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Something Wicked this way comes!

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Something Wicked this way comes!

Old 07-17-21, 12:24 PM
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Smokinapankake
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Something Wicked this way comes!

So I was at my bike collective yesterday yapping with my guy JP about old bikes and asked if he might have anything interesting in the back room. He said ďI might have something youíd be interested inĒ and directed my gaze to this ugly, beat up old school bus yellow MTB.

I mean, what a piece of junk, right? Missing wheels and a seatpost/ seat, it couldnít be worth more than $20, right?

When I sent that picture to my wife she asked if it was my size. I knew then I was in the clear, a deal was struck, and after an 18 year hiatus, I am now a two time owner of a Fat City Cycles Wicked Fat Chance! The first Wicked I found was at a Salvation Army thrift; paid $40 for it but it was too small for me so I sold it on the bay of E for a 10X profit. I paid more this time but it is my size and I donít see it going on the auction block any time soon.

Pics anyone?



As found - pretty rough


Seatstay web


Bullet shaped tube ends

Somerville MA manufacture

Down tube gusset

Press fit BB

Press fit BB


The collective was kind enough to throw in a seatpost, matching yellow seat, and what I thought at the time was a more appropriate stem than the Answer ATac stem thatís on it now. I love my bike collective!

Iíll use this thread to document my progressÖ
stay tuned for more!
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Old 07-17-21, 01:31 PM
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Cool score!

Great but odd creepy movie
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Old 07-17-21, 01:52 PM
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Looks treaded on.
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Old 07-17-21, 02:01 PM
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Sweet find!
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Old 07-17-21, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
Cool score!

Great but odd creepy movie
That's the Dark Carnival rolling into town. One of Bradbury's many superb stories, rip. Looks like a young Jonathon Price.

Awesome bike.
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Old 07-17-21, 05:48 PM
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^^^^ A young-ish Jonathan Pryce (it was just 2 years before Brazil). Also with Jason Robards Jr and Diane Ladd.
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Old 07-17-21, 05:52 PM
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So I couldnít wait to get into it but a little research beforehand was in order. Off to the internet I went in search of enlightenment. Fortunately, there are a few people here and there who know a thing or two about these crappy old bikes. From the fatcogs.com website I found this helpful in decoding my serial number:



So my SN is 359W11, making my bike frame #359, Wicked, 1991, 21Ē . A 1991 Wicked - made in Somerville, MA, before the move to Serotta. My measurement of the seat tube CTT comes out at 21Ē, so I think I can reliably say itís all true.

Hard to see but it is definitely 359W11


The bike is a bit of a bitsa, with only 2 components dating to 1991: the FD (FD-M732) and crankset (FC-M730 in 180mm length!). The rest are from 1994/1995 time frame; all XT from before 1996 when Shimano unleashed V brakes on an unsuspecting cycling public. The RD is an RD-M750, so about 1998 or so. This is all good news as Iíd been wanting to build a nice cantilever braked bike but didnít have any nice cantiís available. Also I donít feel constrained to building a period correct restoration job; I have the parts to do so but time and improvements in technology have combined to take the shine off the old stalwart M732/M735 XT.

So letís dig into this pig and see just how bad it really is. Of course itíll need the full monty with a paint job but letís start small. The biggest concern I had was the unique press fit BB, but it came apart without too much complaint; unfortunately the retaining collars are both destroyed :




BB spindle looks to be in pretty good nick:




Bearings are still smooth but in the interest of being thorough I think Iíll try to source some new ones. The part number on the rubber seal is SC0228LU, while the part number etched on the body is SC0228N. I suspect the LU designates a body with a groove cut in. The BB is interesting in that it is designed to allow for an adjustable chain line. The bearings are pressed into the BB shell and held in position with a circlip that fits in the groove of the bearing and presses against the outer edge of the BB shell. The spindle just slips into the bearing, and the side to side adjustment is controlled by the locking collars. Very simple and effective, but I can see how it could be a pain to set the chain line.

There were (are) patches of black scattered around the frame and fork, and at first I thought it might have been repainted at some point. Turns out some previous owner covered up places where the original paint had worn through to bare steel. The most concerning of these areas is on the drive side chainstay where there appears to be some evidence of a nasty chainsuck event:






And thatís where I stopped. It looks bad but I donít think it went through; I fully intend to get it repaired, just need to source someone local. I think while Iím having this repaired I might want to do a few other thing as well- add a 3rd bottle mount on the bottom of the down tube and add some rack braze-ons to the seatstays. I think Iíll make it an urban assault vehicle, and in that capacity it needs a clean rack mounting option.

Thoughts? Feedback welcomed!
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Old 07-17-21, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Smokinapankake View Post
So I couldnít wait to get into it but a little research beforehand was in order. Off to the internet I went in search of enlightenment. Fortunately, there are a few people here and there who know a thing or two about these crappy old bikes. From the fatcogs.com website I found this helpful in decoding my serial number:



So my SN is 359W11, making my bike frame #359, Wicked, 1991, 21Ē . A 1991 Wicked - made in Somerville, MA, before the move to Serotta. My measurement of the seat tube CTT comes out at 21Ē, so I think I can reliably say itís all true.

Hard to see but it is definitely 359W11


The bike is a bit of a bitsa, with only 2 components dating to 1991: the FD (FD-M732) and crankset (FC-M730 in 180mm length!). The rest are from 1994/1995 time frame; all XT from before 1996 when Shimano unleashed V brakes on an unsuspecting cycling public. The RD is an RD-M750, so about 1998 or so. This is all good news as Iíd been wanting to build a nice cantilever braked bike but didnít have any nice cantiís available. Also I donít feel constrained to building a period correct restoration job; I have the parts to do so but time and improvements in technology have combined to take the shine off the old stalwart M732/M735 XT.

So letís dig into this pig and see just how bad it really is. Of course itíll need the full monty with a paint job but letís start small. The biggest concern I had was the unique press fit BB, but it came apart without too much complaint; unfortunately the retaining collars are both destroyed :




BB spindle looks to be in pretty good nick:




Bearings are still smooth but in the interest of being thorough I think Iíll try to source some new ones. The part number on the rubber seal is SC0228LU, while the part number etched on the body is SC0228N. I suspect the LU designates a body with a groove cut in. The BB is interesting in that it is designed to allow for an adjustable chain line. The bearings are pressed into the BB shell and held in position with a circlip that fits in the groove of the bearing and presses against the outer edge of the BB shell. The spindle just slips into the bearing, and the side to side adjustment is controlled by the locking collars. Very simple and effective, but I can see how it could be a pain to set the chain line.

There were (are) patches of black scattered around the frame and fork, and at first I thought it might have been repainted at some point. Turns out some previous owner covered up places where the original paint had worn through to bare steel. The most concerning of these areas is on the drive side chainstay where there appears to be some evidence of a nasty chainsuck event:






And thatís where I stopped. It looks bad but I donít think it went through; I fully intend to get it repaired, just need to source someone local. I think while Iím having this repaired I might want to do a few other thing as well- add a 3rd bottle mount on the bottom of the down tube and add some rack braze-ons to the seatstays. I think Iíll make it an urban assault vehicle, and in that capacity it needs a clean rack mounting option.

Thoughts? Feedback welcomed!
great find but that boo boo may ruin the party....
thus something wicked has indeed arrived.
​​​​so good luck keep posted.
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Old 07-17-21, 06:53 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Smokinapankake View Post
So I was at my bike collective yesterday yapping with my guy JP about old bikes and asked if he might have anything interesting in the back room. He said “I might have something you’d be interested in” and directed my gaze to this ugly, beat up old school bus yellow MTB.

Certainly worth salvaging!

If you're going to repaint it, I'd take the opportunity to add a second set of eyelets onto the dropouts, so they don't have to share duty between the rack and the mudguard.

But maybe that's just me.
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Old 07-17-21, 06:53 PM
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Nah thatís not a showstopper. Just inconvenient. Itís going to be a sweet ride one day
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Old 07-17-21, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Certainly worth salvaging!

If you're going to repaint it, I'd take the opportunity to add a second set of eyelets onto the dropouts, so they don't have to share duty between the rack and the mudguard.

But maybe that's just me.
Agreed. Iím considering also adding down tube gear lever bosses as well. Just, ya know, in caseÖ
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Old 07-17-21, 07:18 PM
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A friend in another hobby did all the scene artwork for that movie (and a lot of others). Back in the day when they used real paintwork, nothing digital.

Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
Cool score!

Great but odd creepy movie
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Old 07-17-21, 07:25 PM
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BB spindle looks to be in pretty good nick:




Bearings are still smooth but in the interest of being thorough I think Iíll try to source some new ones. The part number on the rubber seal is SC0228LU, while the part number etched on the body is SC0228N. I suspect the LU designates a body with a groove cut in. The BB is interesting in that it is designed to allow for an adjustable chain line. The bearings are pressed into the BB shell and held in position with a circlip that fits in the groove of the bearing and presses against the outer edge of the BB shell. The spindle just slips into the bearing, and the side to side adjustment is controlled by the locking collars. Very simple and effective, but I can see how it could be a pain to set the chain line.




s? Feedback welcomed![/QUOTE]

For what its worth the LU in the part number refers to the seal . Full contact double lipped in this instance . LU one side only , LLU Both sides .
The "N" on the body refers to the circlip groove in outer ring .
In theory correct part number should be SCO228LLUNR .The "R" is for the clip in the groove if needed
(too many years working in the bearing industry )

Also the lock collars look to be reasonably standard shaft collar which will be available through an engineering supply company.
Sometimes only available with one grubscrew but nothing a drill and tap wont fix !

HAve fun !
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Old 07-17-21, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
^^^^ A young-ish Jonathan Pryce (it was just 2 years before Brazil). Also with Jason Robards Jr and Diane Ladd.
And Gilliam's Brazil was the height of future dystopian vision in an analog movie. Top 5 on my best film list.

edit...well, maybe Bladerunner

Last edited by clubman; 07-17-21 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 07-17-21, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
That's the Dark Carnival rolling into town. One of Bradbury's many superb stories, rip. Looks like a young Jonathon Price.

Awesome bike.
I have the book with the original title.
How my Mom got me interested in reading.
totally messed me up for ďsee Spot runĒ in first grade. As a 5 year old reading about a carousel that the rider got older going forward and younger in reverse was fascinating. want to buy a lightening rod?
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Old 07-18-21, 04:50 AM
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Nice grab. Too bad about the chainstay, but good on ya for turning it into an opportunity. Curious to see how it all goes.
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Old 07-18-21, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by 1simplexnut View Post


BB spindle looks to be in pretty good nick:




Bearings are still smooth but in the interest of being thorough I think Iíll try to source some new ones. The part number on the rubber seal is SC0228LU, while the part number etched on the body is SC0228N. I suspect the LU designates a body with a groove cut in. The BB is interesting in that it is designed to allow for an adjustable chain line. The bearings are pressed into the BB shell and held in position with a circlip that fits in the groove of the bearing and presses against the outer edge of the BB shell. The spindle just slips into the bearing, and the side to side adjustment is controlled by the locking collars. Very simple and effective, but I can see how it could be a pain to set the chain line.




s? Feedback welcomed!
For what its worth the LU in the part number refers to the seal . Full contact double lipped in this instance . LU one side only , LLU Both sides .
The "N" on the body refers to the circlip groove in outer ring .
In theory correct part number should be SCO228LLUNR .The "R" is for the clip in the groove if needed
(too many years working in the bearing industry )

Also the lock collars look to be reasonably standard shaft collar which will be available through an engineering supply company.
Sometimes only available with one grubscrew but nothing a drill and tap wont fix !

HAve fun ![/QUOTE]

Thank you! This is exactly the kind of information I was hoping to find here! I figured both the bearings and the locking collars were pretty standard off the shelf items, but was having trouble finding a grooved bearing.
As far as the chainstay goes, Iím sure there are people local who can fix it. Weíve got a technical college just down the street that teaches welding and certifies students to aerospace levels so if anything Iím sure the instructors there can help me out.
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Old 07-18-21, 06:44 AM
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So moving forward, (both literally and figuratively), the fork looks okay except for a little damage to the threads:




This comes from the tang on the washer between the locknut and the adjustable cup. When the locknut gets tightened, sometimes the washer spins as well. The tang slips out of the groove, and if not caught, proceeds to tear up the threads. I usually file off that tang to prevent this from happening. Or use aluminum washers. Makes adjusting the headset a little more finicky, but worth the effort. So - what to do about it? Not much to do but run a triangular jewelers file through the threads, I guess. Ultimately, Iíd like to source a nice Tange Switchblade fork:




Iíve actually got a NOS switchblade crown and 1Ē steer tube, just need to source (or fabricate) some legs:
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Old 07-18-21, 06:52 AM
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Donít know what happened thereÖ
Anyway, if someoneís got a pair of legs without a crown, or even a full fork, PM me please. For now Iíll just stick with the original fork.

I really like that the original crown has a threaded hole on the back:




Seems so much cleaner than a through hole although it probably drives the cost of manufacture up a bit. Part of what makes it a FatÖ

Stay tuned!
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Old 07-18-21, 11:31 AM
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Itís amazing what a lick of lemon furniture polish will do, isnít it, Gromit? To paraphrase Wallace & GromitÖ.



Dirty on top; clean on bottom


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Old 07-18-21, 05:13 PM
  #21  
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More cleaning done - Iím amazed at how grimy this pig really is. Cranks before and after:



Before

After

After

On the other hand, I always like a drivetrain covered in dried up oil and dirty grime. It acts to protect the goods beneath, and usually comes off pretty easily. I cut my bike mechanic teeth in a small shop in Colorado Springs called Pedal Revolution, and I learned there that lemon furniture polish is the best thing for cleaning bikes because it doesnít affect decals and lithography inks. So Iíve always used it and itís always delivered for me.

So there are nicks and dings and scrapes on all the parts Iíve cleaned so far. For about a New York minute I was tempted to try and polish them all out. But then you lose the patina, and character, of the whole. Oftentimes on my bikes Iíll see a ding or a gouge or a scrape and am reminded of the ride I was on when it happened. The frame is just too ugly to live with so itíll get repainted but the parts will carry their scars with pride.

Patina or character is different from serious damage, and my biggest concern turned out to be a false alarm. I took a dremel with a grinding stone to the chainstay gouge just to see how bad it was. Turns out it doesnít go through the tube, which downgrades the emergency to just an annoyance:




I think Iíll just have it brazed to fill the dents and be on my merry way.
Speaking of dents, I did find a minor one on the bottom of the down tube:




Thatís the patina Iím talking about!

So my plan of action going forward will be to get this pig brazed, build it up, and ride it for a while. Just to, yĎknow, get acquainted with it. Do some commuting, around towning, jump a few curbs, and run down a few potholes. Maybe even take some fire road rides (oh wait, thatís called gravel grinding now) just to feel out that ďeast coast feelĒ the magazines used to rave about.
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Old 07-21-21, 07:46 PM
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New bottom bracket bearings came in the mail today - $10 for a pack of 4 from Amazon:




Came with the retaining clips, but I suspect I could have gotten away with a flanged bearing as well. 5/8Ē bore x 1-3/8Ē OD x 7/16Ē thickness, just like the originals. They were listed as kart bearings. Now to get some locking collarsÖ

Meanwhile the frame is off to the maintenance shop at work, patiently waiting itís turn under the hands of our resident ex-air force welder for some brass filler work. Should have it back in hand next weekÖIím waiting much less patiently!
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Old 07-22-21, 07:44 PM
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Fresh locking collars:




Just need to get that frame back in handÖ
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Old 07-23-21, 04:35 PM
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Awesome! Subscribed to this thread
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Old 07-25-21, 09:23 AM
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Some new chainrings from the bike collective:





I know the pin that catches the chain is misaligned; these came off a Sugino crankset that has the chainring bolt hidden behind the crank arm. But a set of new rings for a measly $10 was too good to pass up!

24-36-50 is a little tall but Iíve run 24-36-48 without an issue on other bikes so weíll see how this goesÖ
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