Holdsworth Professional: First ride review

Holdsworth Professional
Cycling Weekly Verdict

It's a beautiful machine and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to fans of classic race bikes who want to ride them rather than look at them.

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    Classic design attributes

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    Modern components mean the bike isn't stuck in the 70s

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    Retro look may not please everyone

Falcon Cycles has reinvented the Holdsworth Professional, the bike of the legendary Holdsworth-Campagnolo team of the 1970s.

The new bike was redesigned from the ground up so that original details like the seatstay wrapover, dome-headed rivets for the head badge and sloping Campag-style dropouts could be worked in. There is a limited run of 150, each numbered separately with a down tube decal.

With a traditional lugged construction, the frame is authentic in every way. However, a heavy steel fork, threaded steerer and flexible quill stem is something nobody really wants, so a carbon-bladed fork with aluminium steerer has been discreetly sprayed the same orange as the steel frame.

For the groupset, Campagnolo Athena is the only option in terms of aesthetics, with its polished alloy chainset. It has the vintage look, but Campagnolo's bottom 11-speed groupset is also a great performer. Black Campag Scirocco wheels match the 3T bar, stem and seatpost and a white Fizik Pavé saddle and bar tape complete the pro look.

The Holdsworth feels like a modern bike as its makers intended. It has the unmistakable ride of a well made steel frame - just the right amount of ‘spring', comfort and speed. The 74° parallel geometry and horizontal top tube are racy. Obviously it isn't meant to be raced, but I rode it to a top-five place in an early-season sportive and might have been faster if I hadn't slowed down to acknowledge admiring comments.