When we decided to bring back the Slim Chance earlier in the season prior to Sea Otter we spent some time looking closely at the landscape for production steel bikes to get an indication as to what was in demand for frame spec, features etc. Getting a balance between the original features Fat City product was known for back in the day, and new technologies is a delicate balance and sometimes takes a few iterations of prototypes to get it perfectly right.
With the Yo Eddy you can see the results of this combination of old and new; disc brakes and a 44mm head tube, matched with classic tubing profiles and styling. On the Slim we set out with the same aims and our first 2 prototype frames were built around a 44mm head tube and ENVE 2.0 carbon fork. The initial test rides were great, stiff, responsive, fast handling but it felt like it needed something extra.
Classic Yellow Slim Chance Gallery:
The segmented Yo Road steel fork had always been an integral part of the plan, but our prototypes build by Chris Igleheart were not ready in time for Sea Otter so we launched with the more modern ENVE fork. It was only once the dust had settled on Sea Otter and we got back to base that we were able to slot in the steel fork and put it through it’s paces on the roads around Ashland. At this moment it was clear the fork was the missing link in terms of the ride quality we were looking for. It gave the whole front end a more subtle feel… keeping the same quick handling, but with a little more flex in all the right places to take out the road buzz and give that buttery feel we’ve come to know and love from a really good steel frame.
But the slim Yo Road fork matched to a 44mm head tube presented another visual problem, a quick straw pole on my personal Instagram verified this!
So back to the drawing board, and a few design discussions between Chris and I resulted in a pretty simple solution. 2 different versions of Slim Chance; Classic and Race. The Classic needed to be built around the Yo Road fork so we slimmed down the head tube to a more retro 36mm diameter. The Race stayed true to our original prototype with a 44mm head tube and ENVE 2.0 fork.
I guess at the end of the day it all comes down to what your steel benchmark is, for me personally having spent the last few years riding almost exclusively carbon road frames, the Race version feels great. Light, stiff and really responsive, equally at home in a race or chaingang as a longer ride. But if you’re more of a fan of the retro style, spend longer hours in saddle and want just a bit more comfort without sacrificing too much performance, Classic is the way to go. Whichever way we hope there’s a Slim out there for you.