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Thread: Exxon Graftek

  1. #1
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    Exxon Graftek

    If anyone out there remembers an old bike called the
    EXXON GRAFTEK or perhaps even has one I would love to
    hear from you.

    It was made famous in the mid 70's when it was ridden
    with some sucess by the Stenina Bros.

    It was also one of the first carbon fibre frames and came
    with Campag nuovo record group set.

    Trouble is having just aquired a frame I want to put
    her back together and can find NO info whatsoever !!!

    So if someone out there remembers anything I will be eternally
    grateful especially if you know what size bottom bracket,
    headset,forks,etc I need.

    Thanks all and if you can help me out and live locally
    I will buy you a beer and if not local I will toast your
    good cheer


    Paul in St.pete Florida




















  2. #2
    NOT a weight weenie Hunter's Avatar
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    Chances are a !" headset, 700c wheels and forks. B>B threads could be Italian. Check with Sheldon Brown. captbike@sheldonbrown.com

  3. #3
    BFSSFG old timer riderx's Avatar
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    Hunter beat me to it, I would definitely suggest contacting Sheldon Brown (www.sheldonbrown.com/harris).

    Also, the folks at www.oldroads.com might be able to help you out.
    Single Speed Outlaw
    Riding Bikes and Drinking Beer.

  4. #4
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    Graftek,
    First flight has some info on the bike,
    First Flight and Velo-retro has copies of the original catalogue
    availiable for sale (I think $6 for it).
    Velo Retro

    Hope this helps,
    Marty
    Sono pił lento di quel che sembra.
    Odio la gente, tutti.

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    The first exxon grafteks were 27 inch wheels 73deg./73deg/

  6. #6
    Resident Old Fart Olebiker's Avatar
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    The big thing I recall about the Grafteks is that they were essentially aluminum tubes with a graphite wrapping. My father had a Graftek casting rod.
    Wag more, bark less

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    Quote Originally Posted by graftek View Post
    It was made famous in the mid 70's when it was ridden
    with some sucess by the Stenina Bros.
    I think it is the Stetina brothers you are referring too, Wayne and Dale.

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    Quote Originally Posted by graftek View Post
    It was made famous in the mid 70's when it was ridden
    with some sucess by the Stenina Bros.
    I think it is the Stetina brothers you are referring too, Wayne and Dale.

  9. #9
    Senior Member masi61's Avatar
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    I rode the state of Ohio USCF Junior road race in 1980 outside of Lancaster Ohio against another 17 year old who rode an Exxon Graftek bike. Our event was like 87 miles, while the senior event was like 102 miles. We started with the seniors and rode in a pack around a 14 mile circuit with a mild mountain climb with like 8 switchbacks on the backside of the course. The guy on the Graftek was riding strongly in the pack and I was riding (weakly) in the back of the pack through til the 2nd lap on the mountain. I lost contact with the group at that point though my climbing was decent. From that point forward I rode basically solo for like 5 more laps. The whole time I kept thinking of that elite kid on the Graftek and how my heavy Masi was no match. Well, about 2 laps from the finish, my coach drove up in his Datsun 510 station wagon and said that Mr. Graftek's bottom bracket had failed and he was out of the race. This stoked me enough that I kicked in whatever thrusters I had left and ended up finishing 2nd in the Junior class. Later I inquired about the Graftek and learned that the bottom brackets were prone to loosen up on these frames I think because of excessive flex. These frames seemed exotic at the time, just as the Teledyne Titan did, but unless you weighed less than like 130 pounds they were disastrously flexy.

  10. #10
    Resident Old Fart Olebiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by masiman View Post
    I think it is the Stetina brothers you are referring too, Wayne and Dale.
    I believe John Howard was also on that same team.
    Wag more, bark less

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    Senior Member buddyp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
    Later I inquired about the Graftek and learned that the bottom brackets were prone to loosen up on these frames I think because of excessive flex.
    I seem to recall that they used to break at the brake bridge too. My first cycling coach's wife had one and I think thats how hers failed. I could be wrong -- it was a long time ago.

    At any rate, a neat find but not one that I would put a lot of miles on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olebiker View Post
    I believe John Howard was also on that same team.
    If you are talking about the Hammer team (Indy-Exxon). Bob Shaver and Davis Phinney were also on the team. Some other names were there that I did not recognize.

    I did not know this off the top of my head, I had to look it up.

  13. #13
    sch
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    The Grafteks barely made it through one season, because, as alluded there was a high
    failure rate. They were also not very rigid, especially in the hands of the elite riders
    who were afflicted with them. They were given to most of the national team at the
    time, and the power to weight ration of these riders was way too much for the bike.
    That was in the infancy of the industrialization of carbon fiber (then called graphite
    cloth) and the results were poor. The french bike Alan, had a poor rep for similar reasons,
    glues not up to the job and trying to use tubing too small for the weight because non
    standard tubing sizes could not accomodate standard bike parts. The Alan used Al tubes
    IIRC Graftek was about 1974 or 75. Exxon did a lot of weird stuff back then.

    FWIW Wayne Stetina has been an exec at the American branch of Shimano for
    about 20 yrs. The son of Dale Stetina is a rising pro rider, mentioned in several
    races last year mostly in the US, in his early '20s.

  14. #14
    Resident Old Fart Olebiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by masiman View Post
    If you are talking about the Hammer team (Indy-Exxon). Bob Shaver and Davis Phinney were also on the team. Some other names were there that I did not recognize.

    I did not know this off the top of my head, I had to look it up.
    IIRC, It was the Exxon/Cool Gear team.
    Wag more, bark less

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sch View Post
    The french bike Alan, had a poor rep for similar reasons,
    glues not up to the job and trying to use tubing too small for the weight because non
    standard tubing sizes could not accomodate standard bike parts. The Alan used Al tubes
    The Alan bikes were good enough for the Polish national amateur (remember them) team to win a world championship.
    Wag more, bark less

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sch View Post
    The french bike Alan,
    ALAN is Italian, Vitus is French. Both did bonded aluminium and carbon fibre bikes early on. Sean Kelly did pretty well on a Vitus.

    The early glues weren't great but the galvanic action between aluminium and carbon tended to break down the epoxy also. It was probably a bigger problem (so don't sweat on the joints ).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olebiker View Post
    IIRC, It was the Exxon/Cool Gear team.
    Yes Cool Gear was part of the name at one point also. Hammer Team History

    I did not like the Alan's that much, way too flexy for me. Others liked them, but I do remember the bonding issues. For us unsponsored guys, we couldn't afford premium dollars on a bike with those kind of potential problems. The guys I knew who rode them basically had Daddy's money to spend on the bike. The rest of use were buying used frames from each other, mixing Campy and Suntour, cheaping the pedals, riding tubulars for training and saving sew-ups for race days. But I digress .

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