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 Wheel Restoration

One of the best things about owning an old bicycle is the need to tinker with it. This can mean anything from cleaning it up to make it rideable to searching relentlessly for the correct parts, decals and paint scheme to return your bicycle to its original glory. There are several approaches to this process and Velouria and Richard Sachs usefully elaborate on the choices and possibilities.

For myself, and my late 1960s Bertin C 37 a “period correct” approach was used. The bicycle is built with equipment that might have been hung on the frame as the late -60s equipment wore out. As well, a previous owner had updated the frame with braze ons, which I much prefer to the period correct bolt on cable stops and guides which are actually appropriate for the time period. The only thing lacking has been the wheels.  The same owner who did the braze ons also changed the wheels. Originally, the bike would have been equipped with Maillard high flange Normandy Luxe hubs with tubular rims and tires. When purchased, the Bertin was wearing low flange, 6 speed Maillard Helicomatics with butted chromed spokes and Mavic Module E silver rims. This made the bike more versatile as the randonneuse it had become but the years and corrosion had compromised the appearance and strength of the wheels.

Replacement was in order but with what? I finally decided to use Maillard 700 high flange hubs. They are period correct and gorgeous. The only available sets were French threaded so I purchased 2 sets on Ebay.fr. This was because my first 36 hole set actually had a 40 hole rear hub! As well, I bought a French threaded 6 speed  freewheel to match. The hubs were polished out and rebuilt with new ball bearings. As you can see in the accompanying photo, they turned out rather well. Thereafter, began a search for replacement Mavic Module Es. This was a two year exercise in frustration. There were simply no 36 hole rims to be found. Rarely, a 32 would show up but never the elusive 36s. Finally, a new 36 hole, 450 gram, highly polished rim with stainless steel eyelets became available. Velo Orange began specing and having manufactured its PBP. It seemed like  a 36 hole clone of the Rigida 13-20s I had used decades ago. Since the rims perfectly suited my anticipated use as well as the look I was seeking, I ordered a pair. (I will review them as soon as the wheels are built up.) Currently, the wheels are being built with new butted stainless spokes and once they are complete I will update this post with photographs.

Road Bike Gallery 1960-1969

This period saw a rapid development in the Bertin line of quality road bikes. Vitus remained a supplier for Durifort but Reynolds 531 became more common in the C 35 and C 37 lines. From the early to the late 60s forged ends with derailleur hangers became universal across the quality product line. Braze ons elaborated especially for the Cyclotouriste  line for Bertin never seemed to universally embrace the 60s passion for clipping things to the frame.

Blue Bertin Reynolds A

An early 60s Bertin of unknown type built with Reynolds A tubing, the predessor of 531.


Green Bertin Kiiji

An early 60s to mid-60s C 37 with stamped dropouts offered for sale on the Toronto Kijiji in September, 2009.



This Bertin C 34 photo comes from a French bulletin board in April, 2009.



This Campagnolo Nouvo Record equiped Bertin C 35 dates from the early to later part of the 1960s. Further details can be found here .


Bertin White and red

This is an early 60s C 37 in a full Reynolds 531 frameset found on Ebay.

    Detail of the C 37 above.

Bertin  white

Bertin Red

                     This Bertin C 31 was a late 60s production item.



    An early to mid-60s C 31 Cyclotouriste found on Ebay in April 2009.


Bertin C 35 Rich Pinder

This Bertin C 35  is a mid to late 60s example located on the Ride Vintage Steel site.


Bertin Mixte July

An early C 117 minus touring accessories. Note the long cage Simplex Prestige touring derailleur.


Orange Bertin 1

The above photo shows an early C 37 formerly owned by Mike from New Zealand.


Bertin Blue Flikr oct

A 60s period C 37 with full 531, Nervex lugs and Simplex Tour de France rear derailleur.


This bicycle was for sale on Ebay in January of 2010. It seems to be a late 60s Bertin C 117 mixte with a Durifort frameset and very nice detailing right down to the white pinstripes on frame and fork.

Details of the Bertin C 117 shown above.


This 60s Bertin C 28 was pointed out by Tim M. from Virginia. Note the French tri-colour bands on the seat tube and the atypical lettering font on the seat and down tubes labels. 

Updated January 10, 2010.