Bertin C 37 Restoration Part 8

The frame work on the Bertin was done by Jody Lee of Jester Bicycles based here in the Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada. (Contact information is available in the special box in the right sidebar of the site.) In Part 5, you saw the raw metal work prior to final finishing and priming as shown in the previous link. Once the paint was stripped and final finishing and priming took place, Jody painted the frame and fork in his spray booth. The paint was a two stage, base coat / clear coat and the two photos below reveal the frame and fork freshly painted, decaled  and hanging up curing.

Frame After

Frame after Decals and Before Final Polish


Front View - Head Badge

Front View – Head Badge


The decal work on the frameset was from Velocals. The period French Reynolds 531 seat tube decal as well as the specific Bertin  decals were all perfectly rendered as was the clear chainstay protector. The total cost for the decals was $63.85 USD. Previously, Jody had colour coated the frame, clear coated it, applied decals and then catalyzed clear coated followed by fine compound. I waxed the frame after it had cured with standard, Simoniz automotive paste wax. The cost of the frame and fork single colour paint job was $250 CDN which compares very favourably to the $625 CDN for a single colour frame and fork paint job at a Toronto firm.

Below are some roughly comparable before and after photographs of the frameset. To see detail, click on the photo to enlarge it and click on the enlargement to enlarge again and maximize details.


Bertin R Profile 1

Before – Drive Side Profile


After - Drive Side Profile

After – Drive Side Profile


Before - Lower Fork Legs

Before – Lower Fork Legs


After - Ends of Fork Legs

After – Ends of Fork Legs


Before - Seat Lug and Stay Cap

Before – Seat Lug and Stay Cap


After - Seat Lug and Stay Cap

After – Seat Lug and Stay Cap


Before - Rear Stays and Dropouts

Before – Rear Stays and Dropouts


After - Rear Stays and Dropouts

After – Rear Stays and Dropouts


In Part 7, I had advised restorers to check the fit and functionality of all parts as soon as they are obtained to avoid slow downs later.  Although Jody had checked alignment, facing, chased threads and handed the frameset back with the headset installed, I had not properly checked seat post fit. A Simplex post I thought had been machined to the correct diameter did not fit and the seat tube was slightly undersize as well. I ended up ordering a NOS (new old stock) Simplex seat post from Bicycle Classics and having Jody Lee ream the seat tube out and hone it to 26.6 mm from the stock 26.4 mm of the French dimensioned Reynolds 531.

As it is now, the last of the cutting oil from the reaming has pooled in the bottom bracket shell and been removed so it is possible to install the cups and axle of the Stronglight 93 bottom bracket. The next phase of the project is final assembly and then a project evaluation. Part 9 will be the installment on assembly and shake down and that is next.








Bertin C 37: Changes

In a previous post, I had mentioned that one of the joys of owning an old bike is the fact that it requires or encourages constant tinkering. You try out some new old stock part or add a restoration item you have found in an old bike shop or on EBay so that the bike is continually evolving toward the vision that you have for it. Perhaps some day it will be “done” but in the meantime the bike changes according to need and use.

This is true of the subject of this post. Don G. is a commenter on this site and a long time Bertin owner. In fact, his refurbished Bertin C 37 was among the first I found when I began looking for Bertins on line . His bicycle was also one of those that I initially added to the Galleries section of this site and it was linked, as well, to the Cyclofiend site where it originated. Since then, Don has made changes and the bike has evolved so that it differs from the original appearance. Don was kind enough to offer an updated photo in a recent email and I felt that this was a good opportunity to show the type of  development that his particular bike has undergone.

Don G.’s Bertin C 37 in about 2009.


Don G.’s Bertin C 37 as of 2011.

I would like to thank Don for his willingness to provide the updated photo and for allowing its use on the site. 


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

Update: Classic Bertin Bicycle Models


June 9, 2009: Readers of this blog have been generous with their time and insights. In their comments and in e-mails they have provided facts and information which I have passed along to the general readership. As well, some people have been able to share photos of personal Bertins, such as Charles’ red C 37 bis, or images they have come across on line.

Therefore, today I have done another update to the Gallery header page, as well as posted the updated images below. I would like to thank Anja  and JPA especially for their input.

May 30, 2009: added the Bertin C 10 Utility Bicycle photo which was located on E-Bay France.

May 16, 2009: added a C 34 Cross photo that I found in the “used bicycle” section of Sellwood Cycle Repair in Porland, Oregon in the U.S.  

                                                  * * * * * *

When I first published this post (on February 27th, 2009), I explained that Cycles Bertin produced a variety of models in different forms over the course of the period 1945 until 1980. I have now created a provisional list of these models, which I will list here, as well as on the header page which readers will find here.

The specifications which follow each model are for the 1970’s bicycles produced by Bertin. Other specifications will be noted specifically.


C 10/C 11 (Mixte)

Bertin mixte ebay fr

  • Lugged, hi-tensile, carbon steel frameset
  • 4 spd rear derailleur
  • SS fenders
  • Soubitez generator, lights & bell, chainguard
  • rear rack
  • Mafac cantilever brakes (brazed on)
  • 650A wheels and tires


C 28/C 28 (Mixte)


  • Full Durifort frameset
  • 700C wheels, LF hubs, QR
  • Solida steel 52/40 crank set
  • Ideale 39 leather saddle
  • Delrin Simplex Criterium FD and RD
  • Mafac Racer CP brakes

C 31/C 31 (Mixte)


  • Full Durifort frameset, 1/2 chrome fork
  • Specification as above, plus Stronglight TS 52/40 alloy crankset
  • alloy Simplex 410 RD and LJA FD

C 34


C34 Shimano 600

C34 Shimano 600

  • Full Vitus Durifort (Full Vitus 172 – 1980’s)
  • 700C wheels LF, QR hubs with tubular rims and tires
  • TA Cyclotouriste 52/40 alloy crankset
  • Delrin Simplex LJ 4000 RD and LJ FD
  • Simplex LJ 4012 Retrofriction levers
  • Mafac Racer CP brakes, hooded levers

C 34 Cross

 Copy of Bertin Cyclocross Vitus 888 Sellwood

  • Vitus 888 (Durifort) (1980’s)
  • special braze-ons for Cyclocross cable routings

C 35

C35 early 80's

C35 early 80's

  • Reynolds 531 main tubes, Durifort stays and fork (DB Vitus971 main tubes and Vitus 172 stays and fork , 1980’s)
  • 700C wheels, Maillard 700LF, QR hubs with Mavic Module E rims
  • TA Cyclotouriste 52/42 alloy crankset
  • Ideale 90 leather saddle
  • Simplex LJ 5000 RD and SLJ FD
  • Simplex Retrofriction alloy shiters
  • Mafac 2000 CP brakes, drilled, fully hooded levers

C 36

  • full Vitus 172 frameset
  • otherwise, as above

C 37/C 237bis


Early 1960's C37 from Mike in New Zealand

Early 1960's C37 from Mike in New Zealand

JBC's Restored Personal Bertin C37

JBC's Restored Personal Bertin C37

  • Full Reynolds 531 DB, taper gauge forks and stays ( Full DB Vitus 971, 1980’s)
  • 700c wheels, Maillard 700 LF QR with tubular rims and tires
  • Stronglight 105 bis 50/40 crankset
  • Ideale 90 leather saddle
  • gold Simplex LJ 5000RD and SLJ FD
  • gold Simplex Retrofriction alloy levers
  • gold Mafac 2000 CP brakes, drilled, fully hooded gold levers

C 37bis/C 237bis



  • full DB Vitus 971 frameset
  • otherwise, as above

C 72

  • no information currently available

C 79 SSC

  • Special Service Course
  • full DB Reynolds 531 SL/Professional frameset

C 80 SSC


  • Special Service Course
  • full DB Columbus SL frameset

C 117

  • full Durifort frameset
  • specification as for C-28 except for
  • Ideale 80 leather saddle
  • 700c wheels, LF QR with tubular rims and tires

C 132

  • full DB Vitus 172 frameset
  • specification as for C-28 except for
  • TA Cyclotouriste 52/40 alloy crankset

C 210/C 220

From Sargent & Co. Cycles

From Sargent & Co. Cycles

  • full Columbus Aelle frameset


Blue Bertin Frameset decal



T 2

  • full Vitus tandem gauge tubing(1980’s)
  • 700C wheels, Maxicar hubs with rear drum brake
  • TA Cyclotouriste triple 56/48/38 alloy crankset
  • Avocet Touring saddles
  • Huret Duopar RD and FD with downtube levers
  • brazed on Mafac cantilever brakes with fully hooded levers


C 38

  • full DB Reynolds 531 frameset with round track style fork blades

C 56


  • full Durifort frameset with round track style blades and double plate fork crown (forged crown 1980’s)
  • 700C HF tubular rims and track weight tubular tires
  • track nut attachment and fixed gear
  • TA Professionel alloy crankset
  • Ideale 39 leather saddle
  • alloy pedals, clips and toestraps

Note: Further details and photos will follow on the Bicycle Model header “Page” as time permits — instead of updating this post a second time. Moreover, visitors can further share information or photos by e-mailing me at