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Fat Chance - Yo Eddy23/11/2001

This article is in the Hardtail Bikes category

Fat Chance - Yo Eddy (Owner: Spikes)

Updated on 31/08/2003 with current specs.

Spikes' Fat Chance Yo Eddy

Frame: Fat Chance Yo Eddy 2098 g
Fork: RockShox SID SL '02 1324 g
Headset: Chris King NoThreadSet w/ Campagnolo Record cap (10 g) 119 g
Headset Spacers: Woodman Carbon (10 and 12 mm) 10 g
Stem: Extralite UltraStem, Ti bolts 109 g
Handlebar: Easton EC90 3° 99 g
Grips: Titec Pork Rinds (cut) 9 g
Saddle: Selle Italia SLR 149 g
Seatpost: Thomson Elite 29.4/350 mm (custom cut) 220 g
Seat Binder: ? ? g
Front Derailleur: Shimano XTR FD-M952 TS, TP, Ti bolts 108 g
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace RD-7700 w/ Ti bolt 193 g
Shifters: SRAM 9.0 SL/Plasma 9 speed 152 g
Brake Levers: Avid Speed Dial Ultimate 150 g
Crank Arms: Cook Bros. E2 compact spider 175 mm 443 g
Chain Rings: Action-Tec Ringleader 20T., Specialites TA 32/42T. 119 g
Chain Ring Bolts: QBP Alloy inner + outer) 13 g
Crank Fixing Bolts: SRP Alloy (9 g) with Cook Bros. dust caps (6 g) 15 g
Bottom Bracket: Action-Tec Ti 107 mm, Enduro bearings 136 g
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace CS-7700 11-23T. 158 g
Chain: SRAM PC-89R HollowPin 265 g
Brakes: Avid Single Digit Ultimate 364 g
Skewers: Salsa Flip Off Titanium 84 g
Hubs: Chris King Classic 379 g
Rims: Mavic X517 Ceramic 784 g
Spokes & Nipples: Wheelsmith XL14/DB14-15, Al nipples 310 g
Rim Tape: Ritchey WCS 6 g
Tubes: Maxxis Flyweight 186 g
Tyres: Continental Twister Supersonic 680 g
Cables & Housings: Gore Ultralight/Gore Ride-On 120 g
Pedals: Speedplay Frog stainless 254 g
Bottle Cage Bolts: Flat head short stainless microscrews 3 g


9052 g

Spikes' Fat Chance Yo Eddy

My objective was to build an old dream bike with light yet durable components. Since I really love the feel of a steel hardtail, it just had to be made from steel. It is not the lightest material available, but since the next best thing is Titanium in my opinion, it is a more "affordable" choice.

The ultimate steel frame in my opinion is a frame made with the right tubing, a lightweight design, the right geometry and top cable routing. It also needs to have that old-school top quality feel. So far I had three options: the Salsa à la Carte, the Ibis Mojo and the Fat Chance Yo Eddy. Since Fat City Cycles was closing their business, I could get my hands on one of the last made, in the stunning colour Hot Lava. Since it's the only one of the three with top cable routing and has the classic East Coast geometry, a decision was easily made: the Fat Chance. In the early nineties this was the ultimate steel hardtail with nothing but top remarks from all the magazines. This model is made with the 10th anniversary seamed True Temper 4130 chrome-moly tubing, using a more state-of-the-art heat treatment and slightly thinner seatstays. A matching fork was easy to find: it needed to have an air-spring, easy adjustability, light weight, lockout and it had to look good too. I took the 2002 SID SL in black.

For the components I tried to find one of the lightest on the market with an old school feel to match the frame. The Action-Tec BB, Cook cranks and Salsa Flip-off are only a few examples of components that have been around since the early days. Also the short cage derailleur was a must, since I never understood the need of a long cage. When using gears with a maximum spread it might come in useful, but not for me. The gears are a close copy of Suntour's old Microdrive, with 20/32/42 rings and an 11-23 cassette (Suntour had a 11-24). The SRAM PC-89R chain is a must have with the cut-out links, but do not use the Powerlink: use a regular chaintool instead. The shifters are custom made from two sets: the SRAM Plasma and the 9.0 SL with the same housing. The Plasma works with a Dura-Ace 9-speed derailleur, the 9.0SL front shifter has friction instead of three fixed positions. I took the Plasma twist-grip out of it's housing and placed it in the 9.0 SL: nice and light. The pedals are Speedplay Frog with stainless axle. Titanium is lighter, but I heard that these are not as durable.

The post and stem had to be Thomson, since their design is superb and they are light yet very stiff. True, there are lighter stems and posts available (e.g. FRM, ITM, Ritchey WCS), but the flawless works on the Thomson is legendary. On the post I decided to place the new Selle Italia SLR. Since I still have a classic Flite, I can always swap seats, but so far no complaints. The bars are Easton CT-2: light, shock absorbing and they come with a lifetime warranty. The whole setup turns nicely with a King NoThreadSet, tuned with a Campagnolo Record top cap.

The wheels had to be light yet durable and it took a while for me to figure out the best setup for me. The hubs were easily decided: these had to be Chris King, hands down. The new Hügi 240 is slightly lighter, but the durability of Hügi is questioned by some people. The rims gave me some options too: Bonty, Sun Sub 4 or Mavic X517. The Mavic reputation is good and since they are easy to find where I live and come with a ceramic coating, I decided to go with these. For the spokes I wanted to get my hands on DT Revos, but since the DT Spoke Calc online is absolutely worthless, I asked Michael from Odds and Endos for help: he suggested a Wheelsmith setup, with the custom drawn XL14 spokes and DB14/15's on the drive side (adding 16 g and a lot of stiffness). It turned out to be a nice combo.

The brakes had to be Avid, since they are easy to set up, come with a handy on-the-fly adjuster, are light and do not squeal like Shimano. A cool option seemed to be the Single Digit Ultimate with Speed Dial Ultimate levers. When the brakes finally arrived they came with stainless steel hardware instead of Titanium, but these will be replaced in the future. Lighter brakes are available, but the Avids look extremely durable and are monster stoppers.

To get the overall weight down a bit I used SRP alloy chainring and crank bolts. The original Chris King headset cap with the stainless bolt was replaced by a carbon fibre Campagnolo Record with alloy bolt. I will replace some other bolts by Ti and alloy in the near future, bringing the weight hopefully down another 100 g or so.

The result is a very light 20 lbs. hardtail that climbs like a mountain goat and sprints like a mad man.


Jeff Archer (First Flight Bicycles)
Wendyll Behrend (Fat City Cycles)
Rob Collins
Michael Garcia (Odds and Endos)
Leon van Harte
Eric Iversen
Ton Schouten

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