Dawes Galaxy or Holdsworth Mistral?

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Dawes Galaxy or Holdsworth Mistral?

Postby Steve_B » 11 Jun 2013, 1:05pm

I have both in my garage and have been using both for commuting (but only one at at time :wink: ).

The Holdsworth Mistral is old (I bought the frame 2nd hand back in '84) and is all 531 (inc fork blades) with DB main tubes. Campag dropouts front & rear.
It was built for 27" wheelsets (but I use it with 700s), and is spaced for a 130mm hub at the rear.
I have had canti bosses brazed on to fit the 700 wheels and have had it resprayed a couple of times, but it's now looking tired and in need of a facelift.
Used it for touring France, Norway, Finland ... have always liked it.

I reckon the Galaxy is a similar vintage (I rescued it from a friend's skip back in the mid 90s so have no real time reference).
I don't know, but I think it is all 531 (as Galaxies tend to be) and has really nice lugwork - very ornate. Plain flat dropouts front & rear.
Again, it was built for 27" wheelsets, but I use it with 700s - the original Weinmann centrepulls drop the pads low enough to fit the smaller rims.
I had it powdercoated soon after I got it (Interesting Black) as I was using it for city-centre commuting at the time and wanted to make it look less attractive to opportunists.
Think that, especially give the lugs, it would look very nice if it were to be renovated.

If either is going to see further serious use they would need minor tweaks to get them 'tour-ready' - Mistral needs some in-expertly added low-rider bosses removing from the fork blades whilst the Galaxy needs light bracket boss removing from fork blades and bottle-cage bosses, down-tube gear bosses/cable stops and seat-stay pannier bosses ...

:?: So, here's the coin-toss - one has to become a commuting bike (all year, all weathers) whilst one gets a new makeover (including full strip & paintjob and rebuild) to take it back to tour glory! Which is it to be?

:?: As a supplementary - the Galaxy doesn't currently have canti-bosses. Because, if it were to be rebuilt, it would be used as a 'tarmac tourer' I would get away with not having to allow for excessive tyre widths. So, what are views on using dual-pivot brakes to keep the lines clean and save the hassle of having to add canti-bosses.

Thanks for any advice or comments. The lines are now open ...

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Re: Dawes Galaxy or Holdsworth Mistral?

Postby Ant » 11 Jun 2013, 3:03pm

I put Alhonga deep drop dual pivot caliper brakes on an old raleigh classic which had 27 inch wheels and they would have hasppily accomodated 700c and managed 32mm tyres and mudguards with room to spare. They both looked appropriate to the bike and stopped it massively more effectively than the weinmann centre pulls which they replaced.

If the Galaxy has a nice looking frame why not put the money into that for special use and carry on commuting on the other?

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Re: Dawes Galaxy or Holdsworth Mistral?

Postby 531colin » 11 Jun 2013, 3:40pm

If your touring will be light touring, on reasonably surfaced and graded tarmac roads, then a "tourer" doesn't have anything much more expected of it than a "commuter".
However, if your touring will include camping and mountain "roads" then your tourer needs to be a bit more capable. You must expect to meet steep gradients, poor surfaces, sharp bends, and adverse weather conditions....maybe all at once. I think a tourer for these conditions needs stable steering, not to be upset by loads or road/weather conditions, it needs low gears for hills and loads, and it needs the best brakes you can get. It also needs a reasonably rigid frame so that a swaying pannier doesn't become a shimmying bike.
Thats what I would base my choice on. You can calm down a bike with too-lively steering with a new fork, and either bike could easily be fitted with modern bosses to fit Vee brakes, but if a frame is flexy now, it isn't going to get better.

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Re: Dawes Galaxy or Holdsworth Mistral?

Postby broadway » 11 Jun 2013, 3:54pm

Unit late 70's the Galaxy only had 531 plain gauge main tubes. With Campag dropouts the Mistral is probably the "better frame".

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Re: Dawes Galaxy or Holdsworth Mistral?

Postby Brucey » 11 Jun 2013, 4:33pm

My bet is that the mistral will weigh about 6-1/2 to 7lbs for the frame and fork, and the galaxy will weigh nearly 2lbs more, if it is one from the 1970s, with PG main tubes etc.

If you are lugging a load when touring, I'd suggest the Galaxy, for the reasons Colin refers to, even though as mentioned above the Mistral is arguably a better quality frame. The rear stays on the Galaxy should be a fair bit more chunky than the mistral IIRC. Personally I'd fit cantis, (or drum brakes maybe) to the old Gal.


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Re: Dawes Galaxy or Holdsworth Mistral?

Postby Steve_B » 11 Jun 2013, 8:20pm

broadway wrote:Unit late 70's the Galaxy only had 531 plain gauge main tubes. With Campag dropouts the Mistral is probably the "better frame".

:?: Anybody know how to date a Galaxy? Or, for that matter, what the tube-set was on the Galaxy models through the ages?

BTW I've toured on the Mistral a few times (front & rear panniers, full camping kit, rough roads, big hills - think Norwegian fjords & mountain passes) and found it stable & comfy. It's flexy - but only in the way a steel tourer is meant to be (?) - whilst being responsive & well behaved, and is good for reasonably big miles, fully loaded, day after day ...

The Gal is more of an unknown quantity to me but I appreciate its heritage (and legacy). I really like its lugwork (it would build back up to a lovely bike) but can only justify refurbing one of them! The scales may be tipping the Mistral's way ...

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Re: Dawes Galaxy or Holdsworth Mistral?

Postby drossall » 11 Jun 2013, 10:41pm

The Mistral was one of my early dream bikes. Never got one :(