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Old 03-23-09, 04:56 PM   #1
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Vintage of Holdsworth Mistral

I recently bought a Holdsworth Mistral off ebay and am now trying to figure out what year it was built along with any geometry specifics. The serial number off the bottom bracket and fork is 037235. I found from the internet that 6 digit numbers were bikes built in the 80s?

Just finished rebuilding it this weekend and rides great. It is such a comfy ride.

Thanks for all your help.
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Old 03-23-09, 10:58 PM   #2
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pics, pics and pics...please.
You may find info at norman kilgariff's site:
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/nkilgariff/
and then, our own skip magnuson has been keeping a Holdsworth serial number database...but no postings from him in many moons...
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Old 03-24-09, 07:52 AM   #3
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Wow, that is a great site, thanks. From the old catalogs, I'm guessing I have a 1980 model. The rear brake cable bosses are located on the top of the top tube and the headbadge is a sticker

I'll get pictures of it tonight and post it.
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Old 03-25-09, 10:18 AM   #4
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I got home late last night and the pictures are from my dark garage. I hope it comes out clear enough. I tried putting pictures of the lugs in case that helps in determining the year built. To me, the sticker headbadge means it is in the 80s. Anyone else know better?

The bike is great. It's got Phil Wood hubs and bottom bracket, TA Specialties Cyclotouriste cranks, Mavic Module E rims and Brooks Team Pro with Selle Anatomica cutout saddle. A real smooth ride and very comfy. About the only thing left to do is to change the cables. I put on a new handlebar last night and the cables don't fit.
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Old 03-25-09, 10:39 AM   #5
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that is a beautiful bike.
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Old 03-25-09, 11:26 AM   #6
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they are Prugnat lugs (a Holdsworth favorite) and the odd thing is you have clamp-on shifters but braze-on cable guides elsewhere. It could be a very late 70s or early '80s, I'd guess.
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Old 03-26-09, 09:34 AM   #7
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that is a beautiful bike.
Thanks. The best part is that it is a real comfy ride. It is probably the combination of relaxed geometry, 531 double butted tubes and 700x32 tires but rough roads are no big deal anymore. If I had known this, I would have gotten something like this years ago.

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they are Prugnat lugs (a Holdsworth favorite) and the odd thing is you have clamp-on shifters but braze-on cable guides elsewhere. It could be a very late 70s or early '80s, I'd guess.
From the website you gave me, I was guessing 1981 or so. Thanks for verifying the lugs. I didn't know who made those. Either way, this bike is a keeper.
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Old 03-26-09, 10:35 AM   #8
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you could probably go down to a 28c tire and hardly give up any of the comfy-ness. That's a word right?

I looked at two Holdsworths at a recent bike flea market but they were in the $450 range. Too rich for my blood right now. They were 60s and 70s vintage with Campy.

That blue is my favorite color too.
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Old 03-26-09, 11:04 AM   #9
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you could probably go down to a 28c tire and hardly give up any of the comfy-ness. That's a word right?

I looked at two Holdsworths at a recent bike flea market but they were in the $450 range. Too rich for my blood right now. They were 60s and 70s vintage with Campy.

That blue is my favorite color too.
Comfy-ness works for me. That's what I wanted for this bike since it will be used for brevets. I'm up to 200 milers but plan to do longer ones when my daughter is older. With these 32c tires, they measure 29mm on my rims so your assessment is spot on.

I found this on ebay for $600 but it came with the Phil Woods hubs, bottom bracket and TA Specialties crankset. Perfect.
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Old 03-26-09, 11:11 AM   #10
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holy crap - 200+ miles? More power to you. I can't imagine riding that distance. Never road more than 115 miles, and that was 20 years ago. That is the perfect bike for it. cheers
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Old 03-26-09, 11:53 AM   #11
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holy crap - 200+ miles?
You know, the hardest part of doing 200 miles was knowing that I could finish. About 2 years ago, I was riding with a bunch of guys that do double centuries all the time. They were the ones that convinced me that I could do it. After committing to it, figuring out what to eat was the next hardest. The rest kinda fell into place as I did more of them. Each time I was learned more and more. Like most things, the first step was the hardest. In perspective, centuries are no longer a huge mental block.

I am already excited about this bike, especially for these events. The steering is stable when I'm going slow (which is a lot for me on these rides) and did I mention that it is super comfy?
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Old 03-26-09, 11:59 AM   #12
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Thanks. The best part is that it is a real comfy ride. It is probably the combination of relaxed geometry, 531 double butted tubes and 700x32 tires but rough roads are no big deal anymore. If I had known this, I would have gotten something like this years ago.


From the website you gave me, I was guessing 1981 or so. Thanks for verifying the lugs. I didn't know who made those.
Either way, this bike is a keeper.
And the longish wheelbase. Don't forget the effect that has on comfort and straight-line stability.

A keeper? You better believe that bike's a keeper. It's great that fine old steed like that found someone who appreciates it. Nice score.
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Old 03-26-09, 12:32 PM   #13
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And the longish wheelbase. Don't forget the effect that has on comfort and straight-line stability.

A keeper? You better believe that bike's a keeper. It's great that fine old steed like that found someone who appreciates it. Nice score.
Oh yeah, this has a long wheelbase for sure. When I read about new bikes, it talks about fast geometry so it made me think that relaxed/touring geometry is slow. I forget that a bike is still 2 wheels and slow is relative. I would call this geometry stable and I love it. My thoughts now are that unless you are a racer, the majority of the people on the road would like something closer to this than the race bikes that are normally on the road.

I've been buying and selling bikes as I figure out what I am really looking for. This one will be held for a long, long time.
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Old 03-26-09, 03:40 PM   #14
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I got home late last night and the pictures are from my dark garage. I hope it comes out clear enough. I tried putting pictures of the lugs in case that helps in determining the year built. To me, the sticker headbadge means it is in the 80s. Anyone else know better?

The bike is great. It's got Phil Wood hubs and bottom bracket, TA Specialties Cyclotouriste cranks, Mavic Module E rims and Brooks Team Pro with Selle Anatomica cutout saddle. A real smooth ride and very comfy. About the only thing left to do is to change the cables. I put on a new handlebar last night and the cables don't fit.
Lovely bike! 1978 to 1981 Mistral, from your photos. Mine's a 1970 model in the same colour blue (used to be called "Campagnolo Blue!"), but with a white head tube and seat bands. Bought it as a bare frame about 7 years ago and I agree, it's fast and it's comfortable. As a teenager I used to ride Claud Butlers and always wanted a Holdsworth - they were made in the same works with the same parts by the same men at the same time - but I was always getting beaten by thin guys with Holdsworth badges on their bikes, so it was obvious that all I needed was that badge to beat them!!!

I built mine with spare modern parts I had "left over" and it was good. Over the years I have spent far too much money gradually replacing these with top of the (then) range period parts and now it's awesome! The most improvement came from fitting tubular wheels - Mavic GEL280 rims on Campag Record large flange hubs with racing tubs; although the Campag Strada chainset and Record brakes also made a difference. I now have six Claud Butlers (from 1935 to 1987), a Viner, a Masi, a Colnago - (only a Primavera though), a Corrotec carbon, a Vitus 979, plus about eleven lesser bikes but if I could only keep one it'd be really tough, but it would have to be my Holdsworth Mistral! Enjoy yours!
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Old 03-27-09, 07:44 AM   #15
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mine super mistral is 1974 and has the number 41310. it has chromed rear triangle and chrome forks...
currently the paint is 95% off and when fully done will be re-painted in a nice shade of orange.

my other holdsworth is a 1982 nuovo record and that has a frame number 41366, so i'm not sure how the numbering works

you're is looking good
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Old 03-27-09, 09:30 AM   #16
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Lovely bike! 1978 to 1981 Mistral, from your photos. Mine's a 1970 model in the same colour blue (used to be called "Campagnolo Blue!"), but with a white head tube and seat bands. Bought it as a bare frame about 7 years ago and I agree, it's fast and it's comfortable. As a teenager I used to ride Claud Butlers and always wanted a Holdsworth - they were made in the same works with the same parts by the same men at the same time - but I was always getting beaten by thin guys with Holdsworth badges on their bikes, so it was obvious that all I needed was that badge to beat them!!!

I built mine with spare modern parts I had "left over" and it was good. Over the years I have spent far too much money gradually replacing these with top of the (then) range period parts and now it's awesome! The most improvement came from fitting tubular wheels - Mavic GEL280 rims on Campag Record large flange hubs with racing tubs; although the Campag Strada chainset and Record brakes also made a difference. I now have six Claud Butlers (from 1935 to 1987), a Viner, a Masi, a Colnago - (only a Primavera though), a Corrotec carbon, a Vitus 979, plus about eleven lesser bikes but if I could only keep one it'd be really tough, but it would have to be my Holdsworth Mistral! Enjoy yours!
Ha, I'm glad I got a Holdsworth. I can't wait to pass all those other guys!

That's a great collection of bikes. I have a decent collection but my wife is limiting any extras.

I like your build for the Holdsworth. Looks like our bikes are the same size too. Thanks for the help in dating this. From looking at archived catalogs, I was thinking the same.
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Old 03-27-09, 09:34 AM   #17
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mine super mistral is 1974 and has the number 41310. it has chromed rear triangle and chrome forks...
currently the paint is 95% off and when fully done will be re-painted in a nice shade of orange.

my other holdsworth is a 1982 nuovo record and that has a frame number 41366, so i'm not sure how the numbering works

you're is looking good
Oh well, so much for the numbering system. Ohh, you got a chromed rear triangle and fork? Would have been nice if I had that too. I think the orange would look great. Would it be a Molteni orange?
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Old 03-29-09, 12:16 PM   #18
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Oh well, so much for the numbering system. Ohh, you got a chromed rear triangle and fork? Would have been nice if I had that too. I think the orange would look great. Would it be a Molteni orange?
it'll hopefully be a nice bright orange.......the chrome on the forks was really dull, but my LBS had a really clean chriome Tange one for 5.....
when done i'll post pictures.
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Old 03-30-09, 01:08 PM   #19
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it'll hopefully be a nice bright orange.......the chrome on the forks was really dull, but my LBS had a really clean chriome Tange one for 5.....
when done i'll post pictures.
Post pictures when you have it done. Would love to see it.
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Old 03-31-09, 01:02 PM   #20
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it'll hopefully be a nice bright orange.......the chrome on the forks was really dull, but my LBS had a really clean chriome Tange one for 5.....
when done i'll post pictures.
Hi Nuovo! You got that fork for A FIVER??? !!!! That is brilliant! Good catch!

In the past I wasn't too bothered about chromed rear stays, but both my Masi and Viner have them and I've become a bit of a convert, they just look so cool when the sun reflects off them, especially with chromed or polished stainless spokes.

Can't wait to see photos of both your finished Holdsworths - your Super Mistral and the Op's Mistral.

All the best.
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Old 03-31-09, 03:00 PM   #21
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cheers old pedaller.
lucky find i think. we have a charity bike shop set up for people with learning difficulties and i had popped in to see if they could remove something from the frame.
while i was there i casually said "bet you haven't got any chrome forks"......30 seconds later he said how about a fiver?
he had another pair too...

i was in there last week and they had a campag gran sport rear mech, it has metal jocky wheels and is probably around the 50's to 60's....

got the frame mostly stripped back to bare metal - the brazing is really good....i'll try and email pictures to you.
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Old 03-31-09, 03:10 PM   #22
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Must stop off in Cambridge next time I blast up the M11/A14 to Hull! Might pick up a Colnago Master for a tenner! I did get an alloy Campag 7 speed screw-on block for my Mistral last week, rare as hen's teeth and in good condition too - haven't fitted it yet, I've been messing around with a full suspension alloy Y frame MTB I was given. Don't like the ride though, so will sell it for hopefully enough to get a Campag 2 bolt seat post.

I was after a Gran Sport a few weeks back but finally settled on a slightly newer "Nuovo Gran Sport" - much the same thing, but if anything even more antique and quirkier looking, ideal for the "old 'un".

Well done with stripping the frame - that's where you have to be careful with chrome. will await your photos. When I find out how to work my new super-dooper mobile phone I'll be posting more photos of my growing collection of partly refurbed ancient Claud Butlers!

Best regards.
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Old 03-31-09, 03:21 PM   #23
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Must stop off in Cambridge next time I blast up the M11/A14 to Hull! Might pick up a Colnago Master for a tenner! I did get an alloy Campag 7 speed screw-on block for my Mistral last week, rare as hen's teeth and in good condition too - haven't fitted it yet, I've been messing around with a full suspension alloy Y frame MTB I was given. Don't like the ride though, so will sell it for hopefully enough to get a Campag 2 bolt seat post.

I was after a Gran Sport a few weeks back but finally settled on a slightly newer "Nuovo Gran Sport" - much the same thing, but if anything even more antique and quirkier looking, ideal for the "old 'un".

Well done with stripping the frame - that's where you have to be careful with chrome. will await your photos. When I find out how to work my new super-dooper mobile phone I'll be posting more photos of my growing collection of partly refurbed ancient Claud Butlers!

Best regards.
funnily enough i rescued a MTB with front sus and disk brake from the tip. it needed a new freewheel (suntour for 7) and the bearings in the BB replacing......oh and an inner tube, so total outlay about 12.
rides nicely. it had done about 400 miles in the hands of the previous owner!
just looked in the shed as i used to have a 2 bolt seatpost, must have sold it. have a couple of single bolt ones though. think they are campag......any good at identifying models?
i work up the A14 at knapwell, if you are in the area around 1pm stop for a cuppa
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Old 03-31-09, 03:27 PM   #24
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Cheers Nuovo Record, next time I'm on the "collect offspring from Hull University" trip I'll give you a PM a couple of days before and try to meet up on the way. I'll put a set of verniers over the Holdsworth seat post before then - the Japanese cheapo works fine, but it's now become the 'fly in the ointment'!
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Old 04-16-10, 08:41 AM   #25
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Hi everyone! Just adding some information about a Super Mistral I inherited from my dad a couple of years ago, when sadly he passed away.

The model number is 31236. I'm almost certain it is a 1967 model, and somewhere I know I have the original receipt. It is entirely (forks and all) painted in a powder blue colour (it's beautiful), which fits in with Kilgariff's suggestion that the earliest Super Mistral's didn't have any chrome on them. It has aluminium decal on the head tube. It has a GB handlebar with a map of Britain edged on. It has Universal centre pull bake calipers (model 61), which is the only centre pull version they produced. It has Berthet Lyotard no.23 pedals and GB 'professional' toe clips. It has a Campag headset and seatpost and a Unicanitor Brevettata racing saddle. All these components are original. The crank is a Stronglight no.80 and the front rim is a Dunlop stainless steel (apparently these are quite rare) with airlight hub. This was a popular combo in the day. I'm not sure if the front wheel or crankset is original, but I could well believe my dad asking for this customisation to be done as he was a racing cyclist but would have wanted a top of the range lightweight tourer. It has also pointed Unversal brake levers (also original).

I'm also in the very enviable position of living very close to the Holdsworth shop on the Lower Richmond Road. I grew up in this part of London and it is one of my regular bicycle shops. I stopped by on the way home yesterday to look at some of the original racing bikes from the early 1970s they still have hanging in the shop window, as my dad had the rear wheel rebuilt using a Sturmey Archer internal hub gear (ugh), and I want to restore the rear wheel. They have new staff in there. One of them was very helpful and mentioned they still have a stock of the old Mavic M40 racing rims (for tubulars)and hubs, and offered to build me wheels!!

Anyway I'm quite hoping all you Holdsworth enthusiasts could tell me a bit more? Is it possible to know who built which frames if you know the frame number? Do you know how the frame sequencing works? I read that frame numbering was sequential upto 1962 and this took it up to the 30000 mark. I've also read in 1965 Holdsworth started its own frame numbering sequence, but was this for shop build models only? Presumably so, as my Super Mistral still belongs to the older sequencing?

I hope all this has been of use, and any light you can shed for me would be gratefully received :-)
Cheers
Alec
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