We get asked this question a lot. Some of you will know and others of you won't. Essentially, he is the man we named our brand after. He's not our founder, designer or mechanic - he is our inspiration. As huge admirers of his achievements and craftsmanship, we thought there was no better person to name our brand after.
Being a London based brand, we were very keen to make the connection with British cycling and carry on from where Mr Grubb left off. In this week's Journal post we delve through the history of the man behind the name.
Frederick H. Grubb was born in Kingston, Surrey in 1887 and over the course of his life became a maverick pioneer of British cycling and a leading rider when cycle-racing in Britain was limited to time-trials and track racing. He famously competed in the Stockholm 1912 Olympics where he won silver medals in both the Individual Road Race and Team Road Race.
A couple years later, in 1914 he was the first Brit to enter the gruelling Giro D'Italia road race which consisted of 8 stages that stretched almost 2,000 miles across the whole of Italy. Out of the 84 cyclists who entered the race, only 8 made it to the finish and unfortunately for Fred, he wasn't one of them.
Freddie Grubb had been given a tough time from the other competing cyclists within the Giro D'Italia. Some reports going as far to suggest that his bike was sabotaged to such a point that he had to end the race early, returning home disillusioned with professional cycling.
In a cruel twist of fate, his decision to go professional meant that he was banned from returning to competitive amateur racing, and so Grubb turned his focus to making bicycles instead of riding them, working in London over the following decades and establishing a London based bike building business named F.H. Grubb.
There are certainly a few nods to Grubbs previous bikes in our new bicycle designs, but we are not a heritage brand. Our main aim was to take aspects of the traditional town bike and elevate them to create a much more contemporary, practical and modern city bike.
A few interesting facts about Frederick H. Grubb:
- Born in Kingston, Surrey in May 1887
- A t-total vegetarian and member of the Vegetarian Cycle and Athletics Club
- The first Brit to enter the Giro d’Italia in 1914
- His 5h 9m 41s record for London to Brighton and back stood for 14 years
- Set a record of 351 miles for a 24-hour time-trial on the track
- Broke the 100-mile time-trial record in 1910 on a fixed-wheel bike with no brakes
- Won 2 silver medals at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics