Hi Jim,

Maybe this qualifies as a current classic. It's an early nineties Fat Chance Shock-a-billy. I am the original owner. If anybody remembers, this was Fat Chance's (first?) foray into the world of full suspension. Rather than design their own system, they bought rear-ends from AMP. The attachment points were two small tabs welded to the rear of the bottom bracket shell (where chainstays would normally attach) and two small tabs welded to the mid-section of the underside of the top tube. This is where the shock was attached. There were three pivot points; the bushings behind the bottom bracket, bushings where the chainstay attach to the dropouts, and a bushing where the shock was bolted under the top tube. The shock and the 'seatstay' were a unified strut.

I could go on but I won't because that part of the bike has been in the trash since the mid-nineties!

After struggling with keeping the undersized bronze pivots tight for a few years, I was ready to walk away from suspension bikes altogether. I called a local framebuilder to schedule a custom Ritchey WCS chain and seatstays to be brazed on in lieu of the AMP.

Since the frame started out as full suspension, the head and seat tube angles are a little goofy. As such, we could only control the head tube angle when the bike was set in the fixture. So he set the heatube angle at 71deg. I don't know what the seat tube angle is but by setting the headtube at 71 made the bottom bracket 13.5" tall with 26x2.1 tires!

I have ridden this bike ever since. It has seen numerous reconfigurations. Most recently, it has been outfitted as a single speed / fixed gear mountain bike. New to the bike is the super rise stem that makes the 1.5" riser bar level with the saddle. This change has transformed the way this thing rides. It used to be a little sketchy. I thought it was the high bottom bracket. But going from a 0 deg. stem to the upright riding position may have been enough to tame the compromises we made when the hardtail conversion was made.

From the Fat Chance factory, the bike was M&M orange. Now its a really nice metallic green. Void of decals, it has been the anonymous frame since the paint job. The framebuilder who did the work built frames under the name 'Smoother Bikes'. A clever friend of mine said the new name for this bike should be 'Smooth Chance'. The new name stuck but I never had stickers made for it. I guess I could freehand it, but I just never did.

I have built and ridden several other bikes since this one but always seem to go back to it. Right now, it is waiting for a good rigid fork. In the mean time, I am riding this AMP fork. Like the old rear-end, the pivots on this fork are bronze bushings and are always sloppy. It is really aggravating and I can't wait to find a good rigid fork for it.

Other parts include:
Surly Front Hub with 14g. Spokes, Brass Nips and a Sun Rhyno Lite Rim (Don't let the name fool you...there is NOTHING lite about these rims!!)
White Eric's Eccentric Fix/Free Rear Hub with 14g. Spokes, Brass Nips, a Sun Rhyno Lite and a 16t Shimano Freewheel / 16t Phil Wood Fixed Gear
Bontrager Jones Tires
Scram Chain
Shimano XT 2 Piece Crank with Phil Wood Bearings in the Shimano Cups
Surly 32t Stainless 104bc Chainring
Amp Fork
King 1" No Thread Set
Advent Stem Avenier 1.5" Riser
Old Avid Ultimate Levers
ODI Lock-On Grips
Avid Magnesium Brakes
Ringle Seat Post Binder
No-Name Post
Brooks B-67 Champion Flyer Saddle

As of now, this bike is back at the front of the line when I want to grab one to ride singletrack. My most recent ride (a full rigid Soma SS) is being sold soon to make room for a custom rigid Waltworks 29er. If the 29er hype is true, the Smooth Chance may collect alot of dust. That's a shame because the only thing short about this bike is it's rider!!



Smoothchance - rear qauarter view
Smoothchance - side view
Smoothchance - rear hub detail
Smoothchance - front quarter view




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