'77 Exxon Graftek Project


Dirt Disciple
I've long been fascinated by older carbon fiber bikes, mostly the carbon tube and metal lug variety, and the Exxon Graftek was really one of the first on the market having been sold from the mid to late 70's which makes it all the more cool. My particular frame is from 1977 and features stainless steel lugs/drops, carbon/aluminum tubes, and a steel fork.

My goal has been to restore the bike to riding condition with a period Shimano build and a few modern components for comfort/availability. I debated for a while what group to build it with, I've seen a museum example that had a Suntour groupset, I had partial Campy group I could use, or I considered first gen Dura Ace. What sealed my choice on the Dura Ace was the black finish Shimano did for first gen in '78-'79. Its a beautiful groupset and perfect for this frame.



One of the biggest issues I had for this build was obtaining a seat post. These frames used a 23.8mm seat post which has just been impossible to find, there are a few older French frames that use this size but I never could find one available. The seat post currently on the bike is a modern manufactured 24mm post which I had machined down to 23.8mm.

The decals on the downtube were a little beat up as you can see in the earlier pictures. I found an NOS set of originals and have installed those.

Currently I am just waiting on a BB to begin final assembly. The NOS Dura Ace one I found in Germany went missing in the mail and I've not been able to source one in the US so I have a nice White Industries BB on order now.

I do get comments about the issues with these frames and how they come apart. I own a few of these bonded frames and am aware of how to inspect them and what to look/listen for while inspecting. After cleaning this frame up and having owned it for over 5 years now I believe at this time that the frame is still ridable but I do continue to monitor the frame's condition and have been working on a restoration plan should the worst happen.

Current Build List:
Frame: Exxon Graftek '77
Fork: Exxon Steel

Headset: Shimano Dura Ace UA-100 Black
Stem: Cinelli 1a
Handlebar: 3ttt Superleggeri Gimondi
Bar Tape: Newbaum Cloth Black

Brake Levers/Brifters: Shimano Dura Ace MA-100
Brake Calipers: Shimano Dura Ace BA-100 Black

Shifters: Shimano Dura Ace Black
Front Derailleur: Shimano Dura Ace EA-100 Black
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Dura Ace RD-7100 Black
Freewheel: Shimano Dura Ace FA-100 5spd
Chain: Shimano HG71
Cranks: Shimano Dura Ace GA-200 Black
Bottom Bracket: White Industries Square Taper 113mm
Pedals: Crank Brothers Eggbeater 1

Rims: Velocity A23 High Polish
Hubs: Shimano Dura Ace Low Flange Black
Hub Skewers: Shimano Dura Ace
Nipples: DT Swiss Black
Spokes: Sapim Double Butted
Tyres: Veloflex Record Clincher
Tubes: Continental Race Supersonic

Saddle: Brooks C13 Special
Seatpost: Yellow Jersey 24mm (Machined to 23.:cool:

Extras: Brake Housing Clips: Shimano Dura Ace

Weight: 9.28kg (Projected)









rBotM Winner
PoTM Winner
Loving that Particular Dura Ace Gruppo :) very very rare to have a complete set these days!


Dirt Disciple
Quick update today. Out of the blue the Dura Ace BB which I thought lost in the mail showed up after 4 months.

I'll start final assembly soon.



Dirt Disciple
Finished the build today and took some nicer photos of it. Still salt on the roads here but I'm hoping to get it out for a maiden ride soon.