One of Ian Hibell's original touring bikes, a Freddie Grubb.

"My frame was transformed from a lump of ore to a sleek F.H.Grubb machine in London, way back in 1957. Built of Reynolds 531 tubing throughout with a 42-inch wheelbase, it was the epitome of a quality racing frame in those days. In the seventies, wheelbases on racing bike have shrunk to down around 40 inches, and so I have ended up with a tourer! The additional inches do give me an easier ride under load. Against all kinds advice such as “you need a real sturdy bike for a world tour, you know” I put my faith into Reynolds tubing. I think my friends translated ‘sturdy’ as heavy, and this was exactly what I did not want. I have often met fellow world-tourists, as well as local men, who were dismayed at my choice of a bicycle. Most assured me that this or that stretch of tortuous rocks would break it for sure. A group of iron-bicycled schoolboys saw me off at one time in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. “You wait till you see our roads. We like your bicycle, but it will be no good here. You’ll be back with a broken machine” That was ten years and 100,000 miles ago; sufficient proof, I think, that a lightweight frame is suitable for a hard prolonged tour."

Click here for a link to the 'Classic Rendezvous' Freddie Grubb page.

Click images to see larger version.

All images©Ian Hibell

 Specification as of September 1974

 

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