Grafton Joystix Cranks

Grafton Joystix hit the shelves in May 1992. They were John Grafton’s second attempt at releasing cranks for the mountain bike market – the first is covered in more detail on the Grafton Speed Sticks and Topline Mountain crank pages.

The move from the name ‘Speed Sticks’ to ‘Joystix’ was probably a statement from John Grafton that he was happy to move on from the problems with Precision Tooling – his sense of humour is second to none, as we know from the origins of his Grafton Fat Finger cable hangers!

This time, John Grafton struck a deal with Benson Sim who would produce what would become some of the lightest and most popular boutique mountain bike cranks of their day. These beautifully machined arms and the sweeping spider simply ooze quality. The material of choice was once again 7075-T6 aluminium but this time the entire drive side crank arm with integrated spider was machined from a single billet. The hollowing of the back of the spider and machining away all four edges of the arms keeps the weight down while retaining strength.

One minor issue people had with the low profile Speed Sticks/Topline arms was that they looked too spindly against fat tubed aluminium mountain bike frames, this was no longer a problem with the Joystix.

They were available in crank arm lengths of 170 to 180mm in 2.5mm increments and choice of two triple mountain bike spider configurations; standard Shimano compatible 110mm BCD and also Suntour MicroDrive 94mm/56mm.

The Grafton Speed Sticks/Topline Mountain cranks featured a square taper bottom bracket hole which was inline with the crank arms. Grafton retained this on the Joystix for 1-2 years before rotating the taper by 45 degrees so it was offset from the traditional position. It was assumed that this was to address the high number of failures around the bottom bracket axle of the non-drive side arm. However, failures were still common in this area, which led to the non-drive side arm on later Joystix cranks being re-shaped with a point at the end to add strength. Ironically, British crank specialists Middleburn started with an offset axle for its first generation Middleburn RS1/Rhino cranks, but later dropped it in favour of an inline hole to counter its own crank failures in this area.

Colour choices were limited to Black and Polished (non-anodised) from day one, and other popular anodised colours were available soon after.

Markings – Joystix cranks range from no markings on the back, to just crank arm lengths, to crank arm lengths + “TEI”, to 4-digit numbers + crank arm lengths. In some cases, there is also a difference (possibly due to error as extra material has been taken away) in the machining at the back of the drive side arm on 110mm models.

Production ceased in 1997.

Length: 170-172.5-175-177.5-180mm
Axle: JIS Square taper
Colour: Black, Blue, Purple, Red, Silver, Polished (non-anodised)
Weight: 368g (175mm/110 BCD) for crank arms only
RRP: $220
Made: USA