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Holdsworth restoration- colour change?

Discussion in 'Vintage and Classic Bikes' started by aquanutt, 16 Oct 2014.

  1. aquanutt

    aquanutt New Member

    Hi, first post on this forum! I am restoring a skip-found Holdsworth which I recon is around 1980, in pearl white, some nice bits on, just missing wheels. I am stripping the frame and re-chroming the forks and rear drop outs and chain stay tube due to heavy rust, but would love to change the colour- is this 'against the rules'?
    I don't expect it to be a valuable bike (the Holdsworth badge is just a transfer and has no Reynolds Tube transfers, though I guess they are) once restored, just a good project to keep me busy over the winter and ride in good weather.

    Other info- shop transfer is Tony Jackson cycles - Nelson, Lancs, it has a two ring Stronglight crank set, simplex gears, Weinman 408 brakes, 3ttt green suede saddle, 3ttt quill and cinelli bars, fork ends and drop outs and cable guides are stamped Campagnolo. All the alloy parts have cleaned up lovely, so just need to sort the paint and some wheels/tyres.

    Any advice on paint or identification of model name etc would be very welcome.

    Attached Files:

  2. biggs682

    biggs682 Smile a mile bike provider

    please do not re paint as it throws away a lot of the originality and life of a bike imho

    oh and welcome aboard and what a great find @aquanutt
    raleighnut likes this.
  3. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    On 3 Wheels
    :welcome: I agree, just clean it up
  4. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Either clean it up and ride it or restore to original condition.

    From first look ( I'll get a better look later) that looks like a better quality frame judging by the wrap around stays and the chrome.
    There's quite a lot of Holdsworth info and fans (I have 2) out there to figure it out.

    They are usually good bikes to ride and whilst their reputation is often better than what are often regular 531 frames there is nothing wrong with that. I have many bikes but the 80s Holdsworth is the only one that people stop me to talk about.

    Also, they are being made again by Planet-X. So originals will be that much cooler!

    I'll do some research later.
  5. That chrome will clean up nice. Sometimes it's just surface stuff from crud but if it has gone through the chrome you can still get it looking good especially if you maintain and clean it regularly.

    Before you look at rechroming which is expensive try this.

    1. Use Brillo pad (the soap filled ones) on rust parts. This should remove the majority. If doing it on paint work don't scrub too hard else you can scratch the paint. For paintwork I usually use wd40 and a green scouring pad.
    2 on chrome use the Brillo pad water and tin foil over the rusty areas. This really works wonders and helps to flatten any raised areas which increases the shinyness.
    3 polish with autosol (I have used cheaper stuff and it's nowhere near as good as).

    Should take a couple of hours max to get it looking good and save lots of money trying to get it repainted.
    raleighnut likes this.
  6. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Here you go, looking like late 70's early 80s vintage, this maybe?


    Or maybe here ...

    Remember, many Holdsworth might have been custom jobs, particularly higher end ones. Chrome is an expensive upgrade too. Maybe the owner didn.t want the Reynolds Logo?

    The best info you'll get on the web is here:


    I have an '82s Elan right now as my main bike (I also have an 50s model in a parlous state), It's comfortable, fairly quick with lightweight wheels, climbs well, but can get a bit lairy over 40mpg on twisty descents (a longer stem is required which might help). My Giant TCR is more competent but nowhere near as fun to ride.
    Here she is after a monsoon standard Friday night ride from L2B and back. Have proper corks in the bar ends now!

    Holds after FNRttC May 2014.JPG

    My own philosophy is to keep these bikes/frames going as much as possible in their original state. However, wheels wear/non existent as do drive trains. Old brakes were crap too. I personally think it's OK to replace bits to make it more useable and keep it running. Mine still has the original drive train, but replaced wheels and brakes.

    I think you have found a beautiful bike and am rather envious!

    Regarding wheels, if you want something classic, modern silver hubs and nice style rims would be peachy and that's what my Elan will get in time.
    These in Silver:
    Basic Hubs
    Sexier hubs:
    http://freshtripe.co.uk/Freshtripe/Wheels & Tyres_files/VO High_low_hubset-3.jpg

    If you're looking for a retro style restore ... be careful with the Velo Orange site!
    biggs682 and raleighnut like this.
  7. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    On 3 Wheels
    ^^^^^^+1 The Velo Orange site is seriously lovely but also just a tad on the expensive side. :biggrin:
  8. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    ... but who can resist what they desire ....

    My VO Grand Cru Touring hub is a thing of great beauty and practicality!
    raleighnut likes this.
  9. Spokesmann

    Spokesmann Keeping the Carlton and Sun names alive...

    Plymouth, Devon
    Leave the frame as is.
    Fab Foodie and biggs682 like this.
  10. midlife

    midlife Veteran

    Damn that's such a nice frame...........trademark Pro chunky wrapover stays and chrome. Due to the cost of chrome in those days they only chromed the good ones.........Late 70's or very early 80's with the over BB guides.

    It's the publics version of their pro model at the time. The one's that Phil Bayton rode had less chrome and a big "H" on the seat stay.....


    Best just to clean it and bask in the glow of an original very smart Frame :smile:

    raleighnut and biggs682 like this.
  11. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Well spotted! Not only the wrap around stays but the pips on the chainstay too. Lucky barsteward!
    raleighnut likes this.
  12. Creakycrank

    Creakycrank Member

    Wow you found that in a skip, that's a lucky find! if you intend to keep it and ride it, I don't suppose it matters what colour you decide to go with, its yours, but white, black and chrome with shining alloy parts is a timeless look, if it was me, it would get black bar tape and a black seat, as it can look a bit top heavy all the same colour, and white is just the worst grip/seat colour, it looks lousy in no time. Do put the decals back on, a freshly painted frame is nice but looks finished with the correct markings.
  13. AndrewDeKerf

    AndrewDeKerf New Member

    Hi. A bit late maybe but just wondering if you had an under bracket cable guide on your Elan? Mine is missing and so is the anticipated M3 hole!