A London Bertin C 10: Update

Back in 2017, Stuart Windsor of London was kind enough to share a series of before and after photographs of his Bertin C 10 city bike. This was a follow on to a C 37 restoration he had done and I was glad to be able to share the photos as racing/sport Bertins tend to get a lot of the attention and effort in regards to preservation  or complete restoration. The bike, as finished at that time, looked like this:


The C 10 after refurbishment


However, time moves along, things change as items are replaced, wear out or are upgraded. Since the photo above, Stuart has been busy adapting the bike to its urban life. Practical additions like a kickstand, rack, saddle upgrade with tool kit and a cargo box make it more useful around the neighbourhood. He’s been kind enough to forward me some photos which I have added here below:





Just a comment about the “trunk” on the Bertin. I live in the middle of one of Canada’s best known wine producing areas and that “trunk”  is suspiciously like the size of our local two wine bottle format gift boxes. Perhaps it’s only for baguettes from the local bakery…



Bertin C ?? Demontable

Recently, I received a request from a reader in Europe who had just acquired an older, small wheeled Bertin bicycle. It was a small wheel bike that looked like a folder but wasn’t. Normally, Bertin, like many French manufacturers, built folding (pliant) bikes which hinged in the middle or lower end of the down tube to permit compact storage in campers, boats, lockers or automobiles. The bike Nikola shared with me was a model with a frame which disassembled at the down tube joint to permit storage.

The bike had a quick release arrangement for doing this and looked so familiar I did a search through the blog and found a post with a similar bike from almost 10 years ago. In that case the person inquiring was from Berlin not Croatia but Norbert was equally curious about what it was that he had. The full post is here.

That bike was much less original than the current example but is the only other I have seen and I have never seen them catalogued. The 1974 catalogue lists the C 53, the C 55 and the C 59. Only the C 59 is non-folding and it has a rigid central tube and can not be disassembled. Nikola was kind enough to provide detailed photos of his bike which had a very narrow escape. When it was rescued, the bike was in the hands of a scrap metal seller who sold it to Nikola for 20 Euros, its scrap metal value. Amazingly, the bike is little used, the seat was covered and appears original, there does not seem to be any excessive rust and even the tires are original to the bike. Check out the details in the photos below:





Judging from the World Championship seat tube bands and the other decals, I would estimate that the bike is from the mid-1970s. During that period, Bertin’s folding/demountable bikes were often identified by number based on the bike’s wheel size. So a Bertin C 53 would have 530 diameter wheels and a C 55 would have 550 size wheels in turn. There are exceptions like the C 59 with 550 wheels and the children’s folding C 9 with 400 series wheels. Nonetheless, completely arbitrarily, without any direct proof, I’m going to call this demountable Bertin a C 50 based on its 500 A wheel diameter. Perhaps someone in the next nine or ten years can write to me with a correction. In the mean time, I hope you enjoy looking over the details of Nikola’s Bertin C 50 Demontable.

A BIG Bertin, continued


Back on March 1st, I posted about a 70 cm tall Bertin C 34 bought at a yard sale in Arizona. Todd brought it home, cleaned, lubed tuned and adjusted it and added new tan bar tape and a matching saddle.  The original as found appearance is below:



Since Todd has completed his improvements to the bike it looks like this:



Now that the changes are complete, Todd left me the following opinion about the “new” bike:  “… I really love that bike. I have taken short little rides here and there … It’s super smooth and solid though.” Just what one would expect of a Bertin, I should think.

A BIG Bertin!

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.



Peugeot Course PB 12

Please excuse the surprise but a post about a Peugeot is not what regular readers on this site might expect to see here. Nonetheless, here it is. I have long enjoyed Peugeot’s bicycles but especially those of the late 70s and early 1980s. Several of those bikes have passed through my hands ( 2 PX 10s, 1 PX 14 and 1 PF 40) in the last few decades and I ran across the PB 12 recently and decided to add it to my Bertins.

It is an interesting, Canadian manufactured Peugeot and I thought I would explore what a Canadian built, basic but reasonable quality machine was like. So, there is a new website to support my intention and you can find it at:


So you know it when you see it, it looks like this:

I hope you will enjoy the new site and feel free to comment or ask questions. Posting about Bertins will, of course, continue right here and this will be the only crossover post between the sites.