Holdsworth (Rough Rider) 1984


This Holdsworth was my very first sponsored bicycle, the frame and fork given to me in January of 1984 by Rick Canter of the Holdsworth importer, Security Bicycles after I met him at the big industry bike show. I was in search of my first sponsors, as I was planning to set the first ever San Francisco to Los Angeles world cycling record (which I did, in April 1984). I actually wanted a Vitus frame, like my idols John Marino and Michael Shermer had raced in the Race Across America, and Security was the importer. But after the bike show, when I followed up with Rick about shipping me the frame, he told me that he was sending the Holdsworth instead, as he didn’t have the Vitus in my size. I was a little taken aback, as this is an entirely different kind of frame (British steel in the “sport touring” tradition with long chainstays vs. super-light French aluminum with racing geometry), but beggars can’t be choosers. Wheelsmith gave me my first sew-up wheels and the local bike shop, Covina Valley Schwinn, gave me a job to “work off” the cost of the Campy Super Record group which I hung on it. I felt SO professional when I rode and raced on that bike! I was just 17 and was living my dream, and it became a great workhorse for me, seeing action in that 1984 SF-LA record and as one of my three bicycles for the 1987 Race Across America. But by the late 80s, I tore it down and boxed it up. Twenty years later, I reassembled the frame as you see it here, set up for “rough riding” – riding roads, fire roads, dirt roads, and trails on a “road bike.” I’m astonished at how well it fits and rides; this Holdsworth has proven to be one of the two or three best bicycles of my entire career! What a shame I didn’t ride it for those intervening 20 years, but now I ride it all the time, especially on the paths less traveled.

This is the personal bike of Chris Kostman.

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