Some time ago, a reader from Germany contacted me and asked if I knew anything about the Rixe brand of bicycles and a model called the “Type Andre Bertin”. I had seen other examples of this online previously but did not have any background information nor was I aware of any connection between Cycles Bertin and Rixe.
Rixe was a German manufacturer of mass market, utility and sport bicycles as well as mopeds and small motorcycles. It had been founded in 1922, reconstituted after WW II and eventually went out of business in 1984. Its assets were licensed by Derby Cycles in 1989 and the Rixie brand was purchased outright by Derby in 1998. However, the Type Andre Bertin long preceded those events.
The only Rixie catalogue I have been given access to shows no such model.
However, inside are illustrations of various models and one of them is the Victor Type 59 as seen below.
This model looks like the basis for the “Type Andre Bertin” as it has an upright configuration, built-in lighting with a fork mounted generator, a luggage rack and fenders. A major difference is the SA 3 speed IG rear hub instead of a derailleur.
The photo below shows the details of my German reader’s 1982 Rixe “Type Andre Bertin”.
The obvious differences are the more modern graphics and the dropped handlebar configuration along with derailleur gearing.
An earlier Rixe version of the “Type Andre Bertin” looked like the photo below:
The flat bars on the Milremo stem have obviously been converted from dropped bars when the brake levers are considered. This bike looks to be from the early 1970s given the spoke reflectors and the Delrin Simplex derailleur levers and visible Prestige style, rod type front derailleur.
What both bikes share is an angular style of lug which is unlike anything I have seen on Bertins leading to the conclusion that this model is an in-house Rixe design and product. Obviously, there must be some connection to Andre Bertin but why his name would be licensed/used on a German product I currently do not know.
Bertin raced on both track and road in the early to mid-1930s so it is possible that he knew or rode with German teammates. There were German France Sport team members in 1933 but that was before Bertin formally joined the team and I do not know of a subsequent connection. As well, Bertin was active in the revival of post-WW II track and road racing in Northern France and Belgium and may have re-established contact with pre-War acquaintances. Regardless, Rixe marketed a “Type Andre Bertin” for many years which certainly implies a strong motivation on the part of the Rixe company to acknowledge Andre Bertin and his contribution.
Should any reader have further details, please use the Contact form to reach me and I will revise and update the post.