Thursday, January 14, 2010

Exxon Graftek

Earlier today I stopped by to see AJ at the Peddler’s great new location on Duval ( My purpose was to photograph a classic … the first ever carbon fibre bicycle frame (whatever Kestrel might say).

The Exxon Graftek appeared in 1975 and was the forerunner to all the “glued” carbon fibre frames such as Trek, Look, etc. The carbon fibre tubes were actually an aluminium-carbon fibre hybrid and the beautiful lugs are stainless steel.

The Graftek received lots of publicity as the frame of choice of well-known riders including the Stetina brothers and John Howard.

Sadly, however, it did not last. Like other early lugged carbon frames, the Graftek eventually fell out of favour, primarily due to near-catastrophic bond failure. And that’s a good enough reason not to ride one if you ever get the chance. Still, make sure you stop by AJ's place and take a gander ..... its worth it.


  1. I rode one for playing polo -ATXBPSC- so's I didn't have to ride it on the road at higher speeds and it lasted until yesterday (about 6 months of regular play). The really thin seat stay lug snapped on an endo. It was fun while it lasted. Know anyone who'd want to hang it on their wall? It's got the original carbon fork as well.

    1. Do you still have this bike? I would love to have, even a broken one, just as a memory of a time period in American racing.

  2. I've got a nearly complete one, intact, same chrome fork as this one. Post something here if ur interested.

    1. Do you still have this bike/frame? I would love to have one as part of a collection I'm starting.

  3. Graftek Exxon Leisure Products consisted of
    the following product centers.
    Bicycle products - the Graftek graphite and stainless steel frame.
    Fishing products - 66 models of graphite rods.
    Golf products - a complete line of golf bags and graphite shafted clubs.
    Marine products - masts and other components for windsurfers and catamarans.

    We were based in Raleigh NC. James Rogers was the GM and
    William Selsor was the National Marketing manager.

    In early 1979 Exxon Corporate in NYC required that we sell all divisions.

    William Selsor