Bicycle decals (transfers) for classic framesets

I have received several inquiries regarding the topic of decals. Specifically, cyclists interested in old classic bikes want to know where and how to get period-correct decals to restore their framesets. In most cases, the bicycles they own are quite old and in poor cosmetic condition.

Sources for Painting

They will have already made the decision to begin restoration (see this Richard Sachs source on restoration) and often have located persons or companies able to do the sandblasting, repairs and repainting. For example, Argos and Bob Jackson in the U.K., Velocolour in Canada, Joe Bell and Cyclart in the U.S., all do superb restoration work.

Sources for Decals

The difficulty arises in trying to find frame art for less well known companies such as Bertin.Cyclomondo and H. Lloyd are two valuable sources for transfers but even they do not have a universal availability of decals or what they stock may not be period-correct.

As well, some restoration shops will custom make decals from originals on your frameset. That was the process that was done for the restoration of my personal Bertin. However, it is time consuming and can be expensive. The art work for mine, for example, took six months for the graphics to be finished.

Decal Templates — Making Your Own

Moreover, sometimes it is not possible to reproduce the decals because the frameset has already been stripped. I have scanned and photo shopped some graphics from Bertins which I have found online, which may be helpful.

Visitors to this site are welcome to copy these images and use them as the basis for printing their own decals.

bertin-logo-colour-restored

restored-downtube-ab-logobertin-lettering3 
Decal making materials are available from Bel Decals, who can supply various types of transfers, including blank ink jet printable decal stock.

Note the vertical display of the word “Bertin” above. That is the format which you will need to make up your seat tube decal. The font is “Myriad Web Pro” in bold and the 70 pt. size will give you the correct dimensions for your decal on the frameset.

Printing Issues

Ink jet inks can be problematic because they are prone to fading in sunlight. If you make your own decals, you will need to find archival quality inks for your particular ink jet printer. A detailed discussion of the process of making your own decals can be found in Steve Maas’ article at this Carlton site in the fifth article down the page titled “Frame Artwork.”

Seattube & Headtube Bands

World championship decal bands for the seat tube and some head tubes are available through Cyclomondo (link above). If you have the misfortune to have foil-type decals, I wish you good luck because I know of no way of reproducing that format.

Feedback Welcomed

Hope this article on decals (transfers) for classic framesets is helpful in getting your old Bertin back out on the road. Leave a comment here or e-mail at bertinclassiccycles@yahoo.ca to let me know how you make out. I would be glad to display any of your photos in the gallery section on the header bar.

Note: This information is also on the header bar.

4 comments on “Bicycle decals (transfers) for classic framesets

  1. I have a Bertin bicycle I bought when I was in college in 1971/2. It’s still in great shape but it was repainted and the components were upgraded to campy many years ago. There are no decals on it. The bicycle has crome on the tips of front fork and on the rear of the frameset. It’s original color was a brown (or broze). It looks like a C37 frame set but I’m not sure. I would like to determine the actual frame set I have. Is there a stamp designation on the frameset somewhere?

  2. James,
    Your bike sounds like a Bertin C 37. They were seen with no chrome like mine, chrome forks or chrome forks and stays like yours. Check your seatpost diameter. My Reynolds 531 frame is 26.4 mm and I bet yours is as well. Your rear dropouts may have a serial number on one and be stamped with the frame size on the other eg. 60 but model numbers were not stamped on any Bertin that I know of. Hope that helps.

  3. I have an opportunity to buy what is reputed to be a ’90’s Bertin frame, but it has no decals or any identifying marks beyond the serial number. Does anyone have any information about Bertin serial numbers from the nineties? It’s TIG’d steel with an ‘aero’ shaped, oversized downtube and a rather nice V-shaped brake boss. As far as I can tell, it’s double butted. The forks are also ‘aero’ shaped steel, but have been cut too short for the frame. It’s dirt cheap and seems to be fairly good quality, so I may pick it up anyway, but it would be nice to know the maker too…
    Thanks–any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Ian (Canada)

  4. Hi, Ian- It sounds possible. Photos would help and you might also inquire at Bike Forum. There are some very knowledgable people commentng there.The frame you describe sounds very much like the red frame advertised on Ebay. Search “Bertin” and look at the red “Nickel” frame. Ignore the name, its’s just a company Bertin built for. The brake bridge sounds identical as does the overall description. As well, the NOS Bicycle Shopalso has a new fork which might be suitable. Hope that helps. Jim

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