Words by Dave Arthur.
Readers of a certain age (well the old gits if we’re honest) will remember the name Fat Chance Bicycles with a bit of a misty-eyed nostalgia. This was one of the iconic mountain bike brands that was right there at the birth of the sport we know and love today.
The company started in 1982 but sadly wrapped up business by about 1994. But this week Chris Chance announced via Twitter and a new website that he is returning to the business of building bikes.
“After a nearly fifteen year hiatus from the bike building scene, legendary bike builder Chris Chance is resurrecting Fat Chance Bicycles. Plans are currently in the works to bring back the Yo Eddy! The “Yo" rises out of the ashes as a beacon of hope for the leagues of Fat Chance devotees who, up until now, have only dreamed of seeing a new bike from Fat Chance," says the official blurb.
Intriguingly, Chris Chance hasn’t launched with a range of products. Instead, he’s inviting his loyal fans, and there are many of them, to dictate the design direction of a limited run of Fat Chance “Yo Eddy" frames.
“I want to dedicate the first run of frames to the die hard Fat fans and engage you as a part of the design process for the first Fat 2.0 bike. Your input will influence what the first limited run of bikes will be. If you have not already shared your thoughts, please do so now." says Chris Chance.
So whether you think he should work in steel, titanium, aluminium or carbon fibre, and what wheelsize he should go with, could be affected by your vote. So head over to the website and let him know what you want to see him create.
Of all his creations, the Yo Eddy team in about 1990 was perhaps best best known creation. Chance built a reputation because he produced mountain bikes with steeper angles, shorter chainstays and higher bottom brackets than the super slack bikes that were common at the time, and the Yo Eddy epitomised this approach.
The TIG-welded True Temper 4130 chromoly steel steel frame with fat tubes and oversized non-tapered chainstays and that distinctive steel fork with fat straight fork blades and a segmented crown that was a hallmark of Chance bike Cables routed along the side of the top tube, there were of course cantilever brakes, long stem and flat narrow handlebar.
There’s a good example of a Yo Eddy on this RetroBike website, you can read more about Chris Chance in this great article, and there’s some more history and great photos on Vintage Mountain Bike Workshop.