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Discussion Starter #1
i saw this bike in the trash, lotus challenger
i thought it might be a good candidate for a fixed gear commuter project
but i don't know anything about road bikes
i am moving to madison wi and wanted a winter bike/beater
is it worth taking with me?
sticker say tange 1000 double butted chromo
some surface rust( i plan to give it a rattle can paint job)
stamped(not forged) dropouts
what do you guys think?
 

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wow

That's a pretty nice bike to find in the trash! If the bike fits you I'd keep it otherwise I'd find someone who it will fit and give it to them.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
don't think so

it was definitely in the trash, college students moving out
chain was total rust
rear wheel very un true
brake and derailleur cable in real bad shape
tires completely dry rotted fell apart
it hadn't been ridden in a long time
headset and bb in great shape gotta love texas weather
already stripped off derailleurs and shifters
front wheel bearings still pretty smooth
rear wheel is toast methinks
i think it fits me pretty good as far as i can tell
from just sitting on it
 

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all you need to know

1. horizontal dropouts, check.
2. crmo, not stovepipe high tensile steel, check.

go for it.

Lotus was a well respected Japanese made brand back in the day. Their top line models were equal to anything out of Italy, with Columbus SL tubing and fittings very reminiscent of Cinelli.

Tange double butted crmo is fine yeoman grade steel.
Any lugged frame is cool, since they're getting scarcer as the years roll on.

Yours is probably built for 700C wheels, which is fine.
Even better is when you find one that meets qualifications 1. and 2. and was built for 27" wheels. Then you can fit some serious 700C fatties in it, like 35mm at least, which is great for foul weather season or fixed gearing dirt roads. But you should still be able to get some burly 28mm rubber in even if it was designed for 700C. Panaracer Pasela, I think they're called, is a real popular fatter tire, or check Nashbar they're alway blowing out 700C touring tires cheap.

I'd say you couldn't go wrong with a 42/17, or an 18t cog for dirt roads.
Don't buy any fancy boutique anything, other than a EuroAsia track cog, which has enough threading not to spin on your hub and destroy the threads. That is important, cheap thin track cogs will spin when you get on it and ruin your hub.
Use a standard road wheel with a threaded freewheel (not freehub) hub. Move the R side spacers to the L side of the axle to get the chain line, then redish the rim by loosening the R spokes and tightening the L spokes until the rim is again centered between the locknuts. Drip penetrating oil on the spoke nipples at the rim and spoke points if the wheel is old, or you could round out the nipples trying to get them to turn. Truing stand is nice, but you could do the deed right in the frame using the brake shoes, adjusted tight, as a guide.
You do NOT need a special track hub, install the track cog using liberal amount of blue 242 loctite, then reef it tight with a chain whip. I guarantee you you will not spin the cog loose, I have busted chain whips removing loctited track cogs. You can always get it off by applying heat from a soldering iron. Nor do you need a lock ring, which is the reason for track cogs. Some folks put a bottom bracket english threaded lock ring on after the track cog, and if it makes you feel good, it hurts nothing, but it is totally unnecessary if you used loctite. Track hub lock rings are reverse threaded so the cog cannot spin the lock ring off. With a BB lock ring on a road hub, and no loctite, the lock ring can still spin off as both are threaded on the same r hand threads.
I'd recommend at least a front brake. I use both, mostly because I like having two brake hoods for my hands, so might as well hook them both up to something.
Don't need no nutted axle if you use a steel-ended quick release skewer, and your hub has steel locknut faces, which most any freewheel hub will have.
With your redished wheel, the 42 ring will probably line up best in the big ring outboard position. So visit your local BMX shop for some short chainring bolts, which are nicer looking and easier to deal with than using washers on longer double-ring bolts, though that will also work, just not as sano.
 

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It's all good + ? for BulC

BulC has pretty much covered everything - that bike is most definitely fixed worthy

BulC, one question - when you're talking extra clearance on a frame designed for 27" (630) wheels - what do you do for brakes on the 622 rims? Do you find most have enough drop to reach the 4mm lower rims? How about the reduced mechanical advantage for braking? I had a nice old Raleigh Super Course which is now ridden by my dad, and that has 27" wheels. I used Michelin World Tour 27x1/1/4 tyres on it which certainly gave a good deal more cush than a standard 622-23~25 road tyre.

Sam
 

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brakes

that's 4mm difference in reach between 27" and 700C. Most old sidepulls on such old bikes are "standard reach," what I guess they now call "long reach," and often have enough adjustment. If close, like within a few mm, one can always file the pad slots a little longer with a rattail file or dremel.
Plan B which always works, is to switch to centerpull brakes which were speced on most bikes in the early 70s. They always have the extra adjustment needed. You need a headset cable hanger, and a hanger that attaches to the seatpost bolt. I get my centerpulls and hangers from old trashed frames that were thrown away. Even if the frame, wheels, etc. are worthless it's worth stripping old beaters of any useful parts, as you never know...
Yeah the longer the brake arch, the less mechanical advantage, so you're not going to have quite the braking power of today's dual pivot super short reach sidepulls. But you'll still get plenty enough even for normal road riding. With a fixed hub, plenty more than enough. My old Crescent road racing bike had Universal centerpulls and I remember flying down mountain passes at 50+ in the middle of the pack with it and never having any braking issues.
Speaking of fat 700C tires, you can increase side clearance at the chainstays by bashing then in from the inside by hammering a pipe of sufficient diameter forward toward the chainstay bridge, while holding the pipe vertically between the chainstays. Put a bare hub in the rear dropouts first though so you don't spread the stays to like 200mm. I got a converted from 27" 1974 Kabuki road frame here that will fit 700x45C fatties thanks to a good pipe bashing. It's got old Weinmann sidepull brakes on it scavanged from a Varsity. If I switch to 40mm tires I can run them with fenders as well, though things are tight.
 

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So the Weinmann brakes will fit a 45mm tyre? Cool - seeing as my dad has now got some nasty Taiwanese Al hybrid he's riding instead of that nice old Raleigh (hey, he's still riding...) next trip back to Oz might see me reclaim the old beastie and set her up as a scorcher. Thanks for the info - though don't know if I could condone taking to the super corsa with some steel pipe to try and squeeze some mutanoraptors in there, though it's tempting....
 
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