Why a steel bike?
noun: steel; a hard, strong grey or bluish-grey alloy of iron with carbon and usually other elements, used as a structural and fabricating material.
verb: steel; to mentally prepare (oneself) to do or face something difficult.
The bike market has experienced a new golden age, and you can't help but notice the army of weekend warriors ploughing a two wheeled furrow all over the country or the swirling shoals of riders flowing with commuter traffic. We will hedge our bets that you might be one of them. You have also probably exhausted every major manufacturer's website in search of your dream bike yet something or someone has led you here.
Why would you choose a steel frame over an aluminium or a carbon frame? Steel is surely heavy and old fashioned, it is prone to rust. On the contrary, steel has moved on. Here at Groves Cycles we use the latest in modern steel tubing for all our creations. These new Super Steel alloys utilise micro-alloys to help stave off the orange mist, they are as light as any competitive aluminium and best of all - we can bend it to our will with ease.
With a bespoke Groves Cycles frame you will feel as though you are literally riding the road, enjoying the light touch and agility of your frame without any of the bone shaking harshness that the non-steel frames put you through. We will put a spring back into your cycling.
But what sets a Groves frame apart from the peleton? The answer is quite simple, you. You are at the centre of everything we do. We build around your needs, whether you are a punchy aggressive rider, a smooth sportive chaser or an audax tourer. We work the geometry to your body and your style of riding and that is why no two Groves rides look the same (unless of course you want to commission one for your identical twin).
Geometry is key, and we won't start any work until we have had a chat and an espresso. A new steel frame is a big thing to do and we absolutely will get it right with your collaboration. Have a think about what you want from your new Groves ride, no matter what that is we will make it comfortable and responsive.
Hand in hand with geometry is aesthetic. There is no point being on a Groves original and not being noticed. We have heard it said that sitting on a good looking frame can increase your output by 10% - we can't promise to make you a better cyclist but we can guarantee that when you ride away on your new bike you will be grinning like a child who got just what they wanted on their birthday.
Geometry is key, and we won't start any work until we have had a chat and an espresso.
We build around your needs, whether you are a punchy aggressive rider, a smooth sportive chaser or an audax tourer.
Working in steel Mark is now one of a small but growing band of skilled craftsmen designing and building bespoke road bikes with steel frames.
What drives a man to sweat and toil in the burning heat of a brazing torch? The answer is simple, engineering beauty and the passion to build. When the rest of us were 10 and merely riding our bikes, Mark Groves was pulling his apart, unscrewing, tapping, filing and drilling in the pursuit of the perfect ride. It was then that a forty year path was set that would see him returning to his first passion with the benefit of wisdom and all the skills of a master craftsman.
Working literally from the ground up, Mark began his career as an apprentice Toolmaker, creating the very things that would enable himself and others to realise their engineering dreams. After four years he embarked on the next level training as a car mechanic and specialising on Classic Car restoration. This would become a theme for the coming decades, taking a classic design, and by adding some alchemy and solid graft, give it a new life.
Meanwhile the ten year old Mark the builder had progressed from building bespoke Trackers in the 70s (think the Raleigh Bomber but edgier) to building motorbikes and into a new love of building cars. Why just restore them when you can build them and race them?
From production saloons to single seaters - chances are if you lived in South East Essex in the 1980s you will have certainly heard one of his creations - and if you were quick enough maybe seen it shooting down the road.
In the late 1980's a new venture began when Mark joined his brother and formed Groves Restoration, a company still going strong that specialises in the repair and restoration of fine quality antique metalware. The pursuit of excellence is key to their work. Plundering the archives of metalworkers through the ages they have built their own unparalleled library of techniques to make, restore or replicate nearly any antique brought to their door as well as producing small runs of their own bespoke interior designs.
When Mark Groves rediscovered the exhilaration of riding, the ten year old self resurfaced with four more decades of artisan expertise and he turned once again to creating bikes.
Working in steel he is now one of a small but growing band of skilled craftsmen designing and building bespoke road bikes with steel frames. Groves Cycles has arrived and so has a new era in competitive and touring steel road bikes.
But what drives Mark Groves to build this new breed of steel bike? To beat his father's TT course record - sometimes it is a little bit about the bike.