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Amsterdam, Netherlands
Welcome to my BLOG about my pasion for retro mountainbikes and everything around that. I love to read your comments in the GUESTBOOK (on the right side) or email me : basads (at) gmail (dot) com thanks for reading, Bas

Thursday, 25 February 2010


While the burgeoning mountainbike scene was growing on the West Coast, Fat City Cycles was doing things its own way on the other side of the country. Much like Charlie Cunningham, Chris Chance looked at off-road riding from a perspective that was in no way influenced by the venerable excelsior.
Soon after starting to build mountainbikes, chance began to TIG-welding but he wasn't the first. Craig Mitchell in Marin did a TIG frame in 1976 or so and Erik Koski did one in 1980. It was a difficult transition for Chance. Gary Helfrich, who worked for Chance at the time, recalls, "Chris was dyed in the wool 'oh my god!, welding will upset the molecular Feng Shui of the steel' sort of guy when I started to work for him in 1983, silver solder or die, Baby"
Important is the family tree that Fat City would end up spawning. Fat City employees Helfrich and Mike Augspurger would go on to found Merlin metalworks. Jeff Federson would start Specialty Racing Products (SRP). The former employees of Fat City would years later regroup as Independent Fabrications (IF)

Augspurger would leave Merlin to found One-Off and Rob Vandemark and some other former Merlin Employees would give birth to Seven Cycles. Had it not been for Fat City and Chris Chance , it is questionable whether the Northeastern bike building industry would have ever coalesced into the diverse and highly regarded scene it is today.
In 1995 Serotta took over his production and after that is died a small death
Nowadays Chris Chance is not working with bikes anymore and does not want to be remembered with this period in his life.
Chris is now working as a massage and Shiatsu techniques therapist

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Number 8 -> BONTRAGER

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1 comment:

Dan O said...

Yup - I'd agree - Fat City can take some serious credit for launching the Boston area scene - that spawned off many cool companies.

I've been the Fat fan for years and still have my '86 Fat and '91 Yo Eddy.

Interesting link to where Chris currently resides. From what I've read, he now has no interest in the bike industry. What ever makes you happy - no problem there.