Sometimes when you look at a picture of a bike, no matter how good or bad the picture is, you get a sense that hopefully the bike is a good one and worth chasing .
This happened to me a few weeks ago when I was looking through Gumtree ads and spotted an advert for a Holdsworth bike leant up against a hedge. Some of the bike in the question was lost in the hedge , but from what I could see and from some of the other pictures showed this was a quality bike waiting to be ridden again .
Contact was made with the seller and all was going well , then communication stopped . In the meantime I had mentioned said bike to a fellow bike enthusiast who agreed with my thoughts . A few days later he messaged me saying that he had been in contact with the seller and had made arrangements to view the bike a couple of days later. If I was still interested he would pick it up on my behalf and then we would arrange to get it to me . We arranged a meet up and the bike was duly swapped over to my ownership , my first look at it confirmed my initial thoughts .
The frame was very light and lived up to its Reynolds 531 Super Light stickering and had that certain ring when tapped with your fingernail , the bottom bracket was also drilled for lightness and the seat cluster included a very nicely done set of fastback stays and with no lower stay bridge it was most certainly a classy frame indeed . From what I can make out this model of the Holdsworth Professional Sl only existed in 1992 before it went to normal rear stays , solid bottom bracket and non-drilled rear dropouts .
It arrived with a very rough looking set of tubs and sprint wheels complete with a racing 7 speed block and some aero bars that had some weird twist grip gear shifters mounted and wired up although these were not functioning. All of these were removed and consigned to my parts storage and at the same time I fitted a nice set of six speed Campagnola hubbed and Mavic rimmed wheels which duly slotted in and fitted the chromed and drilled rear dropouts nicely . The next change was to fit some sleek aero style down tube shifters and some new brake & gear cables to see what worked or not . The first thing I found out was that the Mavic rear mechanism would foul against the biggest rear cog when I tried to select it . Upon investigation it was apparent the rear mech had some issues so was duly swapped to make room for a less pretty Shimano 105 unit and hey presto all 12 gears were selectable .
Now that was sorted test miles could continue and a couple more days of commuting were done without any issues . A couple of days of damp weather delayed its inaugural double figure ride . But I can happily say a nice gentle 24 miles were completed around the local lanes last weekend and the bike impressed me a lot with its quality of ride and the way it picked up speed so easily and it even climbed the couple of gentle hills with ease .
All in all I am more than impressed with this bike , and soon as time allows I will start giving it a better clean rather than just the wipe down with a wet wipe that it has had so far .