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Old September 11th, 2008, 3:41 PM   #1
Butcher
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Default How rare are our bikes?

I've searched a bit for production figures by year and model and have come up with nothing. Does anyone have some data on production figures? My specific interest is 1990-1994.
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Old September 12th, 2008, 10:12 AM   #2
YoKris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butcher View Post
I've searched a bit for production figures by year and model and have come up with nothing. Does anyone have some data on production figures? My specific interest is 1990-1994.
Until the end of 1993 they built over 10,000 frames; starting in 1982. A huge part of that amount possibly from 90-94.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 10:24 AM   #3
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For a while I believe output was something like 1500 a year. Not sure exactly when though.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 11:02 AM   #4
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That's not that many.

10,000 as of the end of 1993 would be an average of 833 per year and 1,500 a year makes sense as production was probaby increasing steadly into the 90's.

By the time you break that down by model and sizes there was probably less than 100 frames made in many size / model combinations. Knowing that some frames got damaged beyond repair over time that number is smaller today.

It would be cool to see how many frames were made by model/size by year. I'm guessing that production numbers were greater in the medium sizes and fewer in the extra small/extra large (like a bell curve).
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Old September 29th, 2008, 10:51 AM   #5
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yeah, would be interested to know how many Fat 10ths were made

Actually, think it was more than claimed if I recall correctly


Kona have just made their 1,000,000 bike. Not sure what that means, but could be interesting
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Old September 29th, 2008, 12:12 PM   #6
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Hello Gang,

I wish you could give you all exact figures. Had I known how enduring the popularity has been for the Fat Chance brand, I would have copied the serial number books and I would have have kept records of the frames that I welded. But such is life...

I started part-time in the Olive Square shop in November of 1986 when Gary Helfrich was moving across the courtyard to found Kestrel Metalworks (He lost the fight to use the name Kestrel to the company that started making carbon fiber frames and changed the name to Merlin)

At the end of 1986, Fat City had produced over 700 frames for that year. We considered a frame to be a unit when it it was tack welded in the jig with a properly numbered and stamped bottom bracket. Some frames were carried over into the following year by the time they were completely welded, finished and painted.

I came onboard full time in June of 1987 and by September of that year, we celebrated building our 1000th frame of that year. I believe we finished the year at over 1200.

1988 production went up to over 1400 as we established a good crew and had good workflow through the small shop. Production probably got up to about 1700 frames at our most productive.

In 1992, we moved to the Linden St shop which was our ultimate undoing. The layout and size of the shop was not well suited to what we built and we did an extraordinary amount of work on the building to try and make it work. Our 1992 production probably dropped a bit because of the move. The titanium frame took quite a bit of time as well. I spent a considerable amount of time and resources coming up with tooling and fixtures for welding and my focus was taken away from the steel bikes.

I really have no idea just how many 10th anniversary frames were built and sold. I will say that those frames got a bit more attention and represented the pinnacle of hard-tail steel mountain bike frames that Fat City built.

I have no clue as to how many were built in NY or Vermont. When Somerville closed, I moved into another field of work and I haven't welded a bike frame since - although I do miss it - especially sitting in an office cubicle typing this little diatribe.

Thanks to all of you who make it so much fun to have been a part of.

Scott Bengtson
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Old September 29th, 2008, 4:40 PM   #7
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Again, great story Scott

Still be happy you've not switched to 'banking'
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