18 February 2015

1949 holdsworth cyclone deluxe

Back in November,
an old bike frame made it's way home.
At the time it was not the wisest choice.
Money was tight as usual,
and did I really need another rusty project?
On top of that,
my stash of worthy vintage road bike parts 
had already been used up.
I've fallen into the eBay search frenzy,
only online poker is more addicting.
Ahh I'll just clean up the frame a little,
later on throw together a cool beater...
Yeah right...
If you're the project ADD type,
there's a little trick I've learned over the years.
Sure you may be overwhelmed with multiple long term projects,
all the more reason to get a quick win.
There's that satisfaction of completion,
a treat when other projects seem so distant.
Would focusing that energy been better towards the hot rods?
In this case not really,
most of the tinkering was done in the sleepless nights.
A side benefit was the decluttering,
as pieces of partial projects gave way to the missing links.
There's no way I could have completed this 
without sacrificing a few hoarded jewels.
Over the long weekend I realized the last part not collected was the chain,
the only thing bought new!
A Saturday night was spent fitting the cables,
adjusting the brakes and shifters.
All this stuff had been lying around for weeks!
Notice the suicide shift Simplex front derailleur,
similar era as the frame and fork.
The other parts are mainly beat up 70's European brands,
polished or drilliumed to look presentable.
Campagnolo, Roto, Brooks, Ava, Balilla...
I did concede to Shimano for the brakes,
as the again 70's dura-ace calipers,
were a knockoff of the weinmann style,
with a bit more precision.
Definitely a budget build other than the wheels.
Today was the first long ride for this frame.
Solid, smooth and quiet.
I loved the front shifter mechanism
and the cut-down Brooks saddle was more comfortable than it looks!
The fork rake definitely makes for a stable ride,
and at 21 lbs the Reynolds 531 tubing did not feel 66 years old.
Now time to button up the hack-work,
swap out some of the incorrect parts,
and put some miles on it.
Maybe take to the L'eroica California ride this April.
Now go find yourself a little project!


  1. Hi there, great bike build. By coincidence I'm working on a resprayed cyclone. I've been able t make out the serial number on the drop out as 12324. You have been obviously been able to identify the year of manufacture. Could you let me know you serial number or even whether mine is before of after yours as I understand they were sequential. Best wishes, Brendan Hennessy, Cork, Ireland

    1. Hi Brendan thanks for commenting! My frame and fork are stamped 13579, all odds in a row. The seller stated this was a 1949 or 50, and from the catalog scan, the lug details are a match, and that's close enough for me! Is your lugwork similar? I'd be interested in any progress pics - perichbrothers@gmail.com - thanks for appreciating the bike as built, I tried to go with the earliest era parts I could but the reality was out of my budget. The early campy stuff is a bit of a concession the main swap out will be the crank set or at least the ring, definitely 80's!! Any idea what type light bolts to the front fork? Thanks again for your interest, Travis

  2. Hi Travis, yes will do. Was only working on it again this evening. It's certainly a cyclone but resprayed in the orange and blue of the 1970/80's professional. The respray certainly accentuates the beautiful lug work. Like you I'm mixing components between campagnolo gears, mafac brakes, zeus hubs on newer mavic rims. If you get a chance take a browse of our ascent vintage website www.oldvelos.com. There's a link to a fantastic video in the write up of the Thanet. best wishes, Brendan

    1. Brendon-Great website! That orange frame is a beauty! Very interesting similarities and differences. Especially the interesting seat stay design. Maybe updates were done years after? I see water bottle braze-ons and a derailleur dropout tab, and a clean down tube for clamp on. Love the lug windows. Interesting that it has the same light fixture on the fork. I'm very curious what is used there. Mine is strange with the single shifter braze-on and early clean rear dropout. Funny how we both have the later badge, I'm on the hunt for the original cyclone deluxe! With all the more modern upgrades I'm surprised your number is lower. I'll enjoy finding older parts to swap out, bringing closer to the build year, then possibly a spot on paint job. For now I'll rack up some miles!! TP