1991 Grove Innovations Grove X Mountain Bike
"Cosmetically devastating" is how Grove Innovations described the Grove X!
Putting the paint to one-side for a moment, the frame design is very interesting. The frame is built around a single ‘spine’ Aircraft 4130 Cro-moly tube. By not having a top tube, it offers plenty of stand-over clearance. Similar in design to a Trimble mountain bike but with chainstay tubes and a reinforced bottom bracket triangle which are extremely beneficial in providing the much-needed stiffness as you pedal.
Now we factor in the custom paint (by Grove) and it’s a truly standout racing machine! The 4 coats of color and 6 coats of clear means the “Psycho Neon” paint is not going to wear or fade easily. For a bike built and painted in 1991, it really is standing up to the testaments of time.
This bike really appealed to me as it came with the original Grove Innovations Assault Fork, HotHead one-piece bar and stem, Hot Rods which is a 2-piece crankset using Chromoly arms, a large hollow spindle, special dual bearings, and multiple seals, all painted to match the frame, and they went as far as to paint the 2 bottle cages and bottle cage mounting bottles, too.
A Suntour XC Pro 7-speed drivetrain, including the wheels (with Ritchey Expert Vantage rims), compliments the bike. This groupset competed with Shimano’s flag-ship Deore XT. A purple Grafton Speed Controller - controls braking upfront, whilst a WTB (Wilderness Trail Bikes) Speedmaster roller cam brake sees that the rear wheel stops quickly. Some more purple parts sit on the bike in the form of the Ringle Ti-Stix (not “Holey” as some like to refer to them as, grrr!) Quick Release wheel and seat post skewers.
An IRD (Interloc Racing Design) seatpost with a Vetta Moser saddle round things off nicely.
I plan on replacing the saddle for a Selle Italia Turbo, removing the Onza bar-ends, replacing the tires with a modern skin-wall design, replacing the grips and using my favorite pedals, the Suntour XC Pro Grease Guard.