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Is it Holdsworth or Major Nichols (1960s)?

BezrenkiBezrenki Posts: 4
edited August 2019 in Vintage bikes forum
Hello all,

I am restoring a bicycle from the late 1950s / early 1960s and I struggle to identify its make.

It’s either Major Nichols or Holdsworth. The previous owner suggests it can be Major Nichols as his mom remembers his father arguing with Mr Nichols over the geometry (it was a custom-built).

But the frame number is different than typical Major Nichols: 10611

This implies that it could be Holdsworth instead (the owner wasn’t sure if it’s Major Nichols or Holdsworth)

Unfortunately, when I bought it there were no decals on it. The bike was repainted.

I know it can be hard to be 100 % sure now, but I would like to restore it and order some decals now, so I’m trying to figure out what finish should I focus on.

So in your opinion:

Based on the frame number 10611 and lugs that you can see on the pictures, can you help me identify if it is more likely Major Nichols or Holdsworth?

Thank you very much for your help

Lukasz

Here are the photos:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/14cVKkuoWLJRXupv9

Posts

  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    The lugs and dropouts do not suggest anything of particular quality, in my opinion. I would guess that whatever frame it is, it wasn't a custom build.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,571
    cable thingie on the b/b is cool though.

    #thingieforthecable
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • I can’t answer your question directly, but based on the lugs and cable guide it is almost identical to my Holdsworth Mistral dating from the early 60’s. Mine has cable stops on the down tube for bar end shifters though.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,774 Lives Here
    Imposter wrote:
    I would guess that whatever frame it is, it wasn't a custom build.
    Why not? I know people that had custom builds in that era and amongst various options would be fancy lugs or standard.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    veronese68 wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    I would guess that whatever frame it is, it wasn't a custom build.
    Why not? I know people that had custom builds in that era and amongst various options would be fancy lugs or standard.

    All the Major frames I've seen have used a decent set of quality cast dropouts, from the likes of Cinelli, Campag, Gipiemme, or others. I doubt a frame builder would use stamped steel dropouts and low-end lugs for a custom build because I doubt if they'd want their name on that (they have a reputation to manage after all), and I also doubt that anyone wanting a custom build would want to spec those as part of the build anyway, otherwise, what's the point. But yes, apart from that, you could be right.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,571
    i'd go with this guy. Seems Imp is talking bilge.
    I can’t answer your question directly, but based on the lugs and cable guide it is almost identical to my Holdsworth Mistral dating from the early 60’s. Mine has cable stops on the down tube for bar end shifters though.


    #howbizarre
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,571
    veronese68 wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    I would guess that whatever frame it is, it wasn't a custom build.
    Why not? I know people that had custom builds in that era and amongst various options would be fancy lugs or standard.


    V is pretty good at this stuff as well.

    #quelsurprise
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    Pipe down, laddie - adults are talking...
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,571
    Imposter wrote:
    Pipe down, laddie - adults are talking...

    the adults spoke above.

    #backinyourbox
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,774 Lives Here
    Custom made was different then to now, it was almost the norm. A friend has a custom Holdsworth, it’s a nice frame but not that special. Basically just 531 tubing in his size.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    veronese68 wrote:
    Custom made was different then to now, it was almost the norm. A friend has a custom Holdsworth, it’s a nice frame but not that special. Basically just 531 tubing in his size.

    I don't know if it was the 'norm', but in that sense pretty much every frame would have been 'handbuilt' - but as you say that wouldn't necessarily make it 'high quality'. Most individual builders made a combination of custom and 'off the peg' frames which would just hang in the shop until someone bought them.

    At the other end of the scale, you have 'mass' builders like Carlton, Holdsworth and others, who also made frames and/or complete bikes for the general market.
  • I would like to thank you all for your interest, replies and willingness to help me.

    This reply suggests it is Major Nichols:
    david7m wrote:

    This one is a vote for Holdsworth Mistral:
    I can’t answer your question directly but based on the lugs and cable guide it is almost identical to my Holdsworth Mistral dating from the early ’60s. Mine has cable stops on the down tube for bar end shifters though.

    So I made a small comparison. My bicycle vs Holdsworth Mistral vs Major Nichols:

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    92D5GD2Z4I-ARHKOb41CF8EXMmsSPI4zSjsGzdvM7jiwjRauDo9EmggzwPUXGW8dc-_xgxerKYemAZLZdx7WrKTDcPg43u67srjqk1k1YBd5irs0UXHW7AyTxCQoJ5kOu_hGqT3zpwxnQSCxEiEodEvsvi3QbckqqOPD1HmqZ6zXiwGm9ae2w3yL9TAJBXUVGVwtocsHad0eKwW0vm9wp_EVjt5lG6mcVtfkOOmB5oXvNCsNs_p7k8tzER4dDD3vv0HUr0Sd6q8OCpka-DNA9L0ULAxi3LTtTm9iNLN-9WGIUZzW4pupnigXMhRxH_lQkB5LFESMYo7elZnRK1gb7sBAA8Pnh0Or60w-9Tw8YepU3SUnOeG60W4jT4V1NNsG2TKVg8VhN7p5bE-ncXbtUlslTElOWv4idA0D9wHcHTvdbw4A8qeM7BZ1sF_oQMhLEEi2ZndFv9XcD2eSbb-1VA6SoAPSGVOko046-uE9ALiga2wRKOXvYmTgd_7AHbuU4PpYEZj-oVleFLxi3z_l4r2AQnLOtz9jLs0zeanzr7AOF3GlfZoMCEFxtQFLOD0jMkvLRGjPPJaFS9uuRL7FOzipHTak0a7w-nzqCR1CpEOYBR_OzxcMQK-7lQT5xuavQkrszqYeXS6_ZhU2vz4nHZGx_mD5BhragOgCkRH0GVyB3Cgck5UzKKQ=w693-h353-no
    ZpWBXWr5AAzZTDqsYDqJsnRYVaXXEl5_bhzuRxFgNDdtp2Gd2mlwgrRE2Or0Ryc2rRpr32d11KGSgJWG7yIo15Rvz4g9tg7887EggdnH5RwvRVJblgL5Bt-w04YSzrgNZSOO69wiBpEzlZCO7OGU8wv-3-j8h5R5jNNbpyQ_CPVGB9v-snvSNMAGo3wsvRtEtDZHbi-Fge5MHfBqaRcQOVr4oqu3TYUBl0K8uhWHC2OF4YFsGYTCSNkjgD6Uje4dOgMG6T-GOPtut8nh7Yd9mGLUQcgXDTKCEGzjTdbh6l8Y_bmmenuw9ZP_L56qhjga0iykXpmykW9AFVGd56ykkbwgcbAdLkrC-zR7LG7yDmsuMkTVCX2RHA-aKDDaGKHffM3R26gbVGzSzPxlBwiciFJKZTarY83taqnlXluq0Us0G6SK_DZd6nQQ87-ZPrqRVazFXXppQJqoKIJP_ZTAptvblDDt_w2EIwx5Uu2-B4oKP3TXmNVqwAtc_18beQW4amtqyslEvRexugX8P5wKk0JcbaYzOlbQass6fOD-XWExFxHUihLz-pXqo9-tUsPowW9lR0LeKtRBk3sHbaRDuSAjyMR-SnhckltX2qgszKMBXbqF8s0QtUpVZBfwZcoz1SA4dCwrNxauQfqPo73yg_Nje6F0WrNOGPs9kyZE8gVfgFI7yOBMmzI=w691-h406-no
    b1TxKaLOhDQux4_hdT-tjgHsGd7MvAf2w954PaOO8qNeOolpRKpunQTDlEwJzlC3Wng8XaGlm_S_tQujXDmCD3mjKapPKJXesUwKScoyMNGeNbhYG45_f8-XVKk4FqdTTNoA1woMbQ69FGl6PuQMmbf8FihXTEjMG3_5O29TB2nYFnrsgFnyLF5b0hkev14DlgYIxta0hr9h9JtaT4Fiq3Hnxe9bZwzOHDiNuNMgOnhoBFuSfswlj84L1Mjcyl6oYkbTLrsAx4CkkumLGMEPaZIeOB-iyfHk6NF1LW6xOZv6J7na1HVSFMOSptTKaj8SoyNfPtLT5-0jF5NmQlbaJq3Xq6Zkq9aCH28yBSV7-Ss7uB5V71yH49IsryCrsYMbughy1gP5TfEw88M2pHEHCaH45xnDRLp1cLCTEmS7yQ27k-V0Asl66kmgKCbACT2BThejmtUQF7X3eEKAUgkQkJfw1XCF59jy1S8LKYO_RVCP24O370fiqolauLI4evJlniBG9Y3JaMVyDyVnNmPq2UTDksrywle51cMEqdyOKmU-Qy3xuN4iIM9hCXQDtPJIySsQa5s7MQpF7ueJPYjghoPHH419Yfw03GpqFFXUQpqHoEMcax2688EiPU9yLMynwKSLbzWu6RdkCSXsP9SPN7mkwxVL1sPDx7VDeItEuB3HN8OiKNOi9K8=w693-h405-no
    qCky8T7HPU7qnJw5NoAeYBfY62mCwDSxau_mnD1nuVfcPX2_KDpvI1CdlDyA75ANgooNZRYsYGQL26tAmkRBNpXclb_5rGZwMQ2L-ZSHBlBSsphqzhGmi3V0FBwteS5wm5vfrqjtBjeK-IxqlHBegVH8pqRdmeQS28tfrc513u546XkUUsnmbJFVOTr3bLomIU9coJFKYoTgdYkBwk_Q40YfqUsfcItbq-bOboQjU0NfVeeTmt6rwGl3E6tCCEEo7VqwbSUWx2mB4EtOeIHgmtT4Q5TSPwbSR9lI_J7Zkbx4RxLRG4srUBA_zYZxdEWAZNw9a_-UxY7D8jXjjuYQKwak2WfRhgZhPgFo8ZqFArwZgKZyS2C1MEyIwUqwD0o2EI-nH78b9aPxCuPxojx2CFct118qWfRetKsULUJ2RChw8MiZfxDbMVgEC1PZG23DEXM4NE_j5wZfj_skyawgNOebTRVVovWEsUOeA_uzUuG4mEieMi_g4xhYz8S9fPXfLtWItQP600tkGq1OdzdAJTUPqbW5t1rg0b7-aRY4fsBenDArkuzvsYFp0cCQNXkOTDQ_FkX0lumyugqbJfF7YNWLQKdnhZ9ZHnNcLz2xkTFiC5_N5MlMPLyN0JqcbTCEqEXLpUVDLBQDonvqRz9e42kLwn9Q8K2VBp80iFnEhHZPWnOh4zMPdKc=w691-h404-no
    febXoDmqsJOdSJNrDms8he7O_oajVOukHl50BFX-nnXsU6zZULDFxKjXHEZHFiI_TAWCd6Cm5hJw-Vv7owX76vku9YqZ7wPDipg7mXcNr0pIkCk3MoJP2JvxQxLWZ4U3smmIkyFoLqqNnW9uclVKc-XKeh3pgY21Ga6bsTCvqHPriVRnYhpgocYbfCO7w4aZkRzKsoGk-Vohc2j8fyjifquEMZ_e7UfL6Z_VTdZ8peRPSwEGaIMIzfZ1qKkpC68jvBkHDzQc6V6sM38y00j1F5AF5endB8fRtb6DBgNRvlWdNQ1xeklkgrwb7Of4X102XOaXMWb32go-DrHJ_1PbmZiPSB2v-N8PzcVkxnPmbwDsY-YAZoIUtae54xqThDT_RwzOaAy9OYGGmSDhnLb08Jb1KmjnTLbQ6i5RX23OcYneTcKOYqQgiHS0tLd2gL26Qj7HgP8zr7KsHVjhpc4xdI-BSRu7I0D_-OZ3Uo85EwvDpekI92BS9nuKBkqK9-aK-grid_pgWtFq178YmcuxLSVLn3G_tgsUmS3BpML3iCz62NnS3AwxOFXtou7E2rijKWKgoyZrOoeE2xLZFNCLLwFhd872oiQBDYpEOzCA_3e4kMAnXX1vSjs7_pep8g8AA6gAo-pMoPyV6nJqgwJHgrO3AOu5Q_wx_-vswDbwZhPDfgC65fivAA0=w693-h408-no


    My conclusion so far? From frame number, it looks more like Holdsworth. From pictures, it is similar to Holdsowrt and Major Nichols. The previous owner said it could be both.

    What is your opinion on that?
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    You will probably never know for certain either way. The features you are highlighting were not unique to either Holdsworth or Major Nichols in particular - they were common on many frames of that period. If you're going to be choosing between Holdsworth decals or Major Nichols though, I would go for Holdsworth - as the evidence for it being one of Major's is just not there, IMO...
  • lesfirthlesfirth Posts: 1,075
    Imposter wrote:
    The lugs and dropouts do not suggest anything of particular quality, in my opinion. I would guess that whatever frame it is, it wasn't a custom build.

    I agree. The frame number points to an early Houldsworth and I do not see anything to suggest it isn't.
  • Imposter wrote:
    You will probably never know for certain either way. The features you are highlighting were not unique to either Holdsworth or Major Nichols in particular - they were common on many frames of that period. If you're going to be choosing between Holdsworth decals or Major Nichols though, I would go for Holdsworth - as the evidence for it being one of Major's is just not there, IMO...

    - thanks, I agree. I will probably never be certain.
    lesfirth wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    The lugs and dropouts do not suggest anything of particular quality, in my opinion. I would guess that whatever frame it is, it wasn't a custom build.

    I agree. The frame number points to an early Houldsworth and I do not see anything to suggest it isn't.

    - I also think frame number points to Holdsworth. I will probably go with this finish.

    Thanks a lot for the help, It's nice to have some feedback on that.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,774 Lives Here
    I agree, balance if probability is Holdsworth due to the frame number.
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