1993 Fat Chance Ti

SF Klein

Senior Retro Guru
I've always been curious and intrigued by the "wonder metal" bikes made of titanium in the early 90's = Merlin, Litespeed, GT, Fat Chance, etc. Like most people, I couldn't afford the stratospheric prices of a titanium bike but I did manage to scrape and scrounge my way to a Klein Attitude in 1993 and I reduced my titanium envy by telling myself that "they can't ride THAT great" the way the magazines frequently touted. Kleins ended up being a bit like potato chips/crisps = I couldn't have just 1 and let it go at that. But after riding and collecting an assortment of nice Kleins, I finally decided that if I got another bike, it would be titanium. Coming from Boston, I decided to confine my search to a Merlin (Cambridge, MA) or Fat Chance (Somerville, MA).

I initially happened across a really nice 1992 Merlin Mountain frame on eBay in April last year at a fair price so I figured this would be my first foray into the world of titanium. However, in the process of sourcing the various parts for the Merlin, I later came across a '93 Fat Ti on RetroBike with a build matching my tastes and parts preferences and it was at a fair price to boot. Since Fat Ti's didn't come up for sale that often and this one was the appropriate size, I figured grab it now and decide later whether to keep it alongside the Merlin, or not (or potentially keep them both :facepalm: ). So after some back and forth with the German seller, the bike was on its way. It took about 6 weeks to ship and clear US Customs so when I finally got it, I wasn't able to ride it much before winter set in. Over the winter months waiting for the weather to improve, I made a few changes to the build as I'd received it:
- Flite Titanium Evolution Carbon (NOS)
- ControlTech brakes (NOS) and new Kool Stop pads
- Schwalbe Racing Ralph tires and XX Light tubes (modern rubber for actual riding)

Then today it hit 65 degrees (thank you global warming) so I thought I'd get better acquainted with the Fat. After today's long, leisurely ride, I began to realize what I'd been missing all these years. Don't get me wrong = I really enjoy the stiff, responsive ride that Kleins are famous for. But for rides longer than a couple of hours, Kleins do beat you up a bit. After my ride today, the Fat Chance Ti seemed to possess a similar level of responsiveness and firmness in the ride, but it suppressed a bunch of trail chatter and vibration that I'd grown used to feeling when riding the Klein. Said another way, when riding with the Klein over a nickel coin I could probably tell whether the coin was facing heads or tails side up ;) But the same situation on the Fat instead communicates that I've just run over a coin, but it could be a nickel, or a quarter, and I have no sense of whether it was heads or tails side up. The extra information about the coin that isn't communicated by the Fat is instead translated to extra riding comfort which I really appreciate. I now understand what everyone has been going on about. The bike rides really, really nice - responsive, firm but comfortable. I'm really happy with it and looking forward to more rides on a variety of trails to confirm or add to my initial impressions. This one will be ridden.

Below is the build spec plus a few pics taken during today's ride...

Headset: Chris King
Stem: Ringle Zooka
Handlebar: Titec titanium
Grips: ODI

Brakes: ControlTech
Brake Pads: Kool Stop
Cantilever cable hangers: ControlTech
Brake Levers: Dia Compe SS-5

Shifters: Shimano M732 XT thumbies
Front Derailleur: Shimano M735 XT
Rear Derailleur: Shimano M900 XTR
Cassette: Shimano M900 XTR
Cranks: Topline
Chainrings: Shimano
Pedals: Shimano M735 XT

Hub Skewers: Ringle holey
Rims: Mavic 117 CD Ceramic
Hubs: Tune Mig/Mag
Tyres: Schwalbe Racing Ralph (gray)
Tubes: Schwalbe XX Light

Saddle: Flight Evolution Carbon
Seatpost: Syncros
Seatpost Binder: Ringle

Weight: 21.8 pounds


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SF Klein

Senior Retro Guru

Just a couple more pics...


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Retrobike Rider
BoTM Winner
Gold Trader
PoTM Winner
Kona Fan
Rocky Mountain Fan
Looks great, and a beautiful part of the world you live in :)


Retro Guru

Hey, a fellow New Englandah on Retrobike! Always nice to see 'locals' here. I live in Vermont now, but am from Maine. We had a great day for riding here also.

Very, very nice Fat, love the black with the Ti and blue.


Old School Grand Master

IMO the best all rounder bike of that era. Stif, great handling and so comfortable, plus it's not prone to corrosion etc. Nice build :cool:

Jamis Diablo

Gold Trader
Lovely bike! Looks great in this size.
If I were you I'd go for a shorter stem, so your saddle can go more to the middle of the rails.
Although a shorter Ringle is pretty hard to find.

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