'50 holdsworth tornado chater lea track frame

So I’ve just got a '50 Holdsworth Tornado…Its been resprayed a blue and cream colour. The paint looks pretty good together and will look good in the summer. I will eventually be getting it resprayed an original colour.

So the serial number on the frame is 11184, the frame and forks match.

It also has Chater Lea stamped in the rear drop outs, pretty sweet.

Has anyone got any thoughts or little gems about these frames, can anyone confirm the date?

I need to build it up asap.

I’m after some 50’s period parts…anyone tell me what parts they think should go on…

Anything Chater Lea…crank, chainring(inch pitch), headset, pedals.
Wooden Rims
Something like Harden Hubs
Bars & Stem…?

Anyone got any ideas…parts…or secret supply…
Would appreciate your thoughts.

Also can anyone tell me what BB would go in these, size wise?



^ Can’t help with the history, but that’s a bloody nice frame…I don’t even know what that nut on the BB does.

First up, WOW!!!, that’s nice.

Try this site, full of beardies and weirdies (and I mean that in the best sense), including a few from here.
Australian Cycling Forums • View forum - Retro biking
Let us know how you go.

Very beautiful.

It’s a grease/oil port.

Good to see that frame has found a good home :wink:

The most important sites are “back home”

Holdsworth Bicycles
Classic Lightweights UK
British Main

Take your time to familiarize yourself with different parts makes and periods and look at lots of bikes from that period get get a picture of what’s around. That’ll save you a lot of $'s and headache. Don’t rush in …

In saying all that I have everything you need :slight_smile: Work out what you’re after first. Some of this stuff is exceedingly hard to source and can be frightfully expensive.

The BB axle and type depends on the type of crank you’ll be using. Don’t put the horse before the cart, you’ll find lots of incompatibility and other issues if trying to join random pieces to the puzzle. It’s simple but it’s also a little tricky. Inch pitch is cool but good luck trying to find the right chain, there are cheaper alternatives but they’re cheap for a reason and if you plan to ride it you’ll wish for the real thing.

Again … take your time. I know it’s hard but you have a steep learning curve and it’s best to do things right the first time.

Well done btw !!!

aka a grease “nipple”

lol, nipple

Thanks for the heads up on the way things should be done, cheers Spirito.

To be honest this frame wasn’t planned, more an ebay chance find and bonus.

I’d been building a '73 Raleigh Grand Prix and been reading about bikes from the 50’s-70’s for a few months now.
As I’ve immersed myself in these I was wishing for a dream frame, low and behold one appears…

I was thinking of the following:
Major Taylor bars and stem
Chater Lea Headset
Wooden rims…probably never going to happen…with tubs
Harden Large Flange hubs
Brooks B17 saddle
Chater Lea Fluted Crank
Chater Lea pedals
Christophe toe clips
Inch Pitch Chainset…again, may not happen

Has anyone got any thoughts on cottered cranks? Are they a headache?

Can anyone PM if they have any parts that are above or similar…the general theme is high end UK parts from the 50’s



Can you actually PM on here?..

yes, but i wouldn’t recommend PMing spirito…

That wasn’t the plan. I was just being blind and couldn’t find the PM on my profile.
All sorted now

Lol x 1000

edit: mrs. spirito has made me point out that even she isn’t allowed to PM me

Classic Lightweights UK is a really great resource, a similar frame is on there:
<Holdsworth Typhoon 1955

See you the at the swap meet tomorrow for some digging!

Backwards first. Cottered cranks have their little touches and few people understand them now. New cotter’s help, sometimes they need to be filed to fit, direction matters, and if you’re taking them off regularly it helps to have a dedicated cotter pin press that doesn’t damage the cotters, which means they can be re-used. For the period you’re looking to replicate you don’t have a choice if you want to stick to Brit parts, it’s cotters or nothing. Also options for axles are limited and getting the chainline right can be trickier.

Which leads me to say that you shouldn’t be afraid to use parts from the Continent. It’s great that you’re trying to make it all Pukka but it can also mean limited options and you’re subject to availability which for some of these items can be scarce. Back in the day only the Brit racers and rich could afford to do so. I can understand trying to keep it all British and that’s cool too, and admirable but you’ll need a lot of $'s if you want to get it up and riding anytime soon.

To be realistic set yourself a budget for how much you expect to spend, then double it. It just happens that way … some parts don’t match the standard you were hoping for, postage costs add up, you’l change your mind somewhere along the way, some parts don’t fit or work, tools/shop labour etc.

oh, I forgot to say … get in touch with Nick at Lloyds regarding decals. H Lloyd Cycles - H Lloyd Cyles - HOME Don’t be afraid to show him links or pics so he can help you sort out which decals your frame needs. It’s really important to nail down the year/vintage and start from there. Otherwise the anoraks will all have their 5 pence worth about "what a shame … ". Referencing other models and serial numbers and contacting marque experts is probably advised. Arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can and the bits will all fall into place as you

Actually there is a loophole: Constrictor had begun importing and branding Stronglight 49d cotterless cranks as Conloy’s as early as 1937. The Conloy stamp was on the back of the arms but they were otherwise as manufactured by Stronglight.

Englishmaninmelbourne, can you please contact Skully of LFGSS regarding payment for the bottom bracket he sent to you from London.