For a very long time, the Lotus Sprint was indeed mystery bicycle to us, we've seen quite a few examples in many configurations and we were uncertain of it's original design and intent. Thankfully, more information has surfaced and we've been able to unlock some of the mystery of the 1984 Lotus Sprint.
Here is what Lotus has to say about the Sprint in their 1984 Catalog:
" The Sprint is a track bike for all reasons. Because we know that most of you will spend most of your time zipping around on streets and open roads with training wheels, we built the Sprint to be tough, versatile and durable. If you're an advanced racer you will no doubt have a lighter more exotic machine. But for training or just racing around town in a fixed gear the Sprint is ideal. Sturdy Araya 700 x 25c wheels and a rugged straight gauge chrome moly frame with investment cast lugs, fork crown and BB shell. The rear hub is reversible with a freewheel on one side (if you're thinking of mounting a brake). Ideal for city messengers."
How cool is that!? Lotus offered a fixie bike two decades before fixies were cool.
Lotus also gets the truth in advertising award for marketing the bike for what it was "...for training or racing around town..." and they weren't ashamed to admit that the bike was built to be affordable, we love the line " . . . you will no doubt have a lighter more exotic machine." We can't help but think that Lotus being based in New York (just outside of New York City) must have had something to do with the design and introduction of this messenger-style bicycle.
As with many of the budget Lotus bicycles at the time, the Sprint frame was made by Pacific Cycles in Taiwan and most of the components are from somewhat obscure manufacturers. However, Lotus was careful to provide very high quality wheels on the bike and chose Araya clinchers to add durability. Once again, careful component selection balances out price and quality, a Lotus design trademark.
The photo above shows an almost bare Lotus Sprint frame in Raspberry Pink. The photo below is a scan from the 1984 Lotus Catalog and shows the Sprint in Oxide Green in it's original configuration. Note the high-flange front hub, somewhat uncommon on most Lotus models.
The saddle has writing on the nose, but we can't make out what it says. Note the red label 700c Araya rims shown in the inset photo.
The bicycle above, in Oxide Green, shows the typical heavily-modified Lotus Sprint as is so commonly found in the wild. However, the sadde looks like it could be original.
The Oxide Green paint used on the Lotus Sprint appears to be more grey than the Oxide Green used on the Japanese-built Lotus models.
Pro Tip: when photographing your bicycle, please take the picture from the other side. That way we can see the crank and other important components.
The bicycle below, in Raspberry Pink, appears to still have the original crank. Since the majority of Sprint models we have found have been heavily modified, we think it would make for a great project to restore one to original condition. You may then possibly have the only one left in the world, as such.
In our component chart below we have taken the description of the Sprint components directly from the original Lotus literature. As you can see, there are no name brands on most of the components. We'd like to fill in this chart more thoroughly by adding component names and even close-up photos of the components to the Sprint page; hopefully, this will help more Sprint owners toward restoring their bikes, and in turn satisfy some of our curiosity.
We'd also like to see a photo of the original flip-flop hub and wheel.
The first Sprint owner with a completely stock bike to submit photos to us will be featured on this page and be awarded the Honorary Lotus Owner of the Year Award by VintageLOTUSbicycles.com.
It would be greatly appreciated and we welcome contributions of photos and information about any original parts you may have on your Sprint. Please contact us here
if you can help.
|1984 Lotus Sprint
Team Lotus Racing Series
||Chrome moly throughout, investment cast seat lug, fork crown, bottom bracket shell, brazed on cable guides, fork and bridge drilled for brakes, Lotus engraving on seat stay caps.
||4130 Chrome moly, plain guage
||Chrome moly with smooth crown
||alloy track bar
||Oxide Green, Raspberry Pink
||cold forged alloy aero
||50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64 cm
||alloy quill w/ toe clips and straps
||Araya 700 x 25c clincher alloy
||sealed precision bearing, reversible type rear
||reversible sprocket hub (flip-flop)
||2, round, probably rubber