1975 Holdsworth Professional
Holdsworth bicycles began in the early 1930’s. W.F. “Sandy” Holdsworth started his empire at his bike shop in Kent but it expanded over the years into a multi-shop enterprise. Holdsworth bought the Claud Butler brand name in 1958. In the 1960′s & 70′s, the main Holdsworth stores and the frame factory were relocated to London.
Like a lot of smaller British labels, Holdsworth merged with and/or became part of larger bicycle brand groups. TI-Raleigh left Holdsworth alone but the Holdsworth empire was eventually scooped up in the 1980’s by the Townsend group that owned Falcon.
This bike is the “Professional” model from 1974 or ‘75. It’s a replica of the bikes raced by the Holdsworth-Campagnolo team during the early ‘70’s.
The color is perfect. The orange color with the blue panels are just like those raced by the team. The 3TTT handlebars and stem? Again, just right. It looks like the team bikes were outfitted with all of Campagnolo’s best components, Cinelli Unicanitor saddles and Super Champion rims.
There are a few deviations to the standard team gear on this Professional. If you’re going to have a racing team replica bike in the 1970’s it would be better to have really dirty white cotton handlebar tape than our vivid blue Benotto plastic tape on this bike, but we’ll let that one go.
There’s a Stronglight crank on this bike with a 40 tooth small ring that gave you a ten to fifteen percent lower gear range than what was available with Campag cranks. The stronglight also has some of the awesome Swiss-cheese style holes drilled in it that are just so 1970’s.
The brakes are Universal 68’s instead of Campagnolo versions, a common substitution by riders wanting a little easier action at the levers (and maybe a little more powerful stopping). The saddle on our bike is a nice looking Brooks instead of the original Cinelli saddle, a substitution that has more to do with the grubby appearance of the old Unicanitor than any actual preference.