In July of 2020, I received an email from Guillaume D. who shared about a restoration he was doing on a newly acquired Bertin C 37bis. This model had the same design and graphics as the familiar C 37 made in Reynolds 531 but had a French Vitus 971 tube set in place of the Reynolds. Of course I was interested and the photo he included only confirmed that interest.
For safety, Guillaume had already changed the perished old tires to new Vittoria Corsa Controls in 700C x 25 and removed the tattered bar tape but the general condition of what was a 40 year old bike was remarkably good and a perfect basis for a sympathetic restoration. Decals, in some places, were scratched, missing or only partially there as seen below.
Generally, the C 37’s equipment was in good condition but the front Shimano 60 derailleur was not and required replacing by a matching derailleur as seen on the right of the next photo.
With the equipment upgrade settled, Guillaume cleaned and polished all the alloy and chrome on the bike and replaced the shifter and brake cables as well as the chain. This allowed him to move on to cosmetic details like the lever hoods and decals. The OEM Mafac branded hoods were in deteriorated condition as 40 years of ozone and sunlight had done their damage.
A set of NOS Mafac branded hoods were obtained through www.velo-classic.de and were a major improvement over the originally fitted hoods which had disintegrated when removed from the brake lever bodies.
Once the levers had been fitted, attention to the damaged Bertin decal was next. Velocals in the United States make a UV resistant decal that does not require clear coating so Guillaume ordered up a set for the down tube decals. The residue of the damaged decals was removed and the frame was lightly polished before the application of the Velocals replacements.
Once the polishing and decals were completed, the addition of some white Speed Ribbon handlebar tape finished off the project with the C 37bis looking well cared for but showing some of the patina of the years just as Guillaume had intended.
The outcome is a sensitive renewal of a classic ride and I must thank Guillaume for sharing both his experience of the restoration and the outstanding result.
That’s a sensitive and careful restoration. It looks superb!
Agreed! Guillaume did a great job.
Jim – Thank you so much for posting my story. I am super happy I met that incredible Bertin / Vintage Bike community. Feel free to reach out for any question/details. Take care and keep that Bertin spirit alive and riding.
nice! I am planning on doing a restoration of my wifes bike. I sent Jim a few photos a few years ago when I acquired the bike. Once the repaint and new decals are done, I’ll make sure to share them here.
Hi, Kyle – Nice to hear from you and I’ll look forward to that repaint and decaling.