghost Rider says:

    What’s not to get about a cruiser? They’re for, uh, riding around and feeling good.

    The El Ranchero concept seems pretty cool on its face, but it suffers from a serious design flaw: what if you don’t have a child for a passenger? What if you want to squire around a full-size adult? It looks to me like Trek has squandered an opportunity by reducing the “flexibility in use” of this machine.

    Granted, these are only photos – perhaps as we learn more about this mythical creature, more will become clear as to its intentions and features. I will say that I LOVE the look of the cargo bags, though…military-inspired bike stuff just does something for me!

    Also, the District looks like a slicker, hipper version of the Batavus Lightning:
    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2018/2423066653_8cb292133d.jpg?v=0

    The orange Deep Vs are kinda “played”, but man I like the way it looks!

  4. Ghost Rider says:

    Hold the phone…the District is a, YAWN, singlespeed. As much as I think the belt drive is cool, I’d love to see this thing as an internally-geared belt drive.

    I still like the way it looks, though. Grey and orange colorway rocks!

  5. mtn boy says:

    It is about time. I have been looking into trying to buy a Kona Ute or order a Big Dummy. Availability is the issue. By Trek stepping up, the concept of longtail cargo bikes will now be mainstreamed

  6. Siouxgeonz says:

    “Looking cool” got left out of my makeup at birth ;) Seems cruisers have all kinds of “squandering of opportunities” built into them.
    There are folks who would call my Gazelle a ‘cruiser’ – but its actual features are made for commuting. Likewise, my ’68 Schwinn Racer singlespeed has been called a “cruiser” – but it is built for efficiency.
    Here’s hoping the Ranchero flies!

  7. Bobby says:

    Ghost Rider,

    There IS a internal gear hub belt-drive, the SOHO!

  8. Ghost Rider says:

    My point was mainly “do we need ANOTHER singlespeed” that caters to the trendfollowers, as this District appears to do? I mean, it’s got all the goodies: orange deep Vs, riser bars, bitchin’ paint scheme, etc. Can’t bike companies figure out how to meld hipness AND utility into one package?

    Don’t get me wrong — as I said earlier, I love the way it looks and I’m sure it would be a blast to ride, but it just doesn’t do anything from a truly functional perspective. Or maybe I’m wrong: maybe the world needs more “ironic Orange Julius bikes”, to borrow a phrase from BSNYC.

  9. Ghost Rider says:

    On second thought, perhaps the SOHO fits my needs. Lord knows that’s a popular platform — they’re selling like hotcakes! It blends form and function pretty nicely.

  10. Christomapher says:

    I’m actually pretty excited about the District!

    In the sales pitch book, they call it “ninja-like quiet” ride. Apparently the belt really cuts down on noise. I always love super quiet bikes and if this one lives up to the hype in terms of reliability (carbon fiber belt drive which requires no lubrication), style and functionality (super quiet, cargo-ready, light weight) then I will definitely be interested in purchasing this as a “for fun” bike.

    Sure it has a niche appeal, and obviously I can see haters already, it is pretty pricey (MSRP $849 according to the sales pitch book) but I’d still swing it, it looks like a lot of fun!

    Check it out… this is actually what it looks like (not a prototype) http://www.doobybrain.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/trek-district.jpg

  11. Siouxgeonz says:

    Ghost Rider… those are exactly my thoughts about most cruisers :D

    However, there’s that whole consumer cool factor – “new!”

  12. Ghost Rider says:

    Sconnyboy, I remember spotting that on your blog a few days back. You win the podium on that one!

    Sioux, you got me — you caught the hypocrisy in my argument about the District! I guess this bike is “just another cruiser” — form over function with no real purpose other than to have fun on (and look cool doing it). There’s a place in my heart for such bikes, but usually I demand a bit more from my machines.

  13. Quinn says:

    It looks like Treks version of a Honda RidgeLine, un-necessarily large people mover with limited cargo room

  14. Stuart M. says:

    When thinking about longtails, don’t forget the Yuba Mondo!

  15. John Paul Hudson says:

    I ride the shimano nexius 7 speed internal gear with a shaft drive virtually maintence free and quiet plus you can shift from 7th to 1st at the intersection when the light changed. Like 3 speeds of the past now with more gears. I think there will be more and more Electric Assist Bicycle commuters. Besides saving fuel I really enjoy the riding and have lost 30 pounds so far.

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