I recently acquired this from my grandpa who wants to get a new one but hasn’t ridden this in years. It’s just been garaged basically, though he did ride it quite often in it’s prime. It’s gotta be from the late 80’s / early 90’s, and if you can’t tell the brand and model are Lotus “Commuter”. The frame seems to be in decent shape with little patches of rust but not really that bad. Almost all the components are either filthy or rusty though. For some reason there’s only a front brake. And a few dorky attributes aside (like the monstrously wide handlebars), I think this could be a nice little rain bike for me if I throw on some fenders and what not.
So basically I want to clean it up, and replace / tune up all the components I can to get this in better shape. It is going to be a beater / rain / visitor bike, so I wanna do this on the cheap, but I want it to run well and not sound like a janky piece of crap.
I’m gonna post some pics, and can you guys diagnose what needs to be done? And if you have any parts you wanna sell off from your various extras lying around, let me know. I’m not as perceptive as some of you at picking up on what shit is so I don’t really wanna make 15 threads asking if something will work.
Thanks! Once this gets underway I’ll keep everyone updated on the progress.
It would be listed as a “6/7/8 speed chain.” KMC makes several, and the cheapest is like $7.50
For the rebuild, this is what I would do:
Dismantle completely and throw away nothing. You never know what random parts you’ll need. Wash the bottom bracket, headset, crankset, etc in the sink with Simple Green, toothbrush, rags, etc. Soak if necessary.
New chain, cables, housing, brake pads. Maybe new tires, grips, and saddle.
Prep frame with Simple Green, then Goo Gone, then Mothers polish, then touch up paint with color matched nail polish where needed, then a few coats of car wax, then boiled linseed oil on the inside.
Rebuild with marine grease, it’s waterproof, available at most gas stations, and lasts longer than bike grease (albeit with more friction but it’s a commuter so who cares)
If the hubs spin smooth you may not have to rebuild them, same with pedals.
You’ll need a metric allen key set, a bottom bracket tool, large adjustable wrench, metric socket set (8, 10, 13, 15 at least), pedal wrench, heavy wire cutters, grinding wheel/dremel, several clean rags, bottle of Gojo. Also a set of metric cone wrenches if you rebuild the hubs.
All the better if you have access to a bike co-op.
Everything on the bike looks decent enough. I would swap out the bars for some moustache or northroad style bars and set it up as a single speed. Also, replace that front brake with something nicer. A coaster brake would be nifty. If you have hills, wind or big cargo do a 1x6 or something though.
Super Villian: Thanks a lot, that’s a good little list. I appreciate it. I wanna start accumulating any supplies I need before I disassemble so that it won’t be out of comission for too long, plus it just snowed so I might wanna use this in the winter weather.
Kemmer: I was thinking about making it a single speed, definitely swapping the bars… We do have hills but nothing insane, nothing that ever daunts me on my fixed. I might just keep it geared though… I dunno. I kind of don’t care either way, just wanna do whatevers easiest.
Kemmer: I was thinking about making it a single speed, definitely swapping the bars… We do have hills but nothing insane, nothing that ever daunts me on my fixed. I might just keep it geared though… I dunno. I kind of don’t care either way, just wanna do whatevers easiest.[/quote]
Ok then, if the cables are good and it shifts ok after adjusting it and replacing the chain just run it as is till something gets fucked up. Honestly though, converting to single speed is as easy as replacing cables.