Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

My new 1984 Lotus Unique

Old 06-20-18, 10:54 AM
  #1  
robertj298
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
robertj298's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 238
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 193 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 3 Posts
My new 1984 Lotus Unique

Just picked this up yesterday. Beautiful bike and nice ride. Everything is original except for the handlebar tape.





robertj298 is online now  
Old 06-20-18, 10:56 AM
  #2  
Soylent 
Senior Member
 
Soylent's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Central California
Posts: 278
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Wow! That is in great shape. I love the color and the contrast of the head tube. I remember seeing a black Lotus for sale here and really liked the Lotus. Good for you!
__________________
2009 Cinelli Super Corsa
199? Masi Nuova Strada
1988 Centurion Ironman Expert
1987 De Rosa Professional
1987 Weinmann Merckx
1984 Ciocc Designer 84
1983 Guerciotti SL
1982 Guerciotti SL
1981 Gios Torino Super Record
Soylent is offline  
Old 06-20-18, 11:05 AM
  #3  
bikemig 
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 15,129

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 107 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3613 Post(s)
Liked 68 Times in 60 Posts
Originally Posted by Soylent View Post
Wow! That is in great shape. I love the color and the contrast of the head tube. I remember seeing a black Lotus for sale here and really liked the Lotus. Good for you!
+ 1, beautiful bike in fabulous shape. The OP should overhaul the bike and ride the heck out of it.
bikemig is offline  
Old 06-20-18, 11:15 AM
  #4  
tyler_fred
Senior Member
 
tyler_fred's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Sunny Mid-South
Posts: 923

Bikes: '83 Schwinn Super Sport SP, '84 Schwinn Peloton, '86 Schwinn Tempo, '87 Schwinn Circuit, '87 Torelli Super Strada, '87 Cannondale SR500, '91 Bottecchia Professional SL

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 204 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 7 Posts
That looks very nice!
tyler_fred is offline  
Old 06-20-18, 11:18 AM
  #5  
robertj298
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
robertj298's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 238
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 193 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
+ 1, beautiful bike in fabulous shape. The OP should overhaul the bike and ride the heck out of it.
I'm wondering what I would overhaul? The bike rides very well as it is now except for the fact that I've never used friction down tube shifters
and need to get used to them.
robertj298 is online now  
Old 06-20-18, 11:32 AM
  #6  
bikemig 
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 15,129

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 107 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3613 Post(s)
Liked 68 Times in 60 Posts
Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
I'm wondering what I would overhaul? The bike rides very well as it is now except for the fact that I've never used friction down tube shifters
and need to get used to them.
No, you really need to overhaul the hubs, the bottom bracket, and the headset at a minimum plus grease up a lot of the contact points (pedals, freewheel threads, seatpost, bar and stem).

(1) That bike has been sitting a long time and probably has seen few miles so that grease may not be contaminated. Still grease doesn't get better with age and needs to be replaced. Personally I'd replace all the ball bearings as well with new grade 25 bearings.
(2) You don't want the parts on the bike to freeze up on you. Greasing the contact points is important and a lot of bike shops frankly did a crummy job on this. I've worked on a lot of bikes where the seatpost and bar were as dry as a bone.
bikemig is offline  
Old 06-20-18, 12:14 PM
  #7  
gugie 
Crapmaster Emeritus
 
gugie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 7,358

Bikes: JP Weigle'd Raleigh Competition reconstruct, 73 Raleigh Competition 650b'ed, 96 Bike Friday NWT, 83 Lotus Classique, 78 Centurion ProTour, 73 Raleigh Grand Sports

Mentioned: 775 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2217 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 46 Times in 34 Posts
Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
No, you really need to overhaul the hubs, the bottom bracket, and the headset at a minimum plus grease up a lot of the contact points (pedals, freewheel threads, seatpost, bar and stem).

(1) That bike has been sitting a long time and probably has seen few miles so that grease may not be contaminated. Still grease doesn't get better with age and needs to be replaced. Personally I'd replace all the ball bearings as well with new grade 25 bearings.
(2) You don't want the parts on the bike to freeze up on you. Greasing the contact points is important and a lot of bike shops frankly did a crummy job on this. I've worked on a lot of bikes where the seatpost and bar were as dry as a bone.
I'd change that from "need" to "should". It's quite possible that all you mention is well greased, lubed, and adjusted.

But unless you know who you bought it from and trust that it's been kept care of, it's a damn good idea to do so yourself. The list that @bikemig gave you is something you should know how to do if you're getting into vintage bikes. I'd add brake and cable housing replacement if those are dry as well. If you've got the wallet, you can pay for a shop to do it. If you don't and need to learn how, seek out a bike co-op, they'll loan you the tools for a very small fee. If you're really into it, buy your own tools.

Seatpost, bar and stem are simple to remove, regrease, and replace, just takes an allen wrench. Your pedals take a 15mm open end wrench. An adjustable wrench will probably work for you as well. Freewheels need special tools to remove, as do the main bearings - headset and bottom bracket.

I wouldn't necessarily stop you from riding it as-is, but plan for it, soon.

Nothing on that bike screams "top shelf", but all in all it screams "high value". The performance difference between our Lotus and a much more expensive bike from the same time period approaches the law of diminishing returns.

You got a nice one there!
__________________
If someone tells you that you have enough bicycles and you don't need any more, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
gugie is offline  
Old 06-20-18, 01:03 PM
  #8  
devinfan
Senior Member
 
devinfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 1,954
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 87 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 2 Posts
That is a beautiful Lotus, in my favourite of the Lotus colour-schemes. It looks barely used! Well done. You will get used to downtube shifters in no time at all.

devinfan is offline  
Old 06-20-18, 01:09 PM
  #9  
apurane
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Cool bike!
apurane is offline  
Old 06-20-18, 01:27 PM
  #10  
Andy_K 
Senior Member
 
Andy_K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 12,050

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 287 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1739 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 16 Posts
Very, very nice!

Regarding overhaul, I might even tone the advice down a step beyond what gugie said because I hate to scary people away from vintage bikes. Spin everything that bikemig suggested overhauling. If it feels smooth, it's pretty much OK to ride it like that (for as long as it continues to feel smooth). The worst case scenario, if you don't overhaul, is that contamination in the grease or lack of grease will cause damage to the bearing races. Usually it will feel rough before that happens. Often the consequences of not overhauling are just that the bike won't perform as well as it would if you overhauled. Most of the parts that you could damage by not overhauling are cheaply replaceable if you misjudge it. The hubs are the likely exception to that, so that's where I'd prioritize. If your wheels have cartridge bearings (a distinct possibility on that bike), you can even skip the overhaul there.

On the other hand, being able to strip everything down and build it back up again is one of the great joys of vintage bikes. You should consider giving it a go at some point. A co-op, as gugie suggested, is a great place to start. Even if you decide to have someone else do the work, the mechanics at a co-op are more likely to know how to do the work that the young shop rats at many retail stores. Of course, many established bike stores (usually not named Performance Bike or REI) have a gray-haired wizard on staff who will know exactly how to treat your Lotus right.
__________________
My Bikes
Andy_K is offline  
Old 06-21-18, 09:59 AM
  #11  
ptempel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New Jersry the beautiful Garden State
Posts: 1,911

Bikes: 2007 Ridley Excalibur, 2003 Orbea Orca, 199? Cannondale Headshock MTB hardtail

Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 514 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
This practically looks like it was rolled off of the showroom floor. What year is it? Enjoy and let us know how it rides.
ptempel is offline  
Old 06-21-18, 12:39 PM
  #12  
Grand Bois
Senior Member
 
Grand Bois's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pinole, CA, USA
Posts: 17,418
Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 428 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'd like it much better with the brake cables routed behind the handlebars.
Grand Bois is offline  
Old 06-21-18, 12:43 PM
  #13  
ollo_ollo
Senior Member
 
ollo_ollo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Near Sublimity Orygun
Posts: 4,780

Bikes: Still have a few left!

Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 305 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Nice find. The metal head badge means 1982 or earlier, after that they went with decals.

Some riding is probably fine, especially if the hubs were lubed within the last 10 years or so. But, often on really good looking bikes, they were sitting a long time and grease does dry out & harden. If it dried out, but hub is undamaged, the wheel can spin freely. For a while at least, but can wear if not lubed before any long term riding.

All my vintage bikes get regular maintenance, but recently I realized my one "bought new" bike is approaching 18 years without re-lubing the headset. I always think of it as my "new" bike. Don
ollo_ollo is offline  
Old 06-21-18, 03:04 PM
  #14  
The Golden Boy 
Extraordinary Magnitude
 
The Golden Boy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Waukesha WI
Posts: 11,359

Bikes: 1977 Trek TX700; 1978/79 Trek 736; 1984 Specialized Stumpjumper Sport; 1984 Schwinn Voyageur SP; 1985 Trek 620; 1985 Trek 720; 1986 Trek 400 Elance; 1987 Schwinn High Sierra; 1990 Miyata 1000LT

Mentioned: 71 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1712 Post(s)
Liked 45 Times in 35 Posts
That thing is beautiful and it's in amazing shape!

The Mangalloy frame/fork is good stuff. I had a Trek 420 with a Mangalloy frame and hi-ten fork and stays- that bike rode nicely.
__________________
*Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Person Of The Year" Award*

Commence to jigglin’ huh?!?!

"But hey, always love to hear from opinionated amateurs." -says some guy to Mr. Marshall.
The Golden Boy is offline  
Old 06-21-18, 03:11 PM
  #15  
veganbikes
Clark W. Griswold
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Posts: 5,189

Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Pink Klein MTB, Phil Wood VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), Cilo Road Frame, Proteus frame

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1178 Post(s)
Liked 43 Times in 30 Posts
It's a cool old bike. I like the Lotus headbadges from back in the day.

I had a friend who worked at that shop back in the 80s and in true 80s fashion the owner would use his and others paychecks for coke (not the soda).
veganbikes is offline  
Old 06-21-18, 04:12 PM
  #16  
merziac
Senior Member
 
merziac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: PDX
Posts: 4,028

Bikes: Merz x 5 + Specialized Merz Allez x 2, Strawberry/Newlands, Gordon, Fuso/Moulton, Bornstein, Paisley, Paramounts, 3rensho, Moto TC, Raleigh Pro's, Marinoni, 1960 Cinelli SC, 1980 Bianchi SC and more

Mentioned: 92 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1110 Post(s)
Liked 53 Times in 40 Posts
Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
Very, very nice!

Regarding overhaul, I might even tone the advice down a step beyond what gugie said because I hate to scary people away from vintage bikes. Spin everything that bikemig suggested overhauling. If it feels smooth, it's pretty much OK to ride it like that (for as long as it continues to feel smooth). The worst case scenario, if you don't overhaul, is that contamination in the grease or lack of grease will cause damage to the bearing races. Usually it will feel rough before that happens. Often the consequences of not overhauling are just that the bike won't perform as well as it would if you overhauled. Most of the parts that you could damage by not overhauling are cheaply replaceable if you misjudge it. The hubs are the likely exception to that, so that's where I'd prioritize. If your wheels have cartridge bearings (a distinct possibility on that bike), you can even skip the overhaul there.

On the other hand, being able to strip everything down and build it back up again is one of the great joys of vintage bikes. You should consider giving it a go at some point. A co-op, as gugie suggested, is a great place to start. Even if you decide to have someone else do the work, the mechanics at a co-op are more likely to know how to do the work that the young shop rats at many retail stores. Of course, many established bike stores (usually not named Performance Bike or REI) have a gray-haired wizard on staff who will know exactly how to treat your Lotus right.
Hold on a minute, Mall 205 Performance has at least 3 very C+V capable employees. Matt is good personal friend of and I believe worked with/for Mitch Pryor, one of the techs has framebuilder chops and a third sales guy fits in the gray haired category. Seth the Manager has plenty of knowledge as well. Great bunch, good guys and great deals.
merziac is offline  
Old 06-21-18, 07:29 PM
  #17  
Andy_K 
Senior Member
 
Andy_K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 12,050

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 287 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1739 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 16 Posts
Originally Posted by merziac View Post
Hold on a minute, Mall 205 Performance has at least 3 very C+V capable employees. Matt is good personal friend of and I believe worked with/for Mitch Pryor, one of the techs has framebuilder chops and a third sales guy fits in the gray haired category. Seth the Manager has plenty of knowledge as well. Great bunch, good guys and great deals.
Well, OK, maybe I unfairly extrapolated from my experiences at the Beaverton Performance Bike. There might even be good mechanics there, but I've had a couple of experiences that made me not trust them.
__________________
My Bikes
Andy_K is offline  
Old 06-21-18, 08:21 PM
  #18  
veganbikes
Clark W. Griswold
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Posts: 5,189

Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Pink Klein MTB, Phil Wood VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), Cilo Road Frame, Proteus frame

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1178 Post(s)
Liked 43 Times in 30 Posts
Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
Well, OK, maybe I unfairly extrapolated from my experiences at the Beaverton Performance Bike. There might even be good mechanics there, but I've had a couple of experiences that made me not trust them.
I have known a bunch of folks who have worked for Performance and REI and have heard horror stories and I have been in Performances and seen things that a professional bike shop wouldn't do.

I am sure there are some folks who work there that are fine folks but most seem to leave to find better shops rather quickly or have been there so long that Performance is actually willing to pay them to keep them but some will still get complacent.
veganbikes is offline  
Old 06-21-18, 09:01 PM
  #19  
robertj298
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
robertj298's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 238
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 193 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by ollo_ollo View Post
Nice find. The metal head badge means 1982 or earlier, after that they went with decals.

Some riding is probably fine, especially if the hubs were lubed within the last 10 years or so. But, often on really good looking bikes, they were sitting a long time and grease does dry out & harden. If it dried out, but hub is undamaged, the wheel can spin freely. For a while at least, but can wear if not lubed before any long term riding.

All my vintage bikes get regular maintenance, but recently I realized my one "bought new" bike is approaching 18 years without re-lubing the headset. I always think of it as my "new" bike. Don
Everything I've read clearly point to it being a 1984.
robertj298 is online now  
Old 06-21-18, 09:28 PM
  #20  
merziac
Senior Member
 
merziac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: PDX
Posts: 4,028

Bikes: Merz x 5 + Specialized Merz Allez x 2, Strawberry/Newlands, Gordon, Fuso/Moulton, Bornstein, Paisley, Paramounts, 3rensho, Moto TC, Raleigh Pro's, Marinoni, 1960 Cinelli SC, 1980 Bianchi SC and more

Mentioned: 92 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1110 Post(s)
Liked 53 Times in 40 Posts
Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
Well, OK, maybe I unfairly extrapolated from my experiences at the Beaverton Performance Bike. There might even be good mechanics there, but I've had a couple of experiences that made me not trust them.
I think in general you're probably right but I think that goes for most places these days. I was on a campaign a few years ago and went to all the shops I could find and asked who the historian/ vintage guy was in each, got a lot of blank looks and the few that thought they had one brought me a 45 yr old who didn't really work on the stuff.
merziac is offline  
Old 06-21-18, 09:59 PM
  #21  
ramzilla
Senior Member
 
ramzilla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: 10% Atlanta GA 90% Fernandina FL
Posts: 2,457

Bikes: Vintage Japanese Bicycles

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 397 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 6 Posts
Be still my beating heart. The Empire of Japan lives on.
ramzilla is offline  
Old 06-22-18, 08:43 AM
  #22  
ollo_ollo
Senior Member
 
ollo_ollo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Near Sublimity Orygun
Posts: 4,780

Bikes: Still have a few left!

Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 305 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
Everything I've read clearly point to it being a 1984.
I stand corrected then. I read that about the brass head badge somewhere on the vintage Lotus site when researching my Classique.

Your bike has many features of an 84, the block letter model name on TT vs earlier script, engraved chrome fork crown and black anodized Ukai rims vs the earlier all silver.

Lotus used Tsunoda, Pacific Cycles and Maruishi to make their bikes and phased in changes, so features of earlier models could carry over, and I've seen 83 models with brass HB.

Here's a link to their site if you haven't already been there: Vintage Lotus Bicycles Home Page Don
ollo_ollo is offline  
Old 06-22-18, 09:06 AM
  #23  
ollo_ollo
Senior Member
 
ollo_ollo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Near Sublimity Orygun
Posts: 4,780

Bikes: Still have a few left!

Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 305 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Your Lotus is "Showroom" compared to my 1982 Classique from the fragile decal era. Don
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
1982-Lotus-Classique.jpg (1.94 MB, 78 views)
ollo_ollo is offline  
Old 06-22-18, 10:16 AM
  #24  
brent4583
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Looks like it was never used!
brent4583 is offline  
Old 06-22-18, 10:34 AM
  #25  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: West Village, New York City
Posts: 37,083

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1973 Raleigh Twenty, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 420 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5385 Post(s)
Liked 91 Times in 70 Posts
Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
Be still my beating heart. The Empire of Japan lives on.
We must also give credit to the American importer, RIP, who had a big hand in designing Lotus bikes.
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.