Bertin C 38 Track Bike – An Original

The last French made Bertin was produced in 1999 – 2000 so even the newest ones are getting older and scruffier. However, every vintage enthusiast is willing to do the little touch-ups and polishing needed to bring a bike back to its prime. In some cases, full restorations are done right down to new equipment, paint and decals.

However, very rarely, a bike turns up which has not been neglected to the point of dust, grime, dried oily residue and general tattiness. Instead, it has experienced a quiet retirement, cared for, unmolested with its original equipment intact – this is what Jamison found out in Colorado.

He has located and acquired a high-end Bertin C 38 track bike from the early 1980s that looks like it was put away new at the end of its first season and has just been hauled out to resume its career. He hopes you will appreciate the photos he has sent along.

ei C 38 profile Dr side

Full French Track Gruppo, Full Reynolds 531

ei C 38 crankset rgt side

Stronglight/Spidel 106 Track Chainset

ei C 38 Rr hub

Fixed Cog on Maillard 700/Spidel Track Hub

ei C 38 headset

Bernard Hinault Stronglight A9 Headset on a Round Bladed 531 Track Fork

ei C 38 Frt view

Front View With Dropped Track Stem, Handlebars and Maillard/Spidel 700 HF Hub

It is rare indeed to see so finely preserved an example of a C 38 but this is an exceptional one and I will totally overlook the razor blade saddle and the clip in pedals!

8 comments on “Bertin C 38 Track Bike – An Original

  1. A beautiful bicycle. I especially love the simple decals and that Lemon paintwork. Out of interest, does anybody out there know why track forks were ’round’?

  2. Kevin-

    Track bike fork blades are round to resist the lateral forces applied to the fork on the angled tracks of velodromes. Road bike forks are oval to resist fore/aft impacts on the road where lateral loads from cornering are much lower.

  3. OK Now I understand, simple really once it is explained.
    I rode an Audax event on the Bertin C210 on Sunday last. It ran from Wimbledon (home of the Tennis) to Brighton back north through Godalming and home to Ashtead. A total distance of 198.5km it took in famous climbs like Ditchling Beacon and the Devils Dyke, and while they have colourful names they are not mountains! The total climbing was 2200m which you can hit on a single col in the Alps.
    The Bertin performed faultlessly as always, I have ridden three long distance events recently and the bike never missed a beat.
    This is all part of the build up to two major events in the summer. The first is the Ride-It London on the 4th August which follows the Olympic road race course and will be on closed roads for 100 miles – great! The second is the L’Eroica in Tuscany in October, 204 km on the ‘Strada Bianci’. Bill Thomson and I are adding a couple of days either side of the ride and will carb-load before it and Chianti load after it. I will ride the Bertin and Bill will ride his Olmo bought specially at the end of last year for this event.
    I added a set of Stronglight cranks with lower gearing for these hilly rides. I now have 50/36 replacing the 52/42 originally fitted. They are the Stronglight ‘Double’ model and I cannot wholeheartedly recommend them for two reasons. The ‘Q’ is very high, with both cranks sitting 2 cms proud of the chain stays with the recommended 113mm bottom bracket axle. Secondly, the chain catcher is useless, it fails to trap the chain on the way in and is then reluctant to let it out!
    Bon voyages

  4. This C38 is the bike I provided photos back in 2013, You should have seen the look on peoples faces when I showed up at the track with this classic. I have since retired the bike and it proudly hangs on display in my bike corral out of circulation and free from adulteration. BTW Dmitry, your bike is truly sweet.

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