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Lotus Prestige, Tell me about them.

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Lotus Prestige, Tell me about them.

Old 02-27-10, 05:44 PM
  #1  
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Lotus Prestige, Tell me about them.

Can't find much info on them. Thinking about make a LONG drive to look at one tomorrow. My size and thinking about this one being a replacement for the 88 WS.

I know it has ARX derailleurs. I know it has 14 speeds, 700's but doesn't have Aero brakes. That tells m me mid 80's. I think it is Tange frame from the little bit I can find online. Sounds like a good solid mid line bike.

The pictures are horrible and I cant tell anything about hte actual condtion. Waiting to see if the guy can send me some better shots.

Thanks
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Old 02-27-10, 10:05 PM
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There's a Lotus catalogue on here somewhere. Were from the early to mid 80's. Even the low end ones are nice. Have a Lotus Odessey I bought new in '81 & ride near daily once the salt is off the roads. Tange tubes vary by model & size. Ride is fabulous. They didn't come with groups, mine came OE with SunTour Cyclone derailers & Shimano 600 brakes.
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Old 02-28-10, 12:56 PM
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I'll have to find that catalogue for myself, I guess. I acquired a Lotus Elite several months ago. Nice 700c frame with a unicrown. Somewhat tight geometry, but I can find no indication for the type of tubing used. No matter, really.

It came with an SR Silstar road double, Sunrace RD, Suntour Vx FD and DT shifters, and Chang Star sidepulls with non-aero, drill-out levers. Had the original C-Star gum hoods, but those were shot. Oh, and one of those low end SR seat posts with the big, nutted, side clamps for the seat. Don't know how else to describe that. Anyway, seems to me a nice, quality frame, but whomever originally (I assume originally) built didn't use anything more than low to mid end parts for it. Well, the 700c Araya wheelset w/ Exage hubs was a nice point.

I'd like to find out more about Lotus, too. Searched the web with not much information to be found. Atleast, not like the info that's available for more my Trek 614. Again.........I'll have to find that catalogue.

It's funny to me the color choices/scheme they used for these Lotus bikes. Mine's a reddish brown (mostly brown) with red Lotus decals on the ST, DT, TT (saying Elite), and on the fork legs. And, then....haha.....the contrasting late 70's/early 80's ORANGE......of all colors........on the HT. The frame is lugged, of course, and so, of course, the HT lugs are still brown. But, that HT.....wow, it's kinda tough to decide what color to paint the fenders......lol.
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Old 02-28-10, 01:35 PM
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Lotus catalog as requested.

I may go look at a mid 80s Unique later today. It's in my neighborhood, just $100, and looks clean. Also too big for me most likely.


http://www.wooljersey.com/gallery/v/...lotus/catalog/
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Old 03-17-10, 08:02 PM
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I can't believe this bike was still available.

I finally chased after this Lotus Prestige that has been for sale for ever and had my eye. It my size and I bought this for me and paid a little more for it. Still a flippable price but not much profit if I did.
I am fairly confident that the lugs are made by Miyata and that is part of my attraction to the bike. Other the the top of the seat stay where it says Lotus they are identical to the ones on my old six ten. Spent about 45 minutes messing with it and got it in enough shape to take it for a spin. Rode decent.

Little bit intrigued by it. The Suntour bits date to mid 83 leading me to believe it is a 84 model . It is made with Double Butted Tange Mangalloy that I would consider for most brands to be little below midline. Suntour ARX Gran Star 400 brakes keep it in the middle.

Now what throws me is the Ukai 700c Wheels. At first I thought somebody swapped them but the brakes are not long reach and they are adjusted almost all the way up. If the bike came with 27's I would expect them to have been nearly all the way down so this bike was designed for the 700's. When it was built 700's tended to be the upper end bikes not mid line. So little info to be found on the brand that I really am at a loss as to where this bike was in the hierarchy.


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Old 03-17-10, 08:17 PM
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I picked up an older 1981 Prestige last week myself. The build on the 1981 is not as nice as your bike. But the 81 is still a nice bike. I currently have four Lotus bikes.

I need to take it outdoors to get a decent picture.

As far as hierarchy, Lotus was inconsistent on build specs year to year. So I would just judge your bike on its frame material, overall weight, and components. For instance, my 1983 Lotus Classique has a Tange 1 Champion frame, chrome stays, 700c wheels, and other features that put it at the higher end of the product line. I bet my 1981 Prestige weighs three or four pounds more than my Classique.

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Old 03-17-10, 08:29 PM
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Yeah get some shots, I would love to see them.

I cant find any information on the model and what came on it. The 81 catalog Chicago Al posted above is the only catalog I have seen on the net and the Prestige is not in that catalog.

The guy told me he bought it from an acquaintance of his that supposedly bought it new. The Acquaintances told him he had it custom built. ARX was pretty popular around 84 so I would think that was stock. Maybe he special ordered it with the 700's.
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Old 03-17-10, 08:32 PM
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I'm pretty sure that Tsunoda made all the Lotus bikes. I know they made at least some of them.
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Old 03-17-10, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I'm pretty sure that Tsunoda made all the Lotus bikes. I know they made at least some of them.
Every thing I have read says that is true. Lotus was a marketing name belonging to Sid and Ernst Star of NY.
There is a Wiki I found that had some of the history. Only around for about 12 years. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_%28bicycles%29

Tsunoda is still in business but they do not sell anything in the US.

Ohh something else that's neat.....7 speed Suntour freehub. GK date code so I think that was a replacement.

Did Ukai put dates on their rims? How about the Joy Yu hubs? I didn't see a date on the center of the hub but would there be one under a dust cap?
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Old 03-17-10, 09:40 PM
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I don't remember seeing dates on any Japanese rims.
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Old 03-17-10, 10:15 PM
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That is a great looking bike, I really like the fork crown. I had a 1985 club Fuji that was spec'd very similar with 700c UKAI rims, this bike seems to fall in about that level. The UKAI rims did have a really attractive finish on them IMO.
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Old 03-17-10, 10:30 PM
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Fuji did do some nice Crowns, I have a 84 Touring III I am going to be restoring this spring that has the Chrome Crows with Fuji on them. It also has UKAI rims.

I am torn now with the Lotus. I was going to build the Fuji into more of a Randonneur. I need to check the trail but I think the Lotus might be better suited. Course it would be a shame to hide that pretty head badge behind a bag.
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Old 03-18-10, 05:46 PM
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Got home early enough to take it out. 20+ year old Continetals are a little sketchy but other then that it is a sweet ride.

Ran it by the LBS. The Fitter/mechanic is into vintage steel. He was also floored to see that it had 700's on it for the same reason I was. The rear bridge is so tight to the 700x23's that I don't think I could get fender on it.
I'm digging the gum wall look on this bike. Who makes a Gumwall 700x23 these days? I was looking and about the only thing I see is the Ultra Gator Skins.
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Old 03-18-10, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Grim View Post
Got home early enough to take it out. 20+ year old Continetals are a little sketchy but other then that it is a sweet ride.

Ran it by the LBS. The Fitter/mechanic is into vintage steel. He was also floored to see that it had 700's on it for the same reason I was. The rear bridge is so tight to the 700x23's that I don't think I could get fender on it.
I'm digging the gum wall look on this bike. Who makes a Gumwall 700x23 these days? I was looking and about the only thing I see is the Ultra Gator Skins.
I am not surprised at all that it has 700c rims. My 1984 Lotus Classique has 700s. If it was a lower end Lotus, I would be surprised if it had 700s. You have a nice bike.

My Classique came with ARX components as well.

Panaracer Paselas come in many sizes with gum walls. I am sure there are other choices as well. Cheng Shin makes some cheap 700 x 25 gum walls.
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Old 03-18-10, 06:34 PM
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What an awesome score. nice BIG bikes ain't ez to find
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Old 03-18-10, 06:55 PM
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+1 on the head badge. Rub it with some brasso or aluminum polish and they look really really awesome.

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Old 03-18-10, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
I am not surprised at all that it has 700c rims. My 1984 Lotus Classique has 700s. If it was a lower end Lotus, I would be surprised if it had 700s. You have a nice bike.

My Classique came with ARX components as well.


Panaracer Paselas come in many sizes with gum walls. I am sure there are other choices as well. Cheng Shin makes some cheap 700 x 25 gum walls.
Well maybe I have a higher model then I was thinking. It does ride very nice especaily before I have even had a chance to go through it. it appears to have been reasonably well maintained. None of the bearings feel dry.


I am liking the Paselas They have a 700x23 and 25. I might bump up a little in size. I also like the Specialized Nimbus with the red. Match up the decals. Maybe a dark red fabric bar tape. I wish the hoods were in better shape. They have the Lotus logos on them.

The Red Logos are a little rough around the edges and I have mixed feelings about them. Part of me likes the fact they are original to the bike but I also feel they make the bike look cheap. The rest of the bike with the silver head tube and the gunmetal paint, the polished brass badge, Chrome logo crowns and the Lotus name imbossed in the top of the seat stays is nice touches and somewhat understated and then some kid came by threw on some gaudy red stickers on it.

Going to really have to think about keeping them or not.

Originally Posted by mkeller234 View Post
+1 on the head badge. Rub it with some brasso or aluminum polish and they look really really awesome.

Your bike and your build thread was what got me looking at this one.

What model and year is yours? The lug work is completely different then mine.
If you look closely my head badge has yellow paint around the lettering and the flower. It was very dirty and I started on it with the polish before I realized it was painted.


I bet this bike came with a 14-32 6 speed. It now has a 14-24 7 I think. I wouldnt mind a little lower gear. I have a 14-32 and I may re stack the freehub to get the 32 back.
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