Bertin C 37

As I mentioned much earlier in a previous post, I would be commenting on and describing details about my personal C 37 and its restoration. The bike was purchased from Bicycle Specialties in Toronto, Canada. It had previously been converted to a randonneuse as you can see in an original promotional photo from Bicycle Specialties.

                                                                              Old Bertin Photo

The bike had a full set of Nervex Professional lugs including the bottom bracket and fork crown. It also had most of the necessary braze ons added in its previous renovation. Mike Barry then added the generator and cable hanger braze ons to complete the kit. As shown previously, the renovated bike looks like this:

                                                                        Bertin - Jim # 2

People have asked about its vintage and to my knowledge, it is a late 60s C 37 made with Reynolds 531. Its angles are relatively shallow, about 72 degrees.  As well, some have wondered about its layout and for their information, I have included the annotated photo below to permit comparisons with their personal machines.

Bertin Experiment 2

Nervex lugs … continued

bertin-head-lugThe Bertin was originally owned by a randonneur customer of Mike Barry (of Bicycle Specialties in Toronto) who brought the bike in for resale. Mike had previously added braze-ons and randonnee specific parts when the bike had been repainted. As well as  the Nervex Professional lugs, crown and bottom bracket the bike had braze-on pivots for centerpulls, a Mariposa style seat lug cable hanger (see accompanying photo)jims-mariposa-style-cable-hanger, cable guides and bottle braze-ons. At some point vertical dropouts were added and the frame drilled for internal wiring for the regulation lights required on a randoneuse. Although the bike was well used and had surface corrosion on many of the alloy parts, it was obviously sound and would form a solid  basis for restoration.

Mike knew the bike had a full Reynolds 531 frameset and  narrow taper stays as well as Imperial oval fork blades rather than the Columbus style blades. The hung on equipment was as follows:

  • Saddle – Regal
  • Seatpost – Campagnolo
  • Stem – Atax/Philippe
  • Bars – TTT
  • Bag and Mariposa decaleur
  • Tape – Cinelli cork
  • Headset – Dura Ace
  • Ft. Derailleur – Suntour
  • Rr. Derailleur – Simplex 5500
  • Shift Levers – Simple Retrofriction
  • Brakes – Gran Compe Centerpulls
  • Levers – Ultegra Aero
  • Crankset – TA Pro 5 Vis  52-42-32
  • Pedals – Look clipless
  • Hubs – Maillard Helicomatic
  • Spokes- Chromed, double butted 14/15
  • Skewers – Spidel
  • Rims – Mavic MA 2
  • Tires – Continental Grand Prix clinchers
  • Bottle Cage – generic alloy
  • All threading is French

It was all working and a quick lube and adjustment got the Bertin on the road for its first season after a quick saddle change to a Brooks B-17 and a switch to Atom 600 pedals and clips. The “bones” were lovely as was the ride and like real estate agents love to tell you, it had “potential.” However, as with houses, the agents don’t really get into what bringing out that “potential” is going to cost!

In the beginning…nervex lugs

In the beginning, it was the nervex lugs. I have always liked their combination of detail and refinement. So, when I walked into Mike Barry’s Bicycle Specialties store in Toronto and saw the white Bertin with a full nervex professional lug set up, it was all over. I had to buy it and rescue it from its thick coating of white Imron.

I had originally seen the bike advertised on Mike’s website. The photo below is what it looked like when I first saw it.Old Bertin Photo


A quick purchase followed in the fall of 2005 and then began the process of accumulating all the parts needed to restore the bike to near original condition. Further details will follow in subsequent posts.