Monday, April 29, 2013

1984 Fat Chance Triple Triangle w/ 24" wheels

I've been slacking a bit getting this cool bike posted up, but here is the last in a series of vintage 1980s Fat Chance bikesI'm featuring this month. A rather unusual triple triangle design 1984 Fat Chance with 24" wheels. At first glance this looks like a kid's bike and it very well could be.

I took this shot just to give the bike some scale. Now, the 83 Fat is a large one which might exaggerate the comparison, but I think you still get the picture. The 24" Fat is tiny!!!

Up close the differences in size are somewhat diminished and you might even think the red bike is just a couple sizes smaller.

I was unable to dig up a lot of information about the origins of this bike other than it was one of two triple triangle frames built for the parents of a Fat Chance employee. Both the current owner and I spoke with a couple former Fat Chance employees and nobody remembered these bikes being made. Sadly, the second bike (larger one) was later destroyed in a house fire and so very little information is available. I don't know whether the other bike also had 24" wheels or if it was simply a larger triple triangle frame with 26" wheels.

The tiny brake cable stop and extra long bridge looked really strange straddling the extra wide seat stays. The rear brakes seemed like they could never reach the rims from their perches, but worked surprisingly well. In fact the brakes may have been the only component still functioning on this bike. I don't think this bike has seen more than 5-10 miles of usage, and I bet that most of that was accumulated by moving the bike from one storage location to another. I tried to reach each bike around before and after the photo shoot and this bike simply did not go. I'm sure a couple hours of work would loosen up the sticky wheels, get the derailleurs to hold gears and perhaps put a little life back into this interesting bike.

Although not fillet brazed to the same extent as the 83 Fat I featured earlier the welds on this bike were definitely brazed to give them a smoother appearance - very nice touch.

Small collar used to mount the seat stays to the top tube, seems a bit excessive here. I'm not sure what gauge tubing was used in the construction of the bike and to what extent the tubing was butted, but I have to imagine that whoever built this bike deemed it necessary.

I love the Yo Eddy decals and in general the later style Fat Chance decals, but there is definitely something special about these older decals. They somehow convey a feeling of a simpler, more elemental time in the development of the sport. Another interesting thing about this bike is that (I think) it has the most decals of any 80s Fat I've seen; 1 star on headtube, 1 star at the top of seat tube, 1 more star at the bottom of the seat tube, Fat City on both chainstays, one Fat Chance above the rear brake bridge and Fat Chance on the down tube.

Looking at this little bike I just can't help but wonder whether the builder used a rear end from a 26" wheel bike and then simply welded the brake bosses a bit lower and threw on a 24" wheel. The rear end just looks a bit long compared to the rest of the bike.

Bike is equipped with all orignal Shimano XT (Deerhead) grouppo, which sadly needs a lot of work before the bike can see any use. Fortunately none of the components were damaged and just need a little TLC.

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