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World's First Carbon bike?

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World's First Carbon bike?

Old 05-02-10, 05:38 AM
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World's First Carbon bike?


a 1969-1970 Carlton
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Old 05-02-10, 05:42 AM
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Did DREW get ahold of that thing? It looked like a single speed crank on that bike.
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Old 05-02-10, 05:55 AM
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Interesting bit about the construction technique.

Clairvoyant that this "1969" bike has a "1971 World Professional Sprint Championship" decal on it.

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Old 05-02-10, 06:35 AM
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decal coulda been added later, not to mention all the post 69-70 parts.
I heard the first proto type carbon bike was done in '69 so its possible I suppose.
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Old 05-02-10, 12:35 PM
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Not even close. They have been building carbon iron bikes since the turn of the century.
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Old 05-02-10, 01:07 PM
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'71 World Championship sticker, Super Record chainring, Modolo Kronos brake levers, Dura-Ace EX sidepulls (unbolted), post-'78 Cinelli bar and stem, Simplex LJ 4000 RD, Valentino 5-speed clamp-on shifter, badged as a Carlton Flyer, etc.

Note particularly this claim in the discussion:

"...but it's of the year-"
"Yes, yes."

I don't buy it. Not one look at the downtube decal either.


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Old 05-02-10, 03:17 PM
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Look, it's an experimental technology platform. It's bound to have parts swapped on and off of it for a variety of reasons...I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, especially given the primitive look of the lugs. However, I'm still going to give the nod to the Exxon Graftek as the first real production carbon frame.
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Old 05-03-10, 09:30 AM
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I too am willing to give the benefit of the doubt. By most people's recollections, Exxon-Graftek is indeed recognized as the first production bike to use CF (much like Teledyne is credited with the first Ti bike at around the same time), but that doesn't mean there weren't a few boffins here and there that were toying with it years earlier and Carlton would've certainly had the resources to experiment. The material has certainly been around long enough. I remember as a kid my dad and Roger Paris, one of the premier kayak builders of the day, building a CF kayak. This was prior to the '72 Olympics and the kayak was a monocoque construction (I still have that kayak and in spite of some pretty rough whitewater use, it's held up just fine, so phooey to all those who don't think CF is tough). I don't think there's too much disconnect otherwise. The owner calls it '69 or '70 and the decal is 1970-71 so let's use a simple Venn diagram and call it a '70. He does say that parts are not original (I think the interviewer actually says "of the era" an not "of the year," which if we generalize as "70s," is probably acceptable). In any case, it's a pretty cool example of using and applying the materials that were around and appropriate for the time. I often wonder with everything "going green," will Calfee's bamboo be the next thing to go mainstream and what will we say about it 40 years from now?
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Old 05-03-10, 09:45 AM
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I saw an image of this as a frame and fork only in 1971. Curious that it was never really seen of again. The joinery we felt was clamp only, high strength adhesives were NASA territory back then. There was the Exxon Graphtek, and I raced against a guy with an oversized carbon tubed, aluminum welded lug frame called a Composite USA, never in serious production, it was raceable, and was on the right track with oversized tubes. Company was from San Diego, in 1975.
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