|"VINTAGE LIFE CYCLES"
CANADIAN & VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHT BICYCLE
HOLDSWORTH "EQUIPE" GUIDE
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|AN EARLY SEVENTIES HOLDSWORTH "EQUIPE"|
|This early seventies Holdsworth is probably one of the nicest bicycles to be found at the landfill to date. The bicycle was absolutley complete and needed only minor refurbishment to get it on the road. Treasure indeed!|
|FINDING THE HOLDSWORTH|
|With the passing of the �Spring Clean-Up� season, pickings at the local landfill site had dropped off considerably. It had been a few weeks since anything really worth while had come my way. Little phased by this vintage light-weight drought, I headed out to the dump on a Friday afternoon, immediately after getting off of work. This, by the way, has become a bit of a habit these days.
Hope springs eternal with every visit to the landfill site. One never knows what will be found � treasure of junk. Sort of a Forest Gump and chocolates thing. You just don�t know what you�re going to get until you take the figurative �bite�.
Scavenging at the landfill site is somewhat frowned upon, however; the site manager had indirectly granted me permission, through a mutual acquaintance, to collect bicycles from the site, provided that I am discrete in doing so. On this particular Friday, it was my good fortune to meet the manager of the landfill site for the first time. I wanted to thank him for his help.
I introduced myself, explaining my purpose and he was quick to remember our mutual friend and joined me for a walk to the �Good Neighbor� area where old bicycles, in reasonable condition, are stored for export to a third world country at some future date.
As we were walking across the field, I couldn�t help but notice, what looked to be, a fairly high-end Norco leaning against the chain link fence. With my attention all but focused on the Norco and while trying to maintain a conversation with the manager, I failed to notice the other treasure just waiting to be found.
I mentioned that the Norco would be a nice addition to my collection. It was then that I looked down and there, sitting just three feet away, was the Holdsworth �Equipe� featured on this page. I could scarcely believe my eyes. I was quick to lay claim to the bike, commenting on how lucky I was to find such a neat old bicycle. The manager seemed unimpressed. He likes mountain bicycles, which incidentally are frequently discarded at the dump also.
At first glance, I did not realize that I was looking at some vintage Campagnolo components and it was not until I got the bike(s) home that I did realize my good fortune. All other projects were put, immediately, on the shelf and I got busy refurbishing this beautiful old hand built English bicycle.
The bicycle will be fully restored during the coming winter, at both the mechanical and cosmetic levels.
|The Holdsworth was found exactly as pictured, not counting the Wrights leather saddle which acquired at a local Police Auction. Refurbishment included checking, lubricating and setting-up wheel and bottom bracket bearings. The wheels required minor truing and all cables were replaced. New tires and "thorn resistant" inner tubes completed the refurbishment package.|
|CAMPAGNOLO "VALENTINO" TRANSMISSION|
|Shifting chores are handled by a Campagnolo front and rear derailler group and activated by Campy control levers. These components are in very good condition, as is the rest of the bicycle.|
|Shifting is good and any problems are a result of not knowing too much about setting up a "post" style front derailleur. Cotter-pins had to be filed before the cranks could be installed. The cranks are not perfectly in line but a little trick is now used when filing cotters to help prevent this problem from recurring.|
|FRAME AND FORKS|
|The front forks are made of Reynolds 531 tubing. It appears that a decal was located on the seat tube which probably defined the type of material used in frame construction. It is quite likely that the frame was built of straight gauge 531 chrome moly also.|
|The bicycle, finished in the Holdsworth Orange, both popular and famous for this bicycle, is nice to behold. Great care will be taken to ensure that the paint work is accurately reproduced during the bicycle's up-coming restoration. The same holds true for the decal reproduction The restoration effort will be shared with you in days to come.|
|NEAT LITTLE EXTRAS|
|Lots of little things can be viewed upon closer inspection. A brazed on headlight mount on the right front fork being an example. The little aluminum "shorty" fenders are a nice but probably non-functional touch and will be retained for the restoration. The nicks in the paint work are few and far between.|
|RIDING THE HOLDSWORTH|
|Almost as soon as I got the Holdsworth home, I started into refurbishment. I really wanted to know, as soon as possible, if the frame and forks were straight.
Surprisingly enough, the �Equipe� needed very little in the way of parts replacement. In less than a day, the bicycle was ready to go.
The bike is very nice to ride! It has a large frame with a long wheel base and tracks like it is on rails. Hands-off riding is no problem with the bike trying to pull neither to the left nor the right.
The Wright leather saddle is strangely comfortable, considering that it has conformed to another person�s anatomy. A new Brooks B17 Special saddle is planned for installation when the bicycle is restored, even though the present saddle is quite adequate.
Shifting has proved to be a bit of a pain in the butt. Several times, shifting too quickly has thrown the chain off of the big ring, forcing me to stop and put the bloody thing back on. This problem, I hope, is a product of my not knowing how to properly set up the �post� style Campagnolo front derailleur. Other than that, the bicycle shifts well but I must maintain my focus when changing gears.
The bicycle runs quietly and is easy to pedal. I have not, as yet, had it out for a long ride but comfort does not seem to be a problem. This is probably partly due to the fact that the bicycle has a large frame, making it possible to set up the handlebar seat relationship such that I do not have to bend forward too much. I like riding large framed bicycles for this reason alone.
The brakes work just fine. They, like so many other bicycles for the time, are of the center-pull design and are easy to set up. Squeal is usually minimal, even thought the pads operate on steel rims.
The bike does not feel really light and this is no surprise considering the fact that it tips the scales at just under twenty-five pounds, thorn resistant inner tubes and all. However, the lack of light feel is offset by the great stability imparted by the large frame and long wheel base.
I will not trade the Holdsworth away. I like riding it and plan to keep is as completely stock as possible.
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