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Fat 2.0: IBDs asked to take a Chance

Published June 16, 2016
Chris Chance with a new Yo Eddy.
Company is surveying retailers about their needs and wants.

ASHLAND, Ore. (BRAIN) — Fat Chance Bicycles, which returned from a long dormancy at the 2014 Interbike show, is now looking to build a small IBD retail base alongside its consumer-direct sales program.

Fat Chance launched a Kickstarter campaign soon after that Interbike show, offering supporters a chance to buy a new edition of the brand's legendary Yo Eddy steel hardtail frame. The company raised $130,000 in the campaign and completed its frame shipments to supporters in March this year. The frames were designed by Chris Chance and produced in partnership with California's Ventana Cycles.

The company announced at this year's Sea Otter Classic that it was bringing back its Slim Chance road bike frame, which will be made by Stinner Frameworks in Santa Barbara, California. The company also is planning a lower-priced hardtail model to complement the Yo Eddy, which retails for $1,700.

Chris Chance, based in Sausalito, California, has brought on Alex Palmer as a managing partner. Palmer is the former general manager of Canyon Bicycle's U.K. operation. He is based in Ashland, Oregon.

Palmer told BRAIN this week that the company hopes to begin work with a modest number of dealers covering several U.S. regions. Ideally the dealers would be those that specialize in sales of custom bikes.

"We'll run this alongside direct-to-consumer sales via our website, to give customers the option — if they have a dealer nearby they want to purchase through, great. Or if they are somewhere without a dealer or would prefer to buy direct, it's up to them," Palmer said.

"Having direct customer contact has been really important with the relaunch, so we can engage directly with many of the longtime Fat fans, listen to their comments, suggestions, etc. And it's important we continue with that."

Chance said many former Fat Chance dealers from the brand's glory days have contacted him since the relaunch.

"We're loving all the direct contact with our customers and will continue to work in that channel," he said. "We also know some customers will be better served by working with a dealer. ... We're small and growing fast and we want to give customers every option to buy our frames and bikes wherever they are."

Via its webpage, Fat Chance is surveying potential dealers about their interest in selling the brand and their needs for pricing, inventory levels and other issues.

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