Stuart Windsor of London, England may be a familiar name to you if you have been reading this blog for a while. Stuart is a professional photographer in London and the accompanying photos demonstrate this fact quite nicely. In August of 2016, he had completed a period correct restoration of a Bertin C 37 road racing bike which was featured here in September of that year and shared with other Bertin enthusiasts. It was a sensitive and complete restoration as can be seen in the original feature photograph from that previous post.
Drive side profile showing off the Stronglight 105bis
In that same period, Stuart had acquired another Bertin in shabby, almost derelict condition. It was dirty, faded, rusty with a few non-period components and generally showing as somewhat sad and hopeless as seen in the photo below.
Bertin C 10bis as acquired
Having just completed a full on restoration of the C 37, Stuart decided that a refurbishment of the C 10 was the way to go with replacement taking place only for the most outrageously deficient things like the rotted tires and tubes. Lubrication, cleaning, adjustment and lots and lots of Autosol polish were required to get to this.
The C 10bis after refurbishment
Stuart was kind enough to provide the pictures of the before and after which are shown below and they give a small idea of what must have been the tremendous amount of work necessary to bring the C 10 back to a usable and attractive state.
So, a vast change from grime to shine, from wreck to rehabilitated. Stuart’s C 10bis may not have the slick, like new, high gloss look of that blue C 37 but the scrapes and worn paint showing through the wax and Autosol speak of the intrinsic quality put into the bike by Cycles Bertin. Thanks for sharing, Stuart.
About a month and a half ago, I wrote a post on two Bertins that were found in Northern France by Kevin R. an expatriate Briton. He was kind enough to share the details and photos of the bikes which I subsequently posted. Well, he has been scrounging the boot sales, bike jumbles and on line sales sites and has found another lovely Bertin in wonderful condition. Study the photo below, there is something unusual about this 49 cm bike.
It is a mid to late 70s Bertin sport bike that has a full Vitus Durifort frameset, Maillard HF, QR hubs, TA Pro Vis 5 crankset, Shimano derailleurs, Weinmann sidepull brakes and tubular tires. When you look closely at this well proportioned, well equipped bicycle you simply do not notice that this is a very small bicycle. It is actually a Bertin C 33 intended for juvenile riders (or possibly small statured women) and looks normal because it wears 650 series tubular rims and sewup tires.
Just another example of the extra thought in the design, specification and manufacture that Andre Bertin and his team put into even the smallest market segment that they worked in.
Finding old Bertin bicycles in France doesn’t seem like much of a stretch. Consider that Bertins can be found fairly readily in the UK, the US, New Zealand, Morocco and even, occasionally, here in Canada. So, no big deal to find them in their country of origin, one might think. However, this is not so easily done. The bikes were distributed all over France so your geographical location would affect availability. So would the lack of co-operation from local sellers and those on leboncoin who can’t even be bothered answering foreigners like me.
However, if you lived in Normandy (geographically just down the road from Bertin’s home location) as an expatriate Briton, and made the rounds of yard sales, bicycle jumbles, boot sales and flea markets you just might have a good chance to snag some interesting bikes.
Which is exactly what Kevin, who buys and refurbishes classic French bikes, does in his spare time. He had contacted me through the site regarding id confirmation for a couple of Bertins which he had found and purchased on speculation. We discussed the bikes and he was kind enough to allow me to publish their photos. The silver one was a C 35 in original livery and equipment which Kevin then cleaned and up-speced. The red C 37 has been extensively modified in terms of braze-on additions, a new fork and partial changes to its equipment group.
1970s Bertin C 35 (531 /Durifort) in original condition
C 35 refurbished with equipment upgrade
Modified Bertin C 37
My thanks to Kevin for rescuing and permitting the sharing of these Bertin survivors with us.
The last posted article was one about an urban owned C 38 track bike in New York City in the US. This post will be about a C 37 road bike owned and restored by Stuart Windsor of London, England. Stuart is a professional photographer as you can see from his pictures below as well as from his work at the Stuart Windsor Photographer site here.
He had contacted me some time ago regarding sharing his completed restoration but the perfect opportunity to share it came with the more recent opportunity to post about the C 38. So here it is below, in a slightly less formal featured bike presentation, to contrast with the C 38 from last time around. Both are 1960s – early 1970s and make an interesting juxtaposition. (Click photo to enlarge.)
Drive side profile showing off the Stronglight 105bis crankset.
Alloy Simplex Prestige, 105bis and Marcel Berthet pedals – classic French components.
Frame Details also showing Maillard Competition front hub and Simplex QR.
Frame details and rear Competition HF hub.
Frame details with interesting pump peg.
Atax/Philippe bar and stem.
Rear early model MAFAC Racer brake caliper.
MAFAC Course 121 levers with half-hoods.
The whole restoration effort has produced a visually stunning period effect and a sincere thank you to Stuart for sharing that result with us.
In mid-May, I was contacted by a French reader of the blog looking for help in identifying a tandem that he had just purchased. It was a Bertin tandem, which is unsurprising on this blog, but what a unique
Map credit: Wikipedia
Bertin it turned out to be. Loic wondered if it was a tandem built in St. Laurent-Blangy as the Bertin head badge listed a different location. The Cycles Bertin badge showed the small town of Rheges as the location of the business which constructed the tandem, not in the Nord Pas de Calais but in the Aube departemant to the south and east. Surprising really, as Rheges has a population of about 240 people and does not seem to be a hotbed of industrial production. The Andre Bertin badge is radically different with its tricolour and eagle motif. The tandem is in the profile photo which follows and you should look very closely at it.
I would direct your attention to the horizontal boom tube which joins the captain’s and the stoker’s bottom bracket shells and to the non-existent front chain wheel. Instead of an eccentric front bottom bracket and a chain wheel to connect to the stoker’s crankset there is a vertically ovalized and fillet brazed tube to enclose what I believe is a shaft drive to the stoker’s crankset axle.
The design is well thought out for the pre-WW II to 1950s when its equipment was produced. There are brazed on Jeay roller cam brakes, hub brakes in steel hubs on 650 B rims and a Cyclo derailleur on the rear with a later single sprocket instead of the expected 3 or 4 cog freewheel. The cranksets are steel with a rear double. The brazing looks very clean and the bike was painted a lovely shade of green with the beautiful pinstripes so characteristic of the era. Below, are close up photos by Loic. I think you will find them fascinating. (Double click on photos to enlarge)
Front Drum Brake
Jeay Roller Cam Brakes
Cyclo Shift Lever
Seat Cluster with Custom Rack Mounts
Cyclo Rear Derailleur
Rear Axle/Drum Brake
Drum Brake and Reaction Arm
Head Tube Junction
Although this is a Bertin tandem, it seems unlikely to be a tandem produce by Cycles Andre Bertin. Note that M. Bertin’s business is not called Cycles Bertin like the tandem but always either Cycles Andre Bertin or Cycles A. Bertin as seen on the ad below.
Nonetheless, this is a fascinating and unique machine produced, it seems, by the other Cycles Bertin.