1994 Fat Chance Shock-A-Billy Full Suspension MTB

This one’s a strange bird for sure. 1994 brought about a sea change in the mountain bike industry. The world was abuzz with full suspension bikes and suddenly manufacturers like Fat City Cycles found their hands forced to embrace this new technology. It was this year that Fat Chance joined forces with Serotta in New York. This manufacturing move allowed bikes like the Shock-A-Billy to be born, as well as increased production in the standard lineup including: a Ti Fat, Buck Shaver, Yo Eddy, Wicked Lite and the brand’s road bike, the Slim Chance. These frames featured quad butting, an aluminum AMP rear swingarm providing 2.75″ of travel and an optional Rock Shox Mag 21 fork.

How bikes like this survive for over 20 years and remain mostly intact continues to baffle me. Especially with builds like this: Ringle skewers, WTB VelociRaptor tires, White Industry hubs, Moto Ace Salsa stem, Syncros post and a working Shimano XTR group.

Fat City Cycles suffered a fatal blow in 2000, only to return in 2014 with a new plan… They’re back and you can own a modern Fat City.

As for vintage Fat City, if you really wanna go down the Fat City rabbit hole, read up at Mombat!

  • cuppow

    The Slim Chance is tricky cause there’s lugged Chris Chance road frames from pre-Fat days and then there’s the Chris Chance road frame that I had that was made in NY but that was not a Slim Chance. I don’t really have any answers just some confusing data points but maybe someone can chime in and clear it up cause I’d love to know the exact timeline too!

    • Did you look over at Mombat? I couldn’t find much on the Slim Chance since it’s a MTB website.

      • cuppow

        Looks like from 1996 on they were called ‘Chris Chance Road’ not Slim Chance.

        Truth time: I traded it for a Seven Tsunami but I do still have a Wicked.

    • Hi Greg – what exactly were you trying to find out? Let us know and we’ll raid the vaults and see what we can find out!

  • Burnt Reynolds

    What is so baffling, exactly? The writer is assuming hia audience understands his viewpoint without elucidating.

  • Daniel Lemke

    So what does something like this ride like?

    • Will Win-Chis

      This is mine. Very light full-sus by today’s standards! Really good fun through sweeping singletrack and very nimble. Not for rough stuff though…

      • Will Win-Chis


  • professorvelo

    gotta love the 90s

  • Brian Sims

    Holy high bottom bracket!

    • It’s gonna sag a little with a rider on it! That said, 13″ BB clearance appeared on the odd hardtail back in the day.

  • Check out http://www.secondspincycles.com/

    This guy focuses more on Yetis and Kleins, but there are some Fat Chances hidden in there.
    Beautiful builds.

  • Clifford Kiracofe

    So cool. Great to see reportage/documentation on vintage bikes. Working on a 1980s FC Wicked project myself.
    Lots of info about Fat City by the community at the Fat Cogs website: http://www.fatcogs.com
    Stoked that Chris Chance and team are bringing FC back!

  • Ted Hollander

    Was out on my Fat yesterday. Had it since new.

  • Kim Steed

    This is mine :) Custom painted by Leni Fried ‘Americana’