Grove Innovations is a brand that is often overlooked by most mainstream collectors. The company wasn't in CA or CO, served a relatively small market and simply didn't advertise or sponsor riders like many other majors. I also think many people think the bikes are crude and unrefined, or have a harsh ride. I would really encourage you to take a second look and examine the details of the craftsmanship, the quality of the welds (especially when compared to say a TIG welded Potts or even Ritchey). The welds are practically invisible. Then there is the legendary paint, very few bikes on the market at that time could match the wild paint jobs found on Groves. Then there is the ride. I've only ever ridden a Hard Core, and so can only comment on that. I have an Assault and an X, but they are not up and running. I plan on doing a more in-depth trail review of the bike, but my quick summary is, it's stiff, really stiff.
The combination of the Hothead (thinner wall, heat treated version of the Hammerhead) bar/stem combo and the straight blade Hard Core fork, means you never have to worry about your bike going where you point it.
The build on this bike is rather basic, actually it's probably a bit more on the sexy side than 95% of Groves that ever left PA. Back in those days nearly all of Bill's production sold out of the Bicycle shop and from my recollection most Groves were built with DX componentry. The riding in PA was harsh and component durability was favored over lightness. This bike is largely built with Shimano XT, with a little flair courtesy of Hugi hubs on Mavic 261 ceramic rims, and IRD post and some Ringle QRs. I toyed with the idea of putting on some Grafton brakes, which would have looked great, but to be honest it just wouldn't have been done back then. So, why now?
Top tube cable routing keep the cables out of the way if you have to carry your bike over some really gnarly sections. Plus I just can't imagine what that would look like across the down tube.
Notice the subtle curve in the bars under the grips. The bars are actually shaped that way to offer a more ergonomically / or anatomically correct hand position. I do recall my hands getting less tired and not getting any numbness on long climbs like I sometimes do with normal bars. Neat feature.
The 1" head tube seems out of place among the considerably larger down tube and top tube, but it seems to do the job. I kind of think these bikes would have looked pretty cool with a massive 1 1/4" head tube and rigid fork.
Brake stiffener bridge helps keep the rear brake crisp and offers very positive response. Plus it's a great place to put another Grove badge.
The cranks on this bike are modern versions of the original Hot Rods. I didn't have a pair of the original cranks when I bought the bike, but have since found one. I may eventually have them painted to match and transfer them over to this frame.
The cross-section transition on the down tube is definitely something to behold, not seen on many other bikes.
In my humble opinion, everyone should try a Grove at least once. It's a small production, unique design, made by highly skilled craftsmen bike that offers a different ride from the rest and gets a lot of attention on the trails.