Bertin C 37 Restoration Part 10 – The Final Reckoning


Well, the project will be complete with this final assessment. The original, 1970s, black C 37 has gone from this –


Tims Bertin C 37 blk

to this-

Drive Side Profile

to this –


After - Drive Side Profile

and, finally, to this-


Drive Side Profile


It has been a long process, longer than originally considered, and more expensive due to changes and glitches that were unforeseeable at the start. Remember, this bike was intended to be a rider and not a wall hanger so it did not receive NOS everything in a bid to make it perfect. Instead, used and donated parts were scavenged and used where appropriate. A few observations for those following a similar path:

– have a clear idea of what you want to have when you are finished (wall art? daily rider? show bike? historic conservation?);

– estimate your time line and then double it;

– do your financial estimations and add a 25% cushion for dealing with the unexpected ;

– line up the suppliers that you intend to use (some framebuilders/painters have very long waiting lists);

– do a trial assembly of the major components to assess brake reach, seat post fit, hub spacing and bottom bracket and headset threading;

– be sure you have any specialized service tools like the dedicated crank extractor for early Stronglights or Helicomatic freewheel wrenches;

– start with the best condition and equipped example of your favoured bike that you can find to minimize project length, complexity and cost;

– use various sized zip closed plastic bags to contain all the parts of each component or sub-assembly, label a post-it and place within each bag;

then stand back and admire the result!

Below you will find an itemized list of the costs for parts and labour during the project. They are given in U.S.$ as many of the parts came from American sources and Euro and Pound Sterling purchases have been converted to match. As well, items which were in my personal stock of cast offs and unused are priced as if they had been purchased on EBay to give a person starting from scratch a more complete and truthful appraisal of the project’s costs. The total was surprising as my pre-restoration estimate had been about $1,200.


Bertin C 37 Restoration Costs

(all costs include applicable shipping and taxes)


Cost   (in U.S. $)

Stronglight headset – used * 40
Helico/Module E 2 wheels – used * 100
frameset – used 185
Simplex seatpost – new 78
Velo Orange cables – new 22
bolts – new 2
Tressostar bar tape – new 18
tubes – new 16
Mafac lever hoods – NOS 75
Stronglight bottom bracket (French) – used 25
Helico Freewheel – used 50
Stronglight crank remover – new 50
Velocals decals – new 64
Spidel cups – NOS (English Threaded) 25
Spidel drilled brake levers – used 68
California Springs water bottle – new 4
Silca frame fit chrome pump – NOS 30
Brooks Professional saddle – used * 90
Velox rubber bar plugs – NOS 20
Seat post frame fixing bolt (cro-mo) – NOS 6
Spidel LS 2 brake calipers – used 20
TA steel bottle cage – used * 40
Michelin 700C x 23 tires – NOS * 120
Stronglight 93 crankset – used 90
Park grease – new 15
hub bearings (5/32” for helico hub) – new 12
frame services, paint and decaling 400



 * These items were previously owned or gifted to the restorer. Costs are for equivalent items if actually purchased from EBay.

8 comments on “Bertin C 37 Restoration Part 10 – The Final Reckoning

  1. It’s amazing how the cost mounts up. Also, if you factored in the cost of your time it would be astronomical. But then if one justified everything by cost, one would have no passions in which to indulge! Stunning result, well done. Now to ride it!

  2. My parents owned Hans Ohrt Lightweight Bicycles in Beverly Hills. Hans was my mother’s uncle. My father gave me his 1959 C-37 the night before the Davis Double Century. He had it restored & upgraded. He had Cycle Art give it the classic C-37 color scheme (Bertin Team colors) of red & black. I rode many thousands of miles on that bike including Paris Brest Paris in ’79 and the Ironman in 1980. I have much info, history and photos of Bertins which my parents imported for decades.

  3. Hi Dennis.

    It was nice talking to you on the phone. Just to let regular readers know, in the new year I will be writing about some of the things you mentioned in the comment.

  4. Hi there,

    This is a great website, and your C-37 restoration series is very useful and informative. I’m currently restoring a 65cm. Bertin C-37 myself. I purchased the frame from a member of the Classic Rendezvous Yahoo! Group last year. I only paid $75 for the frame, because it was damaged and had received a spray can
    paint job…

    Like your C-37, my frame is getting a new paint job and decals from Velocals. I will also have the chrome plating restored, but I don’t plan to add any braze-ons. Right now the frame is in the shop of noted Seattle framebuilder Bill Davidson for some repairs to the seat lug and down tube. I will pick it up from Bill next week. I expect to have my Bertin back on the road this summer.

    I would like to share some in-progress restoration photos with you and readers of your site, if you’re interested. Please let me know, and keep up the good work!

    Jacob Russell

  5. Jacob –

    Thanks for your comments on the site. I am glad it is proving useful for you. Photos and details of the restoration and assembly would be great and I would be glad to feature your Bertin for other readers to enjoy.


  6. Dennis: This is John Kelso. Worked at the BH shop with Bob and WIllie. I was the mechanic at and the new Westwood store. I was 17 and we did a for Bill Walton.
    a 26″ frame with a custom Seat Post.
    Who was the guy who had the Lotus Elan ? Mike with he blond hair ? Please contact me.
    310 592 3712

  7. Han Ohrt Lightweight Bikes Circa 1968 -1970
    I remember when the container would arrive from France.
    Everybody in the shop would unload the container. We had storage above the showroom. It was very tight since Len always bought an entire container from Bertin every year.
    Bertin was our top of the line road bike
    Raleigh 3 speed and Raleigh Ladies Mixte were also popular.
    Hans Ohrt was the bike store to the Hollywood Stars./
    Vincent Price, Pat Boone and his family, Chad Everet, …

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s