Fat Chance Yo Eddy | #mtbflashbacks
February 1st, 2017
Fat Chance Team Yo Eddy – classic bike porn!
We caught up with our mate Dave Hemming from X-Bionic recently – makers of the most tech base layers out there (more info right here), who has had some classic bikes over the years.
One of the memorable ones was his Team Fat Chance – and he had this mid-90s stunner on loan from his friend Geoff Young…
Fat Chance bikes are the work of frame builder Chris Chance, and first appeared on the scene way back in 1982.
Whilst many of the earlier bespoke frames available felt quite serious, Fat Chance bikes had a more laid back approach. Serious when behind the race tape, no doubt – but with an up for it attitude elsewhere. And they earnt a hell of a following from it.
The Yo Eddy was first introduced in 1990, and was the first team issue model by Fat Chance.
Although dated by todays standards, the 72degree seat angle, a 71degree seat angle and 16.75in chain stays were on point back then – and there was gobs of clearance for 2.5in tyres.
Yo Eddy itself is the fictional mascot of Fat Chance cycles (then known as Fat City Cycles), and was referred to as a ‘modern day hippie smiley face’ by Fat Chance employee Mike Pappaconstantine in a 1990 magazine article.
This particular example is approximately from 1993/94, and is pretty close in period components – though the retro fanatics will have already spotted the 1998 Rockshox Sid on the front.
Back in 1993, Dave Hemming was riding a Yo Eddy – and he was running a Rockshox Mag 21 SLti on the front – the one with the alloy stanchions and shiny gold lowers.
Up front this Fat Chance Yo Eddy is running an anodised blue Ringle Zooka stem, with matching spacers and of course a Chris King NoThreadSet.
The first Renthal MTB bars are clamped in the Ringle stem – the Renthal RC+130 bar, which was heavily sought after.
Bar ends are from X-Lite – the British brand that later morphed in to the Muc-Off empire (check out part 1 of the story about X-Lite right here, and part 2 when the brand evolved to Muc-Off right here).
This particular set are the Pro series short L-bends, which have the knurled finish and built in end plugs. They still look cool now!
Brakes are from Precision Billet – the Proshift CNC machined levers and v-brakes. Very simple and clean looking, and much saught after in the 90’s.
Hubs and skewers are from Ringle, and naturally the front wheel has a snowflake lacing – which was another 90’s staple. Though most mechanics hated building them!
Tyres are bang on the money too – Panaracer Smoke out back and Dart up front. Classic steering design up front and paddle design for traction out back – many brands followed this formula like Onza with their Aggro and Honch tyres.
This particular set look like re-issues as the condition is incredible (possibly similar to the ones I specced on a GT re-issue build I did for MBUK – check it right here).
Although Campagnolo made some decent rims in the early days, as did Ritchey – Mavic were the go-to, and this Fat Chance Yo Eddy has a pair of Mavic 217 SUP rims, in that bizarre sunset anodised finish. I never particularly liked this colour in the 90’s, but it looks perfect on the Yo Eddy.
Mavic SUP rims were the business – probably the straightest out there and very easy to build. The design was pinned and welded, then machined down for an impeccably smooth join. It’s a common system today but in the 90’s most rims had a visible gap.
Although USE was ultra popular in this era, the Ringle Moby Post was another must-have product – and fits in perfectly on this build.
A lovely Cook Brothers E Crankset in anodisded blue adorns the Fat Chance, with British made Middleburn chain rings. Tidy.
Transmission wise, it’s a pre-’96 Shimano XTR transmission (later were a darker gunmetal grey colour) and the XTR mech features an Avid Rollamagig and matching CNC machined cartridge bearing jockey wheels.
Out back it’s more Ringle hub and QR action – blue hub this time with green skewer.
When I had this bike propped up to take the shots, it got a hell of a lot of attention – to the degree I ended up chatting to several passers by. They all though it the best looking bike at the show.
That says a lot with some of the kit on display (check out some of the other stuff
Check this video about Chris Chance here, talking about the brand new Fat Chance Yo Eddy re-issue with modern geometry – plenty of nice kit still to come from Fat Chance!
Thanks to Geoff Young – it was great going down memory lane looking at your lovely bike.
And cheers to Dave Hemming for the heads up!
What do you think of the Fat Chance Yo Eddy?
Got a retro bike we should see?
Let us know below!