We are proud to introduce the new Curve Cycling Grovel Monster... otherwise known as the Titanium GMX.
I’ve stayed up way too late too many times reading about the exploits of the crazy long-distance cyclists who rode across and around Australia between 1890 and 1920. These guys were known as the "Overlanders" and they were celebrities back in the heyday of long distance cycling.
Caption: Francis Birtles: one of the original overland cyclists (can't find the original source, sorry!)
Names like Francis Birtles, Ted Ryko and Jerome Murif aren't known in the cycling world. Their pioneering adventures have been forgotten and I find that a real shame. In the 1890s the bike was the fastest way to cover long distances over land. Cars weren’t around yet in a mass market sense and bikes were more reliable than horses. Adventurous folks with an appetite for adventure quickly set about trying to ride various routes across Australia. These guys were the original bike-packers. They travelled light and slept rough, riding on fixies in the early days.
Caption: Jack Fahey resting on the gibber plains north of Oodnadatta in 1914. Looks super rough! Jack had a nasty fall not long after this and abandoned his ride. His mate Ted Ryko continued on alone finishing his ride from Adelaide to Darwin in 28 days and 7 mins, breaking the previous record by just over 15 hrs. He commented that he might have spent a bit too long taking pictures.
Their journeys took place on rough tracks (at best), without communications, reliable maps or passing traffic, not knowing where their next water or food would come from. Their adventures were supported by early bike and tyre companies eager to prove that their goods were better than their competitors'.
It got me thinking. What would the heroes from this era ride on these adventures if they were around today? What would Francis Birtles, Jerome Murif or Ted Ryko choose to ride on an adventure where the terrain could be anything from singletrack to sandy desert track? That’s how we came up with the Grovel Monster or Grovel Monstercross, affectionately known as the GMX.
Why would the Overlanders choose a titanium GMX? They'd want something that could deal with all terrain and all conditions. I think they'd want to roll with super robust MTB tyres with plenty of sealant. That would eliminate pinch flats and issues with thorns in the desert. Drop bars would work well, giving them plenty of hand positions and allowing them to get down low in the wind. The large frame triangle would allow them to carry plenty of gear. The titanium frame would be perfect for the Overlanders; nice and light to help with climbing, compliant enough to smooth out rough surfaces and strong enough to survive some serious abuse!
We're super excited about the GMX and proud to see it out in the wild. We've worked through an extensive (and expensive!) GMX prototyping stage to make sure the geometry, handling and clearance works the way we want it to. We're looking forward to seeing a few them out on the Race to the Rock! Here are a few features that we've built in:
So there you have it, a quick run down on the Curve Cycling GMX. It's the perfect bike to get lost on!