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1983 Lotus Classique - new build

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1983 Lotus Classique - new build

Old 07-11-15, 12:26 PM
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gugie 
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1983 Lotus Classique - new build

A guy was showing this at a bike fair/sidewalk sale. I was showing some parts and the bikes my kids had outgrown. I did well, sold one of the bikes, 5 wheels, a few odds and ends. By the time I was packing up the guy with the Lotus was gone. The local bike shop helped me track him down, we met up and a deal was made.

It was a bit dirty, had mis-matched wheels, and the original Shimano 600 Arabesque group. I cleaned the frame, touched up a couple of scratches, waxed her up, then rebuilt with a combination of parts I had and a new purchases, some from the local non-profit used parts bin.



SunTour Cyclone GT rear, MkII front, SRAM 12-28 8 speed cassette on Shimano 105 hubs, VO Grand Cru 50.4 BCD 46/30 compact double


Cockpit: Nitto Technomic tall stem, 44cm Modolo bars, Rustine gum hoods, VO JIS alloy HS was used instead of the stock Shimano 600EX Arabesque, as the OEM headset stack was too tall to add an alloy brake hanger. Crane bell as a finishing trouch


SunTour Command shift levers in friction mode-I have large hands, and very large palms, so I can wrap them around both the bars and the shifters as a comfortable position. Bars have a base layer of cloth tape under Cinelli gel cork, finished with amber shellac and twine. Yes, I see that I missed a spot


MAFAC Competition brakes, VO Croissant bag.


MAFAC Competition brakes allow me to use Jack Brown 33.333 tires with room to spare. I originally had VO adjustable brake pads, but the room that the adjustable toe-in bits took up made it impossible to remove the wheels without deflating the tires. Going back to the OEM holders and salmon pad replacements give me both good braking, and keep my tires inflated when I remove them.

Fastback stays are a nice touch on this frame. Ideale 90 Rebour saddle, polished Laprade seatpost
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Last edited by gugie; 07-12-15 at 10:22 AM. Reason: pics
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Old 07-11-15, 12:37 PM
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Very cool.
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Old 07-11-15, 02:01 PM
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Very cool.
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Old 07-11-15, 03:04 PM
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Looks great!
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Old 07-11-15, 03:18 PM
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Well done!

Cheers,
Chris
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Old 07-11-15, 03:20 PM
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Very nice looking bike! And a nice mix of components--excellent function and good looks, too.
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Old 07-11-15, 03:57 PM
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It is beautiful, nice job.
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Old 07-11-15, 08:09 PM
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I'm jealous. Great job.
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Old 07-11-15, 08:49 PM
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Love your work! I had a 1984 Classique myself. Beautiful bike, just too small unfortunately. I found mine during the golden age of thrift stores (7-8 years ago), when you could find incredible bikes at thrift stores that weren't immediately gone in ten seconds.
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Old 07-12-15, 07:16 AM
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Well done!
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Old 07-12-15, 07:24 AM
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Nice work!

How do you like the Rustine hoods?
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Old 07-12-15, 07:32 AM
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1st gen Cyclone is the prettiest derailleur ever made, IMO.
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Old 07-12-15, 09:25 AM
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Tsunoda would be glad to know you've kept it going in such a nice manner.
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Old 07-12-15, 09:39 AM
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wow, elegant and practical, my favorite features in a bike. this is stunning.
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Old 07-12-15, 09:40 AM
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Well done! Are the crank arms VO or just the chainrings? The cranks look like the new SunTour offering.......
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Old 07-12-15, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by icepick_trotsky View Post
1st gen Cyclone is the prettiest derailleur ever made, IMO.
Tie with Huret Jubilee, IMO. But the Cyclone breaks the tie by actually shifting when you want it to.

Quick update: The short cage Cyclone didn't have enough chain wrap, I was going to live with that and keep out of the small-small combos, but it just wasn't shifting well-off it went and on went a long cage version (but still 1st gen), even though I was saving it for another build. Just took this bike out on a 45 miler yesterday with some climbing. Shifting is sweet now. About 4 miles was on a gravel/dirt road, the 33.333s handled it well.

One scary thing-the MAFAC levers I'm using have a slot in the top of the cast aluminum part under the hoods to make it easier to put the cable in. On a downhill the cable slipped forward through the slot. I was using some Jagwire ends that have a protrusion that fits into the hole at the top of the hood, since the brakes didn't come with adjusting barrels. I can micro-adjust the brakes using the cable stops I'm using, so I'm now looking for some MAFAC levers that don't have the slot in the front, hoping they're compatible with the posts so I don't have to redo the tape job.

The other bike I like to ride is low trail, the front end seems light and twitchy in comparison. The shifter position right next to the brake levers is perhaps even better than bar end shifters. Note that you can't really use aero levers with the Command shifters-the cables for the brakes typically exit the lever right where the shift cables route. I tried different combinations of lever positions to try to make aero work, but they all compromised either the shifter or the brake lever position. Years ago aero levers weren't around, we all looped our cables up and over the bars and didn't think twice about it. Funny now that you find older bikes that have been in shops for new cables, and the routing is either in front of the bars (wrong!) or too high or low-the fine art of adjusting the perfect curve of a cable housing isn't universally taught anymore, sadly.

The Ideale 90 saddle is a bit different in shape than my Brooks, but my behind was just fine after the ride.
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Old 07-12-15, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by fender1 View Post
Well done! Are the crank arms VO or just the chainrings? The cranks look like the new SunTour offering.......
All VO, the new ones have the VO Grand Cru laser engraving, I think. These were the older model I purchased on close-out.
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Old 07-12-15, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
Nice work!

How do you like the Rustine hoods?
Thanks!

The Rustine hoods are just fine. I've seen the MAFAC reproductions that the guy in Spain is making, outside of MAFAC logo on the sides, they're fairly crude looking compared to the Rustine model.
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Old 07-12-15, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Thanks!

The Rustine hoods are just fine. I've seen the MAFAC reproductions that the guy in Spain is making, outside of MAFAC logo on the sides, they're fairly crude looking compared to the Rustine model.
I need a set for campy non-aero on this '77 Colnago. This is an initial and affordable choice that can be upgraded later. Thanx!
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Old 07-12-15, 12:31 PM
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Very nice job!
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