Joe Booker

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Fat Chance Yo Eddy

February 14th, 2014

Grello Fat Chance Yo EddyIn the early 1980s, Chris Chance, an American frame-builder who specialized in TT and criterium bikes, formed Fat City Cycles in Somerville, Massachusetts, and began building mountain bikes. He had an intuitive and prodigious talent, and over the course of the decade was building the best handling off-road bikes in the world, including the Fat Chance with a relaxed, upright position and the more responsive Wicked Fat Chance with quicker-handling geometry. For the 1990 model year, Fat City Cycles launched a new top-of-the-line racing model, the Fat Chance Yo Eddy! Team. Combining everything Chris knew about designing efficient, quick-handling bikes for criterium races with almost a decade of building the sweetest handling mountain bikes, his resulting effort was perhaps the finest handling mtb ever built.

The Yo Eddy was hand built in the Somerville, Massachussetts factory, and TIG welded from quad butted, heat-treated True Temper 4130 chromoly steel. The frame weighed 4lb 5oz, and the fork 1lb 12oz, and every bike was a work of art. All the major cycling magazines praised the Yo Eddy’s sublime handling characteristics, incredible climbing and descending abilities, and almost telepathic responses to rider inputs. Seasoned bike journalists were astonished by the craftsmanship, examples being the silver brazed cable guides, strengthening gussets around high-stress tube junctures, and frame alignment accuracy to within one thousandth of an inch. (more…)

Buying a retro mountain bike

October 29th, 2013

Why a retrobike?ameybrook's 1991 Yeti Cycles Ultimate

The coolest people of every generation have an icon. During the 1960s, among the rock n’ roll set on Chelsea’s Kings Road, it was the Jaguar E-Type. In the 2010s, the trendsetters are the 20-something media types of Shoreditch. They wear skinny jeans that stop above the ankle, and the coolest have meticulously manicured moustaches. Their preferred mode of transportation is a retrobike, specifically a fixed-wheel road bike from the 1970s or 80s, such as a Colnago or a Mercian. Less cool, but still way ahead of most of the population, is a slightly older male – mid 30s to mid 40s – typically a graphic designer with a penchant for classic trainers and vintage mountain bikes. On dry spring and summer days, they can be spotted cycling to work at a design studio in Islington on classic mountain bikes from the late 1980s and early 1990s. Some are on top-of-the-range dream bikes like the Klein Attitude, Fat Chance Yo Eddy, and the Yeti FRO, while others ride models like the Muddy Fox Courier, or an early Marin, which – to retrobikers – are just as cool from a design point of view. The main reason for this is that the century-old classic bicycle design reached a peak around this time, before technology such as suspension and hydraulic brakes changed the game. In essence, a retrobike, from entry-level to top end, is a celebration of classic bike design. (more…)

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