Decals & Transfers 1970 – 1979

Bertin graphics, in common with other bicycles in the period 1950 – 1990, underwent an incremental process of simplification and cost reduction. Gradually, over time, complex lug shapes, metal head badges, chroming, lug lining, pinstripping and contrasting frame paint panels all were reduced and then eliminated.

This process can be seen in the Bertins of the 1970s. The period was one of tremendous market growth in the early 70s and manufacturers simplified the product to speed production and increase profitability. The process was most noticeable in the lower price points where margins were slimmest.

There is no sharp distinction between late 60s and early 1970s production. Materials and finishes varied with availability and a typical early 70s bike looked very similar to its predecessors.

Sport and racing Bertins were usually found with the classic vertically stacked seat tube lettering and the foil World Championship stripes as seen in the photograph above. These stripes might also be found on the head tube wrapping around behind the usual Bertin foil headbadge except on smaller sizes. Frames had the distinctive Made in France yellow riband (often on the top tube) and the A.B. diamond decal (often on the down tube). Mixte frames got both together on the down tube.In each of these respects the framesets did not differ much from earlier versions of the same model. Touring bicycles received the round Cyclotouriste decal which might be found on any of the three main frame tubes. The example to the right shows on the down tube but other locations would be just as likely.

As the 1970s progressed, Bertin once again began to use the down tube for decal placement. The change was not wholesale and immediate but appears to have occured over time with decal availability.  The sample C 37 below illustrates the general appearance of the graphics.

The style of the lettering can be more clearly seen in this down tube label.

The seat tube retained the commemorative World Championship rings  as did the head tube. The seat tube also  acquired a foil badge like that of the head tube as well as the TI-Reynolds  frame decal. A 531 decal was also found at the top of each fork blade. Reynolds transfers for French cycle manufacturers were always in French text. France, in the 60s and 70s, was Reynolds’ largest export market and the company went out of its way to provide specially drawn metric size tubing and French labels. The TI-Reynolds addition to the labels indicates a late 70s production as Tube  Investments took over Renolds about 1977. This decal set can be found at the Cyclomundo store on Ebay.

Many other Bertin cycles in the 1970s were offered with the familiar Vitus Durifort tubing using decals of this type. The seat tube decal was as shown below and to the right and complimentary decals were found on each fork leg much like the Reynolds 531 transfers on the C 37. As well, some models were built with a combination of Vitus 971 main tubes and Vitus 172 in the forks and stays which paralleled the earlier practice with the C 35 using Reynolds 531 and Durifort stays and fork. A good example of this is the  mid-70s Bertin C 37bis which used  Super Vitus in the main frame and Vitus 172 for the fork and stays.

There are anomalies in the graphics of Bertins and the frameset shown below is one of them. The frame carries the downtube  A.BERTIN of an earlier period with a yellow eagle preceding the name. Otherwise, the decals appear similar to the yellow C 37 seen above.

Decals seen on mixtes and non-sports bicycles varied slightly to accomodate structural differences like tubing locations and angles. Some bikes kept the early 60s pattern of tricolour band on the seat tube even as the Bertin brand moved foward into the 1980s.

11 comments on “Decals & Transfers 1970 – 1979

  1. I have a Bertin frame that I got used from a local bike shop in the early 80’s. Bill Stevenson sold it to me ‘as is’. I have up dated wheels, brakes, etc. It did not have any useable decal.transfers when I got it. I just had it painted and I am looking to replace decals. Is there somewhere wher these can be obtained? My guess the frame is from the mid 70’s

  2. Roger,

    When I had my Bertin restored, my decals were made through Velocolour in Toronto, Canada. They still have the art work and may be willing to prepare another set for you.
    Jim

  3. hi i have an vitus plus carbon 3 and i am after some decals for it, i am restoring my frame to the original colours and design decals should be white and the frame black,
    i hope you can help me
    thanx
    regards jason

  4. Hi, Jason-

    Ebay currently has a set of Vitus decals for sale. As well, you might want to try Cyclomondo a store on Ebay which features reproduction decals. Good luck!

    Jim

  5. I’m still in the research stage of finding out just wht I have I have 5 bands on the down tube Blue, red, black yellow and green. It has the “Cyclo touriste special” decal just like the one pictured. My forks are similar also. what do I have and how do I identify and verify it?

  6. Hi, Michael-

    The Coloured bands are World Championsip bands which Cycles Bertin began adding after Patrick Sercu won a World Track Champioship on a Bertin. The Cyclo Touiste Special label shows that this is one of Bertin’s touring oriented bicycles. It may be a C 31, C 117 or a C 132. It would be great if you would attach some photos as this would make the identification that much easier.

  7. Hello. I own the same yellow c37 as on the photo above. Original in every piece. Whats is worth?

    Sry for my excellent bad writing 😉

  8. Hi, Sebastian-

    If your C 37 has the same full Reynolds 531 frame and fork with a full Nuovo Record gruppo in excellent condition, I would think you are likely to be in the CDN$ 1,000 to 1,500 range. Other readers might think the estimate is too high but a cosmetically near perfect example with little wear from use would be very desirable to a collector. If the condition shows scratches, scrapes, corrosion and wear on the components, then you might well be around a valuation of about CDN$ 500 for what would be a perfectly usable but not perfect example of a C 37.

    Jim

  9. since yesterday I’m a lucky owner of a golden 70ies Bertin Racebike, which is COMPLETELY ORIGINAL – even up to the smallest detail.
    huret, milremo components…

    Strange Detail regarding Decals: the downtube shows “J.M JUANEN”.. (golden letters on black background)

    Any Idea what this means??

    will post pictures soon in order to find out more about the history and the potential year of production…

  10. Veit-

    Congratulations on your “new” Bertin. The down tube lettering is probably the shop for which Bertin produced the bike. Bertin, and other smaller manufacturers, produced runs of bikes either completely decaled for a particular shop or decaled with both the shop and Bertin livery. On the track bike page linked here you can see examples of 2 Gauthier branded C 56s about half way down the page.

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