We are Fat Cogs
When doing research on Chris Chance and his bicycle company, Fat City Cycles, I came across a catalog that showed the essence of Chris Chance’s bicycle. Other than representing his bicycles, the catalog also created a sight of the fun and passionate environment that Fat City Cycles followed and how they built their bicycles and treated their clients. The catalog is called “We Are Cogs” and was published in 1994. It consists of new items Chris Chance was introducing such as bicycles, a clothing line, and accessories. The opening page of the catalog was a picture of a group of Fat Cogs in Vermont. Fat Cogs are the bicycle owners and fan base of Chris Chance’s products. They are die hard Fat City Cycles lovers as most of the fans say “We love our Fats.” What follows from the picture are a few words from the fans themselves. Where they describe how they can all unify to admire a Fat City bicycle. They emphasize how they have collected their fair share of Fat Chance bicycles since 1982 when the company began. Most Fat Cogs own two pairs of Fat Chances which are each used for a different purpose. One is used as a commuter bicycle and the other is used to race. The fans claim to never let go of their Fats because they are such good quality bicycles. The Fat Cogs also wanted to spread the word of Chris Chance’s inspirational bicycles and share their memories with others. It is evident that the industry was growing by the second as the Cogs were a representation of the fond relationship of owner and bike. These are the people that helped expand the existence of Fat City Cycles and contribute to the massive innovating mountain biking culture. A few of the Fat Cogs would even get tattoos of the Yo Eddy figures which is one of Chris Chance bicycles. It also happens to be the mascot of Fat City Cycles. Fans were not only from the East Coast but across the world. In countries like England and Germany fans went as far as having tattoos on their chest. These tattoos and the Fat Cogs that spread across the world were a symbol of the innovating mountain biking culture expanding. This culture was built out of passion and love for the bicycles whether it came from the owners or the people in Fat City or Marin who built them. The same hippy fun and love for riding down mountains in Marin is represented on the East Coast in Somerville with Chris Chance and many others. This innovating culture spread in the 80s and 90s, and continues to spread like a virus, but this is a virus you cannot get rid of. These loyal Fat Cogs also wanted everyone to experience riding a Fat City bicycle, as it outperformed other bikes in competitions and was an enjoyable ride on the road. The Fat Cogs wanted to give recognition to the Fat City frame builders and the employees who paid careful attention to details on their bikes. Their workmanship and ability to fulfill every necessity on the client’s bike was impeccable. This way Cogs and the builders could equally share the passion that it took to build a bicycle and ride one, as the East Coast Fat Cogs would say about Fat City, “damned serious about doing it right.” This lingo is what separated the mountain biking culture in the East Coast from the West Coast. It is another quality that gave mountain biking a name and representation of fun and new. The culture is contagious and is something that you cannot help but notice and strive to become a part of. What remains of the catalog are the bikes themselves as Chris Chance shows the mountain bike Shock-a-Billy with the purple fade. Also the Fat Chance Titanium, the Yo Eddy Team Fat Chance which is the bicycle that put Fat City Cycles on the map, and the aggressive lime green Buck Shaver. Next, is the lightest Wicked Lite with four stock colors, and the road bike that won the U.S. National Time Trial the Slim Chance with a violet aquamarine fade. Chris Chance also wanted to represent his new accessories that ranged from Yo Eddy and Fat City shirts to Frisbees, water bottles, and band aids. Much like innovation of culture, Chance also showed his innovation of technology and style with his bikes. He represented this by creating lighter and more efficient bicycles with a longer frame where riders would not be falling off their bikes and could ride up the mountain. He also added suspension to make the ride more comfortable and promote a positive handling where there is no lag movement when turning. He brought the new and noticeable style of having bikes with bright and trendy colors or fades that left people staring at the bicycles to see what other cool color it consisted of. What I got out of the Fat Chance Team is that they carried themselves as humorous people that can be witnessed with the names of their bikes and their style. It seems like they had a funny and calm atmosphere. It is interesting to see the evolution of mountain biking in general, and I feel people are drawn to it just like the formation of the Fat Cogs. Through Chris Chance’s line of work and new methods it was evident that he invested his time and dedication to every bicycle and client to create that positive, confident, and passionate relationship with the bicycle.