Ron's Wicked, Rules!

Can a bike have personality? Character? Surely these inanimate objects have unique histories, tons of sentimental value, and lots of awesome stories, but is there something more mystical that bonds us to our machines? …Maybe, but Maybe not – and that’s OK- but in some cases it’s clear that these old rust buckets are special in some way.

With that said, I’d like to begin this series on interesting rust buckets and the kooks who love them.

If you’ve ever installed a King Cage on your bike, then you probably know Ron. A toolmaker at Fat City, Merlin, Ibis and others, Ron contributed to some major innovations during an exciting time in mountain biking’s history.


Anyway, you’re wondering when I’ll get to the point. Well Ron was (is) also a honch’ cyclist and raced on the Fat City factory team in the late 80’s. In 1989, Ron toured Europe by bicycle, intermittently competing in World Cups mountain bike races and doing quite well, all aboard a very unique Fat Chance wicked

If there was ever a bike that oozes character, each weld bead seeped in personality, this is it. Not only was it piloted on a human powered journey across the European continent while pushing the envelope at the highest level of the sport, but it also returned to tell the tale. What really will really endear this rust bucket to your heart, however, are the graffiti’d decorations lovingly added by the 1989 Fat City factory crew.


Here you’ll notice the subtle talents of the cast of cool characters that made Fat City what it was. The palm trees, cacti, barking dogs, checkerboard fade…all hand made. Even Yo Eddy! himself makes an appearance. To me, this bike serves as a reminder that art is timeless. Whether that art is in the form metallurgy, graffiti, movement or whatever. This thing has character in buckets… and that’s not something you find everyday!


Author: Brendan Shafer

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