The Chris Chance frame we recently restored was built in the late 70’s by Chris. The story goes, that he built a couple of frames and then traveled across the USA to show his workmanship to shops in the hopes they would buy his bicycles. This frame was one of those bikes and recently came to the shop for a repaint and reassembly. The workmanship is remarkable and it’s a lovely frame.
Chris is a master framebuilder who learned to build frames at Witcomb USA, a shop that Richard Sachs and Peter Weigle worked for in the 70’s. He began building his own road bicycle frames in 1977, and built his first mountain bike frame in 1982, the “Fat Chance.” These are the bicycles he was most well known for, and a brand which has developed a cult following. One of the first to produce mountain bikes on the east coast, Chris started Fat City Cycles, in 1982. Fat City Cycles became one of the most innovative builders of fine steel mountain bikes in the sport. In later years, Chris started building titanium bicycles. Fat City Cycles grew to include a large, highly skilled, creative crew of extremely talented artists. The family tree of Fat City Cycles includes countless spinoff companies industry-wide, including much of the high-end titanium and steel building community. Its dissolution in 1999 was a result of an industry move towards Carbon and Aluminum bicycles and Asian fabrication.
After twenty year pause from bicycle building, Chris Chance has set up shop on the west coast, building small numbers of premium custom modern frames for Fat Chance devotees.
This beautiful lugged steel road bicycle was restored in the winter of 2020 for John Ruttan of Cherry Bomb Coffee, who plans to ride it in the 2020 L’Eroica. As a teenager, he had always coveted at Fat Chance, and he happened upon this one a number of years ago, rode it for several, and recently decided it was time to refresh it with some paint and make it as period correct as possible.