Jacob’s Vintage Team Fat Chance MTB

$600. That’s how much Jacob paid for his Team Fat Chance frame on eBay. It was in pristine condition with the original Yo Eddy! fork and a brand new paint job. Here’s when the collector would begin to scrounge up all the NOS parts to restore it to its original glory, yet all Jacob wanted was a bike he could ride Austin’s Greenbelt trails on. Even with the rebirth of a Fat Chance brand, there’s something to be said about 20-year steel frames. Especially with a legacy like Fat City.

While most of the build is straight forward, the Bullmoose bars and Velocity Cliffhanger rims, laced to Deore hubs are the standout details. Now his Onza tires are tubeless, which means he can run lower pressure and not worry about snakebikes on limestone ledges and the Deore hubs will be easily serviceable after the rain brings creek crossings.

His 1x setup was made possible by a clutch Deore derailleur and a Wolf Tooth ring, mounted to vintage Shimano cranks and braking is being taken care of by Chico’s finest, Paul Components.

For around $1,500, Jacob built up a vintage mountain bike with style and while it might not tackle a rock garden as fast as a modern full sus bike, sometimes the ride isn’t about being timed.

Jacob's Team Fat Chance

Cole and Jonathan at Mellow Johnny’s did a great job on the build and this bike looks so good covered in limestone dust. Shred on, buddy.

  • Kerry Nordstrom

    So sick!

  • Tony Clifton

    Mine was the same color. I was subject to constant ridicule.

    • kasual

      My ’87 stumpjumper team is an eye roasting shade of hot-pink. Friends call it the ‘shrumpjumper’, much to my chagrin. Something about this period in American mountain biking…

    • AaronBenjamin

      All the people who make fun of people on pink bikes just wish they had sweet pink bikes.

  • mikec


  • Daniel M

    $600 frame, $100 seatpost, 2 x $85 rims, 2 x $137.5 brakes, 2 x $128 brake levers, $78 bar, $79 chainring, maybe my math is bad but I’m at $1558 already which isn’t less than $1000… however the bike is awesome

    • kasual

      Assuming he didn’t have any of the parts already / paid full-retail.

      • Daniel M

        Just saying it isn’t a sub $1000 build, even if you have the parts already

        • Yeah, I should have added it all up. I asked and he said he had a grand in it.

          • floody

            It’s a “cyclist’s grand”

          • tb

            Haha, “cyclist grand” I have a couple of bikes that fall into that price range!

  • Something so nice about non-suspension corrected rigid bikes. I wish there were more forks available for this niche. That is a fantastic looking bike. Love the interjection of modern shifting on this.

  • Brian Richard Walbergh

    Man, this just looks so fun. I had a similar, albeit a little less lux, build in mind for my pretty busted Trek 930 ShitSled… maybe, someday. Did anyone ever make a a 1 1/8″ quill bull moose bar? I have never been able to find one.

    • marshmonster

      I am also in the process of slamming together a True Temper 930. I have 1 in bullmoose bars that I’m going to use with a shim: https://www.universalcycles.com/images//attributes/large/37029.jpg

      • Brian Richard Walbergh

        I had thought of that, but for some reason it just didn’t sit right with me, I even had a set of 1″ bull moose bars that I found in the trash, but I gave them away when I moved. I have a nice Ritchey stem I am going to use with something like the Soma Clarence bars. The True Temper Singletracks are pretty great frames and can still be had for cheap, good luck on yours.

    • Alexander


      • Kevin Peter Johnson

        Where? I can’t find a 1 1/8” QUILL bull moose bar anywhere

  • Dirt velo

    What wheel size? They look big for 26s

    • Brian Richard Walbergh

      The do look big, But they are probably 26s. The pads are slammed all the way down on the Brakes, if they were 650b you would expect them to be higher up on the arm, Unless the bosses were moved before it was repainted. A 20 year old bike like this would most likely be designed around 26″ x 2.25″ tires.

    • floody

      It’s just the way the Onzas’ gumwall wraps higher on the tire than most I think.

  • Fat Chance Bikes

    Love it.. awesome photo’s as ever John! Team purple / lavender looking great.

  • Mike Lammers

    That’s a job well done!

  • Noel Smith

    Great build. Those tires look beefy on those rims.

  • Jason

    i sold my yo! eddy in a moment of stupidity about 15 years ago. it is a decision that i bitterly regret to this day. this looks lovely.

  • Óðinn

    Nice. I love reviving 1980s mountain bikes with a few newer components. They are fun.

  • AaronBenjamin

    Shred sled!

  • Brian Cottrell-Thompson

    My Bridgestone MB needs a rebuild like this. Pretty sure I could squeeze a decent 650b in it as well.
    I just need to get the rear realigned…

    • Dirt velo

      I was thinking of a similar bridgestone build, have you tried to fit 650’s ?

      • Brian Cottrell-Thompson

        I’ve seen plenty built up as tourers. I’m curious about fitting a trail-ready tire in there. The more I look at it, the more I think I’ll have to stick with 26″ tires for the trails. It doesn’t look like 650 with knobs will work. if they do, they may be too skinny for my taste. The roots and soft sand here in South Jersey kind of demand a wider, knobbier tire.

  • Davey Struthers

    this ticks all the shred boxes!

  • Alexander

    Wow, great build, but the shifter/derailleur doesn’t seem on par with the rest of the setup… Do you know why he opted for Deore instead of for example XT? The price jump isn’t that big, especially considering the price of the other components.

    • Ákos

      Go wreck a Deore drivetrain and you’ll found out why after you’re done with that.

      • Agreed. Budget build and cheap to replace = deore

    • Jonathan Neve

      New Deore stuff is really really good actually

      • hans

        i can attest to that!

  • Inspirational build! Love the mix of new and old throughout the drivetrain. If Wolf Tooth and co could make some non-Surly-specific 94 BCD rings up to say 36T it might breathe life into a few more old-school builds…

  • reteptterrab

    that color! never fails when I dream of my next custom paint job that I see a bike with the same color.
    what a cool bike tho!

  • tb

    I can’t think of a better way to spend $600 for a frame and fork!

  • hans

    i’m digging that Marin shirt!

  • Jordan Mackinnon

    So cool. Retro with tasteful upgrades. Those bars are my favourite part

  • Chanel Abril

    purple frames are the jam

  • tourdefuckyou

    Perfect build. So perfect

  • Alex Wichman

    Oh wow, my mechanic has a mid-80s Wicked Fat Chance as his beater bike, all original. I’ve considered buying it from him and restoring it…this kind of pushes me over the edge.

  • adanpinto

    Lovely bike! It reminds me a lot of my last project: https://flic.kr/s/aHskc4mnj5 Mine is a bit less classy but it was even cheaper at around 500 euros.

  • Ted Hollander

    I’ve been through a lot of bikes, but have only kept one long term. It’s my ’91 Yo Eddy, now restored and regularly used on local singletrack. I’ll never part with it.

  • Ted Hollander

    Love the resto mod approach. Here’s mine.