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Cabling and component oddities on Lotus Grand Prix?

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Cabling and component oddities on Lotus Grand Prix?

Old 08-02-15, 04:23 PM
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LaissezPasser
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Cabling and component oddities on Lotus Grand Prix?

I just bought a Lotus Grand Prix for my wife to ride as an urban commuter. I'm now inspecting it more closely for needed repairs in anticipation of stripping down this gritty old city gal and giving her a scrub. I found two unusual (to me) features of the brake and shifter cabling. Perhaps someone could advise on how to approach the rebuild:

1) There's an odd, roughly inch-long, protrusion on top of the front brake hood where the cable emerges; it doesn't appear on the right (rear) brake hood, and I haven't seen it on other bikes I've had with similar components. Is this a feature? A fix? Would it be advisable to swap out the front brake hood (or any of this Grand Prix's components, for that matter) with Dia Compe or SunTour components stripped from my '85 Fuji Sagres?
I'm not clear where either bike's components stand, hierarchically, in relation to each other.

2) Is this shifter cable supposed to look like this, or does it need to be replaced?

3) Advice on any issues I might not be seeing?
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Old 08-02-15, 04:28 PM
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That protruding peice is what's left of a mirror that some cyclist seem to want on their bike.

She should enjoy the Lotus once it is cleaned up.
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Old 08-02-15, 04:45 PM
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The left shifter's cable housing stop appears to have frozen in a position almost perpendicular to the intended path of the cable. Rotate it downward.
the cable might be usable still, since it's not such a frequently-used, accuracy-dependent, mission-critical or safety-related cable there.

Those are the preferred version of those shifters, positioning the lever's axis ahead of the stem quill. These are suitable even for the longer stems, with less likelihood of unwanted knee contact, and easier access whilst one's hand is perhaps still on the bar.

And I would want to make certain that possible failure under compression of the plastic mirror remains cannot allow the front brake cable to lose it's housing compression support when the brake is in use, which could pose a serious hazard if/when the brake suddenly quit working.

Last edited by dddd; 08-02-15 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 08-02-15, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
She should enjoy the Lotus once it is cleaned up.
Thanks very much. Judging by the grime as I strip her down, this Lotus has endured two Boston winters without having ever been cleaned once!
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Old 08-03-15, 08:03 AM
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Welcome to the Forum, BTW !

The way people speak of "Boston Winters " I do not think I would like them. Make sure the fenders stay on the bike, we commuters really need them. Is the set up going to stay leaned forward or go for a more upright position ?

Have fun with the project.

Last edited by 3speedslow; 08-03-15 at 08:05 AM. Reason: mis thumbed
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Old 08-03-15, 08:07 AM
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Did someone say "Boston winter"?

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Old 08-03-15, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
That protruding peice is what's left of a mirror that some cyclist seem to want on their bike.
Mirrycle was the brand. Actually a very good product that installed on a conventional (non-aero) brake lever. They were susceptible to being knocked about. Never saw one break like that but experienced other types of breakage on my own; glass shatters, mounting sleeve cracks at one of the small bolts and no longer holds mounting tension, etc. The plastic is fairly strong but it's out at the end of a long lever when your bike inevitably topples over and something has to give.

That plastic piece actually has a hollow metal bolt going through it with a nut on the end, inside the lever. That is how the Mirrycle mounts to the lever. The stop for the brake cable housing is a shoulder on the inside of the hole through which the cable passes. No need to worry about it compressing/collapsing under braking. It may look odd right now, but in the bike's current condition I'd say it is the thing least likely to interfere with braking if the nut is still tight.

If you remove it you'll need a standard ferrule to take its place as the cable stop on the brake lever, something like a DC #94 piece would do it.



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Old 08-03-15, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Did someone say "Boston winter"?

Uncle, Uncle !
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Old 08-03-15, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
The left shifter's cable ... might be usable still, since it's not such a frequently-used, accuracy-dependent, mission-critical or safety-related cable there. [...] I would want to make certain that possible failure under compression of the plastic mirror remains cannot allow the front brake cable to lose it's housing compression support when the brake is in use, which could pose a serious hazard if/when the brake suddenly quit working.
After closer inspection, I've decided to replace all the cabling entirely. Too much pinching, corrosion, and fraying to try rehabilitating.

Originally Posted by dddd View Post
Those are the preferred version of those shifters, positioning the lever's axis ahead of the stem quill. These are suitable even for the longer stems, with less likelihood of unwanted knee contact, and easier access whilst one's hand is perhaps still on the bar.
That's really helpful; thanks! One component swap I am still tempted to make, though, is changing out the rear center-pull caliper brake with my Fuji's side-pull Dia Compe 500N caliper brake. It seems simpler and easier to service, no? Would that be advisable (notwithstanding a mismatch with the front brake)?

Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
Make sure the fenders stay on the bike, we commuters really need them. Is the set up going to stay leaned forward or go for a more upright position?
The fenders are definitely going back on when I'm through cleaning her; they've even spurred me to go buy a pair of my own.
I've never found the drop bars on bicycles of this vintage to be as comfortable as drops on their more modern touring and racing cousins. My wife has experienced neither, and though I've extolled the virtues of drop bars to her, I'm reticent to set her up with a configuration that has a chance of turning her off drop bars for good. I'm thinking bullhorn handlebars with TT brake levers might be a good, semi-upright compromise. I have a generic pair laying around, though these would add an extra centimeter or two of reach beyond the forwardmost extent of the original drop bars. It's a bit of a gamble whether the slightly longer bullhorns will be comfortable or not, though I suppose they can always be trimmed with a hacksaw.

Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
If you remove it you'll need a standard ferrule to take its place as the cable stop on the brake lever, something like a DC #94 piece would do it.
A-ha! So that's what it's called! Thanks.

Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Did someone say "Boston winter"?
Uncle, Uncle !
And here the Lotus is now, sunning herself dry after a dip -- and trying to forget all those frigid, snowy nights spent outside on the streets of Boston.
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