Restoring a storied FAT to it’s former glory.

This post is written by vintage FAT restoration specialist Nick Kazmaier from Commodore Cycles.

If you know me,  you know I love chasing special bikes…a normal night for me consists of winding down while searching Craigslist for great bikes. I spend more time than I probably should looking for bikes.  

Bikes with a story are special because they come with a connection to a human being. They share fun memories and see some amazing parts of the world together. This connection is what we, as restorers, should try to preserve just as much as the tubing, components or patina. It’s just as valuable!  

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Back to the Wicked…finding this bike listed on Craigslist was amazing, with only a few pictures, a brief description of it and who it used to belong to. After contacting the owner and seeing better pictures, I was even more excited. Seeing a black Wicked without the decals, a stem that pointed at the ceiling above the bike and a gel saddle that reminded me of a saddle one would have been bought at a sporting goods store in the early 1990’s doesn’t jump out like most vintage bikes do. I mean, a 1990 Klein Attitude is pretty easily recognizable!  According to the previous owner he removed the decals to disguise the bike. This normally sacrilegious move kept the bike from being stolen, therefore preserving this historical bike.

Here’s a brief summary of what was involved in the restoration:

  • Repacked all bearings.  
  • I replaced the entire Bottom Bracket with a Phil Wood unit.  
  • The bike came with an upright stem which was replaced with the Salsa stem.   
  • The seat post was replaced because it was too small diameter.  
  • Tires were a commuter style tire so those were replaced.  
  • I preserved the original paint the best I could, it shows its age when you look close but the patina is fantastic.  
  • I left the foam padding that is on the underside of the top tube I assume from the original frame pump.  
  • The new decals are from Velocals and from what I was told they are the original colors.  
  • The drivetrain is almost original with two exceptions, the front derailleur which was a NOS unit with the 1989 date code, and the Grafton crankset.
  • The brakes are original, as are the wheels, handlebar, grips, and headset.  

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I know there are doubters and admittedly there is no actual proof this bike was owned by Jimmy Buffett. I’ve made many attempts at contacting his Manager, checking his fan website email, and even calling bike shops in the town where he lives. There are clues that give credence to His ownership but as of now I’m going on the honesty of the gentleman I bought the bike from.  

Enjoy this photo set taken by Dave Kazmaier, from when I first purchased it to the current finished renovation. It’s been a pleasure! Enjoy.

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Before:

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