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 C 37 Restoration Part 10 – The Final Reckoning


Well, the project will be complete with this final assessment. The original, 1970s, black C 37 has gone from this –


Tims Bertin C 37 blk

to this-

Drive Side Profile

to this –


After - Drive Side Profile

and, finally, to this-


Drive Side Profile


It has been a long process, longer than originally considered, and more expensive due to changes and glitches that were unforeseeable at the start. Remember, this bike was intended to be a rider and not a wall hanger so it did not receive NOS everything in a bid to make it perfect. Instead, used and donated parts were scavenged and used where appropriate. A few observations for those following a similar path:

– have a clear idea of what you want to have when you are finished (wall art? daily rider? show bike? historic conservation?);

– estimate your time line and then double it;

– do your financial estimations and add a 25% cushion for dealing with the unexpected ;

– line up the suppliers that you intend to use (some framebuilders/painters have very long waiting lists);

– do a trial assembly of the major components to assess brake reach, seat post fit, hub spacing and bottom bracket and headset threading;

– be sure you have any specialized service tools like the dedicated crank extractor for early Stronglights or Helicomatic freewheel wrenches;

– start with the best condition and equipped example of your favoured bike that you can find to minimize project length, complexity and cost;

– use various sized zip closed plastic bags to contain all the parts of each component or sub-assembly, label a post-it and place within each bag;

then stand back and admire the result!

Below you will find an itemized list of the costs for parts and labour during the project. They are given in U.S.$ as many of the parts came from American sources and Euro and Pound Sterling purchases have been converted to match. As well, items which were in my personal stock of cast offs and unused are priced as if they had been purchased on EBay to give a person starting from scratch a more complete and truthful appraisal of the project’s costs. The total was surprising as my pre-restoration estimate had been about $1,200.


Bertin C 37 Restoration Costs

(all costs include applicable shipping and taxes)


Cost   (in U.S. $)

Stronglight headset – used * 40
Helico/Module E 2 wheels – used * 100
frameset – used 185
Simplex seatpost – new 78
Velo Orange cables – new 22
bolts – new 2
Tressostar bar tape – new 18
tubes – new 16
Mafac lever hoods – NOS 75
Stronglight bottom bracket (French) – used 25
Helico Freewheel – used 50
Stronglight crank remover – new 50
Velocals decals – new 64
Spidel cups – NOS (English Threaded) 25
Spidel drilled brake levers – used 68
California Springs water bottle – new 4
Silca frame fit chrome pump – NOS 30
Brooks Professional saddle – used * 90
Velox rubber bar plugs – NOS 20
Seat post frame fixing bolt (cro-mo) – NOS 6
Spidel LS 2 brake calipers – used 20
TA steel bottle cage – used * 40
Michelin 700C x 23 tires – NOS * 120
Stronglight 93 crankset – used 90
Park grease – new 15
hub bearings (5/32” for helico hub) – new 12
frame services, paint and decaling 400



 * These items were previously owned or gifted to the restorer. Costs are for equivalent items if actually purchased from EBay.

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. 


Road Bike Gallery 1970-1979

Bertin bikes continued to expand their distribution during this period of the Bike Boom. Framesets were built with Vitus supplied Durifort/888 tubes and, later in the decade’ with Vitus 172 as was the case for the C 37 bis. Some higher end bicycles and framesets like the C 35 were built with a Reynolds main triangle and Vitus for the rest. Specific models like  the C 37 and C 38 remained all Reynolds. Framesets were built using forged ends and braze-ons gradually reappeared on the higher end racing frames.

French equipment was the basic specification on frames, but in the mid-70s, Bertin became the French Shimano distributor and its gruppos proliferated through the lineup during this decade as an upgrade before the fullout Campagnolo option. The house brand Milermo equipment was speced extensively on everything from dropouts to saddles, to stems, tape and almost any other accessory required to complete a bike.

Bertin dabbled as well with non-traditional materials such as welded aluminum in the C 80  and welded titanium in the C 75T although these never became a major part of the Bertin lineup.



Bertin C 31 bis — from Craigslist



Bertin C 37 Originally for sale on E-Bay



Bertin C 37 — Don Genovese’s bike on the Velo Cafe at Cyclofiend.com



C 37 for sale at Team Karim



Bertin C 34 — Psycleman’s Bertin at the Velo Cafe on Cyclofiend.com



Bertin C 28 – from a French bulletin board (Apr 09)



Bertin C 132 Cyclo-Touiste, E-Bay April 2009


 Bertin C 70 Ebay France, May 2009


Bertin Red

Bertin C 28, May 2009


C37 red Bertin

Chad Magiera’s Bertin C 37 from a German website, March, 2009.


Brown Bertin 531

Bertin C 31 fixie, April 2009.



A Bertin C 132 shared by JPA from an older EBay post.



A probable C 28 with later equipment upgrades also from JPA.



A Bertin C 31 photo from EBay also provided by JPA


Bertin Mixte Craigslist

A Bertin Mixte found on the Calgary, Alberta Craigslist in June, 2009


Bertin Mixte Craigslist 2

Bertin Mixte Craigslist 3

Bertin Mixte Craigslist 4

Details of the Bertin Mixte from above.


Bertin Craigslist June 2009

Bertin Craigslist June 2009 2

Unkown model of Bertin found on Craigslist, June 2009.


Bertin Bike Form

Extensively modified Bertin from Bike Forum, June 2009.


Bertin Craigslist Berkley June 14

Bertin C 132 found on Craigslist, June 2009.


Bertin July 09 3

Bertin frameset and detail shots from MarcBaby at Mobile1

Bertin July 09

Copy of Bertin July 09 4

Copy of Bertin July 09 2


Yellow Bertin 1

Bertin C 37, all Campy, from Rembetis Historische Fahrrader


Yellow Bertin 2

Yellow Bertin 3

Yellow Bertin 4



An early 80s C 70? shared by Steve V. from California


Copy of IMG_4339[1] 

White Bertin Bike Form

A Bertin C 35 from Bike Forum


Calvin's Stolen Bertin

The much modified and stolen Bertin of Calvin Jones, Park Tools technical expert.


Bertin ebay july 1

A 48 cm Bertin C 34 found on Ebay, July 2009.


Bertin ebay july 4

Bertin ebay july 3

Details of the Bertin above.


Stephen's silver Bertin

This is a late 60s Bertin C 37 recently aquired by Stefan Bergler of Germany.


Stephen's Yellow Bertin

This appears to be a Bertin C 31? from the 1970s also shared by Stefan Bergler.


Small Brown Bertin

A Bertin C 34 from the mid 1970s found on line .


Small Brown Bertin 2

Small Brown Bertin 3

Detail photos of the C 34 found above.


Bertin C 35 Rich Pinder

Rich Pinder’s Bertin C 35 from his excellent Ride Vintage Steel site.


Green Bertin Kiiji

A late 60s or early 70s Bertin C 37 built with 531 and for sale on the Toronto Kijiji site in September of 2009.


Green Bertin Kiiji 2

Green Bertin Kiiji 3

Details of the C 37 from Kijiji including the old Huret Luxe friction shift levers and the 531 forks.


Yelloe Bertin durifort

A Bertin C 34 with full Durifort tubeset.


Yellow Bertin durifort 2

Yellow Bertin durifort 3

Details of the C 34 above.


Brown Bertin Ebay

A Bertin C 132 Cyclo Touriste found on Ebay.


Bertin Mixte July

This is possibly an early Bertin C 117 minus its touring accessories. Note the long cage Simplex Prestige rear derailleur. Originally from Ebay in July, 2009.


Bertin Mottet

An 80s Bertin C 220 with a Shimano 600 Arabesque gruppo. Bertin manufactured bikes for specific dealers hence the Mottet label.


Bertin with panniers

An 70s Bertin C 31.


bertin white fixie

A Bertin C 37 for sale on the SORBA website in August of 2009.


Bertin vitus 971 4

This seems to be an early to mid-80s Bertin C 35 with a Vitus 971 frame and fork found on Ebay, October 2009.


Tims Bertin C 35

A 60 cm late 70s Bertin C 34 or C 35 shared by Tim M. from Virginia. Note the all French equipment – except the Silca pump!


Bertin C 37 Ebay oct

 A Bertin C 37 seen on Ebay in October, 2009.


Bertin C 31 panniers

This is a Bertin C 31 with unusual panniers from leboncoin.fr.


Bertin T 51

This Bertin with a Durifort frameset is unusual in reverting to a traditional style woman’s frame at a time when Bertin offered other models as mixtes.


This Bertin randonneuse was found on Ebay Fr. The frame sticker on the downtube identifies it as part of the Cyclotouiste range, possibly a C 132. It is a fully French bike from tubing to running gear.


This photo shows details of the wiring  routing and the bottom bracket generator.

This photo is included to show details of the wiring and the attached light bracket on the TA brake mounted front bag support rack .



This C 34 is set up in Sportif  fashion with Esge Cromoplastic fenders and a stem supported, suspended handlebar bag.



A well equipped Bertin C 117 mixte with Durifort frameset built in generator  lighting and TA rack mount for the headlight.


This  Bertin C 35, from the Oct. 09 Ebay posting, was purchased by Tim M., refurbished and kitted out as seen in the photo immediately above. The bike is all French, including its Vitus 971 frameset.


This French equiped early 70s Bertin C 117 was located in the archive section of  Bike Forums from 2006. Bertins of this size were built from heavier gauge tubing to compensate for greater stresses and higher rider weight – not a universal practice for many other manufacturers.


 The details above show the OEM stainless fenders and chromed rack of the C 117 from the photo above. The original front rack has been removed and replaced with a suspended bag rack like Velo Orange’s. On the lower photo note the generator mounting tab on the left seat stay. The wiring and generator appear to have been removed.


Bertin supplied the C 34 with tubulars as standard equipment in the 70s. This particular C 34 is fully French equipped even to a Bertin logoed water bottle.


A Japanese website in 2009 supplied this image of a small C 34 with Weinmann 500 sidepull brakes.


Bertin also built its C 34 model with clincher tires. That variety was designated C 34 bis. On this  bicycle, there are Simplex derailleurs and a Stronglight 49 crankset. Note the red accented Milremo stem.


The generator/light combination on the rear stay identifies this bike as a Bertin C 132.These could be supplied with either dropped bars or the touring  style bars as shown.  The saddle is a quilted, padded, plastic based Milremo.


Another C 34 found on leboncoin from France.


The Bertin C 132 above retains its cellulloid fenders but is missing the original generator and taillight usually found on the non-drive seatstay.


Except for tires, original equipment chacterizes this Bertin C 117 mixte.  Note the Mafac  white plastic brake levers and the alloy wing nuts for wheel retention.  


Last update May, 30 2010.