Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 9

Pros:

  • Classic design attributes
  • Modern components mean the bike isn't stuck in the 70s

Cons:

  • Retro look may not please everyone

Product:

Holdsworth Professional: First ride

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£2500.00

Falcon Cycles has reinvented the Holdsworth Professional, the bike of the legendary Holdsworth-Campagnolo team of the 1970s.

The new bike was redesigned from the ground up so that original details like the seatstay wrapover, dome-headed rivets for the head badge and sloping Campag-style dropouts could be worked in. There is a limited run of 150, each numbered separately with a down tube decal.

With a traditional lugged construction, the frame is authentic in every way. However, a heavy steel fork, threaded steerer and flexible quill stem is something nobody really wants, so a carbon-bladed fork with aluminium steerer has been discreetly sprayed the same orange as the steel frame.

For the groupset, Campagnolo Athena is the only option in terms of aesthetics, with its polished alloy chainset. It has the vintage look, but Campagnolo’s bottom 11-speed groupset is also a great performer. Black Campag Scirocco wheels match the 3T bar, stem and seatpost and a white Fizik Pavé saddle and bar tape complete the pro look.

The Holdsworth feels like a modern bike as its makers intended. It has the unmistakable ride of a well made steel frame – just the right amount of ‘spring’, comfort and speed. The 74° parallel geometry and horizontal top tube are racy. Obviously it isn’t meant to be raced, but I rode it to a top-five place in an early-season sportive and might have been faster if I hadn’t slowed down to acknowledge admiring comments.

Verdict

It’s a beautiful machine and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to fans of classic race bikes who want to ride them rather than look at them.

Full Specification

Bars:
3T Ergosum Pro alloy
Frame:
Reynolds 725 cromo lugged, Aprebic carbon fibre 1 1/8in fork

Group Set:
Campagnolo Athena
Saddle:
Fizik Pavé

Seat Post:
3T Dorico Pro alloy
Size Range:
530mm, 560mm, 585mm

Stem:
3T ARX Pro alloy
Tyres:
Schwalbe Ultremo R Folding Triple Compound

Weight:
8.62kg (19lb)
Wheels:
Campagnolo Scirocco

Supplier:
www.falconcycles.co.uk

  • Martin

    still love my 90′s holdsworth professional – but I reckon’s it’s all black colour scheme is sexier than the orange :)

  • brian Grundy

    I have a Holdsworth cycle frame number 3097, it is purple in colour and is in good condition, the frame number is 3097, can anyone give me its age and possible value. Thanks.

  • Steve Pratley

    I mum has my dads old Holdsworth cycle that he had resprayed in the original colours. It is a luggless frame and from the 1960/70′s I think.
    My mum is looking at giving it away to someone to cycle to college on but I feel that it is too nice a bike for that. It need a little tlc though.
    Can anyone tell me the best place to sell this for her and any idea on what its worth roughly ?

  • Oliver

    Hi,
    anyone know the geometry data for the larger frame sizes (56/ 59)?
    In particular I am looking for the seat angle, head tube length, etc.
    Thanks!

  • Peter Greaves

    Great looking bike. I bought a Holdsworth Pro frame new in 1972, it cost me £40 and raced on it for the next 6 years of course fitting it out with Campag components. The frames were heavy compared to carbon fibre but had a lovely feel, were strong and very reliable. Buy a new one and the bike could last you 30 years or more, not sure how long carbon fibre lasts but it must be getting better all the time.

  • susan latham

    great bikes. my father fred latham Manchester wheeler sprint champion 1927 had one made in
    1975, which still has all original parts and I still ride. recently completed the London to brighton
    race on it. I would be interested to know what the value of this bike would be as Iam considering
    selling with a view to updating.

  • Martin Itter

    Hi,
    I would love to own one of these bikes!!
    My first bike was a hand-made custom built Holdsworth; 14″ frame and 20″ wheels, I was only 5 years old at the time in 1954.
    My father had it made for me as he knew Sandy Holdsworth. I later progressed to a road racing machine 21″ frame 24″ wheels but I can’t remember the frames name. I rode many races on it.
    Good to see my favourite bike name is still going.
    Best wishes,
    Martin Itter.
    PS my Fathers name was Peter Itter founder member with Charles Messenger of the BCF.

  • Rafael Velez

    I own a Holdsworth competition model that I raced in 90′s. I still ride it, but over the years I’ve replaced the rims, saddle, and rear derailleur. I was thrilled to see the new Holdsworth and I wish I had the means to get one back to California, but it just wasn’t meant to be. I love British steel, Brooks saddles and Campy! That combination is the only way to ride!!!

  • Hugh Darcy

    Lovely bike to see in production again, and sorely tempted…I still ride my humble 1971 Holdsworth Record which is silver/blue and still in original paint. The chainset is the only update, otherwise as per sale spec. Noted a similar machine for sale at Goodwood Revival at the old bicyle shop. Rides well for a 41 year old!

  • Kelvin Trott

    As a young aspirational cylist in 1971 my parents bought me the best bike they could afford which was the Holdsworth Professional at £199. In 1971 that was a fortune and they went to great lenghts to buy it for me.
    At the age of 13 , it is only now I can understand the sacfrices they made to buy me the machine.

    I was deligted to buy number 150 of this current range and have enjoyed every moment of owning it. Its not a precise replica of the professional as there ate no chrome forks , but the machine has the same lines and colour and is a delight to ride. I have bought my two sons the same machine in preference to many of the very bland models on sale today.

  • dennis creech

    I lived of annerley rd in the 60s early 70s and i remember there was a bike frame workshop in lullington rd, penge, i cant remember if they was for holdworthy or claud butler,,,they knocked down all the victorian houses in the road in the late 70s and built a council estate, i ended up getting a brand new flat there after getting married in 1979 ,,i think there was a bike shop in annerly rd towards crystal palace selling holdsworthy bikes,, good old days eh,,,,nice to hear from any others about this , dencreech@aol.com

  • Charles Holdsworth

    Great to see Holdsworths back on the road. Sandy Holdsworth was my uncle and although I never joined the family cycle business I have followed it with interest all my like.

  • David Horley

    Fantastic to see the company colours on a machine once again. I was service department manager for Holdsworthy (Oaklands Road, Penge) for their final year before buyout and closure. Mr Flannery will doubtless remember me! I owned a Classic TT (Campag Super Record throughout) and also aquired the pattern Classic frame from the workshop which was sprayed up in team colours and had chromed backstays and half forks. 2 days after this was bought the rider lost control down Annerley Hill and the bike was written off.
    I also had a friend who had a Holdsworth Equippe which was also finished in the same scheme but this really was at the budget end of the range!
    I went from Holdsworthy (owners of the Claud Butler brand) to work for Geoffrey Butlers in Croydon. So becoming one of the few to have worked under both brothers names!
    Anyway great to see the name and colours back where they belong – on the road!

    David Horley

  • Philip Connor

    Nice to see this new take on a Classic bike.

    I’m not sure the following is at all relevant, but…

    I came across this review quite by chance. My daily ride is my Holdsworth Pro which I bought/built-up new as a teenager starting with the frame which was my Xmas present in 1976. Over the next year I fitted it out with a Campag Record Strada groupset as and when funds allowed. For the ’76 season the H-C team had 75 degree frames but these were discovered to be too twitchy and they resorted to 74. Mine is a 75 and I can confirm it is as twitchy as a nervous squirrel.

    As far as the bike being reviewed is concerned; 100% pedantic, I know, but the ‘Professional’ had a water-slide transfer head badge in order to save weight…

    I’d love to see one of the new incarnations in the flesh. I hope they all find good homes.

    Philip.

  • David Collins

    Brings back great memories of my first good bike – a Holdsworth Pro from Roy Thame Cycles in Putney. Maybe 1978, I think. But it’s a pity Falcon could not have used 853,…

  • David Skarratts

    Further to my last comments, the bike(n0 40), has now been featured in the New Zealand Road Cyclist magazine (Oct 2011 ed), it is the only one in NZ and I am a very proud owner!

  • rodders

    Awesome looking bike, and to be honest it’s just nice to see a manufacturer making bikes that look like this again.

  • Mr S.T.Hall

    FANTASTIC to see a Holdsworth bike back on the road. I used to work for W.F.Holdsworth in penge, between 1981-1985, in which time i met Tony Doyle RMC, such a nice person to talk with. The Holdsworth bike looks Fantasic a bit pricey & i would love to own one maybe!. My own bike is a mix of 853 & 753 Reynolds tubing frame/forks, with campag record brakes & gearset, it also has some upto date parts & it still going to day.

    Thanks for bringing back the memories. P.S. BRILLIANT.

  • ken manwaring

    very interested to see pro Holdsworth as I have a card with a photos and names of the holdsworth-campagnolo team of early 1970s.
    And still in contact with Alan Bridges who road with them back then.

    Alan and I road with the Mercury c.c a long long time ago.

    Kind Regards

    Ken E Manwaring

  • Noel

    In 1971 the Holdsworth shop in Putney had a Campag, eqipped Pro. bike on display.To my utter disbelief it cost one hundred & eighty quid! How could a bike cost so much? But I did buy one a year later…second-hand. I hope the new one is as good. Cheers, Noel.

  • david skarratts

    I have no.40 of this Ltd Ed. run! Unfortunately, the bike was damaged in transit to NZ due to poor packing and I have had to do some remedial paint work. I have made some changes to make it look as ‘retro’ as it should always have been, Richey Classic stem and vintage Campag aero seat pin from EBay, new Brooks saddle in honey with copper rails and rivets. Agree with Jonathan re the fork, steel would have been nice, especially if chromed. My one concern is in regard to the rear dropouts, as nice as they are, it is very difficult to remove the rear wheel due to its proximity to the seat tube. Ok in the garage but tricky out on the road with a rear wheel puncture.

  • Jonathan Reynolds

    I had a frame hand-built last year in Reynolds 853, with Campag Centaur running gear. It has a quill stem (beautiful) and steel forks (supremely comfortable), which apparently “nobody really wants”. Despite my preference for a heavy leather saddle and 32 spoke wheels, it weighs just under 20 lbs and cost £2,000. The Holdsworth doesn’t seem very good value in comparison.