The last French made Bertin was produced in 1999 – 2000 so even the newest ones are getting older and scruffier. However, every vintage enthusiast is willing to do the little touch-ups and polishing needed to bring a bike back to its prime. In some cases, full restorations are done right down to new equipment, paint and decals.
However, very rarely, a bike turns up which has not been neglected to the point of dust, grime, dried oily residue and general tattiness. Instead, it has experienced a quiet retirement, cared for, unmolested with its original equipment intact – this is what Jamison found out in Colorado.
He has located and acquired a high-end Bertin C 38 track bike from the early 1980s that looks like it was put away new at the end of its first season and has just been hauled out to resume its career. He hopes you will appreciate the photos he has sent along.
Full French Track Gruppo, Full Reynolds 531
Stronglight/Spidel 106 Track Chainset
Fixed Cog on Maillard 700/Spidel Track Hub
Bernard Hinault Stronglight A9 Headset on a Round Bladed 531 Track Fork
Front View With Dropped Track Stem, Handlebars and Maillard/Spidel 700 HF Hub
It is rare indeed to see so finely preserved an example of a C 38 but this is an exceptional one and I will totally overlook the razor blade saddle and the clip in pedals!
This blog gets emails from readers and commenters who occasionally see their own bike and remark upon it. In other cases, people are trying to find out about their bike and leave comments or inquiries. In still other cases, like this one with Noah B., people know what they have and are anxious to share with other enthusiasts. The photo you see below is a 1980s period Bertin C 56 track bike provided by Noah. This was Bertin’s entry level, dedicated track bike. There are no brake drillings, the bottom bracket is relatively high to prevent pedal strike and the forks are round to resist the lateral forces on a velodrome’s banked track. Both frame and forks are made from Vitus Durifort steel tubing and there are dedicated, rear opening track dropouts.
The equipment appears to be all French: Marcel Berthet pedals, TA track cranks, Philippe stem and bars, nutted Maillard high flange track hubs and what may be an Ideale leather saddle mounted on a JPR alloy seatpost. All in all, impeccable pedigree, functionality and presentation at about half the cost of a Bertin C 38, the professional level track bike in Bertin’s line up. Thanks for sharing this fine example with us , Noah.
This second featured bike comes fairly quickly after the first one of a “modern” Bertin. This particular sample falls definitely into the “classic” category. It is a Bertin C 38 track bike from the late 1950s/late 1960s era. It was originally drawn to my attention by Jason, a New Zealand correspondent who pointed it out on a New Zealand on-line sales site. Two of the photos come from there.
Somewhat later, a request for information from Harry C., also of New Zealand, resulted in him providing more of the photographs of his “new” old bicycle. Enjoy the pictures of the bike with its nicely thinned Nervex Professional lugs. Remember, underneath that remarkable paint is a Reynolds 531 frameset!
Harry C. contacted me with the details on this Bertin. He had purchased it through TradeMe in New Zealand. He contacted me through the Bertin Classic Cycles site and provided detailed shots and permission for this feature. The bike is equipped with HF Dura-ace track hubs built with Campy Omega rims. The drivetrain is a Campy Strada crankset with fixed gear and runs Shimano pedals.
Bike as originally sold on TradeMe
Bike as currently configured by Harry C.