Rod Greaves Whitby

Old Ned

Old School Grand Master
A friend has just acquired these 2 frames from another friend in Edinburgh who has been sorting out the estate of a local collector of bikes, motor bikes and cars. He had asked on a newsletter if anyone had heard of Greaves and I was able to answer that I had, mainly through remembering some time triallists named Greaves (father, 2 brothers?) in the late '70's who rode (at that time) for Whitby Whs/Blenkeys. They were frequent riders on the 'Boro' Yorkshire courses and one of my memories is seeing their bikes and thinking that they looked very nice. Ultrashort wheelbase, steep angles, tight clearances etc. On looking back through my collection of assorted result sheets from the era I found them listed riding for Whitby Whs and also, earlier in the decade, for Scarborough Paragon. Another friend who is a long term member of SP remembers them. These 2 frames with the split seat tubes etc. are very nicely built with lugless fillet brazing and according to the new owner, the wheelbase is approx. 34.5". The design of the rear facing rear dropouts is one I'm not familiar with (although rear facing dropouts was common in TT frames of the day, mine included) and the extended seat tube is starting to look like an early lo-pro. The tops of the 'twin tubes' have an engraved 'Rod Greaves' showing that there must have been several RG frames made to justify the cost of having these made (?). The head badge shows 'Blenkeys Cycles' as the home of the brand - but is this where they were built?

Apart from my limited knowledge above I can't find much else so I'm asking if anyone here can shed some light. Did Rod Greaves actually build them himself or were they (like the Steve Elsworth Delta Sportiv on another thread) built by someone else? How long were they in production? To me, these appear to be mid/late 80's going by the frames fittings but (as usual)I could be wrong. I have to say I'm rather intrigued by them and look forward in the hope that more information is forthcoming.
 

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Midlife

Retro Wizard
Smart :). After my time which was mid 70's to very early 80's. I'd go for mid 80's before lo pros and funny bikes :)
 

Nob

rBotM Winner
PoTM Winner
I kind of remember a greaves frame being seen in Cycling magazine around 1980 but can’t find it in my collection of scans that I have..but he did specialize in split seat tubes although I had one similar mine was built by Norris Lockley of Bespoke fame in Settle :)
 

Ray_72

Dirt Disciple
Re:

Hello, I met Rod Greaves in Costa Coffee in Whitby two years ago and this is the first time his name has popped up anywhere.

I noticed him park his interesting looking bike against the window while I was sitting there with my family. We had finished and I was outside by myself trying to work out what his bike was - it had no decals, from memory it was steel (of course) had canti brakes fitted - he said he was fascinated by the frogleg action! but also mounts for disc brakes AND rim brakes, braze-ons for mudguards and panniers. The geometry was sort of tourer but tighter and the gearing was more sporting.

Just then a voice said "I saw you admiring my bike", "yes" I said "still trying to work out what it is", "i am a frame builder" he replied, then explained it was a sort of rolling test rig for ideas - it was a combination of Columbus tubes I think. I asked him if I would know his name "Rod Greaves" he replied, "as in Jimmy?" I said. He laughed. We had a chat for a few minutes about the bike and that he used this for all sorts of events like cyclocross and touring over the northeast and further afield.

I googled his name at the first opportunity but nothing came up.

Being Whitby, I did wonder if I had been speaking to a ghost.......................
 

Old Ned

Old School Grand Master
Re: Re:

Ray_72":2ieiubpd said:
Hello, I met Rod Greaves in Costa Coffee in Whitby two years ago and this is the first time his name has popped up anywhere.

I noticed him park his interesting looking bike against the window while I was sitting there with my family. We had finished and I was outside by myself trying to work out what his bike was - it had no decals, from memory it was steel (of course) had canti brakes fitted - he said he was fascinated by the frogleg action! but also mounts for disc brakes AND rim brakes, braze-ons for mudguards and panniers. The geometry was sort of tourer but tighter and the gearing was more sporting.

Just then a voice said "I saw you admiring my bike", "yes" I said "still trying to work out what it is", "i am a frame builder" he replied, then explained it was a sort of rolling test rig for ideas - it was a combination of Columbus tubes I think. I asked him if I would know his name "Rod Greaves" he replied, "as in Jimmy?" I said. He laughed. We had a chat for a few minutes about the bike and that he used this for all sorts of events like cyclocross and touring over the northeast and further afield.

I googled his name at the first opportunity but nothing came up.

Being Whitby, I did wonder if I had been speaking to a ghost.......................

Thanks for that! Like you say, nowt on 'tinterweb (until now of course!) so it's good to learn that he is still around. Perhaps he may find his way here sometime?
 

Jonny69

Senior Retro Guru
The maroon one is lovely. Is it possible that the rear-facing dropouts are there to facilitate getting the wheel in and out? With short stays, the tyre might not clear the bottom bracket with vertical or front-facing dropouts.
 

Nob

rBotM Winner
PoTM Winner
Jonny69":2zuuuspa said:
The maroon one is lovely. Is it possible that the rear-facing dropouts are there to facilitate getting the wheel in and out? With short stays, the tyre might not clear the bottom bracket with vertical or front-facing dropouts.
Yep as the wheel fits through the split seat tube :)
 
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