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Unicorn on its way

Old 12-21-20, 11:58 AM
  #1  
mkeller234
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Unicorn on its way

Iím not sure if unicorn is an appropriate description for an 80ís Asian built Lotus, but it is incredibly hard to find information about the Sprint. Iím really curious to know how many of these are actually out there.

I got lucky and found one with the right mix:
- my size,
- my price
- and local-ish!

My brother in law really did me a big favor and picked this bike up for me. Iíll have it in my possession this afternoon. Canít wait to get my mits on it!

This will be my first experience with fixed gear. Iím really excited to try it out.

picture from my brother in law:

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Old 12-21-20, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mkeller234 View Post
This will be my first experience with fixed gear. Iím really excited to try it out.
Sweet!

Track bikes are neat. Looks like yours has fairly generous tire clearance. And front and rear brakes!

Some advice I've seen on here before - the first time you ride it, set up your saddle 1/2"-3/4" lower than you normally would want it.

This will give you some room to move around when you forget you're on a fixed gear and try to coast. It will give you a fighting chance when the bike tries to buck you off
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Old 12-21-20, 01:16 PM
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Nice catch!

I have long had an affinity for Lotus bikes. Something about their design aesthetic appeals to me I guess. And that headbadge/logo. So cool!
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Old 12-21-20, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by abshipp View Post
Sweet!

Track bikes are neat. Looks like yours has fairly generous tire clearance. And front and rear brakes!

Some advice I've seen on here before - the first time you ride it, set up your saddle 1/2"-3/4" lower than you normally would want it.

This will give you some room to move around when you forget you're on a fixed gear and try to coast. It will give you a fighting chance when the bike tries to buck you off
LOL! That is great advice, I will make sure to do that! I'm slightly intimidated to ride this one.... it's going to be like learning to ride all over again. I think this one has a flip/flop hub on it, which I think is super cool. I'm going to try not to run for comfort by putting a freewheel on it right away.
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Old 12-21-20, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by morri869 View Post
Nice catch!

I have long had an affinity for Lotus bikes. Something about their design aesthetic appeals to me I guess. And that headbadge/logo. So cool!
Yes, I love Lotus bikes... this will be my 3rd! My favorite is a Lotus Eclair that gets ridden probably more than any of my bikes. It's my favorite for taking on vacation too. The other bike is a lowly Lotus America that really has a nice ride and gets abused in out in bad weather and the winter.
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Old 12-21-20, 05:13 PM
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Nice!

Ride it fixed! you'll love it, i promise.
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Old 12-21-20, 05:58 PM
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Very cool, nice score.
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Old 12-21-20, 06:24 PM
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very nice!! i had a lotus elite years ago. kinda wish i'd hung onto it. cool bikes
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Old 12-21-20, 07:07 PM
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Bike is now in hand. I want to document the parts on this page because I could not find that information elsewhere. I’m pretty sure this bike is in tact as it was sold. I wonder if the brakes were an lbs add on?

The parts are good enough, but nothing special. All entry level gear.

Joy-yu sealed hubs (Date code 1983)
Ukai 700c x 25 rims
Viscount “dynapro” saddle (Sticker code 2283)
Unmarked stem
Unmarked Track bars
Anlun “A.ero cold forged” cranks.
Dia-compe Alpha II brakes
Dia-compe brake levers.
HTI pedals
Victor toe clips
Kalloy 26.4 seatpost (no date code)

Once I pull parts, if I find markings I will update the list.

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Old 12-21-20, 07:13 PM
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Look at that bottom bracket cup! Way loose!
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Old 12-21-20, 07:14 PM
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Old 12-21-20, 07:56 PM
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These brake levers win it for me
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Old 12-21-20, 08:17 PM
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I haven’t been bitten by the fixie bug, but that is a sweet bike. It will shine up nicely!
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Old 12-21-20, 11:52 PM
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I missed out on a my-sized Lotus frame FS in the local classifieds a few years ago and still think about it.

Everyone should ride a brake-equipped fixed gear at some point in their lives. This looks fun.

Overhaul the slippery bits and ride!
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Old 12-22-20, 04:31 AM
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I finally got a fixed gear bike recently and have ridden it once fixed and a few times freewheel. Not sure about fixed yet.
Wonderful looking bike, enjoy fixing it up and riding it.
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Old 12-22-20, 06:10 AM
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Terrific find. Envious!

Aside from replacing the tires (and maybe the brake pads, if they've hardened to the point of being useless for stopping at speed), you might want to consider modifying the gearing by installing a larger sprocket on the rear hub. (That's definitely a sprinting gear, appropriate for velodromes but too high for even moderately rolling terrain.)

You'll probably need both a larger sprocket and a new chain, since that chain looks as if it won't accommodate an appropriate sprocket (e.g., around 18 to 20 teeth, since that appears to be an approximately 50- or 51-tooth chainring).

Also, to get used to the fixed gear, try deliberately "coasting" every 30 seconds or so throughout the first few rides or until the new technique of easing off on the pedals rather than stopping pedaling begins to feel familiar. It might help to keep practicing the same technique on your other bikes, too, so that the habit becomes ingrained.

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Old 12-22-20, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by mkeller234 View Post
LOL! That is great advice, I will make sure to do that! I'm slightly intimidated to ride this one.... it's going to be like learning to ride all over again. I think this one has a flip/flop hub on it, which I think is super cool. I'm going to try not to run for comfort by putting a freewheel on it right away.
It's a hoot, I guarantee it! You'll get used to it after a while. One funny thing that happens to me if I ride my fixed gear a lot and then go back to a freewheel bike is that I have to remind myself that I can in fact stop pedaling and coast. Occasionally I'll stop moving my feet and my heart will jump into my throat for a moment before I realize that nothing bad happened

I've found that gearing makes all the difference in how enjoyable these are to ride on the road. Like Trakhak said, you'll probably want a shorter gear. My first fixed gear I barely rode - partly because it was a bit too small, but also because it was geared way too high, up around 75-80 gear inches, (I can't quite remember).

The next fixed gear I built up was my Motobecance Grand Jubile geared right at 70", what a world of difference!

Looks like all that will clean up nicely, enjoy
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Old 12-22-20, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Terrific find. Envious!

Aside from replacing the tires (and maybe the brake pads, if they've hardened to the point of being useless for stopping at speed), you might want to consider modifying the gearing by installing a larger sprocket on the rear hub. (That's definitely a sprinting gear, appropriate for velodromes but too high for even moderately rolling terrain.)

You'll probably need both a larger sprocket and a new chain, since that chain looks as if it won't accommodate an appropriate sprocket (e.g., around 18 to 20 teeth, since that appears to be an approximately 50- or 51-tooth chainring).

Also, to get used to the fixed gear, try deliberately "coasting" every 30 seconds or so throughout the first few rides or until the new technique of easing off on the pedals rather than stopping pedaling begins to feel familiar. It might help to keep practicing the same technique on your other bikes, too, so that the habit becomes ingrained.

Sounds like good advice. Thanks for all the tips guys! This is a lame one, but I kept trying to reposition the crank for the photos. Must remember: it doesn't work like that!

I found the serial number on the side of the seat tube last night. It's an 84, manufactured by Pacific cycles. My other Lotus frames were made by Tsunoda. I've enjoyed the Tsunoda built ones so much (even the low end America) that I hope the Pacific made frame matches that same expectation.
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Old 12-22-20, 08:37 AM
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This model was not supplied with brakes and those appear to be later BRS models with the return assist spring in the levers. Specs mention Araya rims but many other 1984 Lotus models are spec'd with Ukai, so this could be a factory substitution. Some of the other components initially don't appear to be OEM, such as the Viscount saddle, Kalloy seat post and Joy-Yu (Joy Tech). hubs. Typically, during this era you see Lotus branded Kashimax saddles, SR LaPrade seat posts and Suzue hubs. However, with the Sprint being manufactured by Pacific Cycles of Taiwan, it would make sense to source locally where possible and if you look at other Pacific Cycles models of the era, such as the Elan and Prestige, you start seeing Taiwanese versus Japanese components. The Anlun crankset is definitely OEM and one of the few components actually mentioned by brand name in the specs.

This model was always interesting, in that it was economical track model geared towards street riding as much as track racing. They spec's wired-on wheels, as opposed to tubulars and quill pedals, as opposed to track pedals.
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Old 12-22-20, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
This model was not supplied with brakes and those appear to be later BRS models with the return assist spring in the levers. Specs mention Araya rims but many other 1984 Lotus models are spec'd with Ukai, so this could be a factory substitution. Some of the other components initially don't appear to be OEM, such as the Viscount saddle, Kalloy seat post and Joy-Yu (Joy Tech). hubs. Typically, during this era you see Lotus branded Kashimax saddles, SR LaPrade seat posts and Suzue hubs. However, with the Sprint being manufactured by Pacific Cycles of Taiwan, it would make sense to source locally where possible and if you look at other Pacific Cycles models of the era, such as the Elan and Prestige, you start seeing Taiwanese versus Japanese components. The Anlun crankset is definitely OEM and one of the few components actually mentioned by brand name in the specs.

This model was always interesting, in that it was economical track model geared towards street riding as much as track racing. They spec's wired-on wheels, as opposed to tubulars and quill pedals, as opposed to track pedals.
Tmar, as always, you are a wealth of information.

Since your post seems like you may not be 100% sure either way, let me ask this. What is more likely, that Lotus specíd unusual Taiwanese parts on an unusual bike, OR that the owner swapped out better equipment for Taiwanese items from the same period?

I know for sure that this is a 1 owner bike. I can also say that it does not look like it was ridden much. Also, if they specíd the usual equipment, wouldnít they have called it out in the catalogs? It seems to me like the catalog was purposely vague.
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Old 12-22-20, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by mkeller234 View Post
Tmar, as always, you are a wealth of information.

Since your post seems like you may not be 100% sure either way, let me ask this. What is more likely, that Lotus spec’d unusual Taiwanese parts on an unusual bike, OR that the owner swapped out better equipment for Taiwanese items from the same period?

I know for sure that this is a 1 owner bike. I can also say that it does not look like it was ridden much. Also, if they spec’d the usual equipment, wouldn’t they have called it out in the catalogs? It seems to me like the catalog was purposely vague.
When I got involved in cycling in the in the late 1960s, catalogues were very vague. Things got progressively better as cyclists became more educated. However, things could still be vague, particularly at the lower end. There are number of possible reasons for this;

1. The manufacturers didn't want the consumers to know they were cutting costs by listing low recognition brand names

2. The lower end consumer didn't care as much about the components. They tended to judge the bicycle by the rear derailleur.

3. The manufacturers were always looking for better prices on components for the lower end models, where margins were smaller, so components at this level were more likely to change during the model year.

Regarding the subject saddle, hubs and seat post, there are some things to increase confidence level.

1. Saddle: Other Pacific Cycles built Lotus of the era were spec'd with Viscount saddles, so this would be what I what I'd expect.

2. Hubs: Joy-Yu stamped their Joy-Tech hubs with a date code, format M-YY. On the rear hub, I can read K 8?. So that would be November 198?. The last numeral looks like it may be a 2 or 3. If it's November 1983, that would be very appropriate for a 1984 model.

3. I've seen a few other Pacific Cycles built Lotus of this era with Kalloy seat posts. However, Kalloy is probably one of the most common replacement seat posts, so that means little. Again, I'd be looking for a date code. Kalloy posts are typically open format, YY MM, all numerals. If the post is from late 1983 to early 1984, there's a good probability that it is OEM.
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Old 12-22-20, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
When I got involved in cycling in the in the late 1960s, catalogues were very vague. Things got progressively better as cyclists became more educated. However, things could still be vague, particularly at the lower end. There are number of possible reasons for this;

1. The manufacturers didn't want the consumers to know they were cutting costs by listing low recognition brand names

2. The lower end consumer didn't care as much about the components. They tended to judge the bicycle by the rear derailleur.

3. The manufacturers were always looking for better prices on components for the lower end models, where margins were smaller, so components at this level were more likely to change during the model year.

Regarding the subject saddle, hubs and seat post, there are some things to increase confidence level.

1. Saddle: Other Pacific Cycles built Lotus of the era were spec'd with Viscount saddles, so this would be what I what I'd expect.

2. Hubs: Joy-Yu stamped their Joy-Tech hubs with a date code, format M-YY. On the rear hub, I can read K 8?. So that would be November 198?. The last numeral looks like it may be a 2 or 3. If it's November 1983, that would be very appropriate for a 1984 model.

3. I've seen a few other Pacific Cycles built Lotus of this era with Kalloy seat posts. However, Kalloy is probably one of the most common replacement seat posts, so that means little. Again, I'd be looking for a date code. Kalloy posts are typically open format, YY MM, all numerals. If the post is from late 1983 to early 1984, there's a good probability that it is OEM.
All very good points. I know Raleigh bikes from the 70s are notorious for similar parts substitutions, and Iím sure it was a general practice. Even as an enthusiast, I generally donít care what the brand name is on a component.

I donít know why component dates didnít occur to me. Here is what I found:

- The serial number is P4121390. The P and 4 are barely stamped in.
- Both hub dates are 83
- I could not find a date on the seat post.
- The saddle has a tag ď2283Ē Iím assuming that means 1983
- There are a whole bunch of 7s stamped underneath the bottom bracket shell. Maybe done by the owner?
- The chain is KMC
- This bike was originally sold in Florida. That is where the former owner lives now. (His sister in law sold the bike)












Last edited by mkeller234; 12-22-20 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 12-22-20, 07:28 PM
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Wow, the LBS is still open:

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Old 12-23-20, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by mkeller234 View Post
All very good points. I know Raleigh bikes from the 70s are notorious for similar parts substitutions, and Iím sure it was a general practice. Even as an enthusiast, I generally donít care what the brand name is on a component.

I donít know why component dates didnít occur to me. Here is what I found:

- The serial number is P4121390. The P and 4 are barely stamped in.
- Both hub dates are 83
- I could not find a date on the seat post.
- The saddle has a tag ď2283Ē Iím assuming that means 1983
- There are a whole bunch of 7s stamped underneath the bottom bracket shell. Maybe done by the owner?
- The chain is KMC
- This bike was originally sold in Florida. That is where the former owner lives now. (His sister in law sold the bike)
With those date codes, it's highly unlikely that the hubs aren't OEM, in which case the rims are probably also OEM. I never had an issue with the Viscount saddle. So, the only thing that remains questionable to any significant degree is the Kalloy seat post but given the status of the other components, it' s likely OEM too, as we know the Sprint was spec'd with a micro-adjust seat post.
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Old 12-31-20, 11:20 AM
  #25  
mkeller234
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Mods, can you change this thread name to 1984 Lotus Sprint? I want this to be found in search engines easier.
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