Cycles Bertin constructed framesets from Durifort, Reynolds 531, Vitus 172 and Vitus 971 steels in the period up until the 1980’s. Thereafter, a gradual transition took place to a mixture of Vitus, Reynolds and Columbus frame tubing types.(For full Vitus tubing sticker details, see Classic Rendezvous, Cyclomondo and The Yellow Jersey for tubing specifications.)
As well, during the 1980’s at least, Bertin offered the C 181, C 281, C 381, C 481 and C 581, which were round tube Vitus 979 Duralinox aluminum framesets. However, they and the carbon tubed 979s and the BMX frames are outside the scope of this discussion.
The earliest steel frames from the 50s, 60’s and 70’s, had pressed forks and stay ends. Higher quality framesets had forged ends from that period onwards until it became general practice throughout the entire line by the late 70s.
Road frames were designed around 72 degree/72 degree angles with a wheel base of about 40 inches (101.5 cm). Tubing was to metric standards including the Reynolds 531. Reynolds forks had Imperial oval dimensions rather than the Columbus style Continental type.
Later, by the 1980’s, the fashion for Columbus tubing extended to certain Bertin models. The C 210-220 were built in Aelle and the C 80 was constructed of SL. These tube sets conformed to the Columbus design criteria of the period. Braze-ons varied on the framesets within a given time period. They might be any combination of pump pegs, cable guides and stops, bottle cage mounts and generator brackets. Touring bikes with generator provisions, like the C 31 and C 132, were drilled at the bottom bracket and the lower head lug for internal wiring to connect lights. Taillight wiring was in the rear fender if metal fenders were installed or on a seatstay if plastic fenders were utilized.
Track frames had more upright (73 degree) angles, a shorter wheelbase (39 inches/99 cm) and a double plate fork crown surmounting round diameter track style forks. Reversed slotted track ends were standard on both the C 38 and C 56 models.
Lugs were initially pressed steel with Nervex lugs being popular. Gradually, in what appeared to be running changes, simpler lugs such as Dubois and Prugnat appeared with a gradual change to microfusion steel lugs and forged crowns by the 1980s.
Tubesets were fairly consistent over the classic period with Vitus (Durifort/888, 172, 971), Reynolds (501,531, 531 SL/Pro) and Columbus (Aelle, SL) being the suppliers for the majority of Bertin’s road and track bicycles. The specifications which follow each model are for the 1970’s bicycles produced by Bertin. Other specifications will be noted specifically.
C 10/C 11/C 12/C 13
- Lugged, hi-tensile, carbon steel frameset ( C 10 is men’s style frame)
- 4 spd rear derailleur (C 13) or Sturmey Archer 3 speed SA hub (C 11)
- SS fenders
- Soubitez generator, lights & bell, chainguard
- rear rack
- Mafac cantilever brakes (brazed on)
- 650B x 35 wheels and tires or 700C x 30 ( C11/C12)
- brazed, lugged frameset
- 3 or 4 speed rear derailleur
- alloy fenders
- deluxe paint
- alloy chainguard
- chromed steel rear rack
- Mafac cantilever brakes (brazed on)
C 16 ” Gentleman”
- lugged, full Durifort frame and fork
- Sturmey Archer 3 speed SA hub gears
- Mafac Racer centerpull brakes with inverted town levers on porteur bars
- 700c x 35 wheels ( HF alloy front )
- stainless steel fenders
- braze on Soubitez generator on rear stay
- internally wired lights
- full chainguard
- alloy rear carrier
- lugged and brased frame and fork
- 650B wheels with wingnut releases F/R
- reinforced chainstay/seatstay junction
- coaster brake stock/front caliper optional
- stock front dynamo and headlight
- tail light and reflector
- motorcycle style fenders F/R
- leather seat
- lugged and brazed steel frame
- 650B wheels on alloy hubs
- skinwall tires
- rear brake Torpedo coaster, front brake Mafac Racer
- alloy chain guard
- front chromed steel porteur rack
- built in lighting on fenders Fr and Rr
C 28/C 28 (Mixte)
- Full Durifort frameset
- 700C wheels, LF hubs, QR
- Solida steel 52/40 crank set
- Ideale 39 leather saddle
- Delrin Simplex Criterium FD and RD
- Mafac Racer CP brakes
C 29 “Randonneur”
- brazed, lugged steel frame
- LF alloy hubs
- 650B skinwall tires
- brazed on cantilever brakes with guidonnet levers on randonneur bars
- brazed on generator tab, internal wiring for front and rear lights, Soubitez generator
- Huret Allvit derailleurs and downtube levers
- chromed front and rear racks
C 31/ 31 (Mixte)
- Full Durifort frameset, 1/2 chrome fork
- Specification as above, plus Stronglight TS 52/40 alloy crankset
- alloy Simplex 410 RD and LJA FD
- front and rear chrome racks and stainless fenders
- brazed on tab for Soubitez generator
- internally wired tail light and headlight
- Full Vitus Durifort (Full Vitus 172 – 1980’s)
- 700C wheels LF, QR hubs with tubular rims and tires
- TA Cyclotouriste 52/40 alloy crankset
- Delrin Simplex LJ 4000 RD and LJ FD
- Simplex LJ 4012 Retrofriction levers
- Mafac Racer CP brakes, hooded levers
C 34 Cross
- full Vitus Durifort (1980’s)
- special braze-ons for Cyclocross cable routings
C 35 “Professional Racer”
Image moved from C34 to C35 category 31/10/12 (H/T Julian)
- Reynolds 531 main tubes, Durifort stays and fork (DB Vitus971 main tubes and Vitus 172 stays and fork , 1980’s)
- 700C wheels, Maillard 700LF, QR hubs with Mavic Module E rims
- TA Cyclotouriste 52/42 alloy crankset
- Ideale 90 leather saddle
- Simplex LJ 5000 RD and SLJ FD
- Simplex Retrofriction alloy shiters
- Mafac 2000 CP brakes, drilled, fully hooded levers
- full Vitus 172 frameset
- otherwise, as above
C 37/C 237bis
- Full Reynolds 531 DB, taper gauge forks and stays ( Full DB Vitus 971, 1980’s)
- 700c wheels, Maillard 700 LF QR with tubular rims and tires
- Stronglight 105 bis 50/40 crankset
- Ideale 90 leather saddle
- gold Simplex LJ 5000RD and SLJ FD
- gold Simplex Retrofriction alloy levers
- gold Mafac 2000 CP brakes, drilled, fully hooded gold levers
C 37bis/C 237bis
- full DB Vitus 971 frameset
- otherwise, as above
- Full plain gauge hi – tensile steel Frameset
- Full French Gruppo
C 75 T
- Speedwell welded titanium frame and fork
- Campagnolo Record, Super Record, Dura-Ace or French gruppos
C 79 SSC
- Special Service Course
- full DB Reynolds 531 SL/Professional frameset
C 80 SSC
- Special Service Course
- full DB Columbus SL frameset
C 80 “Course Dural”
- welded aluminum frame and fork
- gruppos as for the C 75 T
C 116 “Super Randonneur”
- lugged and brazed full Durifort frame and fork ( Half chromed )
- 650B wheels with alloy rims and alloy HF hubs
- Stronglight 49 or TA Cyclotouriste ( double or triple )
- 5 speed cluster
- celluloid fenders/stainless fenders
- front and rear chromed steel racks
- Mafac Racer brakes and half hooded levers/guidonnet levers and brazed on Mafac cantilever brakes
- top tube pump braze ons (1970s)
- Ideale 80 leather saddle
- Huret Allvit derailleurs
C 117 “Super Randonner”
- full Durifort frameset
- specification as for C-28 except for
- Ideale 80 leather saddle
- 700c wheels, LF QR with tubular rims and tires or 27 x 1 1/4 clinchers
C 132 “Semi-Racer Extra Light”
- as for the C 31, plus
- celluloid fenders
- TA front rack
- TA Cyclotouriste double or triple crankset
- Mafac Racer brakes and half hooded levers
- top tube pump braze ons (1970s)
- full Columbus Aelle carbon manganese steel frameset
- Aelle painted fork
From Sargent & Co. Cycle
- Full Columbus Aelle carbon manganese steel frameset
- fully chromed Aelle fork
- brazed, lugless full Vitus 172 tandem gauge tubing(1980’s)
- 700C or 650B wheels, Maxicar 40 spoke hubs with rear drum brake
- TA Cyclotouriste triple 56/48/38 alloy crankset
- Avocet Touring saddles
- Huret Duopar RD and FD with downtube levers
- brazed on Mafac cantilever brakes with fully hooded levers
- available as man/man, man/mixte or mixte/mixte frame configurations
- available as dropped or flat bar configuration
- full DB Reynolds 531 frameset with round track style fork blades
- Nervex lugs
- TA Professional 3 pin track crankset
- half chrome fork
- Berthet track pedals
- Unica or brooks saddle
- full Durifort frameset with round track style blades and double plate fork crown (forged crown 1980’s)
- 700C HF tubular rims and track weight tubular tires
- track nut attachment and fixed gear
- TA Professionel alloy crankset
- Ideale 39 leather saddle
- alloy pedals, clips and toestraps
Note: Further details and photos will follow on the Bicycle Model header “Page” as time permits — instead of updating this post a second time. Moreover, visitors can further share information or photos by e-mailing me via my Contact Form which is found under the Feature Pages on the Side Bar.
May 16, 2009 — Bertin C 34 Cross photo added. The photo was found in the “used bicycle” section of Sellwood Cycle Repair in Porland, Oregon in the U.S.
May 30, 2009 — Bertin C10 Utility Bicycle photo was added. It was located on E-Bay France.
June 6, 2009. The Bertin C 37bis photo added courtesy of Charles C.
June 18, 2009. Photos of the C 38 and C117 added to the page
Fantastic site ! Even in France we don’t have such a wealth of information. Well done !
Charles — Thank you very much for your kind remarks about the site. Bertin’s were never plentiful here in Canada, regrettably, but they are a very good bicycle and deserve to be better known. I’m doing my part to try and make that happen.
Thank you for this informatve and well done data. Bertin data is not easy to come by.
I own a circa 70 Bertin with full Reynolds 531 Double Butted frame and fork. It is not the most well finished frame but it rides wonderfully! A real joy to ride.
Don, I appreciate your compliment regarding the site.
Bertins were never finished like Cinellis and such like
but they always (even the cheapest models) used quality tubing and decent workmanship. Classic era bikes like yours and mine ride and handle wonderfully well, perhaps as a result of all those northern French and Belgian cobbles!
Hi, thanks for publishing the pick of my Bertin C37 frame. Shortly I’ll be rebuilding the bike with it’s almost complete and original 1959 Campagnolo groupset, and other parts, except some late 60’s Campag large flange 28 spoke wheels with Fiamme rims, and later Mafac Racer levers. I’ve yet to find a suitable seat. The bike won’t be restored – It will be cleaned up and serviced but not rechromed or repainted – I’ve decided to follow the mantra “it’s only original once”. I’ll submit some decent pics once the bike is complete again.
Congratulations on building a fantastic resource!
Does anyone else out there have a Bertin like mine with the “script” decals??
Mike, it’s good to hear from you again. Congrats on the upcoming re-build – I would love to do a feature on the changes to your bike if you photograph it during the process of refurbishment. The first set of photos you sent me are still in my files and I could combine them with new ones to show the process for other curious Bertin owners. As far as a period correct seat is concerned, probably a Brooks B17N or a B17 Standard would be the only new seat still in production
that existed at the time your bike was created. Alternatively, an older, used Brooks Pro or Ideale 80 might be scroungable on Ebay. As far as your script version of the Bertin decal goes, the only other place I’ve ever seen it is on page 182 of the 1970 Ron Kitching catalogue reproduced by Velo Retro. It identifies a C36 and a C31 with those graphics but none too clearly I regret to say! If any readers have any appropriate reference photographs of the script style, I would be glad to feature them here. And Mike, thanks for the kind comments about the site – I hope that it will be useful to all who are interested in Andre Bertin’s bicycles.
I have always regretted selling my Bertin in the late 60s.
Anyone got a 23″ from that era they want to part with?
We have all had moments like this one! Try Craigslist as it has been a major source of photos here. As well, Ebay can also be a source for older bicycles. Team Karim http://www.teamkarim.com/bikes/used/vintage/vin.html has had Bertins in the past and may still do. Good luck in recapturing that Bertin.
Brian- � I may have an answer to your request. I have a guy I correspond with from the site who has a black, Bertin C 34/C 35. It is a 60 cm C-t-T (23.6 inch) frameset.�A photo of it built up can be found in the Road Bike Gallery 1970-1979. It is listed as belonging to Tim M. who remains the current owner. He tells me the paint is rather rough as is�the left fork blade chrome plating. The frameset is,I believe, being sold without headset or seatpost although it is French threaded and takes a 26.4 mm diameter post. � Should you be interested, let me know and I will provide Tim your email address and you two can negotiate directly. � Merry Christmas!
hey i was wondering how much a really good condition bertin c10 would sell for. like what is a good deal price.
also i really like the website. very good information and one of very few available
So much depends on the equipment. Does it have a Sturmey Archer hub gear? A three or four speed derailleur? A plastic seat or an Ideale leather one? One with good paint and pinstripping to the right customer could go for a couple of hundred dollars. It’s just so hard to tell because so much depends upon the buyer. Thank you for the compliments on the site. I hope you like the new look.
I have a Bertin bike from 1985 or 1986 but it has been repainted – if I sent you a photo of it, could you help me identify the model?
I recently became the owner of a Bertin, and wondered if anyone has some info regarding age, and model?
It is orange in color, with stickers (made in Belgium) …. It also has a sticker stating that it is powder coated..
Would this be the orange Bertin sold on EBay a while ago? If so, it is a Belgian produced version. Andre Bertin’s cousin operated Cycles Bertin Belgium in parallel with the French factory. During the 1972-73 disruption of production due to a fire in the Saint Laurent Blangy, production was made up from the Belgian operation. The bike in the Bike Forum article, looks like a C 35 or C 34.
Hope that helps. I am trying to obtain more information on this aspect of Bertins and will be glad to share as things arise.
Yes, it is the Bertin that sold on ebay a while back……. It really is a fine bike, and I feel very fortunate to own it. I’m not sure if I can post pictures of it here, but I’ll try. If not I can send them along to you to post. Here is a link to the pictures on Bike Forums…..
Hi all. I recently purchased another Bertin – 23″ with Nervex Pro lugs & fork crown. The build is almost identical to my blue 1960 model (the frameset is pictured on this site) except it is missing the cable wheels on the BB, and the pump brazeons. The parts it came with suggest early to mid 1960’s, but it might be later. Its been repainted once already. One rear dropout has been repaired & not very well. If anyone is interested in it, I can supply pics – but the bike is in New Zealand and shipping would be pricey.
Also – big news!! Greg Softley in Australia (Cyclomondo on ebay) is now doing the early 1950’s style decals!!
Nice to hear from you again. Thanks for the notice on the frameset and the decals. Readers wishing to see the decals can use the Cyclomondo sidebar link on this site or Ebay itself. Should there be interest in the frameset, I would be happy to facilitate an exchange of email addresses to move that along.
Thanks for compiling all this information. It is appreciated!
I’ve just bought a lovely blue-fade 80’s Bertin.
it has Columbus tubes and a shimano 600 groupset ( Arabesque ) Though I’m not sire if this was original.
Would the BB headset and pedal threads be Italian or French?
Hi, Chris –
The ISO transition to a world standard for threading was occurring at this time and manufacturers had real mixes of threading. I believe but do not know for certain that Bertin was still using French threading. Probably the only accurate way of being sure is to buy a set of thread guages and actually measure the threads. An approximate method might be to check the headset, bottom bracket cups and the and the pedal axle for threading information stamped into the metal. For example, if the pedal axle says D and G (Droit and Gauche) it indicates right and left French pedal threads. R and L indicate English/Italian threading. If you have a freewheel and not a freehub, the freewheel will have the threading information stamped into the face of the body right beside the notching for the freewheel release tool. Also, check your public library or online for the Sutherland’s technical manual. It is a great source of information.
The cranks are stamped 1.25 x 14 near the pedals so I guess they are French threads, we’ll see how the remaining threads reveal themselves!
i’ve uploaded a few quick pics here but will create some nice images for the site when I’ve had a chance to detail the paint and alloy etc.
I’m french (and my english is a little poor!),and I have seen on your site that you posted a photograph of a tandem “T2” by BERTIN. I don’t know where you’ve found this photo but it is one of my tandem! So I’m surprised and really happy of that. I bought it to make a trip around south england (which was really fantastic) ,so I can give you more photos if you want. In exchange I would like to have more information about this model, as more as you can.
I’m glad you like the photo. I would love to have other photos for a bike feature. You can email them to me as JPEG attachments using the Contact email on the website. I will try and get back to you with further details of the tandem in the next little while.
Hi Jim, it’s me again ! I know I’ve come across links to Velobase catalogs on your site but I can’t manage to find them again ! In fact it makes me notice that the “Categories” search engine lacks the catalog entry. Would be nice to add it . And here’s one that you may not know of : http://www.fattiretrading.com/72bertin.html
If you look at the website and check the right hand sidebar, in the section titled “Restoration” the 12th item down is the Velobase link. Thanks for the link to Kris’site. The photos and specifications can be quite useful to Bertin enthusiasts.
Hi Jim What a great resource you have built. It gave me the confidence to acquire a Bertin from ebay recently. The owner provided an accurate history of the bike, bought by him in 1983 in Calais and ridden home to Hampshire! It remained un-ridden since 1988 and so was in good and original build condition, all the bearings needed stripping and servicing. The owner was unsure of the model and so using your pictures my guess is that it is a C210 or 220. It is Columbus Aelle with Shimano ‘Arabesque’ fitments, Wolber Tubular rims on Shimano hubs. I risked the original and now quite perished Tubulars up to 90psi and took it for a spin, it rides very smoothly, quick steering and responsive to input. The old chain and gearing is noisy compared to modern designs otherwise it is a fine bicycle.
Once again, congratulations on a super site, how marvelous to see the internet used in this way.
sounds very similar to mine http://flic.kr/p/aqTv6t
I’ve since changed the brake levers to SLR non-aero
Here are some pictures, I discovered that the groupset was Golden Arrow not Arabesque. As you see there are differences between the 2 bikes, your Bertin may be a later model. I am unsure about the saddle and think it fitted later. I wondered if you saddle was original?
I’m pretty sure your bike is a later model; Shimano arabesque was 78-84 while golden arrow 83-86 according to Velobase http://velobase.com/ViewComponent.aspx?id=af4857bb-c3f8-4016-8a48-a9080ec3d4fb
Also your seattube lug is a more elegant design ( i have an Italian Olagnero with the similar configuration where the stays are shot into the lugs… http://flic.kr/p/a6hmdT
The saddle on mine is a Bernard Hinault suede ‘Turbo’.
Mine is such a lovely ride and as light as my Colnago Super with Campag C record!
OK it is certainly an 83. I ordered a NOS Flight in Celeste with a blue flash to go with this bike prior to seeing your saddle and now expect it to be a good match. A happy coincidence!
I went for a 55k ride this morning as a shake down, all went very well although there is work on the rear axle to complete and the headset needs replacing as it works loose and the lock nut arrangement looks suspiciously odd – evidence of threads but removed by turning I presume.
you may need to get a bike shop to inspect the steerer tube threads and see if they are standard or french threads before fitting a new headset…
The headset on this C210 (83) appears to be very slightly smaller than the Record headset I have on another bike, the thread pitch is identical. Could anyone advise me as to which is the best replacement headset for these Bertins. Stack height is 39mm, Much appreciated.
Gitanes in the 80s used stronglight A9 with 39 mm stack
Thanks Chris, you may be right about French threads. I have ordered a standard 1″ and will try that first, it may work – the TPI is the same as the Record. It is proving a bit of an adventure this rebuild, the rear axle is the older uniglide configuration, first generation without the hollow bolt. I will probably have to fit a new hub onto the rim, in which case I will fit a hyperglide as sprockets are still freely available in 7 speed.
The Bertin is a lightweight; compared to a British bike I have in Reynolds 531 from 1982 it is about 1.5kg lighter. The size is smaller and equipment is different so comparisons are not really effective, it is nippier on the road.
here’s a good ref. for headset thread interchangeability
i would imagine ISO threads if italian tubes are used, but mine and yours have what look like reynolds 531 forks, not uncommon to mix and match!
Hi Chris, the Sheldon Brown site proved invaluable I really appreciate that link and the advice. The English headset proved incorrect and so I await a Velo Orange French threaded unit arriving later in the week. Velo Orange also make a French thread sealed bottom bracket in many sizes and may prove useful to others re-building these lovely bikes.
I managed to acquire a couple of old stock Uniglide hubs and a set of 7 speed Uniglide sprockets. Advertised as 13-32 they arrived as 14-32, I can only fit 6 and so discarded the 32. I robbed a hub and put in a new rear axle, only the headset remains to be replaced. I suspect the head tube may be slightly bent but will wait to see what effect a new setup has. If this is so then I may have to live with slighlty sub-optimal steering – it is unlikely I will replace the fork.
Hmmmm, bent head tube??? can’t see that in the photos? may be a good idea to have the frame checked by a builder…bent=crashed and you don’t want the frame collapsing on a fast descent! 😦
Yes my mistake – not head tube, steerer tube. We’ll see once I get it disassembled.
Hi again, I found this useful link:
Andre Bertin C210
Well here is a news flash. The old Shimano headset – pre-600, post Arabesque takes 3/16 bearings. I assumed 5/32 and tried both loose and races and caused difficulties tightening and resulted in some interference in the assembly. I imagine that the adjacent cups were fouling each other. New 3/16″ loose bearings – 18 each end – work fine and have removed my doubts about the integrity of the steerer tube and also saved me a few pounds.
As an additional piece of trivia, the Shimano shifter bosses are also unique or at least different to Campagnolo compatible bosses. I tried a pair of indexed Suntour shifters that will fit Campagnolo bosses and found that they do not go on to the Shimano/Bertin bosses.
Highlights are the Belleri cockpit, lightweight wheels, very good geometry from the rear derailleur, surprisingly effective brakes, a faultless build and really well balanced frame.
A voyage of discovery: 14mm pedal threads, French thread headset, Uniglide (1st Generation) hubs, odd shifter bosses. Mad (but original) Benotto bar tape and caps.
On the plus side the bike is well balanced, quick on the road and should now be in good enough shape to see me off this mortal coil. Hope my kids like it!
Ha, the bearing info is useful, I need a service! Mine also has the round shifter bosses, I bought some lovely Simplex retrofriction ( at a price ! ) then found they didn’t fit!! 😦
Glad you like the ride, a very underrated Marque IMHO
Thanks Chris, some nice weekend reading. Just back from a 20 mile shake down. Some adjustments required to the front derailleur; the stops were a little out and the ‘aspect’ needs looking into, otherwise all good.
sounding good, remember on old shifters you trim the front mech as the rear derailleur moves across the block to eliminate chain rub on the front cage…
I took the Bertin to France on holiday and very glad I did. Riding in France is a joy, empty roads, well maintained and signposted. This C210 went very well with a minor irritation by the bottom bracket which came loose (French threads). I took tools with me so it required no major excursion to fix it.
As you see the bike now has a nice new saddle and bar tape to match attracting many admiring French comments also much more comfortable to be in the saddle for a couple of hours.
The Bertin is looking very good indeed! Nice subtle nuance to the saddle and bar tape colour and a lovely venue to show them off in!
Hi Jim, yes the colours work well, inspired by Chris’s picture on a link earlier showing this ‘celeste’ colour on his saddle. As I mentioned, riding in France is a pure joy. I noticed that even the bends seem to have been designed with a constant sweep making blind cornering more predictable even though some French motorists have a liberal approach to lane discipline on country roads.
Waiting for me on my return was a pair of Dia Compe replacement hoods for the brake levers. These fit like a glove and no surprise as the Shimano levers were almost certainly a copy of the period Campagnolo levers. Dia Compe simply copied this common design for their levers and the seemingly identical Tektro 204 products – not sure who is the prime manufacturer here.
This is a fortunate find and I mention it for others benefit. The rubber hoods on the Shimanos were severely perished and fell apart on my holidays so this is a good solution and are indistinguishable from 3 feet away. I am hoping to keep this bike as original as possible but realise that all the contact points are consumables – bar tape, tyres, chains, brake blocks etc. I would rather be safe than original!
Hi Kev, on the first pics, it looks like the QR on the brake calipers are in the ‘off ‘ position, moving the pads away from the rims?( to get a wheel off..) …they need to be on ( down ) with the cable adjusted accordingly…also put some crimps on the mech cables! ( nerd attack! ) 🙂
Hi Chris, my reply seems to have dropped through the cracks. These Golden Arrow brake calipers have the opposite system to most as the QR works from bottom to top and have a mini catch in the plastic lever that engages to stop it returning downwards. The picture shows the correct position, it is simply different to most calipers in this feature. I have the crimps on now you’ll be relieved to hear!
My respect for this bike in ever increasing, I have ridden it often and covered up to 65km in a single outing. it rides very well, properly sorted as one might expect from a well established maker. I have fitted a modern freewheel to the rear wheel and the shifting has improved immensely. It is clear to me that the real step change (geddit) in shifting was made in the profiling and staggering of the sprockets as much as the geometry of the derailleurs and perhaps more so.
have bought a bertin recently. it’s a really nice, old bike(guess around 1960/70). can’t wait till snow melts down:). meanwhile I would like to know more about the bike but haven’t found much about the frame itself. I’m interested in production year / tubes the frame is made of / value. I’m also curios if those components where factory-assembled or not. I would really appreciate any suggestions / help in answering those questions.
Thank you very much!
43 photos – clean rar file:)
Thanks for the great site. I bought my bertin from Doug Hills Cycles in New Zealand in 1961. It has the pre-1963 French rings and the script ABertin name, and I am restoring it for its (belated) 50th birthday. I am trying to determine the model and I think it is c35. The pic on the web site annotated ‘bertin-c37-late-sixties-from-new-zealand’ must be earlier than 1963 because it also has the French ring decals. Do you know how to tell the difference between c35 and c37?
I liked the comment from Mike (May 29 2009) about his c37 with the script ABERTIN name decal. Did you get pics from him?
Congratulations on deciding to renew your Bertin! The A.Bertin script style of decal is now available from Cyclomondo on EBay and includes the correct tri-colour seat tube bands as well. My 1960s C 37 uses the newer style because the correct period decals weren’t available at the time of restoration.
If your bike is a C 35, it will have a Reynolds 531 sticker on the main frame, typically the seat tube, showing that 3 main tubes are 531. This sets the model apart from a C 34 which is otherwise identical except being Durifort tubing throughout. The C 35 used Durifort in the forks and stays just like its sister model. (See the Models page here.)
Mike did send pictures of his C 37. You can see one here in the article on Bertins in New Zealand which talks about Hill Cycles. There are other photos as well, should you need an example to assist with you restoration and repaint.
Good luck with your renewal!
Rode out at the weekend on our local Audax from Box Hill in Surrey England. We completed 130km with 2200 metres (7000ft) of climbs – steepest section was 40 metres of 20%. My Bertin C210 behaved faultlessly and felt superb, this bike tracks very securely through tight steep bends and dealt easily with the winter ravaged roads of the Surrey Hills.
The Shimano Arabesque group set works efficiently enough for these rides, shifting is a little hair-trigger at the rear, the lever needs only a 5mm pull to switch up the gears. I have fitted a modern Shimano freewheel with the steps and profiling so shifting is instant and very smooth.
The brakes are pretty good with new BBB blocks fitted but the setup suffers from some shudder under hard downhill braking. Built in 1984 the brake fixings are modern ‘sunken bolts’ although this bike preceded the compact, stiffer, brake designs that came just a little later. Wheels are Mavic GP4 rims on Ofmega hubs shod with Vittoria Corsa CR tubulars. These were not original but are of the period. I have the original tubular wheels but they have the flawed Shimano Uniglide hubs and will not take a modern freewheel.
I will be riding a 200km Audax in May and then the 100mile Ride London event that follows the course of the 2012 Olympic road race in August, all building up to L’Eroica in October in Tuscany.
All these rides will be on the Bertin.
It is great to see a classic Bertin giving joy and solid service after its refurbishment. Good luck with Eroica!
I have the Durifort 888 Special Touriste. It rides well and it fits my tall height. Thanks for the info and images of all the bikes.
I am glad you are enjoying your Bertin. The site is here to allow enthusiasts like you to learn more about their bikes and to help them enjoy their bikes even more.
to Chris missed classic cycle magizne BSA M20 would like a copy please if avilable .from Palmerston North New Zealand .could pick it up from Pioneer Highway Post shop.Or my mailing address is 47 Ditmer dr cheers
Phil, I have approved this comment but are you sure you want your address online?
I came into possesion of a Bertin bicycle and would love to learn more about
it. Does this site provide info re age, model #, approximate value etc?
If you email me at bertinclassiccycles at yahoo.ca ( use @ for at)with the specifics about your bike and possibly attach some photos, I will try to identify the model and period of your Bertin. Value is a tough one because so much depends on the local market. For example, someone in the Toronto area has a Cinelli Model B for sale for $1,000 on Kijiji and it hasn’t sold for some time. Elsewhere, it would have been snapped up for restoration long ago.
I’ve got a circa Andre Bertin with Super vitus. All original and nint. Less than 500 miles on it. I need to find sew up tires. Any thoughts?
Circa 1980 I meant
I think that Yellow Jersey in the US has a great deal at 3 tires for $50 US. Check the Bike Forums Classic and Vintage section. It has a thread devoted to just tubular tires as well.
I am trying to find the make model of an old bicycle. If anyone can help me out
I have contacted you by email to expand on your request.
I am looking for info on a bertin bicycle. Mafac racer brakes, 48/34, durifort tubing, shifters in handlebars.
Good evening. There is a Bertin model I bought in France, and I would like to know exactly the model. I do have a picture from the bottom with a serial nr. Is there anyone who can help me to find out the model I have ? Thank you
Thanks for building and maintaining this site.
I must have looked at hundreds of Bertin bikes in an attempt the identify the one I’m in the process of restoring but have not been able to match the lugs to anything else I’ve seen. It’s about all I have to go on as there are few decals left.
There are a few pics on the blog I’ve just set up – if your able to take a look and let me know which frame you think it might be I would be very grateful. Buildingabertin.wordpress.com
Thank you for your kind comments about the site. Regarding your Dad’s bike, it looks like a mid-1960s Bertin C 37 because of the Nervex Pro lugs. The ridged seatstay caps are unusual and commonly found on the C 35 and C 34. The decals, except the head badge, do not appear original nor does the fork. The fork appears to be British with the brazed on lamp boss on the right blade. The way to check would be to see if the headset is English threaded. While you have it apart, check the steerer tube and the frame tubes to see if they are labelled Durifort or 531/Reynolds. If it’s a C 37 the tubing will be 531 throughout, if a C 35 it will be 531 in the maintubes and Durifort elsewhere and if a C 34 it will be full Durifort. Replacement decals suppliers can be found listed in the Restoration section of the right sidebar of the site.
Y bought a bertin’s bicycle and, unfortunately,I was injuried by a car in 1976. Y stopped to ride during 20 years. Now I use my bycicle and, last month, I changed tires. This bicycle is very confortable
who can tell me more about the model; NERI professionnel
Can someone help me?
I have a bike with followed word engraved in the frame: ‘MILREMO’.
Can someone tell me more about this? There is no other mark on the frame/bike.
I think its a Bertin?
I replied at length to your email. Hope that helps.
Finally, I have bought another Andre Bertin. I thought at first it was a 60s model, but on closer inspection it has the roller and the double cable stop for a Simplex 543.
Unfortunately it has bee repainted in the past, so there’s no original stickers.
There are what look like 1970s chrome Bertin logos on the frame, and the stamped aluminium head badge is somewhat askew.
It has Nervex Pro lugs.
When I first went looking 10 years ago I picked up a few NOS bits such as Ideale saddle, Mafac Racer levers etc, but unfotunately not a Simplex 543 🙂
It sounds like the start of a good restoration. The 543 was a beautiful and desirable derailleur. Judging from sale prices, the desirability is even greater today. A fellow in New Zealand has parts to build up Simplex Tour de France rear derailleurs and you might want to see this link. I am sure all of my readers look forward to your progress reports!
Hi, just found your site and it’s very interesting. I live in France and can never resist picing up any old lightweights I see for sale locally at a good price. Recetly I’ve ended up with two Andre Bertin bikes. One is 1970s, with most of a 1976 Dura Ace groupset. Unfortunately it’s been repainted, I think, and only has a head badge, and no other decals. The other is probably late 70s or 80s, I suspect a C35 (Reynolds 531 main tubes) and came with Shimano 600 gears and some cheap components. I’ve rebuilt it with early 600 hubs and Mavic Module E rims, and Gipiemme Dual Sprint brakes and chainset (because that’s what I had lying around). Paintwork and chrome are tatty but it’s still a nice bike. Happy to send you some pics if you wish.
Congratulations on your 2 new, old Bertins. I would love to see photos.
Hello, Thank you for the wonderful information on your website. I have a mid to late 60’s Bertin I bought from a bike shop in Denver back in 1970 (I think from World Champion Bicycles). What I am interested in is comments on the frame. It is black with chrome on the forks and stays. It is full 531 (main tubes and fork) and the lugs are wonderfully scalloped. I don’t know if this is a proper description of the lugs or not. But, the interesting thing is that the frame came with Campagnolo headset, bottom bracket, and dropouts. I think the frame is a C37 by the info I gleaned from your site. I have replaced all components with Campagnolo except for the shift levers, as the brazed on shift connections on the frame did not take the Campagnolo shifters. Any comments on the frame would be welcomed. Would it be considered a Nouvo Record frame, Colnago Super, or other. The paint is in bad shape due to all of my sweat dripping down on the main tubes over the years. I plan to fully restore the frame to original. Thank you! Don Moore – Sandpoint, Idaho.
The chrome, the fancy Nervex Professional lugs and crown, the full 531 frameset and Campy dropouts identify the bike as a Bertin C 37. At the time you bought it, the C 37 was Bertin’s top of the line model and equipped either with French components or, at an up charge, with Campagnolo Nuovo Record. Check the Restoration sidebar on the site for parts and decal suppliers. Good luck with the restoration!
Hello from France, How send you pictures of my André Bertin? Sorry for my poor English, cordially, T Bosiak.
I just found your website when searching for the history on my bike i just bought, the old man i sold it from told me it was a seventies bike ‘straight ‘ from the fabric in Arras , France.It had a simplex 5 speed derailleur and a durifort frame, it s a womans bike. The sadle i added myself aswell as the colourfull wheelribbon… the rest is authentic i guess… I wanted tos end some pictures, maybe it is interesting for your collection and for me to find out more about the bike..but your email didn’t work, i got my mail back…:(
Tx! ina, antwerp, belgium.
I have replied to you privately regarding pictures and model identification.
I own a full Shimano 600 Arabesque Bertin and I wonder what model it could be.
Here some specifications : champagne color frame with Milremo tubes and RGF lugs, chrome fork, Atax stem and Atax/Milremo handlebar, Milremo seat post.
I can send some pics!
I have replied in detail in a different email. Looking forward to helping.
I have an Jacques Anquetil Maillot Jaune frame which I have had from new in the 1970s. It was distributed by Ron Kitching in the UK but I am told it may have been made by Bertin cycles for Ron Kit. Is there any way of telling? Frame # is JA1889.
Anquetil framesets were often advertised at the same time in the same publications as Bertins were. Both were imported by Ron Kitching but I am unsure as to whether Bertin sub-contracted Anquetil production.
Thank you so much for all your work putting this information together! It’s been really useful and a fun read, too.
I recently rediscovered my Dad’s old road bike, which is a Bertin I believe to be from the late 70s (at least that’s when he bought it). It made its way from Israel to the US, Belgium, Germany and eventually Austria with him, and I’d like to restore it and ride it as a single speed (since I don’t think it’s anything particularly collector-worthy).
I’ve attached a couple of photos below – I think it’s a C70 but was wondering if you could confirm or correct me?
Also, do you have any advice on bottom brackets for this model? That’s the one thing I’m really struggling to find the right one of…
Thanks for the comments on the site and I am glad it has been useful. Your Bertin looks like a C 31 from the lugs, generator stay tab and the pump posts’ configuration. That would have more relaxed touring geometry than a C 70 sport bike. Earlier, that model was built with Vitus Durifort tubes but I don’t see any fork or frame decals. From the decals, I would say that the bike is early 80s so it might still have French threaded bottom bracket cups. The Solida cranksets were economy Stronglight products so look at the cups to see if there are French thread id details: 1 ring and 8 sides on the fixed cup and 6 sides and no rings on the adjustable cup. The French lock ring should be 6 notches. If the BB needs replacing, Velo Orange in the U.S. makes French threaded BB and headsets: https://velo-orange.com/collections/bottom-brackets/products/grand-cru-bottom-brackets-hollow-axle-alloy-cups-1 Be careful of axle length if you are going to run a different single ring crank on your fixe setup. Good luck with your project!
Thank you so much! You are a serious fount of knowledge. I looked everywhere but couldn’t find any decals on the frame either – does that mean it may be made with inferior materials? Thank you very much also for the BB recommendation – I couldn’t find any on UK websites so guess I’ll be importing from the US! Next mission is to try actually getting the old bottom bracket off…:)
The C 31 may have had Vitus Durifort tubing. Look on the fork steerer tube when you take the bike apart for service. Check as well on the main frame tubes and stays to see if durifort is pressed into the steel. If not, then it is likely hi-tensile steel in the frame and forks but Bertin used a lighter gauge which lightened their framesets compared to many others. It’s not inferior just fit for purpose. I had a Peugeot PB 12 made of plain gauge hi-tensile Peugeot tubing that rode as well as a PX 10 or my old Peugeot Super Competition.
I’ve asked my local shop to remove the cranks & BB for me, although they said the BB – which is indeed French – looked in good enough shape that it should be good for another while. I’m leaving that on for now and looking for new French thread BBs during my upcoming trips to Eastern Europe (my mech is Hungarian and said he still regularly finds them there). Interestingly, though, the lockring only has 4 notches (see photo: https://i.imgur.com/dTM5oUL.jpg). Also, the chainring is a 52/42 rather than the 52/40 original in your specs above – this must have been replaced at some point.
One more quick question regarding spindle length – hope you don’t mind! I’m measuring 121mm, which seems rather long and quite a niche measurement based on http://www.compasscycle.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/skf_bb_chart.pdf. Any recommendations for (single speed) chainsets for this measurement?
Since you are looking for a single chainring for a fixed setup, you may want to put a ruler vertically between the two current chainrings and then measure over to the axle end on the adjustable side. This should give you a length for a single chainring axle (French axles are measured by overall length). Once you have determined the axle length you can look for a matching Stronglight or look for a single speed chainset with BB to make it easier on yourself. Mixing different brand axles, cups and cranks can be a really complex undertaking so be sure of the method your mech used to get the 121 mm measurement.
I bought a frame which I think might be a Bertin beauty trapped in a chrome spray and a Raleigh badge. Difficult for me to tell but I emailed you some pictures if you could offer any pointers.
I replied in detail in an mail. Looks interesting.
Progress is slowly coming along – I’ve found a French thread bottom bracket that should fit the bike and have most of the parts together. However, I’ve found that the fork is bent and have therefore bought a new one – however this brings me to a tight spot with regards to the bearings and cups. The Bertin is obviously a traditional pressed external – with my new fork I believe I’d need a newer version. If I bought something like this (http://www.wiggle.co.uk/brand-x-headset-34eess-loose-ball/), would I then need to replace headset (and maybe handlebar) as well?
Thanks & all the best,
Might I suggest going to a frame builder and having the original fork straightened? This will avoid any lack of compatibility between old French metric 1″/22 mm and new 1″ or 1 1/8″ ISO standard. As well, you would not need to change the stem and the handlebars nor would the headset need replacement to fit the new fork. If a new fork must be added, you will need a 1″ headset like this: https://velo-orange.com/collections/headsets/products/vo-alloy-headset-in-iso-or-jis-size or a Stronglight A9 https://www.amazon.com/Stronglight-A9-Steel-Headset-threaded/dp/B0078EQL3G . Straightening the fork quickly starts to look like the least expensive and least complex route to travel once you start totaling up the possible costs for all the replacement bits. Also, there is the issue of getting a replacement fork with the correct rake so the handling isn’t spoiled. Let me know if there are other questions.
I’ve got a Bertin that’s not listed here and I can’t find it anywhere else on the interweb.
I woukd like to leave you with a few pictures but I don’t think I can attach any? I’d gladly send them to you for possible ID via email.
I’ll leave my email daddy below in hopes of hearing from you.
I have replied on email to your request.
Jim, this indeed is an incredible site. I just found it, noting you started it ten years ago. I am amazed to see you are still managing it. That is love. Anyway, I purchased a used Bertin back around ‘93. The bike was probably 2-4 years old at the time. I continued to ride it extensively for another seven years before upgrading to another bike with STI controls. I have kept the bike all these years as it truly appears to be something worth keeping. I have searched the internet a couple time over the years (this is how I came upon your site this time) to try an get more info, especially the year. It still rides beautifully, though it hasn’t received any service in over twenty years.
Any info you could provide would be most appreciated.
The frame has original paint (red) with silver aluminum forks. Sticker say 979 and stamped on the underside of the BB it has Modele VITUS Depose and on the side what appears to be a serial number, E056695. It still has all it’s original 105 groupo. I’m so eager to hear your thought on this bike.
Hi, Robbie- I sent a reply under a different cover. Thanks for the kind words about the site!
Hi Jim, fantastic website.
I have a Bertin that I’ve put 105 5800 on to use as a winter bike
A black Andre Bertin that is labelled as a ‘c65’ has popped up on eBay in the UK. Do you have anymore info on a track bike like this as I can’t find anything online
Thank you for the compliment on the web site, I’m glad it is helpful. The black Bertin you are referring to is here: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Andre-Bertin-C56-Track-Bike-Frame-56cm-Steel/183604028818?hash=item2abfa72592:g:LSgAAOSwTbxcInBV:rk:44:pf:0 . You may have had difficulty searching for a C 65 track bike because the two digits are reversed. It is actually a Bertin C 56 which was the entry level, dedicated track bike built with a Durifort frameset and quality French components. The C 38 was the 531/Campy full on professional level track bike. The one in the EBay UK ad seems to have been modified as a fixie for the street given the bottle braze-ons and what looks like a modified fork. Try the Bertin site’s track bike section as I believe that bike may be shown about half way down : https://bertinclassiccycles.wordpress.com/track-bike-pages/.
recently got a BERTIN road bike, who can give details about year etc, thanks
Hi, Kolo – I have responded in another location and will give it a try.
Documentation vélos course BERTIN 1993
Aloha. Trying to figure out what Bertin I have. Serial number 16761
Huret F mech with suicide shifter and R mech Huret Special Louison Bobet. Haven’t seen lugs like this before. Has aluminum head tube badge also.
Hi, Butch – I will reply in detail on your personal email and would be glad to try and help.
I have ineresting small Bertin folding bike.
Can you please help me with model and year?
Please send email adress for photos
Hi, Nikola- I will reply privately with details on how to proceed.
Hi Jim, I found your website and I noted you’re a real Bertin expert!
I was wondering if you could help me with the identification of a 1972 green Bertin that I have? If you can contact me I would like to send you some pics to help with the identification.
Thanks in advance, Simone
I would be glad to help ID your Bertin. I will contact you directly about how to forward pictures.
I pay tribute to your work, for all this precious informations about Bertin .
Would you help me, I own a André Bertin, the frame an fork are built with Reynolds 531 SL (Red) . With a Dura ace 7200 group.
Hi, Thierry – I have replied to you directly regarding your Bertin.
Guten Tag , ich freue mich ihre Seite gefunden zu haben. Sehr informativ und interresant zu lesen. Ich habe evtl durch Zufall einen Bernad Carre Rahmen.
Dürfte ich Ihnen mal Fotos Zusenden. Vielleicht könnten sie mir bei der Intendifizerung helfen. Danke, Gruß Jochen
Hi, Jochen – I will send contact information so that you can forward your photos to me.
Congratulations on your website. I own a Bertin but I’m not sure which model it could be. I’d like to send you some pictures. Is that ok?
Hi, Gunther – I have emailed you the details regarding sending your bike’s photographs.
I have a noce and original bertin beheyt old racebike
Can you help me with identifying
I can’t see the model here
If you send me a mail i can send you some pictures
Hi, Uwee – I would be glad to see your bike’s photographs. I have emailed you details for contacting me.
Good Day – I am working to refurbish an old André Bertin bike I was given by my father-in-law which he had kept “untouched” since the mid 70s looking like a C34-C35 but appears to be customized. Here are the specifications:
– Frameset + fork – Super Vitus 971
– Shimano 2×4 – rear Shimano 600 / front Shimano 60 + Shimano levers
– TA 3 pins front crankset – 52/40
– Breaks Famac 2000
– Wheels Mavic Aluminium
– Handlebar Milremo
I am using a few on-line forums to get original replacement parts and expect to finish with a round 1 of quick fixes in the coming days.
Happy to share/post pictures
And big THANK YOU for setting up & managing this web site. Love it !!
Guillaume – If your father-in-law’s bike is Super Vitus 971 then it is a C 37bis Course Extra Leger. Some of the components appear to have changed but most seem original. Good luck with the restoration!
Good morning from greece!
very recently I became the owner of an Andre Bertin bike,so I want more photos from road bikes Andre bertin ,so that I can compare and understand what my Andre Bertin is?
If you would like, send me some photos of your Bertin and I will try to identify the model and period for your bike. Just forward them to email@example.com in JPEG format and I will look at them for you.