There are few bike brands that have as strong a history as Fat Chance—or the cult
following it enjoys. Fat City Cycles
was established in 1982 by Chris
Chance in Somerville, Massachusetts,
focusing on handmade road and
mountain bike frames. There weren’t
very many East Coast-bred mountain
bikes in the 1980s, and Fat City was
one of the earliest companies to focus
on dirt riding.
Before segments of mountain
biking were truly established, frame
builders designed their rigs around
their local trails. East Coast riding
was tight and narrow, inspiring East Coast or “woods” geometry that
used tight wheelbases for negotiating densely forested trails. Fat Chance
bikes were designed for this type of riding and were among the more
sought-after bikes on the trail.
THE ORIGINAL YO EDDY!
If there was any bike that defined Fat Chance, it was the Yo Eddy that
was introduced in 1989. The “Yo,” as it became known, used chromoly
tubing and signature dome stays. This design allowed for a stiffer and
tighter rear triangle that helped give the bike more predictable handling.
Along with the unique chainstays, Chris used oversized tubes on
the mainframe and for the fork legs. The fork on the Yo was burly and
incredibly stiff, adding to the high-performance aspects of the design.
With its loud neon colors and aptitude for fun, many considered the Yo
Eddy the ultimate bike.
At the 1990 Durango Worlds, future Olympian Don Myrah raced the
Yo Eddy and helped legitimize the bike—and Fat Chance.
BRINGING FAT CHANCE BACK
Chris Chance sold Fat City in 1994 and disappeared from the bike
industry for over 20 years. Followers were elated to hear of a comeback
from the man who had helped make mountain biking fun in the ’80s and
The modern Yo Eddy is similar in design to the Yo of old, and, even
with larger wheels, it has almost the same-length chainstays as the
original version. Check out the next few pages to see our full review of
the new and improved Yo Eddy and see if Chris Chance was successful
in recreating one of the most iconic bikes of all time.;❏
THE HISTORY OF FAT CHANCE
Creating a Cult Following
Setting the tone: Don Myrah was
one of the first big-name pros to take
notice of what Chris Chance was
doing. Here he is pictured racing
of the first Yo Eddy bikes.