Bertin had a habit of filling market niches which other builders thought too inconsequential to address. One good example of this was the amateur/entry-level C 56 track bike which it offered with quality tubing and high quality equipment. They also offered the C 33 road bike with 650A wheels sized proportionally to the frameset. Then, they added the C 32 with a 700C wheelset. Obviously, Andre Bertin didn’t flinch from providing properly sized and equipped bicycles to those at either end of the frame size Bell Curve. Far too frequently, if you were really short or really tall, you were really out of luck with finding an affordable production frameset or bike.
The typical production range for Bertin bikes was from 52 to 64 cm in frame size. However, they also offered the C 32 in 48 cm and the C 32 in 49 cm and they also offered a unique C 34.
A little background is in order. Todd, a reader on this blog, was on his way from his home in Nevada to Phoenix, Arizona and he stopped in Wickenburg, Arizona while on his way. He checked out a yard sale during his visit and $80 later, he was the surprised and proud owner of this:
Obviously, Todd is a tall guy, but I was amazed to see a standard production offering from Bertin in such a large size. The early 70s Bertin C 34 he took with him that day was remarkably “production” looking. The saddle had been changed as had the Shimano Crane GS rear derailleur to work on a larger rear freewheel but, in the main, it was as built.
It had the look and many of the features of a C 34 such as the Durifort fork decal and Mafac brake one would expect:
As well, the period correct Simplex Prestige front derailleur looked right at home as did the 700C wheels:
Classic Mafac half hooded brake levers? Check:
What is not seen, however, is the usual Vitus Durifort frame sticker on the seat tube. This is probably due to the fact tubing manufacturers did not draw tubing beyond the typical 64 cm frame size offered in production models. So Todd has a unique, production model derivative with a loooong, unidentified seat tube but a truly unique ride.