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Old December 8th, 2006, 5:48 PM   #1
headtube
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Default Massachusetts Vs. New York Fats

Is there any difference in the early built Massachusetts Fats when compared to the NY built ones? Material, geometry, etc? I know that suspension forks were introduced in the mid 90's which would affect head tube geometry and handling.

It just seems to me that when anyone is searching for a Fat, it's the Massachusetts ones they want the most. Romantic notions and mystic perhaps?

I have a 95 Yo - seems to me all that differs is the decals. Once a Fat... always a Fat ???? I don't know. Please enlighten.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 6:40 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by headtube View Post
Is there any difference in the early built Massachusetts Fats when compared to the NY built ones? Material, geometry, etc? I know that suspension forks were introduced in the mid 90's which would affect head tube geometry and handling.

It just seems to me that when anyone is searching for a Fat, it's the Massachusetts ones they want the most. Romantic notions and mystic perhaps?

I have a 95 Yo - seems to me all that differs is the decals. Once a Fat... always a Fat ???? I don't know. Please enlighten.
diff. teams built the frames. diff. welders, painters.. as for geometry, once it was corrected for geometry, it became different. some may prefer the rigid formula.
when i see pics of later yo s i have the impression the seat angle is not as laid back and the BB is somewhat lower. could be an illusion.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 5:04 PM   #3
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Hi Headtube,

There are several differences, some directly related to the switch to Serotta and other more or less paralel in time.

The Mass ones are built by the FAT crew in Sommerville and the NY ones with Serotta. For many people this has serious emotional implications.

Less emotional charactaristics: Your '95 FAT is suspension corrected for 2" or a bit more, but same applies to the last Mass ones. Serotta built Yo's use lighter tubing. If I recall correctly the same tubing used for the 10th anni several years before. Dropouts are machined for the Serotta Yo's. Normally they connect to seperate 'powerdomes' that are welded on the stays, instead of shaped out the stays (one piece) like with the Mass FATs. Nevertheless my Serotta/NY Yo has domes shaped out the stays. Probably stocks that Chris took with him to Serotta.

The downtube gusset on a Mass Yo is shaped like an arrow, while the one on a NY Yo is more rounded.

I do have '95 Yo and a friend has a '92 one. I do like the welding of my FAT more. Maybe Chris and the crew were very busy in 1992. Add up that at Serotta the people are of course also very competent. My bikes' paint is of great quality and unlike my friends one it is clearcoated with decals under the paint.

I think this is about it.
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Old December 12th, 2011, 11:35 AM   #4
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I've got both. I Certainly feel more nostalgic for my Mass built Fats but at the end of the day it's my NY built Yo with a FOX Talas fork & Avid Black Edition V-brakes, that I ride 3-4 times per week. The fact that it's got the 1 1/18 head tube and is suspension corrected for a modern fork makes it the most rideable on the very rough single track that is close to my house. One other note is that the brake cable guides are correct for V-brakes vs. my earlier yo's. To be completely fair I must say that my NY built YO is also a M/L which fits me better than either of my Medium Mass built YOs. My 2nd favourite bike to ride is my '89 Team Comp which is a 21" frame and also fits me very nicely. I love them all though! I guess it doesn't really answer your question but there are some subtle differences. My NY Yo is the only one with threaded braze-on holes in the rear drop-outs. Not too sure what they are for, blackburn rack?
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Old December 12th, 2011, 4:47 PM   #5
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^^^ I second that, my 99 disc brake YO has great paint, perfect welds, 1 1/8 fork, Fox suspension, and rides like a nanny goat on crack.

It's the Massachusetts bikes that hold the mystique.

Owning an MA bike is like owning an original Mustang, vs a NY bike - modern Mustang

Some of the lines are there, some of the philosophy is there - but it's old detroit vs corporate detroit...(sort of)

both are good

For me, I like the original philosophy behind FC and the team in place in MA.

They were ahead of the curve, marketed as such, and built with pride by a community of workers who cared and actually rode bikes.

Last edited by tvcreative; December 13th, 2011 at 11:00 AM.
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Old December 12th, 2011, 7:42 PM   #6
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Default The Design Is What Matters

Given a choice, I'd prefer a MA built Fat. That said, I am certain Chris would tell you the design counts far more than where, who or what the frames were built from.

As a designer my feeling is that design trumps all. That is, assuming high levels of craftsmanship, quality materials and manufacturing processes, the design is what has the biggest impact on the finished product.

Since Chris designed all the bikes, I'd assume he view both MA and NY frames as equals. Designs must change to stay current with trends, but the fact that the NY fats were designed with susp. corrected geometry and OS head tubes should have little impact on the overall feel of the bike.

Cheers,
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Old December 12th, 2011, 8:34 PM   #7
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I have a Serotta road bike, concours TI, and I will say that it is crafted as beautifully as my fat. Both teams built great bikes. We should consider ourselves lucky to know the value and importance of fat chance bikes.
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Old December 13th, 2011, 10:31 AM   #8
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Default Any Pull Charlie?

I wonder if Charlie could get Chris to comment on this particular thread. It would be extremely interesting to get some insight on this topic from the horse's mouth!

Cheers,

KP
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Old December 16th, 2011, 7:47 AM   #9
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I think we've covered off most of the differences there... I think when you compare like for like taking out all the nostalgia/emotion for the early bikes the later ones are a better bike. The paint is a lot better, Serotta paint guys did a really great job at the finishing. I prefer the CNC dropouts and I would say the welding is a lot neater on the later frames.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 11:28 AM   #10
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If given a choice between MA built or NY I would go MA any day, all day.

Guess I just prefer products that were designed and produced in the original factory. To me Serotta built Fats are just that, Serotta built Fats, not dissimilar to Litespeed producing titanium frames for various marques.

I'm not saying that Serotta is not notch manufacturer, just that they are not the originals and to me that makes a big difference.

Would like add that the welds on my 89 Wicked are amazing, far superior than my Teesdale Marin. And also knowing that Chris Igleheart may have welded my frame is another plus and a big reason I had him fab a fork, old meets new under the same torch.

In any case I think we can all agree they are damn fine frames and worthy of praise regardless of where they were made (with the exception of the Canadian market Taiwanese jobs).
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Old December 16th, 2011, 3:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zamfir View Post
If given a choice between MA built or NY I would go MA any day, all day.

Guess I just prefer products that were designed and produced in the original factory. To me Serotta built Fats are just that, Serotta built Fats, not dissimilar to Litespeed producing titanium frames for various marques.

I'm not saying that Serotta is not notch manufacturer, just that they are not the originals and to me that makes a big difference.

Would like add that the welds on my 89 Wicked are amazing, far superior than my Teesdale Marin. And also knowing that Chris Igleheart may have welded my frame is another plus and a big reason I had him fab a fork, old meets new under the same torch.

In any case I think we can all agree they are damn fine frames and worthy of praise regardless of where they were made (with the exception of the Canadian market Taiwanese jobs).
Did anyone mention design? Ah.. Pacenti did. Fat Chnces are not about welds.. Fat Chances are about a unique ride and tht's dictated by design: angles, geometry, tube diameters and some other stuff. That design was layed down by Chris Chance. He is the man behind Fat Chance. If he is behind Serotta built Fat Chances and those bikes have pretty paint and pretty welds i don't see any ratiionale behind a superiority of Mass. Fats other than nostalgia and cultishness. wait, both hold no reason.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 3:37 PM   #12
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Pshah! Nostalgia and cultishness make the world go round!

I prefer Mass in this matter. New York's alright, if you like saxophones.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 11:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
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New York's alright, if you like saxophones.
Nice! We must be from the same generation.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 11:34 PM   #14
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From a collecting standpoint - it's got to be MA. for me. Riding wise - apart from my love for the Wicked-era bikes - I can't really see how it would matter at all.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 6:46 AM   #15
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mass.. built by hand from the orig crew.. it starts there and ends there. It aint a fat unless its from mass....I would never never buy a ny frame....
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Old December 17th, 2011, 8:06 AM   #16
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I'll repeat it. Design trumps all.


Cheers,
KP
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