Bertin Finds in France – Part 2

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.

 

bertin-junior-1-lo

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.

Bertin Finds in France

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

1970s Bertin C 35 (531 /Durifort) in original condition

 

C 35 re-furbished with equipment upgrade

C 35 refurbished with equipment upgrade

 

red-bertin-fin-1

Modified Bertin C 37

 

My thanks to Kevin for rescuing and permitting the sharing of these Bertin survivors with us.

A Bertin C 37 in London

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

Drive side profile showing off the Stronglight 105bis crankset.

 

Alloy Simplex Prestige, 105bis and Marcel Berthet pedals - classic French componentry

Alloy Simplex Prestige, 105bis and Marcel Berthet pedals – classic French components.

 

Frame Details also showing Maillard Competition front hub and Simplex QR

Frame Details also showing Maillard Competition front hub and Simplex QR.

 

Frame details and rear Competition HF hub

Frame details and rear Competition HF hub.

 

Frame details with interesting pump peg.

Frame details with interesting pump peg.

 

Atax/Philippe bar and stem.

Atax/Philippe bar and stem.

 

Rear early model MAFAC Racer brake caliper.

Rear early model MAFAC Racer brake caliper.

 

MAFAC Course 121 levers with half-hoods.

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.

 

 

 

 

Bertin Tandem

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 bertin

Map credit: Wikipedia

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 Bertin 50s Headbadgehotbed 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.

 

 

bertin2

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

Front Drum Brake

 

Jeay Roller Cam Brakes

Jeay Roller Cam Brakes

 

Stoker Crankset

Stoker Crankset

Cyclo Shift Lever

Cyclo Shift Lever

Seat Cluster with Custom Rack Mounts

Seat Cluster with Custom Rack Mounts

Cyclo Rear Derailleur

Cyclo Rear Derailleur

 

 

Rear Axle/Drum Brake

Rear Axle/Drum Brake

Drum Brake and Reaction Arm

Drum Brake and Reaction Arm

 

Head Tube Junction

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.

Advert Bertin Milremo

Nonetheless, this is a fascinating and unique machine produced, it seems, by the other Cycles Bertin.

 

 

 

 

Rixe Bikes – Type Andre Bertin

Some time ago, a reader from Germany contacted me and asked if I knew anything about the Rixe brand of bicycles and a model called the “Type Andre Bertin”. I had seen other examples of this online previously but did not have any background information nor was I aware of any connection between Cycles Bertin and Rixe.

Rixe was a German manufacturer of mass market, utility and sport bicycles as well as mopeds and small motorcycles. It had been founded in 1922, reconstituted after WW II  and eventually went out of business in 1984. Its assets were licensed by Derby Cycles in 1989 and the Rixie brand was purchased outright by Derby in 1998. However, the Type Andre Bertin long preceded those events.

The only Rixie catalogue I have been given access to shows no such model.

Rixe cover

However, inside are illustrations of various models and one of them is the Victor Type 59 as seen below.

Rixe pg 3

This model looks like the basis for the “Type Andre Bertin” as it has an upright configuration, built-in lighting with a fork mounted generator, a luggage rack and fenders. A major difference is the SA 3 speed IG rear hub instead of a derailleur.

Rixe Victor 59

 

The photo below shows the details of my German reader’s 1982 Rixe “Type Andre Bertin”.

1982-RIXE-Type-Andre-Bertin 2

The obvious differences are the more modern graphics and the dropped handlebar configuration along with derailleur gearing.

An earlier Rixe version of the “Type Andre Bertin” looked like the photo below:

Rixe AB profile

 

The flat bars on the Milremo stem have obviously been converted from dropped bars when the brake levers are considered. This bike looks to be from the early 1970s given the spoke reflectors and the Delrin Simplex derailleur levers and visible Prestige style, rod type front derailleur.

What both bikes share is an angular style of lug which is unlike anything I have seen on Bertins leading to the conclusion that this model is an in-house Rixe design and product. Obviously, there must be some connection to Andre Bertin but why his name would be licensed/used on a German product I currently do not know.

Bertin raced on both track and road in the early to mid-1930s so it is possible that he knew or rode with German teammates. There were German France Sport team members in 1933 but that was before Bertin formally joined the team and I do not know of a subsequent connection. As well, Bertin was active in the revival of post-WW II track and road racing in Northern France and Belgium and may have re-established contact with pre-War acquaintances. Regardless, Rixe marketed a “Type Andre Bertin” for many years which certainly implies a strong motivation on the part of the Rixe company to acknowledge Andre Bertin and his contribution.

Should any reader have further details, please use the Contact form to reach me and I will revise and update the post.