A Columbus tubing Supreme in Portland, ME. I just about pooped myself when I saw the word combo of Lotus Supreme and Portland, as I had just come from Oregon. But upon further reading and inspection, I came to realize this bike is on the East Coast and has been majorly modified in a way that does not interest me. Nothing, except the frame, is original. It appears to be setup for light touring and is described as such. Which is odd considering the frame is built for racing. I wonder how the short wheelbase works as a touring bike. The craigslist post describes all the components in detail. Asking $450.

The Dayton, Ohio craigslisting says: Wanted to become a cyclist and it didn’t happen. I road this bike 4 times…then it was stored in the garage. 15 speed 2 water bottles and toe clips. $350.00 or best offer.”

His/her loss, someones gain. The title of the post is Lotus 7000 series, but in reality this is a Leger. The 7000 comes from the type of aluminum used for the frame, but anyone who knows what this is will be able to translate. It does look to be in great shape, and even though the pics are low res, the Lotus branded straps should be enough to indicate it’s overall condition. I also appreciate the detail shot that shows the rear derailleur and dropout-the aluminum looks so chunky.

I was in Portland, Oregon for four days and did not see a single Lotus. I was very disappointed, considering Portland is such a bike intensive city. But seeing this Lotus Prestige listed on ebay is consolation. This is the first “real life” Prestige I have ever seen, and I will say it was worth the wait. Named after the Tange Prestige tubing the bike is build with and topped off with beautiful faded paint, this is a stunning example of Lotus’ late model racing bikes. The detailing is similar to the Elan 75. I love the plain (no Lotus logo) chrome fork crown and seat stay tips. There are a ton of high res pics in the listing, and I repurpose a bunch here. Since I’ve not encountered one of these before, I have a hard time confirming what’s original and what has been replaced. According to Tim’s Prestige page, the bike should be outfitted completely in Dura Ace. In this example, only the front derailleur, headset, and stem are Dura Ace, so one can safely presume the 600EX components are not original. Which is weird-why downgrade? The wheels are definitely updated: the Hoshi headless aero spokes and Durex anodized aero rims are really cool but not something Lotus would have done. Some people on Velobase suggest those spokes are not so durable-FYI. And those MKS double sided pedals are totally out of place. Still, it’s a handsome cycle. 

There is a starting bid of $300 and $136.34 worth of shipping. Will update…

A handsome, super clean 1983/84 Unique that has been stripped of it’s decals. It’s impossible to remove the engraved Lotus logo on the fork crown and seat stay caps. The metal head badge is also hard to ignore too. Suntour Blueline components, original Kashimax saddle, and newish Continental tires. Overall, a very nice bike. Velocals might have the correct decal set, but I would inquire before hitting the BUY button, because it’s unclear if what they have would be accurate for this particular model/year. BTW: the bike is selling for $150 via Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Via Philadelphia’s craigslist: Lotus Triomphe. This is the only pic, but I can see this one has gone through some serious changes. First off, no cassette or chain, though the listing does indicate an 8 speed Shimano RX100 group. The crank is definitely not Campagnolo. Listing also mentions a recent overhaul and cleaning, including new bar tape, tires, cable, and housing. And now it’s being sold-I don’t understand. Fork has been stripped of its Aquamarine paint and I don’t see the pantograhed Lotus logo on the stem, so that may be missing too. $500 obo.

Found on the street: Ryan’s unidentified Lotus. I saw Ryan on his bike once before; the first time, I couldn’t catch up with him. This time we met at a red light.

Facts: Ryan’s frame is a backyard find. The chainstay was a little bent, so he stuck it in a fence and did some manipulation. Contact with a car resulted in the replacement fork. Deep V rims (Alex rear, Weinmann front), fixie drivetrain, and a ton of character.

Based on the color and decals, it may be a Special or Elan, but I’m not certain about either. This is definitely a Pacific Cycles manufactured Lotus frame, as indicated by the Chinese characters on the top lug of the headtube. The PC stamp is nearly impossible to see in my pic but was noted in person.

Found on the street: I believe this is a Lotus Excelle, circa 1983/84. All identifying decals have been removed and only the Lotus head badge marks this bike as a Lotus. Enough for me to notice it while riding by. The Burgundy color, half chromed fork, and SR crank are the details that indicate Excelle. 

Another Western US Lotus with a succinct listing at a reasonable price: This vintage 23 inch Ice Blue Legend from Lotus is in excellent condition with original Suntour components. Columbus tubing. Looking for a new Colorado home.

Odd tire choice, replacement saddle, new bar tape, and missing toe clips. Looks good though. On craigslist, asking $200.

An aluminum, Aquamarine Blue Esprit in Salinas, CA.  The listing is short and sweet: Good condition, 55cm, Aluminum frame, Cromoly fork, 80’s Shimano 600 components, 2 x 6 speed index shifting, $200.

Yep, that mostly sums it up. Lotus did not produce frames in odd centimeter sizes, so I think this is a 56cm, not a 55cm. Otherwise, Shimano 600EX throughout. The Vetta saddle has been replaced, along with the tires and bar tape. All else looks like Lotus intended it. 

The listing describes a sweet towine/single speed bike, approximately 1985 vintage. Newly constructed wheels seem like the most important factor connected with this sale. I see a fully chromed crownless fork, which is not native to the 83/84 Lotus Eclair. Maybe $150 is a reasonable price for the frame striped of its components and a new wheelset, though the seller is accepting offers, so I would negotiate. Located somewhere out West.

I don’t understand the colored tire trend, so this fourth generation Lotus Challenger mixte confuses me. As you can see, anything other than a black tire just gets dirty. Or is my taste just too conservative? Personally, I would rather have those brake levers straightened rather than have hype tires. Asking $240 from a suburban Chicago seller. 

A prime example of a 1983 Odyssey on Boulder, CO’s craigslist. I’ve recently become obsessed with the ‘83-‘84 Odysseys, so this is a pleasant addition to the bikes I’ve been eyeballing. The Violet Blue color and very small frame size (50cm?) is an unsual combination. The ‘83 model transitioned to Columbus tubing and DiaCompe cantilever brakes, whereas earlier models were Tange and Shimano sidepull respectively. As pictured, the Edwardian script Odyssey decal is a holdover from the previous models. In ‘84, the Odyssey badge becomes gold trimmed block letters, similar to the Lotus decal. Details in the listing are sparse but do indicate the bike is being sold by the original owner and is equipped with mostly original equipment. Both front and rear racks are included. Asking $200, which is a bargain if the frame fits.

A fairly ratty 1983 Lotus Legend on ebay via Anaheim, CA. Buy It Now for $349 plus $119.99 to ship or Make an Offer. The seller, feel-the-deal, must be a pawn or resale shop, as there is more fine print warranty/return policy info than there is actual info on the bike. The listing does say “In GOOD condition, Works great. Item shows normal wear with some scuffs and scratches. Comes as seen in pictures, so don’t miss out on this great deal.” An informed bike fanatic would say this bike is in poor/ugly condition. The drilled Sugino Super Mighty Comp cranks is there, along with the Suntour Cyclone II derailleurs, and Dia Compe Gran Compe Aero brakes and levers. There are some good things happening here and perhaps a thorough degreasing would help, but not for the asking price. That’s just my opinion. 

I was going through some very old posts yesterday and was surprised to see how uninformed I was about Lotus bikes a few years ago. I would never purport any expertise on the subject, it’s just that I have obsessive opinions on all things Lotus. I believe my knowledge and identification skills have improved, though mistakes are certain to pop up-see my recent Oxide Green Competition post.

Given my limitations, it’s great that there are two, totally different sites dedicated to Lotus bicycles. Tim at Vintage Lotus Bicycles has a very organized catalog of Lotus information. My site, is a little more eccentric (erratic) and shows all facets of customized, restored, and generally used Lotus bikes, with a close watch on the marketplace. Both are useful in their own way. 

Additionally, I’m a little disappointed with the search feature in my new tumblr theme. I wish there were a search panel on the home page, but instead you must click on tags in a given post. It’s not an impossible task but not as easy as I would prefer it to be. While trolling old posts, I also noticed that some 2011 images won’t load. It’s frustrating and probably requires a note to someone at tumblr. 

That’s my moment of reflection.

This post comes after the sale, but I believe this bike is totally worth mentioning. I’ve not seen one like this before, so let me analyze. 

Tim’s Odyssey page only goes to 1987, but this Odyssey is not exactly like the ‘87 model, and based on the setup, I believe it must be an ‘88. It’s definitely got the features of very late model Lotus: the Lotus Design USA decal at the bottom of the seat tube; three color ‘Odyssey’ decal at the back of the crossbar; strange mountain/tree decal at the front of the crossbar; and odd components like the Sakae Oval Tech crank and Shimano Light Action derailleurs. You can really see Lotus struggling to build a decent bike while battling the Yen/USD exchange rate. Interestingly, the the frame still carries a Made In Japan sticker. I suppose this model was too high within the model range to be sent to Taiwan for construction. Who knows. 

Even though I have been scrutinizing the pics, I kept seeing the bike as navy blue. The listing says gunmetal grey and now I can see the color distinction. 

After 54 bids, the bike sold for $377.00 plus $89.00 to ship. Honestly, I’m very surprised by the price and the bidding activity. I would not have estimated it that high nor expected so much interest. Judging the pics, it’s obviously used and could use a thorough degreasing. Minus the tires and bartape, everything is original, including the Lotus branded toe straps.

It’s good to be pleasantly surprised sometimes.

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