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Reader's Rides Gallery Show us your Fat. Keep your clothes on, though.

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Old October 2nd, 2010, 6:50 AM   #1
Spikes
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Default Chris Chance Pista

It was shown before, but it changed owners. I bought it a week ago and am very proud of it. It is still brand new, never ridden. Can anyone shed a light on the history of the bike? On the seat tube it says: "Bi-Ex, 50, 1934-1984". There is also a signature on the top tube.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Pista2.jpg (151.8 KB, 62 views)
File Type: jpg Pista3.jpg (78.9 KB, 63 views)
File Type: jpg Pista1.jpg (204.6 KB, 107 views)
File Type: jpg Pista4.jpg (223.4 KB, 65 views)
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Last edited by Spikes; October 2nd, 2010 at 7:40 AM.
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 10:27 AM   #2
tvcreative
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Default wow!

absolutely stunning
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 11:02 AM   #3
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If I recall the story correctly, it was built for a Boston-area bike shop owner - something of a legend in the cycling community - and hung as a trophy in his shop for years.
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 11:26 AM   #4
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Your killing me with all these bikes. Could you line em all up for a group picture one day?
And be sure to include the Ibis.
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 3:19 PM   #5
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Here is a bit of history I was told today about this bike. It was made for the 50th anniversary of the Bicycle Exchange (hence Bi-Ex). The shop still exists, but has changed owners since. It is situated in Cambridge MA, next to.... Somerville!
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 5:29 PM   #6
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Holy crap! It exists!

On the threads I posted for my Chris Chance on RBUK another member posted pics from the eBay auction when this pista was sold a few years ago. I'll add them below.

But WOW----what a fantastic bike! And though it is well beyond his original run as Chris Chance (pre-Fat, 1977-1982), that bike was constructed personally and in his older style. One of the only few Chris Chance's I've ever seen in pics (mine being the other, and one in a scan from an old catalogue on Classics Rendezvous).

Here are pics from the eBay ad a few years back. The silver stars and seat lug treatment is the same as my frame. And damn, that fork is gorgeous!!!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg pista11.jpg (110.3 KB, 35 views)
File Type: jpg pista10.jpg (106.3 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg pista12.jpg (79.3 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg pista9.jpg (62.4 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg pista8.jpg (117.9 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg pista7.jpg (85.6 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg pista6.jpg (74.3 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg pista5.jpg (76.6 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg pista4.jpg (62.6 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg pista2.jpg (75.0 KB, 28 views)
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Old October 4th, 2010, 12:07 PM   #7
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That's a rare find indeed!!

Yes the Bicycle Exchange was located in Harvard Square in Cambridge for many years. I believe it is still in business as the Bicycle Exchange but in another location down Massachusetts Avenue and is under different ownership. I have not been there in several years. It was a sad day when the original location closed. That was the first place that I saw a Fat Chance in person and I thought it was cool that they were plasma-welded. Little did I realize at the time that I would be welding them myself.

Chris did still build a couple of lugged, silver brazed road frames under his name before we put the TIG-welded Slim Chance into production. While he almost never used the TIG torch, Chris was an excellent manual brazer. He had developed the right feel for when the steel would reach the proper temperature and he had really good filler metal technique. He rarely ever had silver where it didn't belong and he did not have to do much finish work to his brazed joints. He taught me a lot about silver brazing which I only had a short exposure to in my welding engineering studies.

Keep that bike safe my friend
Scott
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Old October 4th, 2010, 12:44 PM   #8
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Thank you Scott for your contribution. Yesterday I was able to trace down the original Bi-Ex owner. He promised to share the history of this bike with me. I'll ask him if I may share his story with all you Fat enthousiasts. To be continued!
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Old October 4th, 2010, 1:25 PM   #9
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Totally stunning!

And thank you Spikes for keeping the European economy afloat with your bike purchase ;-)
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 3:30 AM   #10
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Here is a reply which I (after a year ;-) ) received from Chris Chance himself:

"I built it for Richard Olken for the weekly roller races held in the winter time at the Bicycle Exchange (hence "Bi-Ex") in Cambridge Massachusetts. Richard is the son of Ben Olken, founder of the Bi-Ex in 1934. This was a 50th year anniversary gift to himself, Richard that is. There was a jeweler I worked with who cut out the silver pieces. On the top tube there is an 'RO' - Richard's initials. There were 2 (one for each side but one got damaged and didn't make it). I remember the geometry of this bike was unusual. Slack head angle for slower steering on the rollers and if I remember right, longer chainstays to forgive his "hockey player" pedaling style."

Really cool to hear from him!
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 10:20 AM   #11
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That is a nice bit of background on the bike. Having something like this built by Chris Chance for roller racing..... how cool
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 1:30 PM   #12
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Stunning, simply stunning -you do seem to find them
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 11:23 PM   #13
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Hot damn! Looks like it's close-ish to my size, too. Pretty jealous...
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Old March 4th, 2012, 8:09 PM   #14
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Wow! That is a stunning piece of kinetic art.

Are you tempted to give a spin around your local velo?


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