1994 Fat Chance Ti "Final Lockdown project"


Dirt Disciple
Lockdown project number 5.... After spending time last year reopening the "Geoff Ringle's YETI ARC" history books and rebuilding a bike with the parts, "refurbishing" an 2004 Santa Cruz Blur, building a 1991 Yo Eddy and pimping up my old Commencal flame, needed another project to keep sanity... As a titanium lover, wanted to do a "ti project" from scratch... As the happy owner of Indy Fab carbon road bike, and an old fan of Fat Chance, I had tried to buy a Fat Ti from a "well known participant" of this chat but he would only sell it for a lot of money as a complete build.

Patience is a virtue in this space, so decided to wait and see...

Fast forward to October last year, and Star12 is selling a 1994, Serial Number 063T4ML in fantastic condition, with an awesome Titanium BOI style fork and the "basic parts" - see under

Frame : Fat Chance Ti / 1994 / built in Massachusetts / size ML 063T4ML
Fork : BOI Style, Titanium
Seat Collar : Fat Chance
Front Derailleur : Shimano XTR M900
Headset : Chris King "ahead set", Turquoise

Next question is ... how to build it.... as a Ringle fan, and a "1990s early rider", first choice was to go "all blue" and Ti. Problem is they are a few out there, Ringle "Blue" was really the flavour of the year in 1992/1993, and looking at the Mountain Bike Action test, it is clear that 1994/5 was a somewhat pivotal year, with Grip Shift now more mainstream, XTR M900 on all high end bikes ( goodbye Suntour.. ), more "silver and black"... As I buy a Silver Ringle Stem, the choice is made, it will be "silver and black" with "some blue" components - it would have been a crime to change the headset and it matches the stickers perfectly.

Good news is I had a set of wheel from a previous "full bike purchase", 8 speed XTR cassette, Chris king rear hub ( definitely not 1994 but "early and beautiful" ) and Syncros at the front

Rear Hub : Chris King classic
Front Hub : Syncros
Cassette : XTR M 900 8 Speed
Rims : Mavic 117 Ceramic Sup CD front, 217 Ceramic Sup CD rear

Black or skin wall tyres .... as often no right or wrong, just thought Black works better with the bike...
Tyres : Ritchey Mad Max Front, Climb Max Rear

Skewers : Ringle Twisters, Blue

Now had to find the rest of the build...

Stem : Ringle Zooka Silver - Retrobike post
Handlebar : Ritchey CompLite 1994 from one of my previous bikes...
Shifters : Had to be Grip Shift.... SRT 800, NOS

With the MBA test article in mind, hard not to be obsessed with Grafton levers and brakes. Retrobike ad
Cantilevers :Grafton Speed Controllers
Brake Levers : Grafton Re-Entry
Brake Pads : Koolstop v-brakes
Front Cable hanger : Paul Component Funkey Monkey

Groupset parts : stripped from a 2nd hand Scott Pro Racing 1993
Rear Derailleur : Shimano XTR M-900
Crankset : Shimano XTR M-900
Bottom Bracket : Shimano XTR BB UN 91

Pedals : Shimano SPD M 737 NOS

For the Saddle, when I was racing bike in early 1990s, my team-mate Fabrice B. whose parents were treating like a royalty had the same bike as me but kitted with top spec and one of the part was the Flite Evolution "full carbon". Now that build was the right time for "revenge" :) and found one on French "gumtree equivalent" for much less than usual and in perfect condition...

Saddle : Flite Evolution Carbon

The final part of the puzzle was the seat post, and it is hard not to go for Titanium model as the alternative - Ringle Moby in silver to match the Stem per "collar and cuffs" rule - is super hard to find, so rather match the Titanium frame with a Ti Seatpost : Syncros, using shim to get to the "Fat Chance" size

Seatpost : Syncros Ti

So here it is, as lockdown is over, so is the urge to build old dream bike and can ride them but who knows what comes next ! Love the bike, love the welding and the Ti "lug" around seat tube, and... it rides well... my area is too gnarly to do proper MTB with it but love it on easy trails.Screenshot 2021-05-28 at 10.38.26.pngScreenshot 2021-05-28 at 10.22.28.pngScreenshot 2021-05-28 at 10.18.05.pngIMG_2965.JPGIMG_2963.JPG


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Very cool build that, congratulations! I think it looks really clean and well-balanced and I love the spec. Not a fan of snowflake-laced wheels, but other than that it's pretty perfect..! Now get some Ti axles for those pedals ;)
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Awesome build!
That was my dream bike when I was a poor college student in the early 90's.
One of the Bike shops in my town carried Fat Chance and Merlins.
The owner of that shop had one just like this. I remember picking it up and being amazed how lite it was.
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Well, that's a bloody lovely ride!

The part of my that wants to turn my nose up at the Gripshift Grafton Re-Enty combo, is being put in it's place by the side that loves finding a reference like that in an old mag and running with it!

Absolutely great build. That looks like it will ride like a dream?
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The pinnacle of rigid Ti rides imo. Nice to read a new mag piece and ride review of it. I have the same bike with an original BOI. Its a work of art and a keeper.
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Interesting that the mag article says they would order one with sus fork. Now everybody wants rigid BOIs. FAT were the first to develop butting on custom spec oversize Ti tubes. All painstakingly and expensively hand done by lathe, hence the high price. Other Ti bikes of this era were plain guage and very flexible under load or when descending at speed. Merlin experimented with chemical butting at the time but were unsuccessful. The 92/93 FAT Ti’s used a BB sleeve and had extra gusseting for strength & stiffness. The 94 Ti is a softer & nicer ride ( i have owned both ) and has prettier welds. IROBOT, FAT’s head Somerville welder says they are his finest works.
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