Chanced upon a Monster Fat


New member
Hi Fat COGs,

I'm a total newbie to mountain biking, but a friend gave me a bike for free and now I'm trying to find out more about it. From what's left of the decals I can see that it says Monster Fat, which brought me to this site. It needs work and the frame has some scratches and rust, but it seems solid. I hope the bike came from Somerville, because I lived there from '93-'99 and I love that town.

Anyway, the serial number is 16079W. I would appreciate anything you all can tell me about the bike, as well as opinions on work and parts to use on it. Photos attached.

We have a couple of camping trips coming up - looking forward to some (definitely not hardcore) trail riding. Thanks in advance!


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Global Moderator
Staff member
Make sure the seat post is not stuck. Also, after removing seat post, look down it with a flash light and check for rust. That frames looks like it was put away wet to me. It's probably fine but check it out and check around the seat tube at the bottom bracket for bubbling paint. It probably just needs a good cleaning and some lube.


New member

Thanks, Tony. I'll definitely look down that tube. I don't see any blistering paint, so hopefully it won't be too bad.

From comparing the serial number and remains of the decals with other posts here and the registry, it looks like it's probably a 1989 Monster, when Wicked frames were used for Monsters. Black with green decals. Definitely from Somerville, which rocks. Any confirmation or more info would be appreciated.

Picked up some parts at Recycled Cycles today to get this thing rolling.


New member
Welcome Phil

Nice find! Obviously your friend didn't know what he had. That is a 21" frame vintage 1989. The serial number system we used that year had the model type as the last character - W was for Wicked. 89 was the first year of the Monster Fat and the only difference between it and the Wicked was the parts group that it came with. You are lucky also because that bike has a Fat City unicrown fork also. Later Monsters came with aftermarket Tange forks for cost reasons. The next to last character indicated the year - 9 was for 1989 and the remainder was the number of the frame so 1607 would have been very late in the production run for '89.

If you decide to refurbish that frame, you can legitimately put Wicked decals on it.

The bike was definitely built in Somerville at the Olive Square shop (now a row of townhouses under the Elmer Bumpus bridge if you remember Union Square at all).

I may have welded the entire frame but most definitely the pizootie tab (seat stay gusset), seat collar tab, bridge tubes, brake mounts, brake cable strap, and rear dropouts since I did almost all of those. The unicrown was probably welded by Chris Igleheart, George Reynolds, or Dave Blakeney. (not sure if Chris was still there in '89). Mike P or Bob Fulk would have done the cable stop brazing and final alignment. The black color is epoxy powder coat which we had done at an outside shop whose name escapes me at the moment.

If your friend was the original owner, he may still have the signed hang tag that came with each bike.

Best of luck
Scott B


New member
Phil, welcome to FatCogs, nice find!

If they are in working order, I'd leave the parts you have on the bike. New cables and brake pads will be a good start, but that particular Shimano Deore group you have on there is about as bulletproof as they come, and they will polish to a very nice shine with Mother's mag wheel/aluminum polish. If you/a friend/a good bike shop can set the cantilever brakes up properly they will stop the bike just as well as a set of V-brakes.

Assuming the bike has been sitting for a long while, you may want to at least freshen the grease in the headset and make sure the bottom bracket spins freely. Spin the wheels and listen for gritty sounds-they may need grease as well. If you do much riding at all with dry hubs, it will kill them.

For bringing the paint back to life I have very good luck with a product called Nevr-Dull, it's a wadding cloth that does a nice job of cleaning old grit and grime off, then as it dries it will leave a white film that you polish off.

Enjoy the bike! I have a '90 Monster and love it.