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Old December 23rd, 2005, 9:50 PM   #1
rody
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Default Little bit of Fat history...

While browsing the framebuilders archive on bikelist, I ran across a thread on Fat's domed stays.

Really enjoyed reading peoples hypothosis on how the stays were fabricated, then Mike Flanigan chimed in with this...(copied from bikelist.org)

Fat City stays were first domed on a lathe with the aid of an oxyacetylene
torch. You would chuck the tube up [straight non-tapering] get it spinning
add heat with the torch mounted on the lathe and then run the cutting tool
into the tube causing a cone to form [which would also create a hot cone
chip on the end that would go flying off!]. This was a sh#t job for new
people in the tacking department. Then the domed stay was slotted on a
milling machine [this machine is still in use at Independent Fab. and its
name is Dorothy].



The first domed end was made by Gary Helfreich and was hammered on a curb
outside the shop. Chris had been filling the tube ends with brass [which was
very time consuming, because the tube end was so large] and this drove Gary
to make the dome. Later a lathe was dedicated to this job.



When we started making Titanium bikes we wanted to retain the Fat City look
on the stay ends, but Ti could not be domed in the same manner [we still did
this to the steel bikes]. We came up with the domed shape end cap that was
welded on and then slotted.



Not long after we were making Ti bikes we were bought by Serotta. I am not
sure why Serotta dropped the domed stay and went to the welded end caps for
the steel bikes too, but I imagine that it was because no one wanted to do
that job.



Mike Flanigan/ANT

I enjoyed the personal insight, hope you did too.


cheers,

rody


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Old December 24th, 2005, 4:42 AM   #2
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Cool!

I do have a Serotta built Yo, but no welds visable near the domes. Probably they removed them. Is this the same for all Serotta built FATs?
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Old December 24th, 2005, 7:24 AM   #3
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Melvin,

If I had to speculate as to why your stays are domed without visible welds...

as the move from Sommerville to Saratoga took place mid year, the first batch of frames constructed at Serrota were with remaining Sommerville materials. Chris always had a large stock of pre-cut/prepared tubing and that material came with him in the move.

So, although welded up in NY, you've got a bit of Sommerville magic in your frame .

cheers,

rody
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Old December 24th, 2005, 11:00 AM   #4
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This is how it looks like:



What you're saying could very well be the case. My Yo is a '95 one.

The question now is what part is Mass and what part is NY? Does it have the ox3 or quad butted tubing ? I am not planning to cut it in half to verify
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Old December 24th, 2005, 6:24 PM   #5
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Post Little bit of Fat history...

So then what's the story with the domed stays on my Serotta built Ti Fat Chance?
I was told by Wendyll, when I bought it, that it was from the very last batch of Fat frames ever made in 2000...
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Old December 24th, 2005, 10:07 PM   #6
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Mike,


I don't quite understand your question, care to clarify?

All the TI fats used welded on domes, Sommerville and Saratoga built. The difference in the steel bikes were that the stays were temperature formed in Mass and welded domes (like the TI) in NY.

Melvins (and mine) are a bit of an anomoly as they are Saratoga welded with remaining material from the Sommerville move, i.e. heat formed domed stays.

Melvin,

As for what tubing you Yo has may very well be a mystery. The 94's used the proprietary quad and the 95's used the triple butted. Both tube sets shared the same outer diameter. You'd be hard pressed to define which is which even if you DID cut it apart . Here's a question that may help though...did any of the later fat frames ever come with a tubing decal? I know that Chris's tubing did not. It'll take a better detective than I...

cheers,

rody-
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Old December 25th, 2005, 12:02 AM   #7
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HI RODY-SORRY I GOT CONFUSED BY THIS STATEMENT BY MIKE FLANIGAN:

When we started making Titanium bikes we wanted to retain the Fat City look
on the stay ends, but Ti could not be domed in the same manner [we still did
this to the steel bikes]. We came up with the domed shape end cap that was
welded on and then slotted.

Not long after we were making Ti bikes we were bought by Serotta. I am not
sure why Serotta dropped the domed stay and went to the welded end caps for
the steel bikes too, but I imagine that it was because no one wanted to do
that job.

YOUR EXPLANATION SET ME STRAIGHT

Quote:
Originally Posted by rody
Mike,

I don't quite understand your question, care to clarify?

All the TI fats used welded on domes, Sommerville and Saratoga built. The difference in the steel bikes were that the stays were temperature formed in Mass and welded domes (like the TI) in NY.

Melvins (and mine) are a bit of an anomoly as they are Saratoga welded with remaining material from the Sommerville move, i.e. heat formed domed stays.

Melvin,

As for what tubing you Yo has may very well be a mystery. The 94's used the proprietary quad and the 95's used the triple butted. Both tube sets shared the same outer diameter. You'd be hard pressed to define which is which even if you DID cut it apart . Here's a question that may help though...did any of the later fat frames ever come with a tubing decal? I know that Chris's tubing did not. It'll take a better detective than I...

cheers,

rody-
I THOUGHT THAT THERE WAS SOME DIFFERENCE IN THE TI DOMED STAYS BUT IT WAS MY CONFUSION...HAVE A HAPPY HOLIDAY

MICHAEL-NYC
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Old December 25th, 2005, 11:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rody
Mike,


I don't quite understand your question, care to clarify?

All the TI fats used welded on domes, Sommerville and Saratoga built. The difference in the steel bikes were that the stays were temperature formed in Mass and welded domes (like the TI) in NY.

Melvins (and mine) are a bit of an anomoly as they are Saratoga welded with remaining material from the Sommerville move, i.e. heat formed domed stays.

Melvin,

As for what tubing you Yo has may very well be a mystery. The 94's used the proprietary quad and the 95's used the triple butted. Both tube sets shared the same outer diameter. You'd be hard pressed to define which is which even if you DID cut it apart . Here's a question that may help though...did any of the later fat frames ever come with a tubing decal? I know that Chris's tubing did not. It'll take a better detective than I...

cheers,

rody-
Hi Rody,

According to the '99 brochure also the ox3 Chris used was custom drawn to his specs:



On your question: Personally I have never ever seen a FAT with ox3 decal.

BTW I once started a topic on Mass vs NY built FATs that focusses solely on rational issues:

Mass vs NY

@MikeyNYC
Congrats with your anniversary!
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Old December 26th, 2005, 11:00 AM   #9
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My Yo, not sure of the year, but is too does noit have welded domes and ir has no decal at the bottom of the seat tube, how do I know where it was built.
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Old December 26th, 2005, 2:56 PM   #10
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geoff, whats the frame number? thats usually.. not always! the easiest way to tell

MikeNYC, whats the frame no: of your saratoga FAT chance ti? Mines TFM1125, I've heard the last 1 made was TFM1160 (the only disk brake equipped FAT chance ti ever built). I received mine april 99. (but hey, just to note dont go thinking I was a fat chance ti newby anyone ;D 005T2M was my 1st fat chance ti in 94

I've said it before, & I'll say it again, FAT chance dropouts are georgeous ..thanks for the article rody
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Old December 27th, 2005, 4:52 PM   #11
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Default Little bit of Fat history...

[QUOTE=scant]MikeNYC, whats the frame no: of your saratoga FAT chance ti? QUOTE]

I'm not sure-I don't remember and I don't keep the Ti Fat at my apartment-I will check over this weekend when I see the bike and then let you know...To be continued...

Michael-NYC
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Old December 29th, 2005, 4:52 PM   #12
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My Saratoga fat end caps are either welded or brazed on.
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Old December 29th, 2005, 5:01 PM   #13
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Kokies,


Those are fusion welded on with a TIG torch.


Melvin,

After reading your catalogue post, I did a little more research. Fat never used OX3 tubing (thus the lack of tubing decal)...they had True Temper fabricate the custom tubing and then had the OX3 heat treatment process applied. This allowed the benefits of heat treating with the custom butted tubing to Fat's specs.

So, once again, we are no closer to knowing what specific tubing your 95 Yo is constructed of, quad or triple.

cheers,

rody
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Old December 29th, 2005, 5:44 PM   #14
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Thanks Rody, cool to know all these facts.

By comparing the brochures it seems the machined dropouts -like on my Yo- were an innovation for the '96 modellyear, so I think Chris had indeed a large stock of stays taken with him form Mass to NY.
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Old December 30th, 2005, 2:52 AM   #15
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Managed to get the frame number its 435Y4ML
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Old December 30th, 2005, 8:19 AM   #16
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1994 - which is Mass. production.
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Old March 25th, 2006, 11:03 PM   #17
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Post Little bit of Fat history...Sorry for the late reply!

[QUOTE=scant]

MikeNYC, whats the frame no: of your saratoga FAT chance ti? Mines TFM1125, I've heard the last 1 made was TFM1160 (the only disk brake equipped FAT chance ti ever built). I received mine april 99. (but hey, just to note dont go thinking I was a fat chance ti newby anyone ;D 005T2M was my 1st fat chance ti in 94

[QUOTE]

Scant,

My Titanium Fat Chance, which I bought direct from Wendyll in 2001 is a 2000 serial #: TF ML 1176 and Wendyll told me that it was defintely one of the last frames EVER made under the "FAT CITY CYCLES" name, even though it was made in the Serotta factory, it was made from parts designed by Chris Chance and made by people trained by Chris Chance...so to me it's a Fat Chance! - OH Yeah it still has the domed ends on the seat and chain stays!

I just got it back to my apartment in NYC and have been staring at it all evening!



Michael-NYC

Last edited by MikeyNYC; March 27th, 2006 at 11:52 PM.
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