Lotus was a brand of bicycles designed, specified, marketed and distributed by Lotus International Corp. of Syosset, New York, which had been founded by Sid and Ernst Star. The bikes were offered as a complete range, from entry level to professional models, and were manufactured by Tsunoda Bicycle Corporation of Nagoya, Japan (founded in 1926, still in business and subsequently by other manufacturers — including a group of mid-1980s high end models manufactured in Italy, in conjunction with Cinelli.
Lotus International marketed its bikes using an abstraction of the Lotus flower as its logo.
Prior to 1980, Sidney (Sid) Star had marketed Windsor bicycles in the US through his company, Alpha Cycle & Supply Corp., modifying Windsor’s designs to be competitive in the US market. His son, Ernst Star left a university job in 1980 to join with his father and start a new brand, manufactured in Japan — creating and registering the Lotus brand at that time, and turning to Tsunoda of Japan for manufacturing. Together they subsequently formed Lotus International Corp. to handle Lotus bicycles exclusively, dropping Windsor bicycles.
Windsor cycles, which had been manufactured by Acer Mex, had been successful for Alpha — but had required quality control attention due to the reorganization of the factory in Mexico City. Both Windsor and Lotus cycles received the top ratings in the Consumer Reports, November, 1985 issue.