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Late 70s Exxon Graftek

Old 01-21-19, 04:58 PM
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Late 70s Exxon Graftek


Got a late 70s Exxon Graftek. Needed the parts on it. Read a bit about them. First stab at carbon frames. What do you guys think?
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Old 01-21-19, 05:21 PM
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Good size, has the carbon sleeved fork
i test rode one way back- I thought the Klein was more interesting.
there was a short lived oversized tubed carbon frame with welded up aluminum lugs out of SanDiego- that was better but never really got beyond the prototype phase
it was as stiff as a Klein but lighter.
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Old 01-22-19, 07:29 AM
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The bike of the Indy/Cool Gear/Exxon team of the mid 70's. I thought there was some kind of black magic voodoo in those frames. The best riders were riding them and winning everything. A great bit of american cycling history wrapped up in those frames.
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Old 01-22-19, 11:46 AM
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I have a Campagnolo seatpost that has been machined specifically for a Graftek frame. If you are interested, send me a PM.
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Old 01-24-19, 01:55 AM
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The Exxon Graftek should be a fun bike project. The carbon fork is a plus.

It will be a bit of a hassle tracking down Nuovo Record parts if you choose to go that way. But, quite a few are available.

The bikes aren't that high in value. You're probably looking at around $300 for the frame. maybe a bit more for the carbon fork.

Fully restored and ready to ride, maybe around $600 or so.
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Old 01-27-19, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
The bike of the Indy/Cool Gear/Exxon team of the mid 70's. I thought there was some kind of black magic voodoo in those frames. The best riders were riding them and winning everything. A great bit of american cycling history wrapped up in those frames.
the Stetina brothers would have won on most anything.
Teamwork, family support, talent.
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Old 01-27-19, 10:25 AM
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Great piece of racing history I would guess $400-500 for the frame and fork. These frames have held up a lot better than most mid 70's racing frame sets.
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Old 01-27-19, 10:48 AM
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Old 01-27-19, 07:54 PM
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I loved these bikes and the Stetina's rode them well, but they had issues. The bonding (glue) required to join them was not great, so the carbon wrapped aluminum tubes routinely "unplug" from the beautiful stainless steel lugs. We sold 2 in-the-day and both unplugged, one was being ridden by my biz partner on a Polar Bear ride. Not catastrophic but just all of a sudden got loosy goosy.There's no reason why they could not be re-boned but I have not heard of that actually being done. The carbon fork was a later addition, which was just carbon sheets wrapped around a steel fork. Nice little barrier bands were brazed on before chroming to make the wrapping neat. These frames also were not particularly stiff, not as noodley as the Teledynes, but only slightly lighter than steel and slightly more flexy. Stiil it would be fun to habe a nice example, all built era correct. IMO Graftek was a brave try by a neat bunch of enthusiasts. (Wonder how Dale Stetina is doing these days, a few years after his accident?)
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Old 01-28-19, 09:15 AM
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Wow thanks for all the great info guys I really appreciate it! When I got it, it came complete decked out in full campy record. Kinda interesting it was USA made but had an Italian thread bb. What ever happened to stetina? What accident was he in?
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Old 01-31-19, 04:08 PM
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I dont know to much about these bikes, but there is one on e bay and the owner is asking $3450, and its Campy-free and 64cm! Yikes. Of course he may not get that, but the fact that he is asking that much means these are likely worth a lot more than what some posters here have said.

It is a first and that means something.
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Old 01-31-19, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Giacomo 1 View Post
I dont know to much about these bikes, but there is one on e bay and the owner is asking $3450, and its Campy-free and 64cm! Yikes. Of course he may not get that, but the fact that he is asking that much means these are likely worth a lot more than what some posters here have said.

It is a first and that means something.
I've always liked these bikes even if they were whippy. One of the guys in the shop I worked in had one and it was (and is) an interesting bike.

That said, I don't think the fact that someone asked $3450 on eBay means much if anything in terms of what one of these might be worth. You can buy one heck of a beautiful vintage bike for a whole lot less than $3450 even on eBay.
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Old 01-31-19, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I've always liked these bikes even if they were whippy. One of the guys in the shop I worked in had one and it was (and is) an interesting bike.

That said, I don't think the fact that someone asked $3450 on eBay means much if anything in terms of what one of these might be worth. You can buy one heck of a beautiful vintage bike for a whole lot less than $3450 even on eBay.
I did say he might not get his price, but one poster said $300 for the frame and $600 complete. That IMHO is way low. This bike was an important first and loaded with Campy, I'd say no less than $1000 and likely a bit north of that. It's a special bike for a special owner.
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Old 01-31-19, 04:43 PM
  #14  
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I actually purchased two Graftek frames on E-Bay.

December 2016, Frame + a few bits. Has some clearcoat issues, but otherwise seems to be good, replacement decals. Steel fork. Late model stainless lugs. $425 + $75 shipping, $500 total.

April 2017, $106.50 + $170 shipping ($276 total). Complete bike, mixed components. Early generation with carbon steel lugs. No decals. steel fork.

I'll try to get one or both on the road soon???

Who knows, I could run into something unexpected, and end up with an expensive paper weight.

There was someone who sold one on BikeForums recently. I think the ultimate sale price was $799 for a complete bike.
Exxon Mobil Graftek -- As Received

The ultimate value of a bike will depend a bit on the bike and the build, and connecting the bike with the right buyer, but one shouldn't expect the bikes to be worth a fortune.

Still, they should be a nice piece of nostalgic history.
@SweetPete10 has the carbon fork, which seems to be somewhat more rare, but frankly, I'd be a bit more concerned with riding the bike with a carbon fork than a steel fork.
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Old 01-31-19, 06:15 PM
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Most recent followed on ebay (Jan 2019) was an Exxon Graftek described from the estate of the late Steve Fossett, (tycoon and record seeking adventurer). It was listed by a bike dealer Wildwood near St. Louis. Recall it was approx. $1000, Campagnolo built less the wheelset.

Fascinating and collectable but not one recommended to heavily use.
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Old 01-31-19, 07:21 PM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I actually purchased two Graftek frames on E-Bay.

December 2016, Frame + a few bits. Has some clearcoat issues, but otherwise seems to be good, replacement decals. Steel fork. Late model stainless lugs. $425 + $75 shipping, $500 total.

April 2017, $106.50 + $170 shipping ($276 total). Complete bike, mixed components. Early generation with carbon steel lugs. No decals. steel fork.

I'll try to get one or both on the road soon???

Who knows, I could run into something unexpected, and end up with an expensive paper weight.

There was someone who sold one on BikeForums recently. I think the ultimate sale price was $799 for a complete bike.
Exxon Mobil Graftek -- As Received

The ultimate value of a bike will depend a bit on the bike and the build, and connecting the bike with the right buyer, but one shouldn't expect the bikes to be worth a fortune.

Still, they should be a nice piece of nostalgic history.
@SweetPete10 has the carbon fork, which seems to be somewhat more rare, but frankly, I'd be a bit more concerned with riding the bike with a carbon fork than a steel fork.
I guess you are a special owner! Of 2 Grafteks!

Sounds like you did pretty well on those deals. This might be a case of a bike tht runs the gamut of price range, from very low to high. Since there isn't really a "market" for this bike like there is for Raleigh or Colnago, it's tough to say where this bike lands in price. It's sort of a speciality or a unique find and to the right buyer, who really knows what it is worth...
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Old 02-01-19, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
@SweetPete10 has the carbon fork, which seems to be somewhat more rare, but frankly, I'd be a bit more concerned with riding the bike with a carbon fork than a steel fork.
The fork is actually 531 steel with a carbon wrap on it....So,they should be safe to ride on......Exxon did not have the technology/designthen for a full carbon fork, so they made a sort of "pretend" one to complete the bike's aesthetics.....
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Old 04-25-19, 07:15 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by crank_addict View Post
Most recent followed on ebay (Jan 2019) was an Exxon Graftek described from the estate of the late Steve Fossett, (tycoon and record seeking adventurer). It was listed by a bike dealer Wildwood near St. Louis. Recall it was approx. $1000, Campagnolo built less the wheelset.

Fascinating and collectable but not one recommended to heavily use.

Sorry to revive an old thread, but I came across this when researching Exxon Grafteks, and I bought this bike! I paid $1100US on eBay 9th Jan 2019.

As for proof that it was ever owned by the legendary Steve Fossett, solo around the world balloonist, sailor, aviator, adventurer, holder of at least 109 official world records - unfortunately I only have the word of the seller. Apparently it was consigned to the seller by Steve Fossett's brother in law who lives near the seller's bike shop. This kind of checks out, as in his autobiography, Steve says that his sister lives in Missouri.

It is a long story, but I live in Australia and the seller would not ship outside the USA, so I had it shipped to my brother in law who lives in Texas. He recently brought it with him on a visit to Australia, and I now finally (3 months after purchase) have it in my possession.

I have stripped it down, cleaned it, reassembled it, put some wheels and pedals on it, and took it for a 50km shake down ride yesterday.

Here is Steve's build configuration, which came to me without pedals and wheels:
  • Exxon Graftek 60cm frame (1872g including headset cups and seatpost binder bolt)
    • Graphite covered steel fork with Haden crown (784g including headset crown race)
    • Stainless steel rear dropouts (123mm spacing) with Graftek 'G' logo cast in
    • Serial no 1675 stamped on inside of drive side rear dropout
    • Frame size 60 stamped on inside of both rear dropouts
    • Squared off aluminium 2 piece sandwich style rear brake bridge
  • Campagnolo seat post binder bolt -(male half Sugino)
  • Teledyne titanium bottom bracket spindle (86g) - missing titanium bolts (has steel Sugino)
  • Campagnolo thick bottom bracket cups and bearings - BSA thread (118g)
  • Campagnolo Record cranks
    • Drive side 1973 (256g)
    • Non-drive side 1977 (180g)
  • Campagnolo 45/42 Super Record Chainrings
  • Campagnolo Super Record down tube friction shift levers (56g)
  • Campagnolo Super Record rear derailleur 1978 (176g)
  • Campagnolo Super Record front derailleur (94g)
  • Campagnolo Super Record 2 bolt 26mm seat post, machined down to 23.8mm (234g)
  • Avocet Racing III Saddle
  • Campagnolo Super Record headset (58g excluding cups and crown race)
  • Cinelli 1A 90mm Stem
  • Cinelli Giro d'Italia handlebar
  • Galli Super Criterium brake levers (had perished Modolo 919 hoods)
  • Galli Super Criterium brake calipers (missing Galli brake pad holders, has non period correct Shimano pads) (calipers 96g excluding pads)
  • Blackburn Swerve stainless steel bottle cages (not period correct)
  • Shimano Dura Ace CN-7700 chain (not period correct)
  • Cable ties for brake cable on top tube (not period correct)
I am guessing that Steve bought this bike in around 1978. From the bike setup I have determined that Steve had long legs (60cm frame) yet short arms (90mm stem), which may go some way to explaining how he amassed such a large fortune, as he would never have been able to reach deep into his pockets!

My plans for this build are
  • 1970s Weyless bottle cage (already have)
  • 1970s Weyless front + 126mm rear 36h hubs and skewers (already have)
  • Campagnolo Super Record crank dust caps
  • Campagnolo brake cable top tube clips
  • Campagnolo Pro Fit pedals (for practicality)
  • Rims - will run 700c no problem. I have a pair of Mavic Open Pro CD rims (current) I am thinking of using, or Chinese 24mm deep carbon rims (Steve liked composite materials), or should I go period correct?
  • Suntour Winner Pro Ultra 7 freewheel (for practicality)
  • Benotto bar tape
To make it rideable, I have temporarily put on a set of 27" wheels off my Teledyne Titan (Weyless hubs (120mm rear) Sun Rims M13ii (modern) polished rims) with Suntour Winner Pro Ultra 6 freewheel.

As for how Steve's Graftek rides, it is surprisingly nice. It feels precise and has a good road feel, which is probably due to the steel fork. It feels a lot closer to my Colnago Master than my Teledyne Titan. I kept to the flats on my first ride as I didn't want the frame to suffer an unscheduled spontaneous disassembly during a fast descent in the hills. From what I could see inside the bottom bracket shell, seat post and head tube, when I had it stripped down, the epoxy looks like it is still holding together. Fingers crossed!

I would post some pictures, but that will have to wait until I have 10 posts...

Ben
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Old 11-17-20, 03:10 AM
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Hello.

I'm interested, somebody is selling a frameset in 55 to 58cm size?

Regards
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Old 11-19-20, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by hazetguy View Post
I have a Campagnolo seatpost that has been machined specifically for a Graftek frame. If you are interested, send me a PM.
Hate to bring up such an old post but I gotta follow up any leads I can. I don't suppose you still have this seat post?

I've had one of these frames sitting for years and am finally getting back to building it up, I've been looking to have another post turned down to the right size but if I could find one already sized correctly that would be ideal.
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Old 11-19-20, 09:18 PM
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I have a campy post that has been machined. But, it is my opinion that it was machined too thin.

It would be fine for display purposes, but I would not sell it to anybody that intended to put any significant miles on it.

I still have to decide if I want to keep it with the bike and try to reinforce, or sell.
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Old 11-19-20, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I have a campy post that has been machined. But, it is my opinion that it was machined too thin.

It would be fine for display purposes, but I would not sell it to anybody that intended to put any significant miles on it.

I still have to decide if I want to keep it with the bike and try to reinforce, or sell.
Thanks for getting back to me. I would be riding this bike occasionally so that post wouldn't work for me. Thanks again.
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