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Vintage Lotus Unique find

Old 11-20-18, 09:29 PM
  #1  
Dave P
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Vintage Lotus Unique find





Hi Vintage Bike Gurus:

My wife recently traded a 90's Jamis MTB for a sight unseen "bike" with a friend, hoping the new bike would be a good fit for my daughter (the Jamis was too small to ride).

She shows up with a very cool looking bike - a Lotus Unique. I did a bit of research, and I believe the bike is a 1980-1981 "early model." My daughter is not thrilled with the geometry of a road bike, so I'm thinking of selling the bike, or riding it to local vintage bike shows. The Unique is in incredible condition, and I am curious as to what you might think the bike is worth. Here are some specifics:

-Black frame with chrome accents.
-Shimano 600 components.
-Six speed.
-"Super Maxy" is stamped on the crank arms.
-"Made in Japan" label
-Serial #KS06660
-~51CM size

Extension lever brake handles are on the bike, but it came with a nice set of fresh S600 levers and a cool handlebar bag.

I'm a bit too large for the 51cm frame, but I put a few miles on the bike today.
She is a solid ride, but needs an adjustment to kick the chain up to the large cog. Stopping power is anemic, as well.

I'm going to try to post a few images.

Thank you for any input!

Last edited by Dave P; 11-20-18 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 11-20-18, 11:28 PM
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$120-150 or so. Nothing special and the market has completely died except for the high end. Still a great bike. I'd ride it. Is the front wheel a steel replacement? If so maybe $100?
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Old 11-21-18, 07:25 AM
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You can do better than $120 for sure. I have flipped a few Lotus bikes and the name is almost lost to many.

When I was a kid they were popular bikes, but nobody remembers them. And that is what's hurting the value. I would want $200 in that condition.
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Old 11-21-18, 07:55 AM
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A quick glance at Tucson C/L shows some really nice bikes in the $100 to $200 price range. I would probably start at $200, but you might have to take less. Write a great ad with superior pictures! Meanwhile in Portland, OR someone might ask $400 for it....

Last edited by wrk101; 11-21-18 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 11-21-18, 09:49 AM
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With lower priced bikes condition is big. It almost never gets mentioned on here but what is available for the money out there in the $200 price range. Not much in clean nice condition.
As a seller you have to be realistically aggressive, and ask yourself a question. Do you want a fast nickel, or a slow dime.
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Old 11-21-18, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
A quick glance at Tucson C/L shows some really nice bikes in the $100 to $200 price range. I would probably start at $200, but you might have to take less. Write a great ad with superior pictures! Meanwhile in Portland, OR someone might ask $400 for it....
+1. Also remove the bag, if you don't want it, sell it separately. The bike won't bring any more with it attached.

I'd also remove the reflectors (hand them to the buyer), and the attachment for a lock.
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Old 11-21-18, 07:49 PM
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What? It's not worth $800? Haha...J/K.

I'm thinking that I'll ride this bike a bit on very short jaunts (she's too small for me) and test the waters.
Thank you for your thoughts on this. It really helps me with making a decision.

Originally Posted by StarBiker View Post
You can do better than $120 for sure. I have flipped a few Lotus bikes and the name is almost lost to many.

When I was a kid they were popular bikes, but nobody remembers them. And that is what's hurting the value. I would want $200 in that condition.
StarBiker: Indeed. When I first saw the bike, I thought, "What the heck is a Lotus?" Still though, at first glance, I could tell there was something special here. I've read that the Lotus bikes actually made in Japan were of superior quality, but perhaps today's resale market does not reflect this.

Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
A quick glance at Tucson C/L shows some really nice bikes in the $100 to $200 price range. I would probably start at $200, but you might have to take less. Write a great ad with superior pictures! Meanwhile in Portland, OR someone might ask $400 for it....
wrk101: Interesting note on Portland and Tucson C/L. Most of the bikes that I see on our C/L do not look appealing, but then again, I typically do not know what I'm looking at. I need to get up to Portland for some road cycling next summer.

Originally Posted by StarBiker View Post
With lower priced bikes condition is big. It almost never gets mentioned on here but what is available for the money out there in the $200 price range. Not much in clean nice condition.
As a seller you have to be realistically aggressive, and ask yourself a question. Do you want a fast nickel, or a slow dime.
StarBiker: I want a slow dime, or a nice old bike to show and/or ride now and then. Excellent point on much of the selection out there in not so clean condition.

Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
+1. Also remove the bag, if you don't want it, sell it separately. The bike won't bring any more with it attached.

I'd also remove the reflectors (hand them to the buyer), and the attachment for a lock.
lostarchitect: Good point, and well taken. I'm a classic car guy, so all the OEM/period correct stuff, as worthless as it might be, stays on for photos. This is not a classic car.

Originally Posted by coolkat View Post
$120-150 or so. Nothing special and the market has completely died except for the high end. Still a great bike. I'd ride it. Is the front wheel a steel replacement? If so maybe $100?
coolkat: I'm guessing the front wheel is not a replacement, as the stamp is the same as the rear - UKAIRIM 27x1/4. The stamps are not aligned the same, though.
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Old 11-21-18, 09:46 PM
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With the chrome socks, 6 speed and, Shimano 600 side pull brakes, I'd guess that it's around a 1980 - 82 era bike. Made in Japan is a big plus. It's complete. I'd ditch the reflector on the wheel. But, save the front and rear frame reflectors. Seat post too low. Handlebar stem too high. Looks like the tires are OK. Lotus bikes were above average items. If it has a Tange tube sticker it might be worth $200 - $250 to the right buyer. Personally, I would try and buy that for as little as possible (less than $100) and convert it to an upright handlebar city bike.
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Old 11-22-18, 03:53 PM
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Having sold more than a few bikes in the Tucson market and seen how things are going lately your best bet (if you want it to move) is a $150 ask and then see what happens. More than that and all you're gonna do is fill a CL spot and hit 'renew' periodically. Sucks, but that's where we are.
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Old 11-22-18, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
With the chrome socks, 6 speed and, Shimano 600 side pull brakes, I'd guess that it's around a 1980 - 82 era bike. Made in Japan is a big plus. It's complete. I'd ditch the reflector on the wheel. But, save the front and rear frame reflectors. Seat post too low. Handlebar stem too high. Looks like the tires are OK. Lotus bikes were above average items. If it has a Tange tube sticker it might be worth $200 - $250 to the right buyer. Personally, I would try and buy that for as little as possible (less than $100) and convert it to an upright handlebar city bike.
I've corrected the circus-like seat and stem positions. She looks much better now.
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Old 11-22-18, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Fahrenheit531 View Post
Having sold more than a few bikes in the Tucson market and seen how things are going lately your best bet (if you want it to move) is a $150 ask and then see what happens. More than that and all you're gonna do is fill a CL spot and hit 'renew' periodically. Sucks, but that's where we are.
Bummer re the Tucson market! I'm thinking I might try the GABA Bike Swap Meet. Of course, I'll probably end up spending a bunch of cash there for "stuff" that I do not really need, though.
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