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Chain slipping under high torque
#1
I have recently bought a second hand Holdsworth Criterium road bike and I am having problems with the chain slipping on the rear sprockets when I apply torque to the pedals, such as pushing away from a standstill.

The chain also seems to try and jump between gears when pedaling and also doesn't quite get into 1st, I don't if this is caused by improper adjustment of the cable or just general wear and tear. The gears are shimano and there are 6 sprockets on the back and 2 on the front.
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#2
Given the age of the bike, I'm guessing at early to mid 80's, as it's a 6 speed rear block, it's probably a worn drivetrain, but before replacing anything.

> Check for any stiff links in the chain.
> Check the chain length for stretch and wear.
> Look at the teeth on the rear sprockets and the front chainrings.

A stiff link can be freed up, usually with a bit of oil and some waggling about, but worn parts will need replacing. Take a look here for answers on checking for wear, stiff links etc.:http://bicycletutor.com/guide/
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#3
Look critically at the teeth on the chainwheel and the rear sprocket, if these look at all pointed or hooked on any of the rings, they are worn out and need replacing, including the chain and maybe the jockey wheels.
Do the lot, it is false economy to only replace part of the drive chain.

And because of the age of the bike, you may need to find an old style IBD who will know what they are doing with old bikes.

Holdsworth were a good make, made by a company called Marlborough in Darlaston, West Midlands, now long defunct.
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#4
A little bit of history for you: http://www.yellowjersey.org/holdsw.html

It seems that when it comes to products manufactured in the UK, and the US, it's the same story over and over again. Labour costs and exchange rates conspired to make them uncompetitive and to add insult to injury, the overseas factories produced products that were of equal if not better quality.
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