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 Post subject: Holdsworth Special
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:53 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:54 pm
Posts: 37
I'm new to this site and looking for a bit of advice, I've extracted my old road bike from some years in the back of the shed to get it running again. Initially Id like some advise identifying my bike, bought in approx 1980, secondhand from a friend who was a club racer, it was his practice bike, it is very lightweight .

The Spokes on the wheels are a little rusty But When I took it to my local Cycle Shop the Guy said the whole wheels were scrap and I'd be better off replacing as a whole, unfortunately this sort of response makes me suspicious of shops thinking a middle aged Guy has too much money and can be ripped off > But I've cleaned the wheels up fine for now, I cleaned an re-greased the hubs and bearings and they seems to run OK, The rims are Mavic, Still with the labels on, Hubs are QR Shimano, I've added new Tyres and Tubes and all seems fine, perhaps I'll get replacement spokes in time from someone recommended on here ??

Per the Pictures its called a Holdsworth Special in 531 Double butted tubing, but I remember the previous owner saying it was a Holdsworthy Special and only available as a frame ??
Bottom Crank and Pedal arms - Galli
Bottom bracket Modern from Halfords, (It was Galli Tapered roller bearings, like a car, but they disintegrated approx 15 Years ago !! )
Rear gears - Suntour Vx
Front Mech Shimano 600
Wheel Hubs Shimano
Wheel Rims Mavic Module E
Brakes Wienmenn side action
Brake Levers Mafac


Conscious I'm probably rambling a bit as I have many questions to ask but for starters, Can anybody identify the bike and is it worth getting it repainted with new decals etc - Help or advice appreciated

Image
Image
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Holdsworth Special
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:12 am 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider
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Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 1:10 am
Posts: 4473
Location: Bristol
Wow what a beauty! Definitely worth restoring. I'd say leave the paint as is for the mo; it has a lovely patina of wear and age that give its looks some gravitas. Slap the old wheels back on and ride as is, upgrading ( if necessary ) as YOU see fit. From your descriptions it sounds like the spokes ONLY are on the way out though visit several bike shops ( with a packet of choccy Hobnobs ) to garner many opinions and improve your confidence in bike shops' views.


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 Post subject: Re: Holdsworth Special
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:08 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:27 pm
Posts: 390
Location: London
Very nice, quality bike, I wouldn't go for a respray. It looks very well and remember that the paint is original only once. If wheels run true and there's no problem with the hubs as you said that you had serviced them, there's no point of replacing with modern wheels. You can replace the spokes if old ones are rusty, (e.g. stainless double butted ACI Alpina http://www.sdeals.com/oscommerce/product_info.php/cPath/35_54/products_id/326 or Sapim Race http://www.sdeals.com/oscommerce/product_info.php/cPath/35_54/products_id/330)


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 Post subject: Re: Holdsworth Special
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:44 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:24 am
Posts: 355
Location: London
It looks very familiar as I had the same frame bought in 1979. I recall picking it out of the brochure as a frame only which was typical of the time. Most of us built up our own bikes then. I would say the period is correct for yours.


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 Post subject: Re: Holdsworth Special
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:46 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:08 pm
Posts: 2186
Location: Shrewsbury
predki wrote:
Very nice, quality bike, I wouldn't go for a respray. It looks very well and remember that the paint is original only once.


+1 100%

It looks way to good to respray, I'd think about a good clean and polish, then some careful touching up. Ray Dobbins has some good advice on his site:

http://www.raydobbins.com/pantografata/ ... ouchup.htm

If you did respray a quality job to equal what you already have will cost £170-200.

There a mountain of information about Holdsworth here:

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/nkilgariff/Models.htm

They list a 531 Special starting in 1975.

Stay well away from any bike shop that tells you the wheels are scrap. Apart from extreme high mileage, rims can be cleaned and polished, hubs can be rebuilt and then the wheels rebuilt with new spokes. There are plenty of bikes shops who will try and offer you £30-40 scrap against a modern £500 pile of shit.

I'd either consider restoring it yourself, any questions you have can be answered here, or find someone with some sympathy for quality vintage bikes :)


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 Post subject: Re: Holdsworth Special
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:24 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:29 pm
Posts: 554
Location: Sheffield
That's lovely, and I don't think you should respray.
As for the wheels, I doubt they should be trashed. Module E are a great sturdy rim, so unless the braking surfaces are really worn, you should keep them. You'd pay a lot for anything better. Are the spokes galvanised rather than chrome plated (are they just dull all over, or chrome with rust)? If galvanised, they're meant to be dull. If it really bothers you, and you want them to look more shiny, you can use vinegar and a nylon kitchen scouring pad (and elbow grease) to make them shine. Maybe put a picture of the wheels up?
I agree that it sounds like you should avoid that bike shop...
Have fun getting it on the road.
Nick


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 Post subject: Re: Holdsworth Special
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:44 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:10 pm
Posts: 669
Aye, these are sweeties IME. Minimal unpretentious lugs and top eyes, long Campag ends, 531db throughout....what's not to like? Often I suspect consciously bought as, or relegated to 'training' or 'second bike' back when, mainly (and somewhat unfairly) because of their virtues...a good solid stable adaptable and dependable frame (which doesn't mean unlively or heavy)... close clearance, but not so close you couldn't fit mudguards when needed. Mudguard eyes, but you could use 47-57mm brakes with the pads near the bottom of the slot.

Apart from echoing and endorsing what's already been said, that seatpost is a long way into the frame, which is worrying if this bike has been in 'storage' for years. If you haven't already, slacken the seat-lug bolt and make sure the seatpost still moves?

I think the earlier Specials had 16 1/2" chainstays. On later ones it was changed to 17"... god knows why. I'd be interested to know which yours has? Measure from centre of BB to imaginary centre-line of the seatstay extended into the dropout slot.

The nkilgariff site will clue you up as to the distinction between 'Holdsworthy' and 'Holdsworth'. Basically there was a factory and a shop, both of whom produced frames. This will be a factory frame. That's their decal at the bottom of the seat-tube.


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 Post subject: Re: Holdsworth Special
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:47 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:23 am
Posts: 295
Location: London, UK
In the bike shop's defence, you may have caught them at a bad time or not asked the question in the way they were expecting. It can take time to restore and rebuild a pair of wheels and many shops will charge labour based on time, not job. (I don't do this because it's then in my interest to work slowly!). This can swiftly put a quote for a job "beyond economical repair", or make fitting new replacement parts cheaper. I've got a pair of wheels that I'm restoring for a good customer on a "just when you get some time, no rush" basis, Normandy hubs on Weinmann rims and it's certainly a more laborious job than a standard wheel build, but I'll charge him the usual amount partly because he's a good customer and partly because there's no urgency so I've been able to do the job in spare moments at the end of the day.

A lot of the labour involved in renovating old bikes is time-consuming and relatively un-skilled, cleaning, polishing and generally applying elbow grease, so I'll try and encourage my customers with limited budgets to do some of the work themselves and just bring the mechanical stuff to me. Otherwise it can get prohibitively expensive to pay us for three hours of scrubbing and polishing chrome, for example.

That said, it's also possible they were either philistines who were just trying to sell you something new, or dodgy types who wanted to profit from you and hoped you'd leave the old classics with them!


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 Post subject: Re: Holdsworth Special
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:36 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:11 pm
Posts: 1846
Location: wellingborough
looks good go and enjoy it


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 Post subject: Re: Holdsworth Special
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:55 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:38 pm
Posts: 1470
Location: The Lovely Lincolnshire Wolds and by the sea in Sussex
Your Holdsworth is a post 1980 frame*, the identifier is the transfer head"badge"as opposed to a rivetted on metal one. And, as another contributor has pointed out it is a"factory"(i.e Penge)frame - no harm in that, all this means is the frame was handmade in batches (I saw them bieng made in the factory bitd) by a team of builders rather than one guy making the complete frame.

Basically a good (read above average) frame.

Patina, in my opinion is fine if the patina is just that and"yours"; and not just damage from years of abuse or just careless storage. Several of my bikes I've had from new and they have patina, but they are mint too.

I recently had returned to me a bike I bought new many years ago, it has"come home"with quite a lot of paint damage (not patina), so it will be restored to as new.

Wheels - safety item - I assume you've checked under the rim tapes for corrosion if all is well there I would simply have them trued by a professional (I usually pay around £30/£35 per wheel for a build (just spokes) - that's a price form a leading wheel builder with a reputation hard earned on the pro circuit over many years.

Like the colour too.

Roadking.


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