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Has anyone owned a Windsor Professional?

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Has anyone owned a Windsor Professional?

Old 07-25-17, 11:39 AM
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Has anyone owned a Windsor Professional?

Just curious how the ride quality is. And if it's worth building up with full Campy as a rider. I can't find a whole lot of info on them. Thanks
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Old 07-25-17, 12:01 PM
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Nope. Never even seen one other than on the 'net. But they look so nice I'm subscribing anyway, if you don't mind.
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Old 07-25-17, 12:20 PM
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I have often wondered about ride quality, myself. And while thinking about that, the low prices the bikes fetch for similar steeds makes me wonder more. If you are thinking of trying one out, go for it and let us know. It would be an interesting project.

As for full Campy, I would wonder why? Did the Windsor Pro not come fitted with Suntour trans and other non-Campy components? Anyway, just wondering.
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Old 07-25-17, 12:29 PM
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There was an orange one with full-campy at Bob Freeman's vintage show this past weekend. Didn't get a pic of it, but did pick it up and found it surprisingly light. Workmanship was pretty nice, too. Full Reynolds 531, so I would imagine it has nice manners on the road, too.

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Old 07-25-17, 01:20 PM
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As far as I know, the Windsor Profesionals (yes, one "s", it's from Mexico) came stock with full Campagnolo Record, other than the brakes, which were Universal side pulls. Also, they were all Columbus Sl/SP tubing. They did make cheaper frames from Japanese tubing, but not the Profesional. They did sell them as framesets, so Suntour or Shimano wouldn't be out of place either.

They're not nearly as valuable as the Cinelli Super Corsas they are copies of, and have a reputation of being kind of heavy and dead riding. I'm not sure how fair that is, as there was a recent thread over on Classic Rendezvous where someone had both a Windsor Pro, and a Cinelli in the same size. They did some back to back riding, and it basically came down to the wheelset. With the light sewups, they were indistinguishable over the ~15 mile course.

Also, there have been reports of questionable brazing on some of the Windsors. Apparently, the nice ones are pretty nice, but they produced some that weren't so nicely finished or put together. I wouldn't buy one sight unseen, but a nice one should make a great bike, just don't expect it to be worth a bunch. They were sort of the 70s version of a cheap Chinese knockoff, so no matter how nice they were, that stigma has kept the prices low.
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Old 07-25-17, 01:30 PM
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Funny thing is the stigma is new. Perhaps it varied by area. I remember Windsor having a good reputation. I was pointed towards Windsor or Motobecane as very good production bikes when I was a kid looking for my first good 10 speed bike. (by an experienced racing cylist)
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Old 07-25-17, 01:32 PM
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I did purchase this Carabela Profesional featured in this thread last week: https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...ofesional.html

Carabela was a sister brand to Windsor - both made in Mexico by Acer-mex. My new bike is identical to a Windsor Profesional, other than being decked out in black first gen Dura Ace, rather than Campy Record.

I haven't ridden it yet, but I hope to have some impressions within a week or two. (Bearings need overhauling, and a shorter stem)

Last edited by cdmurphy; 07-25-17 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 07-25-17, 02:20 PM
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This is the one I own, I haven't got around to building it yet. I have a complete Nuovo Record group, including cable clamps ,high flange hubs, new Brooks and Cinelli bars and stem. I just don't want to waste my time building on an unworthy frame. I've been setting on the parts for the right frame and I stumbled on this frame at a garage sale.




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Old 07-25-17, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by sloar
This is the one I own, I haven't got around to building it yet. I have a complete Nuovo Record group, including cable clamps ,high flange hubs, new Brooks and Cinelli bars and stem. I just don't want to waste my time building on an unworthy frame. I've been setting on the parts for the right frame and I stumbled on this frame at a garage sale.
As long as your frame appears to be brazed solidly, I suspect it will ride just fine, especially with nice tires. Whether it will be "worth" putting your Campy group on there, I don't know. Plenty of Windsor Pros were bought just to strip the parts from them, as you could buy the whole bike for slightly less than the Campy group on it's own back in the 70s. That's one of the reasons why so many are floating around with Suntour or Shimano groups. From what I've seen, clean Windsor Pros seem to go for between $500-800, depending on size, condition, phase of the moon, etc. Not chump change, but a significant discount from many Nuovo Record equipped bikes. There's some talk of the tubing being a grade heavier than was common on Italian race bikes, so it may be a bit stiffer. Probably a good thing for a powerful sprinter type, maybe not so good for all day riding at more relaxed paces.

I'll be sure to update this thread in a few weeks when I've had some experience with my Carabela.
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Old 07-25-17, 03:12 PM
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A guy near my school had an incredibly, unbelievably beat up one for a while. He's a stunt bike enthusiast, and the only interest he had in it was that it had two wheels. I think it wound up getting parted out on the 'bay. He offered it to me four or five years ago for way more than I was interested in dropping on it, and I haven't seen him at any swaps since then.
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Old 07-25-17, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by sloar
This is the one I own, I haven't got around to building it yet. I have a complete Nuovo Record group, including cable clamps ,high flange hubs, new Brooks and Cinelli bars and stem. I just don't want to waste my time building on an unworthy frame. I've been setting on the parts for the right frame and I stumbled on this frame at a garage sale.
Of course it is worthy. It's a very cool looking Columbus frame with chrome lugs. Workmanship on the few I've seen was typical of production racing bikes of the time. Certainly better than most PX-10s, but not as good as a 70s Masi or Cinelli. I don't know what the geometry is but I'd guess it used the typical road race geometry of the time, ie, 73º parallel with mid length chainstays.

If you're asking about market value and whether it is worth less than some other bikes because of contemporary perception, I can't say.
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Old 07-25-17, 06:27 PM
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yep, bought mine new in 1980

Yes, I have one. Bought it new in 1980 ($600) and still ride it today as my main road bike. Columbus SL 2x tubing, Campy Record throughout, including brakes. Cinelli stem and bars. 60cm frame, runs about 21.5 pounds. Rides/handles very well...very comfortable bike. I've heard people talk about "road buzz" with newer bikes & honestly don't know what that is. My bike rides dead quiet. Though some guy on some fancy new ride went by me last year and his bike sounded like he had playing cards whirring on his front spokes..so I suppose that must be it. That kind of noise would drive me batty..couldn't ride a bike like that.





Other Windsor discussions:

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...r-bikes-2.html

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...hing-else.html

Last edited by fishboat; 07-26-17 at 05:22 AM. Reason: add pics & price
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Old 07-25-17, 08:03 PM
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I have two of them. They both ride very nicely.

.
...about what you'd expect from a Columbus frame of that era. I don't get the prejudice. While it's true that there are some skills required to braze up a bike frame from high quality tubing, it appears that the guys in the Windsor facilities in Mexico learned them well enough.


I'm not certain what full Campy has to do with ride quality, unless you're thinking it's a lot of trouble if you decide not to keep it. The early ones came with Universal brakes, if that's important to you.

I would not categorize a Windsor Pro (IME) as any better or worse than a comparable Italian frame of that era.
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Old 07-25-17, 09:43 PM
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I'll agree with [MENTION=209177]3alarmer[/MENTION]. I restored/repainted one and enjoyed riding it. No bad habits, nice ride.


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Old 07-25-17, 11:55 PM
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i had one just long enough to ride it before cleaning it to flip. I was very impressed with the ride quality but I chalk that up to a really good wheel set with tubular tires. I bought it cheap and sold it cheap but i think the buyer got a 'sleeper'! They are no Cinelli but a good one in good shape is nothing to sniff at if the price is right.
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Old 07-26-17, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer
.
...While it's true that there are some skills required to braze up a bike frame from high quality tubing, it appears that the guys in the Windsor facilities in Mexico learned them well enough.
I had heard back when I bought mine (1980) that a builder from Cinelli left Cinelli to work for Windsor in Mexico. No idea if this is true.
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Old 07-26-17, 06:03 AM
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I've never owned one but as a former LBS employee and manger during the boom, I had the opportunity to test ride a lot of bicycles and when something like a Windsor Professional came through the shop there was always an excuse to test ride it, provided it was close to your size. It's hard to recall all the details but I was suitably impressed at the time and it was well deserving of the Campagnolo (Nuovo) Record group.

The gentleman who originally built them was Remo Vecchi, who had worked for Cinelli for two decades before being lured away be Acer-Mex. I don't know if he built all of them. They became quite a popular model circa 1975, so he may well have had assistants performing at least some of the operations.

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Old 07-26-17, 06:40 AM
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There was a thread on the CR list a few months ago about a comparison between the Windsor Pro and the Cinelli SC. If I recall correctly, it was about even, from ride quality perspective. But don't quote me on that.

EDIT: Here's a comparison: Courtesy of the CR list and Chris Wiscavage.

It is a favorable afternoon for the Windsor v Cinelli road tests.
First, both bikes are exactly the same size. They are both equipped with full Campy NR groups. I used the same wheels on both bikes. The Cinelli weighs 21.53 lbs, precisely a pound less than the Windsor. The weight difference can be accounted for by the heavier pedals, stem and saddle on the Windsor.
The road test was an out and back course, a couple of miles each way flat except for a highway/rail overpass. The pavement was smooth to slightly broken asphalt, with lots of roadside debris to rattle over for extra vibration testing, speed between 15-25 mph.
The results...
In my opinion, they're nearly indistinguishable from each other. I rode each bike several times, alternating bikes each round. The road feel and handling are very much the same, in the saddle or out. On each bike I found myself saying that I could ride all day on this bike, a long day would be a pleasure.
The biggest difference?....The traffic lights all turned green for the Cinelli, every time. That fact alone might add a considerable amount of value to the Cinelli.
As for the Windsor, I'm going to stop putting crappy wheels and tires on it and go have some fun with it. It'll be a perfect Eroica bike.

Last edited by satbuilder; 07-26-17 at 06:45 AM.
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Old 07-26-17, 07:51 AM
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Now I'm curious, I'll give a ride report in a few days. Thanks for all the great replies.
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Old 07-26-17, 08:46 AM
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Blast to the past! As as lifelong southern Californian, I saw a fair number of Windsors in the 1970s. The Pros were always considered decent, albeit a cut below the big Italian names in status. I have not come across a Windsor in a long time -- thanks for posting!
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Old 07-26-17, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by obrentharris
I'll agree with @3alarmer. I restored/repainted one and enjoyed riding it. No bad habits, nice ride.


Brent
Beauty! Interesting to note that the fork rake and chainstay length seem quite different from those of [MENTION=209177]3alarmer[/MENTION]'s two bikes.

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Old 07-26-17, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by fishboat
Yes, I have one. Bought it new in 1980 ($600) and still ride it today as my main road bike. Columbus SL 2x tubing, Campy Record throughout, including brakes. Cinelli stem and bars. 60cm frame, runs about 21.5 pounds.
What a difference - my hi-ten Windsor is 27.6 lbs.

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Old 07-26-17, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude
Beauty! Interesting to note that the fork rake and chainstay length seem quite different from those of @3alarmer's two bikes.

DD
Very interesting observation, especially since the bikes are all similar size; so not attributable to different geometry for different sizes.
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Old 07-26-17, 09:11 PM
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I bought one as a second hand frameset in 1977 from a bike shop in Norman Ok. I had it built up with Universal brakes, Campy derailleurs, Sugino Mighty crankset, Cinelli bars and stem, Unicanitor seat and NR seatpost. Phil Wood hubs, fiamme red label rims 3star spokes and Clement tires. I really liked that bike and rode it until 84 when I got my Batavus Pro.
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Old 07-27-17, 10:53 AM
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just in case it adds a bit of info on the Windsor Pro, or just in case you forgot what Bicycling magazine was like in the 70's, here's a road test of the Windsor Profesional from the October 1975 issue of Bicycling..











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