Special and Special Mixte

" A basic value 10-Speed that gives you Japanese technology and quality at the lowest possible price."
~~ 1987 Catalog Quote ~~

1983 Lotus Special in BlueThe steel-rimmed Lotus Special (Pacific Cycles) was a Lotus entry-level value bicycle. It was introduced circa 1982 and was only available in Blue. Up until then, the entry-level bicycle was the Lotus America, which received a promotion when the Special became available. The Lotus America was made by Tsunoda in Japan and the first-generation Lotus Special was made in Taiwan. Later models of the Lotus Special would resume production in Japan.

The bicycle on the right is a first-generation, circa 1982, Lotus Special in Blue.  Note the double seat tube decals to coordinate with the style of the first-generation Tsunoda models. For more background information on the first generation Lotus Special and Pacific Cycles please visit the Lotus Elite page.

Lotus would discontinue the Special during the mid 1980's when it was replaced by the Lotus International.  The Special returned again in 1987 as the entry level model in the Lotus Sport Series next to the then upgraded International.

Early Lotus Special models were also available in a mixte style frame and the later models, circa 1987, models were available in a double downtube style women's frame. 

So far, the award for the smallest of the Lotus road bicycles goes to the 1983 Lotus Special shown below.  This bicycle sports 24-inch wheels on it's 18-inch Blue frame.  As far as we know, the Special was the only Junior-size road bike with 24-inch wheels that Lotus ever offered.  The 44-48cm Elite 600  and 18-inch Unique models in 1987 were available with a 24-inch front wheel paired with a 700c rear wheel. The 1987 Lotus Special is listed in the 1987 catalog as being available in a 17-inch "Boys and Girls"  frame with 24-inch wheels.  We'd love to see one.

1983 Lotus Junior Special in Blue

"My son rode this Lotus Special for a year or two until it was too small.
 In 1996 or 1997 I bought it from the "junk" pile of a bike shop that was going out of business.
I saved it from being sold for scrap, it needed alot of work but I brought it a 2nd life.
Its been hanging on a hook for the last 8 years."
~~ J. Thomas ~~

1987 Lotus Special Lug DetailIn order to offer a completely lugged frame at a budget price the lugs found on the 1987 Lotus Special are very basic in design.  The head tube and head tube lugs were even formed in one piece.  

The 1987 Special used steel rims, chainrings, handlebar, seat post, and pedals.  Moving up through 3 models to the Challenger SX would gradually get you a bicycle with all those components in aluminum alloy, saving three pounds and costing over twice the price.   

The MSRP of a 1987 Lotus Special was $169.95 and it was available in the colors shown, Scarlet Red and Electric Blue. It weighed 29 pounds, that's 9 pounds heavier than the Lightest Lotus that year, the carbon fiber equipped 1987 Racing Series Lotus Elan 75.

The next improved model from the Special in 1987, featuring alloy wheels, was the Lotus 
1987 Lotus Special in Electric Blue. 
1987 Lotus Special in Scarlet Red
1983 Lotus Special (Pacific Cycles)

Frame Details Top tube cable guides
Frame Tubing Carbon Steel Headset VST-66 Chrome Steel
Fork Carbon Steel Handlebar Chrome Steel
Colors Blue Stem Alloy 
Frame Sizes 18, 19, 21, 23, 25 inches Brakes Alloy Sidepull C. Star w/ Extension Levers
Crank Tracer Alloy 42-52, Steel Chainrings Seatpost Steel
Pedals Steel Rattrap Saddle Viscount 272 Black
Shift Levers Stem Mount Rims Steel 27 inch
Front Derailleur DNP Steel Hubs Steel
Rear Derailleur DNP Steel Spokes
Freewheel 14-28  6-Speed Tires 27 x 1 1/8 Gumwall
Chain yes Weight 29 lbs. for 21 inch frame
Notes 18 inch frame had 24 inch wheels.
1987 Lotus Special
Sport Series
Frame Details Fully lugged with top tube cable guides.
Frame Tubing Chromalite Headset Chrome Plated
Fork Chromalite Handlebar Steel
Colors Scarlet Red, Electric Blue Stem Delta Alloy
Frame Sizes 19, 21, 23, 24.5 inches
17, 19 inches Ladies, Boys and Girls
Brakes 630 Alloy Sidepull, 730 on Small Sizes
Alloy Levers with Extensions
Crank SR CTC-5SG Alloy 42-52 Seatpost Chrome Plated Steel
Pedals NH-610 Rattrap Saddle Velo VL-123 Black and JR Sizes
Shift Levers Shimano QS, Stem Mount Rims Araya 5-H 27" x 1 1/4" Steel 36 Holes
Front Derailleur Shimano AX-50 Hubs Suzue Small Flange, Nutted
Rear Derailleur Shimano Skylark Spokes 14 Guage Chrome Plated
Freewheel Shimano Z012, 14-28, 5 cogs Tires 27"x 1 1/4 Gum Wall 90psi
Chain DID Black Weight 29.5 lbs. for 21" Mens

Available in a women's staggered (double down tube) frame. 

Website Builder