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Old January 28th, 2015, 6:30 PM   #161
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Dude he been pounding human flesh for the last 10/15yrs I'm sure he has secondary thickening of the dermis and epidermis by now.
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Old January 28th, 2015, 7:05 PM   #162
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Dude he been pounding human flesh for the last 10/15yrs I'm sure he has secondary thickening of the dermis and epidermis by now.
I bet his hands are strong as hell, but the heat, the abrasives, the edges... Dude will be veal for a while if he goes that route.

Once upon a time - in a bike shop - I thought I had tough hands. Building a bike was like dental emergency variety pain for my hands.
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Old January 28th, 2015, 8:51 PM   #163
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Just wondering, are Fatistas the biggest bicycling bullsh1tters on the planet ?
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Old January 28th, 2015, 9:22 PM   #164
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Just wondering, are Fatistas the biggest bicycling bullsh1tters on the planet ?
It's not just Fatistas. Have a look at the bikerumor.com articles and their comments sections. Or any MTBR thread.

...but I do wonder if Chris will do better appealing to new customers with an armload of history cred as a bonus talking point, rather than catering to vintage curmudgeons who largely prefer cheap old bikes over expensive new ones.
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Old January 29th, 2015, 10:53 AM   #165
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Ritchey brazed a 650b prototype a few years ago to comply, didn't he?
Tom has brazed several frames over the past years. One of his fillet brazed 650b frames is sitting in my basement. It rides great.
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Old January 29th, 2015, 11:29 AM   #166
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Tom has brazed several frames over the past years. One of his fillet brazed 650b frames is sitting in my basement. It rides great.
I wasn't going to out you...
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Old January 29th, 2015, 9:49 PM   #167
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To me if this site has taught me anything, is that FAT CITY was more than ONE MAN.

read all the posts from the murderers row of talented torchmen - who helped found and build this company…

To me that's largely what makes this brand interesting…

Last edited by tvcreative; January 29th, 2015 at 11:04 PM.
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Old January 30th, 2015, 7:39 AM   #168
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It cant be coincidence that some of the greatest Torchmeisters in metallurgical history graced their sausage fingers across a Fat frame. Chris knew talent when he saw it and will do so again. Blimey, didn't realise we had murderers working at FCC. Maybe il get the blood stains on my Yo DNA tested.












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Old January 30th, 2015, 10:40 AM   #169
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It's not just Fatistas. Have a look at the bikerumor.com articles and their comments sections. Or any MTBR thread.

...but I do wonder if Chris will do better appealing to new customers with an armload of history cred as a bonus talking point, rather than catering to vintage curmudgeons who largely prefer cheap old bikes over expensive new ones.
He will do good coming out w/ a good bike.. . I rather ride an old cheap bike than a non existant new Fat Chance.
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Old January 30th, 2015, 12:04 PM   #170
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To me if this site has taught me anything, is that FAT CITY was more than ONE MAN.

read all the posts from the murderers row of talented torchmen - who helped found and build this company…

To me that's largely what makes this brand interesting…

Jim
I really appreciate your comments and compliments!

Here's my point of view:

Chris (and insert any other top-name builder that you want) has a vision of something special that he believes will appeal to a certain market. If he could build as much of this something by himself, he would. This also means that he would have to market, sell, and service this something by himself. Since he wishes to serve a larger market, this means that he has to hire out certain services to accomplish manufacturing, marketing, or servicing of his special something to reach his intended market.

To me, it doesn't matter if Chris hires people directly or contracts an organization to perform those operations and services to create his special something. The important thing is to find those individuals or organizations who can buy into his vision, share his passion for his special something, and be able and willing to do what it takes to turn that vision into reality.

Chris ultimately has the responsibility for final quality control to assure that his hired hands produce exactly what his vision is. Does that mean he will put his hands on every single special something? Of course not, he will establish a trust with those hired hands over a period of time. The hired hands have the responsibility to inform him of any issues and he must work to resolve them as any good manager would. He will work to control costs and establish a price for his something that his intended market will bear.

Do any of you care that Chris (to my knowledge) has never picked up a TIG torch to weld a bike frame? By the time Fat City had grown to the point that Chris could no longer hand-braze all of his frames and still run his business, he decided to hire out his metal-joining operation. Gary Helfrich was first and he cobbled together a plasma welder and that became part of the marketing of the Fat Chance brand. While plasma welding had an appeal, it really didn't offer a competitive advantage for manufacturing and Gary had many issues keeping it operational. By the time Gary decided to move out and found Kestrel (later Merlin after a lawsuit), he and Chris had switched back to conventional TIG welding. I came along next and started to refine and expand the process to serve our growing market. Our common qualities were our God-given ability to manipulate a torch and filler wire and a sharing of Chris' vision and passion. I tried to instill that into those we hired to weld as the business expanded.

Certainly metal-joining is an important part of bicycle manufacturing but does that alone define the identity of the brand? Not in my opinion, and I did a lot of the welding!

It takes many talented individuals performing specialized tasks at the best of their abilities to create a special something. It is up to the leader, the keeper of the vision, to install his passion into those who perform those tasks. I will admit that there are rare cases when everything falls into place and something is created that is truly considered special and perhaps we achieved that during the Somerville days. Can that be rekindled? I have to believe that it can, but really only those in the market will make that determination.

Scott
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Old January 30th, 2015, 1:56 PM   #171
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Taking all things practical out of the equation - would you work for him again ?

WD
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Old January 30th, 2015, 5:18 PM   #172
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Nice post, Scott. (as always)
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Old January 30th, 2015, 5:49 PM   #173
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Nice post, Scott. (as always)
Agreed.

As I said, Scott can count me in as a customer if he ever decides go back down that road and as I've posted in a few places now, I hope a debt is acknowledged for his keeping the light on all these years.
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Old January 30th, 2015, 9:05 PM   #174
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Hear that Scott? Time to investigate into. How to start a Kickstarter campaign!!!
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Old January 31st, 2015, 8:14 AM   #175
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Agreed.

As I said, Scott can count me in as a customer if he ever decides go back down that road and as I've posted in a few places now, I hope a debt is acknowledged for his keeping the light on all these years.

+1 and another great post Scott.
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Old May 13th, 2015, 7:15 AM   #176
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Chris and I were across the hall exhibitors this year and had small opportunities to catch up with each other's lives.

Chris is enthusiastic and driven to see Fats back on the production line and thriving on the trails.

Good things to come from this venerable builder.

Thanks to Diane Lees of the Outspoken Cyclist for catching this shot of us.

cheers,

rody
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Old May 13th, 2015, 9:15 PM   #177
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Chris and I were across the hall exhibitors this year and had small opportunities to catch up with each other's lives.

Chris is enthusiastic and driven to see Fats back on the production line and thriving on the trails.

Good things to come from this venerable builder.

Thanks to Diane Lees of the Outspoken Cyclist for catching this shot of us.

cheers,

rody
I ordered my new Yo Eddy (this will make 3 fats for me). Now I just need to get on the list for a Groovy! I guess some Luv Handles on the Fat will have to do.
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