Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  

Go Back   > >

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.

User Tag List

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-18-12, 03:00 PM   #1
Senior Member
Thread Starter
TNDave's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Knoxville, TN
Bikes: 2008 Gary Fisher Monona, 1997 Univega Alpina 550, 1980 Nishiki International, 1993 Specialized Epic
Posts: 160
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Picked up a Lotus Elan yesterday - any idea how to find out the date? Pics included..

Stopped by an estate sale at lunch time that had advertisted a vintage bike, and was pleasantly shocked to see that it had not sold by the time I got there. It was a early/mid 80's Lotus Elan. I checked it out and it is an interesting bike to say the least - it has a 4130 CroMo frame but it has some components on it that I had never heard of. I have since found out that it was a Chinese company that tried to challenge Shimano in the early 80's and failed. I know that most standard components have date codes you can look up, but I am betting these components won't be in that database.

Anyone have any ideas how to date the bike? I have found what I think is a serial number that is only partially readable for now, but there does not seem to be a lot of information online about S/N's and dates of these bikes. Right now I am thinking it is either an 83 or 84 based on some pictures I have found online.

The Elan was supposedly an entry-level version, but it has some nice features. The 4130 frame seems to be pretty light, the rear dropouts appear to be forged and not stamped, and it has some weird cable guides in downtube bosses that I may replace with DT shifters. Anyway, here are some pics of the bike and components.

The rear derailler is marked DNP:

Front Derailler is marked Long Yih:

The chainring is Anlun 52-42 Super Duraluvin (this cracks me up) with and Aero crank:

Stem shifters are also marked Long Yu

And the very cool Lotus Headbadge (and an actual badge at that and not a decal)

I'll probably strip it down to the frame, clean everything up real good, do some touchup paint and possibly replace the decals if I can find them, and them build it back up. In a quick test ride yesterday the strange components work very well, nice and smooth and responsive and clean-shifting.

Seems like a neat bike, and it is the perfect size for my daughter to ride if I decide to keep it. Stay tuned for the after pics when I get the cleanup finished.....
TNDave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-12, 03:33 PM   #2
Senior Member
JPZ66's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Bikes: 1949 'Italian' , 1950 San Giusto, 1897 Union, and a number of "projects"... 198? Grandis, a couple of Mixte's...
Posts: 679
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Interesting indeed....looks like a pretty cool find. From China ? Test the paint for lead.


JPZ66 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-12, 05:16 PM   #3
Idiot Pro Tempo
RobbieTunes's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: NC
Bikes: at Pedal Room
Posts: 21,611
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 255 Post(s)
They were cool cars, too.
RobbieTunes is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:02 PM.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
  • Ask a Question
    get answers from real people!
Click to start entering your question.