Decals & Transfers 1960-1969

With Cycles Bertin, there appears to be some variability in graphics formats. It seems, at times, that Bertins were decaled with whatever was on hand at the time the bike came down the production line. Catalogues show what seems like a late 50s style and nearby, in another photo, there will be another more “modern” style of decal being offered for sale at the same time. A representative example of the period is seen with the bike below.

However, one noticeable difference between the late 50s and the mid-60s is the change in the seat tube bands. The earliest Bertins had red/white/blue bands on the seat tube, sometimes above and below a contrasting coloured panel. They often had a similar band on the head tube as well. However, after 1963, this changed. In that year, Patrick Sercu, the famous Belgian track and Six Day racer, won the World Amateur Sprint Championship on a Bertin. Thereafter, sporting Bertins wore a World Championship set of rings in the same place where previously were displayed the tri-colour bands of France.

Some early 60s Bertins retained their script decals on the bicycle’s down tube, perhaps depending on model. Eventually, the sport/racing bikes displayed a new graphic style with a vertical, capitalized Bertin name on the seat tube, a foil Eagle decal on the head tube and World Championship rings in both places. The label could be either matt or metallic high gloss in appearance. The head and seat tubes may have been painted a contrasting colour to that of the frame or, especially for less expensive models, the frame colour shows as background to the decals. Examples of various formats may be seen in the examples below.

This Bertin Cyclotouriste frameset uses one contrasting panel, tri-colour seatstay caps, the yellow Made in France riband and the metallic head tube and seat tube Championship bands. Note the older style Durifort decals.

This Bertin has contrasting panels and similar minor decals like the frameset above. It is also extensively pinstriped in white paint.

The C 37 frameset above differs from earlier graphics in that it uses a chrome foil seat tube panel. Otherwise the A.B. decal on the downtube and the Made in France top tube riband are the same. As a racing bike, it does not carry the round Cyclotouriste decal of the first and second examples.

Vitus Durifort tubing remained the standard for Bertin’s quality sport, touring and racing bikes. However, metric Reynolds 531 was used in the C 37 and C 38 as well as for main tubes in the C 35. regrettably, I have no useable, period accurate fork blade decals to match the frame decal shown. The matching fork decal is correct to the pre-TI takeover of Reynolds and neither the frame decal nor the fork has the gold section with the TI corporate information which was added around 1977-78.

The next segment on graphics and decals will cover the period of the bike boom in North America from 1970 to 1979.