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My New 198? Lotus Eclair’s Maiden Voyage

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My New 198? Lotus Eclair’s Maiden Voyage

Old 03-10-22, 06:47 PM
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ThatsOK Cyril
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My New 198? Lotus Eclair’s Maiden Voyage


Maiden voyage of my new 40 year old Lotus Eclair this morning. Old racer here who is now in search of touring bikes after getting hooked on the 240 mile Katy Trail a couple years ago.

I have three boys who are 20, 19, and 16 so I have carte blanche to amass more touring bikes so we can ride together. Been checking Craigslist to no avail so I searched used bicycles Chicago and came across a charity and recycle shop called Working Bikes.


Saw this bike on their online store for $260 and was required to pay for it before they would even allow me to see it and pick it up by appointment.

Looked like a no brainer to me. Turns out it was! My wife was all for me buying this because it will go to our 20 year old junior in college. I will reluctantly be giving it up but look forward to riding it occasionally.

Dang! I gotta say this. I LOVVVVVE those 27x1 1/4 cushhhhhhy tires! My daily rider is a Merckx titanium with clearance for only 25C with tires. I am in the process of resurrecting a 1981 Raleigh competition with 10 speed Campy Chorus as well as a 1985 RALEIGH KODIAK with new Shimano 105 triple group set. I know now I am totally looking forward to wider cushier tires!


Last edited by ThatsOK Cyril; 03-10-22 at 06:58 PM. Reason: add details
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Old 03-10-22, 07:45 PM
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That's a real beauty.....son will be very happy with the ride, "great" dad!
Best, Ben
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Old 03-10-22, 09:36 PM
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ThatsOK Cyril
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Originally Posted by xiaoman1 View Post
That's a real beauty.....son will be very happy with the ride, "great" dad!
Best, Ben
Oh yeah, my wife thinks he will be blown away by this. Last summer he and I did Ragbrai where I rode my Merckx titanium and he rode a 1991 Specialized Allez Epic carbon bike. This Lotus will be way more comfortable and functional for him.
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Old 03-11-22, 04:15 AM
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Nice bike. Got one in silver myself. Super smooth ride but a tad heavy for the hills around here.

Early 80s version iirc.

Last edited by DonkeyShow; 03-11-22 at 04:32 AM.
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Old 03-11-22, 05:41 AM
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The OP's frame appears to be from a circa 1983 model. Here's that year's advertisement.

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Old 03-11-22, 05:55 AM
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ThatsOK Cyril , Nice bike! I've got 3 older kids, but I've only been able to convince my daughter to ride a C&V bike. I'm hoping my boy's eventually get interested in older bikes so I can pass on a few.
I enjoy the cushy 27" Panaracer's also.
Happy riding!
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Old 03-11-22, 03:14 PM
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Excellent bike to have in the fleet. A few years back I found one for a song in my wife's size and have been tinkering with it to suit her, but it is smooth and rides like it's on rails. Hope you and your son enjoy it!
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Old 03-12-22, 12:13 AM
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I've long thought that the gentle curve that Lotus used on these forks somehow satisfies my aesthetic ideal.
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Old 03-12-22, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by daverup View Post
ThatsOK Cyril , Nice bike! I've got 3 older kids, but I've only been able to convince my daughter to ride a C&V bike. I'm hoping my boy's eventually get interested in older bikes so I can pass on a few.
I enjoy the cushy 27" Panaracer's also.
Happy riding!
It is not strictly a touring frame, but my 1980 PKN-10 can take 700Cx32 tires and is not quite as tight in geometry as my Bianchi. My elder son used it as a kiddie trailer puller (pictured) when my grandsons were small, and he also has the Specialized 1991 HardRock mountain bike I bought for him when he was in high school. The younger one has an early 1990s Centurion road bike with the classic white head tube and seat tube.

"I am sure glad my Dad converted this to a triple while he still had it. That grannie ring comes in handy for kid-pulling."
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Old 03-12-22, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
"I am sure glad my Dad converted this to a triple while he still had it. That grannie ring comes in handy for kid-pulling."
I agree, granny gears make kid-pulling much easier when hills are involved. BTDTx3
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Old 03-12-22, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by ThatsOK Cyril View Post
My New 198? Lotus Eclairs Maiden Voyage
Sweet!
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Old 03-14-22, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
The OP's frame appears to be from a circa 1983 model. Here's that year's advertisement.

thanks for posting this. In 1983 I was a fresh college grad and bike racing geek who even though I love to camp and backpack would not have looked twice at a touring specific bike. The last few years I have turned over a new leaf and am now slapping my forehead about discovering riding bikes with more cushy tires and longer stable wheel bases.

Sealed bearing hubs? I didnt realize that. It is a first for me to buy (or usually haul home from the curb) a bike that someone else had already refurbed, so I hadnt checked the hubs. I was pleased when I discovered the rear hub is 40h.
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Old 03-14-22, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by DiegoFrogs View Post
I've long thought that the gentle curve that Lotus used on these forks somehow satisfies my aesthetic ideal.
Youre absolutely right. The svelte gentle arc that starts a lil higher makes for a really nice looking fork.
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Old 03-14-22, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by daverup View Post
I agree, granny gears make kid-pulling much easier when hills are involved. BTDTx3
and its great to see a durable workhorse, not a garage queen. Im more of a rider than just a looker. Got that from my dad who 40-50 years ago would drive our 1931 Model A Ford 500mi+ to national Model A shows and put a beer on the hood as he cleaned the road grit off while the immaculate show cars were futzed with and frantically whisked back into their trailers when rain looked possible. Nothing wrong with show cars and bikes. As they say, Your mileage may vary.
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Old 03-14-22, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by DonkeyShow View Post
Nice bike. Got one in silver myself. Super smooth ride but a tad heavy for the hills around here.

Early 80s version iirc.
Nice. I wish I had hills thatd make a bike feel heavier. Suburban Chitcago is too flat.
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Old 03-15-22, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by ThatsOK Cyril View Post
Nice. I wish I had hills that’d make a bike feel heavier. Suburban Chitcago is too flat.
Maryland is strangely hilly. Every direction from my house ends up being 100ft / mile on the way back.
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Old 03-15-22, 07:30 AM
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Eclair is a tasty name for a tasty bike. Most all of the Lotus brand bicycles I've seen on the forum have been attractive, well made and well outfitted.
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