94 Fat Chance Ti Garage Find

sriracha

New member
About 6 months ago, I moved into a house where I piled up a bunch of my belongings into the garage. Hidden under a pile of junk in the dark corner was an abandoned gray bike that I didn't pay much attention to. Maybe it was the bar ends?

A few months after moving, I decided I better start organizing my belongings and bikes so that I could have a place to tinker. As I started organizing, I thought maybe I should check out that gray bike... Low and behold! That grey bike was a 1994 Fat Chance Titanium M/L!!!

Being a mountain biker since the early 90's, this bike immediately triggered all kinds of flashbacks. I decided a project was born!

Before I got started though, I wanted to make sure this bike was truly abandoned. Through a friend of a friend of a friend, I was able to track down the original owner, who had completely forgotten about it. He obviously had no interest in continuing ownership and said I could bring new life into this classic!

On with the pics! This is how the bike looked when I found it:

 
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sriracha

New member
Kooka brakes, need some work. They also seem to be seized to the bars. I'll see what I can do to salvage them:



Ringle front hub. The rear wheel is mismatched. I'm guessing the original rear Ringle hub failed:



Cool Ringle stem, but it's ridiculously long. Not sure what I'm going to replace it with, but I would like a 50mm or 70mm stem:

 
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sriracha

New member
Does anybody know what brand brakes these are?:



Are these Grafton cranks?:



I'm stoked on the XTR shifters and derailleurs:



 
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sriracha

New member
I most certainly do not trust the 30 year old aluminum Kinesis fork. I would love to obtain a Fat Chance fork, but I understand they are extremely rare. Does anybody have a spare fork?

Otherwise, I have a line on a 1998 Marzocchi Atom Bomb Z2 in a light blue color. Pretty sure I will be buying the Marzocchi and installing it on this bike. It's close enough in age to be period correct and the light blue would match the decals.

Other than that, the plan is to disassemble and clean this machine. Bar ends and handlebars gotta go! I'd like to source a shorty stem, replace the saddle and pedals. I might lace up some new wheels; thinking SunRingle Rhino Light rims would be fitting, black with machined sidewalls.

Oh and one more thing, Salsa QR seatpost clamp and skewers in ano-Teal color to tie it all together.

 
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Wow...you have literally found he holy grail FAT, a 94 mint and no frame dents or chainsuck...hopefully.....and in the most desirable size M/L. Sure you have had offers coming in by the bucket load. I have the same 94 in L - see pic and i will never sell it, incredible ride, firm yet so comfortable all day.

Enjoy :beer::beer:
 

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Zamfir

New member
You lucky dog.

Top frame and parts (aside from the fork, bars).

The brakes look suspiciously like Grafton Maglite's. Very nice.
 

Jeeves

New member
Well, you hit the lotto.

I'll put it a plug that this frame deserves a Iglehart segmented fork. I put one on my frame (which, by the way is also 94 ti) and the Iglehart segmented fork transformed the ride. Not cheap, but worth it.

If you aren't as set on a traditional restoration, I would put in a vote to go for a slightly newer, lighter set of wheels than what was available in '94. After all, at this point all 26 rim brake wheels are by definition vintage. :)
 

sriracha

New member
Thanks for the compliments! Yeah, I was pretty excited when I realized what bike it was, hiding in the garage! At first I thought about building it as the ultimate street machine, but now that I discovered the niche world of retro mountain bike building, I'm set on making this a vintage mountain bike.

The Kooka brake levers seem to be very seized to the handlebars. I can't get them to budge. Their overly complicated internal clamping has backfired after 30 years. I tried using some persuasion (channel locks and a rag), but could barely get the brake lever to rotate on the bar. I fear any more persuasion will damage these delicate brakes.

Also, the XTR shifters might be done. The rear shifter won't hold the gear and the derailleur falls back down to the smaller cogs, after shifting up. It's almost like the internal gears are stripped. The front shifter seems really sticky, internally. One of the levers doesn't return to it's position after shifting.

I'm currently browsing options, but they are also related to the fork choice. I'm tempted to go mechanical disc up front and V-Brake in back.

Thanks for the info about Igleheart Forks!!! That would most certainly be a cool option!
 

Jeeves

New member
I run my stock XTR derailleurs (I am the original owner) with shimano bar cons and the Pauls converters - so they operate like thumb shifters (except nicer).
 

sriracha

New member
I run my stock XTR derailleurs (I am the original owner) with shimano bar cons and the Pauls converters - so they operate like thumb shifters (except nicer).

I actually still have a set of XT thumb shifters that I might use. These XT thumb shifters came stock on my '93.5 Kona Kilauea. I've been hanging on to them all these years!

I'm also tempted to buy Pauls linear-pull brake levers. Even though they are brand new, Pauls was around in the 90's, so I think they would be fitting.

I like the look of the Pauls front hub, mechanical disc and V-Brake, as well.

Other than that, I was looking at XTR 8-speed/brake lever combos on Ebay, but for the price, I might as well go with made in USA Pauls components.

I suppose the first step should be to find my thumb shifters, mount them up and see if they still shift well. I've got a set of Ritchey True Logic cantilever brake levers, but they're currently installed on my vintage road bike, a 1978 Raleigh Rampar Tange Prestige!
 

sriracha

New member
Since we're all bike nerds, I hope you don't mind me sharing pics of my vintage road bike, that uses the Ritchey True Logic canti levers. I built the wheels with a Shimano internal gear 3-speed hub. It's a smooth ride, 1978 Rampar, Tange Champion #1 tubing!:











 
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Sweet street ride :cool:


Front disk brakes on a 94 FAT Ti....sacrilege ! Thats the finest iteration of the Somerville FAT Tis ever made as, IRoBot has said on here. Very very few were made that year, as they shifted production to Glen Falls in Oct 94. The welds are flawless, stronger and there is no welded sleeved BB. Id go Manitou 3/4 fork while you await a Igle fork ;)
 

Jeeves

New member
Hey, I have the original XTR shifter pod / levers that came with my 1994 Ti Fat. I swapped out for the aforementioned paul/barcon set up. If you want shoot me a PM and I'll get em to you cheap.

Oh yes, and Chris Iglehart did try to talk me into a disc brake mount for my New England Segmented Fork. Although it would have been a nice upgrade, I politely declined. :)
R
 

I-ROBOT

New member
why the sigh?

This bike now belongs to a life-long mountain biker who will admire each and every detail of your welds and ride the bike the way it was meant to be ridden.

Why you ask? Because I want one of course! Congrats on your find. Treat her well
Scott
 
This is the first ' flawless ? ' 94 M/L that has surfaced afaik. A few ex race bikes with Leni Fried anodising are also popping up on FB. Nice to see these FAT unicorns again.
 
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