Status: For Sale at $1800
Made in London, England
Frame & Fork: Reynolds 531
Groupset: Campagnolo Nuovo Record
Bars and Stem: Original-Gerry Burgess (GB)
Wheelset: Mavic GP4 (red label) tubular rims on Campagnolo Record hubs and Vittoria Rally 700x25 tubular tires
This bike comes with a great story. I went to Vernon, BC to see a guy about a Specialized Stumpjumper FS (see blogs 19 and 20) and ended up buying two bikes from him. When he found out that I liked to rebuild vintage bikes, he said that I had to meet his neighbour, Gordon. Gordon had been given this Holdsworth as a project. I suspect it was because Gordon seems handy and is British. Gordon was way too busy for another project, especially one like this that needed a lot of work, so I ended up taking it home. What a lucky day that was! I went home with three bikes in the car and a lot of excitement about this Holdsworth.
I found a Holdsworth Facebook group that has many people in it who know a lot about Holdsworths, including a few people who are former employees of Holdsworth. They directed me to a website and spreadsheet and were able to help me find out about this bike. Based on the serial number (69473), which is found on the bottom bracket and the fork tube, the bike was a Shop Special, meaning it was made in their shop rather than their factory, and is likely an Italia Sprint.
The paint was in horrible condition and I really wanted to repaint it to look like the Holdsworth team bikes, so it had to be orange and blue. I stripped it down to the bare metal and that revealed the beautiful brazed lugs and Campagnolo dropouts. This was my most challenging paint job to date. It had two colours and the world championship decals were very challenging to apply so that the coloured bands matched up perfectly after wrapping around the frame. The painting/decal process took me 10 hours. In the end I was really happy with it, but there is a mistake that I will have to correct before I build the bike this winter.
I was lucky to find an excellent Campagnolo Nuovo Record groupset from 1971, very close to the 1969 frame. The GP4 wheelset was also in excellent condition and I really wanted to try out a tubular wheelset so this was my chance. I wanted a Brooks saddle for this English bike and I got lucky when I found this beautiful Brooks Swift Titanium racing saddle. I think it matches the build perfectly and it is actually quite comfortable. The build worked out perfectly and the ride was better than I imagined. It was buttery smooth, shifted perfectly and the brakes worked so well they were easy to lock-up. If this bike was my size, I would keep it but unfortunately it's a bit too small for me.