I acquired the first Holdsworth, long before I purchased the bicycle that taught me to CAREFULLY check a bicycle over, before taking it out for a spin.  I was pretty new to the interest of vintage road bicycles, when the Equipe came my way, and I did little to ensure the bicycle was safe to ride, before I took it out for a spin.

Basically, when I finally managed to get the Holdsworth home, I pumped up the tires, oiled the chain with a liberal dose of ProLink, adjusted the saddle to, sort of, fit me and set off to see what the Holdsworth hype was all about.

That ride consumed the entire afternoon and, upon returning home with a smile on my face, my wife was waiting...

My smile soon disappeared.  She was pretty mad that I had taken off, without letting her know that I was doing so.  I broke my neck, riding to work a few years earlier, and now she was constantly worried when I am out and about, on my bicycle.  I should add, I did not own a cell phone in my early days of riding Holdsworths.

When I got the bike home, and weathered the you took off without letting me know storm, I started to look the bicycle over more carefully. I looked it over, mostly out of curiosity.  I just wanted to see what I had.

I did not apply the critical eye to the bicycle, something I recommend anyone do, before buying.  It is easy, to get all caught up in the purchase, of the new find.  It is easy to make mistakes, if you do not settle down and pay attention to what you are getting.  A bent bike, is not worth buying - usually.  A bike that is too big, or small, for you, is not worth buying - usually.  Components, and their state or repair, play an important part in defining value and/or quality. And, of course, there are a host of other things one needs to consider, before signing on the dotted line.

When the first Holdsworth came my way, I was pretty new to, not having a clue about what I was doing, and I wallowed in my blissful ignorance, allowing dreams of high end bicycles to taint my appraisal of the bike before me.

The first thing to capture my attention, had to be the transmission - Campagnolo!  At that time, if it was Campy, then it was good.  I had no idea that the entry level Campagnolo was nothing to get all excited about.  The transmission was as entry level as you can get.  I believe the correct name for the group is Valentino, named after Tullio's son, but I cannot remember where I heard that.  Perhaps I am starting a rumour as I write, but I do doubt it.

Weinmann brakes controlled the slow down needs of this old English bicycle.  Though the braking performance is hardly great, the stopping ability of the Holdsworth was adequate, and on par with most other bicycles of its day.  In short, nothing special at all.

The drive system was, once again, entry level, featuring a steel cottered crank assembly, and a no-name brand to boot.  I would have thought that such a bicycle would have, at the least, a branded crank set.  The 52/42 rings set delivered power to a five cog mid range freewheel, offering a reasonably decent gear range.  The down tube shifters, pure and simple friction units, were well enough placed but, once again, entry level stuff.

Twenty seven inch clincher steel rims, formed the basis for the Holdsworth's wheel set.  The steel hoops were laced, using cadmium plated spokes, to a set of Atom low flange Atom alloy hubs.  The rear hub offered particular interest, in the fact that it was of Flip-Flop design.

The rear hub could be used in freewheel or fixed gear design.  I must admit that I have never set such a hub up for Single Speed, or Fixed Gear use, so I cannot comment on dishing or anything of that nature.  Know only that all but one of the Holdsworths to enter The Old Shed featured this hub.

I was imminently interested in trying out the Brooks saddle fitted to the bicycle.  It was a Brooks B15, as I recall, but I have no good pictures of that well broken in old butt perch.  I do recall that it was pretty comfortable though.  It was the first Brooks suspended leather saddle, I had tried, and it started me down the Brooks butt protection path.

The handlebars were another impressive feature on this, otherwise plain, bicycle.  GB, map of England pantographed, handlebars have achieved collectible value, and the GB embossed stem is well on its way to doing so, also.  I have seen a single set of bars reach $100+ on an Ebay auction.  The stems, at the time of this writing, do not perform as well.  But both are beautiful to behold, and both were in great shape.

About the only thing left to consider, I rarely considered, in those days - pedals.  I used to pedal, and never spin.  In my earlier days of riding, I was quite nervous about strapping, or clipping, myself to a bicycle.  Needless to say, my thoughts on this subject have done a 100% about face, but for the Holdsworth test ride, I settled for a set of two sided Lyotard foot pads that worked just fine, or so I thought.