A few months ago, I began an intermittent series on period Bertin advertisements as found in the cycling press and elsewhere. I started with a colourful, larger format bike shop poster but far more common for Bertin were page size and partial page ads done in black and white.
Recently, Frederic M. contacted me with a contribution from an edition of Le Cycle magazine published in 1971, to share with other readers. Frederic has a Flickr account on which he shares these kinds of period advertisements and photos including many done by Daniel Rebour. It is from that account that the following Milremo/Bertin ads were taken. Many thanks to Frederic for sharing and be sure to look at his Flickr materials here.
About a month and a half ago, I wrote a post on two Bertins that were found in Northern France by Kevin R. an expatriate Briton. He was kind enough to share the details and photos of the bikes which I subsequently posted. Well, he has been scrounging the boot sales, bike jumbles and on line sales sites and has found another lovely Bertin in wonderful condition. Study the photo below, there is something unusual about this 49 cm bike.
It is a mid to late 70s Bertin sport bike that has a full Vitus Durifort frameset, Maillard HF, QR hubs, TA Pro Vis 5 crankset, Shimano derailleurs, Weinmann sidepull brakes and tubular tires. When you look closely at this well proportioned, well equipped bicycle you simply do not notice that this is a very small bicycle. It is actually a Bertin C 33 intended for juvenile riders (or possibly small statured women) and looks normal because it wears 650 series tubular rims and sewup tires.
Just another example of the extra thought in the design, specification and manufacture that Andre Bertin and his team put into even the smallest market segment that they worked in.
Cycles Bertin was always a smaller manufacturer located in the Nord Pas de Calais department. They maintained local and regional amateur and semi-professional teams to support and promote their brand. Like most bicycle manuacturers, they had their colour catalogues, posters plus black and white ads taken out in the cycling press to try and reach potential buyers.
In the next little while, I will be, intermittently, posting examples of these materials to give readers a flavour of the the kind of promotional activities and style used by Bertin.
The first example is a poster shared with me by a reader. It is a striking example done in a bold colour style and seems to be from the earlier 1980s. I hope you enjoy it.
Finding old Bertin bicycles in France doesn’t seem like much of a stretch. Consider that Bertins can be found fairly readily in the UK, the US, New Zealand, Morocco and even, occasionally, here in Canada. So, no big deal to find them in their country of origin, one might think. However, this is not so easily done. The bikes were distributed all over France so your geographical location would affect availability. So would the lack of co-operation from local sellers and those on leboncoin who can’t even be bothered answering foreigners like me.
However, if you lived in Normandy (geographically just down the road from Bertin’s home location) as an expatriate Briton, and made the rounds of yard sales, bicycle jumbles, boot sales and flea markets you just might have a good chance to snag some interesting bikes.
Which is exactly what Kevin, who buys and refurbishes classic French bikes, does in his spare time. He had contacted me through the site regarding id confirmation for a couple of Bertins which he had found and purchased on speculation. We discussed the bikes and he was kind enough to allow me to publish their photos. The silver one was a C 35 in original livery and equipment which Kevin then cleaned and up-speced. The red C 37 has been extensively modified in terms of braze-on additions, a new fork and partial changes to its equipment group.
1970s Bertin C 35 (531 /Durifort) in original condition
C 35 refurbished with equipment upgrade
Modified Bertin C 37
My thanks to Kevin for rescuing and permitting the sharing of these Bertin survivors with us.