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Fat Chance Build Thread

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Fat Chance Build Thread

Old 09-13-19, 12:30 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Padgett View Post
I have been wondering about the bike size, as I'm not sure how to judge the frame size for my body on these old MTBs. I'm 6'2" and the frame is 20" from the center of the bottom bracket to the top of the top tube, along the seat post. I honestly have not looked that far ahead yet but the frame does not look too too small. Any thoughts?
I'm also 6'2" and most comfortable on 22" vintage mountain bikes. 21" can be made to work depending on the geometry of the bike, or with riser bars. I can ride 20", but they feel small. The longest ride I have done on a 20" is 6 miles.

I'd echo about not spending any money until you can remove the seat post.
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Old 09-13-19, 11:59 AM
  #27  
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I bought a Nishiki MTB with a stuck seat post just for parts, I stripped it down to just the frame and then inverted the bike so I could clamp the seat post (after removing the hardware that attaches to the saddle rails) into a vise and then I spent 3 days hitting the seat post with liquid wrench, both at the seat post seat tube junction and spraying it down the seat tube, I had water bottle bosses to spray into but you could also access via the bb shell. After 3 days I gently but firmly twisted the frame and it moved! YMMV obviously you don't want to go gorilla with this method and risk twisting the frame but time patience and alot of PB blaster/liquid wrench etc may do the trick.


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Old 09-13-19, 12:53 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
I'm also 6'2" and most comfortable on 22" vintage mountain bikes. 21" can be made to work depending on the geometry of the bike, or with riser bars. I can ride 20", but they feel small. The longest ride I have done on a 20" is 6 miles.

I'd echo about not spending any money until you can remove the seat post.
Awesome to hear. I would not be heart broken to find out the bike is the wrong size and have to sell, but I would like to be able to put some miles on it comfortably before I decide to part with it- if I ever do
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Old 09-13-19, 12:57 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by ryansu View Post
I bought a Nishiki MTB with a stuck seat post just for parts, I stripped it down to just the frame and then inverted the bike so I could clamp the seat post (after removing the hardware that attaches to the saddle rails) into a vise and then I spent 3 days hitting the seat post with liquid wrench, both at the seat post seat tube junction and spraying it down the seat tube, I had water bottle bosses to spray into but you could also access via the bb shell. After 3 days I gently but firmly twisted the frame and it moved! YMMV obviously you don't want to go gorilla with this method and risk twisting the frame but time patience and alot of PB blaster/liquid wrench etc may do the trick.

Thanks for the pics! This is the same method @merziac suggests, I will definitely try it. This is what the LBS tried when I brought them my stripped frame, but they were unsuccessful in their efforts. I don't blame them, but I don't think they were patient enough with it or tried hard enough. PB blaster is my favorite of the penetrating lubricants, always does the trick on my old car. Should work on my less old bike too!
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Old 09-13-19, 01:04 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by 2cam16 View Post
Yeah that sounds small. I'm 5'5 and my max size is a 54cm/21in, minimum around a 51 or 52cm which equates to around 20in. If you're able to unstick that seatpost, make sure there's enough left inside the seat tube after adjusting it for your height. Maybe you can ride it temporarily until you find a bike your size.
The frame has what seems to be a quite large 30 1/2" standover height for this type of frame, but this is the first frame of this style I've had. I can straddle my Schwinn with its 35 1/16" standover, however that is just about maximum height for me.
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Old 01-09-20, 02:43 PM
  #31  
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Update!

Its been a while. I got a few things done on the bike, and I didn't get other things done on the bike.

So I replaced the headset because my LBS had a cheap sunlite 1" in stock. Also, i picked up a new wheelset. Araya RM-25's laced to some pretty nice Maillard hubs! Came with some sweet tires in great condition as well. These wheels allowed me to finally install the rear brake. In addition to my wheels, tires and headset I put on a titanium Flite. I stole it from my other bike, I love this seat.

Here's what I didn't tackle- BB and seat post. The seat post is WAY too low and absolutely cemented in place. I know I can get it out, but I didn't start working on the bike until a couple hours before i went back to school and left my dads shop.



This thing SHREDS! Super fun to ride, if only i could raise the seat. Also, for the record, the bike is not finished or done. If you noticed the Shimano 600 item, its a gift from a friend that I am using as a temp. chain tensioner.
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Old 01-09-20, 07:39 PM
  #32  
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Be careful running a single speed like that. I've seen a similar setup climb up a couple cogs and completely rip itself apart. Derailleur detonated like a grenade, just ruined everything.

At the same time, if you can get rid of the extra cogs, old derailleurs are the best tensioners ever.
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Old 01-09-20, 08:11 PM
  #33  
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@wesmamyke Interesting, considering I am wanting to give this derailleur back after I get something correct, that would be bad! thank you for the heads up.
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Old 11-03-20, 12:19 PM
  #34  
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Cockpit already come and gone

I have already changed up the cockpit since this picture, but figured an update was due. Having fun with this bike and learning a lot.
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Old 11-03-20, 02:17 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Padgett View Post
I have already changed up the cockpit since this picture, but figured an update was due. Having fun with this bike and learning a lot.
Looks rad, and also looks like you managed to unstick the seatpost from the seat tube. Well done.
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Old 11-03-20, 02:53 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by bOsscO View Post
Looks rad, and also looks like you managed to unstick the seatpost from the seat tube. Well done.
Thank you! And yes I did. had to go the chemical route. I was twisting the frame so hard in the bench vise i was worried to frame would deform before the seatpost gave. Even after a week+ of heat cycles and penetrant. I ended up using lye.
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Old 11-03-20, 03:33 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Padgett View Post
Thank you! And yes I did. had to go the chemical route. I was twisting the frame so hard in the bench vise i was worried to frame would deform before the seatpost gave. Even after a week+ of heat cycles and penetrant. I ended up using lye.
What does the lye do that the lubricants dont?
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Old 11-03-20, 09:01 PM
  #38  
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Old 11-05-20, 08:32 AM
  #39  
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I've gone the lye route several times after incredibly frustrating and painstaking efforts to remove seatposts/stems----- gotta be careful with that stuff, but boy is it satisfying to see the offending piece of aluminum just bubble away....

Those early Fat Chance bikes are just amazing... I had a black Somerville-made Yo Eddy stolen from my back porch in SF decades ago, and it still makes me mad.
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Old 11-05-20, 03:35 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by no67el View Post
I've gone the lye route several times after incredibly frustrating and painstaking efforts to remove seatposts/stems----- gotta be careful with that stuff, but boy is it satisfying to see the offending piece of aluminum just bubble away....
So it melts the aluminum but doesn't damage the steel?
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Old 11-05-20, 04:29 PM
  #41  
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Yes, that's the way it works.... lye dissolves aluminum but leaves steel untouched. Do a search for "lye" and "seat post" either on this site or elsewhere and you'll see lots of information, even some youtube videos show the process.

But---- you will want to cover/mask your frame carefully because the reaction can damage paint.

Double BUT--- lye is a very dangerous substance which can dissolve/burn your flesh or your eyes, so use extreme caution. Wear a face shield, rubber gloves, and other protective gear. Don't get the lye solution on your skin. The reaction will cause a lot of bubbling/burping which can splash outward. Have a container of white vinegar on hand to neutralize any spills. The reaction between lye and aluminum releases hydrogen gas, so work outside and away from open flame. Many folks here advise against using lye as it is just too dangerous, and I daresay they have a point. Do your homework, take only educated risks or not at all--- and work safely!

For me, the risk would be worth it to rescue a fairly rare frame like a Fat Chance, and not risk damaging it with other methods (hacksaw, etc)...... but that risk/reward calculation is yours to make.

Good luck!
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Old 11-05-20, 04:32 PM
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Whoops--- just saw that others have posted the lye/caustic soda videos..... and that the OP managed to use lye to free the Fat! Sorry for the redundant info.

Great Success....! I love the drop-bar look for this bike.
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Old 11-08-20, 03:47 PM
  #43  
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How it sits currently.

I love drop bars, but not on this frame. It just did not work for me. Here is how she is equipped now, and I absolutely love it. Its my wannabe Rivendell college commuter extraordinaire. Just having fun with it. These pics do not include the rack/basket combo.

Bosco bars, Shimano 7spd/friction bar ends, OG Maugura levers (hoods off for preservation), and ESI grips wrapped in Newbaums.


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Old 11-08-20, 04:42 PM
  #44  
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Funky build, I'm hearing War's Low Rider looking at it. A Brooks Conquest would work for me.
take a little trip, take a little trip, with me....

Last edited by clubman; 11-08-20 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 11-08-20, 06:23 PM
  #45  
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Oh man, I like this build! The super funky patina'd Flight saddlle, the bar end shifters at the end of the swept-back bars..... like flames out of the tailpipe...

Do you ever put your hands forward of the brake levers in the area you have wrapped?

Nice work...
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Old 11-08-20, 10:15 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
Funky build, I'm hearing War's Low Rider looking at it. A Brooks Conquest would work for me.
take a little trip, take a little trip, with me....
This is the feeling you get riding it as well! Except its still a decently quick machine. As high as the bars are, they are still lower than the saddle. Think lowrider with a 454. Like a quick tank.
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Old 11-08-20, 10:27 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by no67el View Post
Oh man, I like this build! The super funky patina'd Flight saddlle, the bar end shifters at the end of the swept-back bars..... like flames out of the tailpipe...

Do you ever put your hands forward of the brake levers in the area you have wrapped?

Nice work...
That is a phenomenal description, thank you!
I actually do, however its not as if I have two hand positions. I will grip bars all the way from the bar ends to where the bar swoops down. Occasionally my hand goes from the grip, covers the brake lever clamp, and my forefingers are on that front section. Its ride as if its like one extra long grip. In headwinds, I found myself griping the front section and laying my forearms down the rest of the bar.

They are extremely versatile. Great for giving a new life to your bike, or making these vintage MTBs fit if the frame is a little small.
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Old 11-08-20, 11:11 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by no67el View Post
Oh man, I like this build! The super funky patina'd Flight saddlle, the bar end shifters at the end of the swept-back bars..... like flames out of the tailpipe...

Do you ever put your hands forward of the brake levers in the area you have wrapped?

Nice work...
To further answer your questions about about hand positions. Not the same, but similar bars.
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Old 11-09-20, 08:43 AM
  #49  
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Re: bars

Originally Posted by Padgett View Post
That is a phenomenal description, thank you!
I actually do, however its not as if I have two hand positions. I will grip bars all the way from the bar ends to where the bar swoops down. Occasionally my hand goes from the grip, covers the brake lever clamp, and my forefingers are on that front section. Its ride as if its like one extra long grip. In headwinds, I found myself griping the front section and laying my forearms down the rest of the bar.

They are extremely versatile. Great for giving a new life to your bike, or making these vintage MTBs fit if the frame is a little small.

Hey thanks for the info--- and the video. Very interesting! I may have to try something like this-- I've been looking for a 80's era steel MTB frame to do a build around with Rat Trap Pass tires or something similar, and these sorts of bars might help get the hand position up higher without resorting to an extreme riser stem angle....

Great job on your bike, thanks for sharing it!
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Old 11-09-20, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by no67el View Post
Whoops--- just saw that others have posted the lye/caustic soda videos..... and that the OP managed to use lye to free the Fat! Sorry for the redundant info. Great Success....! I love the drop-bar look for this bike.
No apology necessary, your explanation was super helpful. Not that i plan on ever doing this but now i've been informed that it can be done.
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