International & International Mixte

"Reliable" and "Affordable" are the two words which best describe the International.  Unlike other "basic value" all-purpose bicycles, the International is made with 100% Japanese frame construction and componentry for assured dependability. Quick release front wheel for easy transport or locking, foam bar grips, anatomic saddle, stem shifters and brake extension levers for ease of control." 
~~ 1986 Lotus Catalog ~~

1986 Lotus International Decal

 The Lotus international was introduced by 1986 as Lotus' entry-level value bicycle.  Gone were the Lotus America, Special, and Elan, as well as the other first-generation Pacific Cycles manufactured bicycles.

The 1986 International was part of the Lotus Sport/Touring Recreational Series and shared frame geometry and series designation with the Lotus Challenger, Challenger SX and Excelle models.

In order to keep the price down, the Lotus International used Hi-Tensile steel for the frame tubing, yet still offered fully lugged construction.  Steel was also used for the rims, handlebar, pedals, chainrings and seat post. While steel parts are durable and less expensive than alloy components, they are much heavier, causing the International to weigh in at a sturdy 29 pounds, 3 pounds heavier than the alloy-equipped Challenger SX.

The 1986 International was available in Electric Blue, Gun Metal Grey, and New Metallic Red.  The Mixte version was available in Electric Blue and Raspberry.

The 1986 International below is an excellent original example in New Metallic Red.  Features identifiable to the 1986 model are the Vetta branded saddle, pentagon shaped wheel reflectors and Hi-Ten frame and fork decals.

In 1987 the Lotus International received a promotion from the lowly bottom-of-the-line as the Lotus Special was added once again to what Lotus renamed the Recreational Sport Series.  All 1987-88 Excelle, Challenger SX, Challenger, International and Special models would now carry a Sport Series decal on the top tube or seat stay (depending on the year and model).

Notable features and changes for 1987 included an upgrade to Tange Cromalite tubing, alloy rims, alloy chainrings and a "New" Shimano R-521 resin composite derailleur. (We'll have to get back to you regarding the resin composite derailleur and if that was a good idea or not).  

The addition of a Velo brand saddle and parallelogram style wheel reflectors round out the obvious changes for 1987. Weight was down 1 pound to a svelte 28.

Colors for 1987 included Crystal Black, Scarlet Red, and Medium Blue.  A traditional double down tube step through ladies frame is shown for 1987, replacing the Mixte frame available in 1986.

Just to prove you can't believe everything you read in the Lotus Catalog, or here on for that matter, is this Lotus International with 1987 equipment and decals, painted in 1986 Gunmetal Grey. Pedals were upgraded by the owner.
1987 Lotus International in 1986 Gunmetal Grey

Catalog scan of the 1987 Lotus international in Crystal Black.  Note Velo brand seat and top tube
Sport Series decals.
1987 Lotus International

In 1988-89 the Lotus international was avilable in Scarlet Red and this light blue with white fade.  We do not have published specifications for 1988-89, but models observed appear to be very similar to the 1987 specifications.

1988 models now have decals on the frame that read, Design LOTUS U.S.A. We believe that at this time Lotus International Corporation was licensing the respected Lotus name to other companies and were not as actively involved with the design, production and distribution of Lotus bicycles as they once were with Alpha Cycle and Supply in the early 1980's. Future and final models would include the 2000, 3000 and 4000
"Pro Series" bicycles sold by Sears. 

For more information on the 1988 Lotus International please see our Featured Bicycles page.
Lotus International
1986 Lotus International
Sport/Touring Recreational Series
Frame Details Fully lugged with top tube cable guides. 
Frame Tubing Hi-Tensile Steel Headset Chrome Plated
Fork Hi-Tensile Steel Handlebar Steel
Colors Electric Blue, New Metallic Red, Gun Metal Grey
Mixte: Electric Blue, Raspberry
Stem SR Alloy
Frame Sizes 18, 20, 22, 24, 26 inches
18, 20 inches Mixte
Brakes Dia Compe 500, QR front and Extensions
Crank SR CTC-5SG Alloy 42-52, Steel Chainrings Seatpost Stainless Steel
Pedals KKT Steel Rat Trap Saddle Vetta Anatomic Black
Shift Levers Suntour UB-10, Stem Mount Rims Ukai Steel  27 x 1 1/4 
Front Derailleur Suntour New Seven Hubs Suzue Small Flange, QR Front
Rear Derailleur Suntour New Seven Spokes 14 Guage Chrome Plated
Freewheel Suntour, black, 14-28, 5 cogs Tires Panaracer Gum Wall 90psi
Chain DID Black Weight 29 lbs. 
Notes Accessories: reflectors and cushion foam grips.

1987-88 Lotus International
Recreational Sport Series
Frame Details Fully lugged with top tube cable guides. 
Frame Tubing Cromalite Headset Chrome Plated
Fork Cromalite Handlebar Steel
Colors Scarlet Red, Medium Blue, Crystal Black Stem Delta Alloy
Frame Sizes 18, 20, 22, 24, 26 inches
18, 20 inches Ladies
Brakes Dia Compe 500N Alloy Sidepull
Dia Compe Alloy Levers with QR and Extensions
Crank SR CTC-5SG Alloy 42-52 Seatpost Chrome Plated
Pedals NH-610 Rattrap Saddle Velo VL-118 Anatomic Black
Shift Levers Shimano QS, Stem Mount Rims Araya SP-30 27 x 1 1/ Alloy 36 Holes
Front Derailleur Shimano AX-50 Hubs Suzue Small Flange, QR Front
Rear Derailleur Shimano R-521 Spokes 14 Guage Chrome Plated
Freewheel Shimano Z012, 14-28, 5 cogs Tires 27 x 1 1/8 Gum Wall 90psi
Chain DID Black Weight 28 lbs. for 20" Mens
Notes Accessories: reflectors, foam grips.
1988 specifications may differ from chart.

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