velospace is about bikes and the people who ride them marketplace photos random forums

A potentially serious error in judgement

Bike tags: Road bike | 1970s | Atax | Bertin | constructeur | more tags >>
Bike photo
Click to view other photos

Bertin steel - C34 or C132, I think/54cm/early 1970s - 1972?

unidentified (so far)/Atax

Bertin, Durifort tubing/Lightrace

not yet selected

not yet selected; Phil Wood FW/Mavic MA3/Continental Top Touring 2000 (700x47) for now

TA Cyclotouriste/TA 344 - soon to be replaced with sealed-bearing Edco Competition triple

decaying POS/unidentified (so far) French

unidentified Atom (French), destroyed in an attempt at rust removal (oops!)/thoroughly rusted and tossed

Simplex Criterium 3163/Suntour Spirt F

Mafac Racer/Mafac Racer (half-hoods)

2009.07.17: I drove 80 miles yesterday to scoop this up. My immediate intention is to strip off the cranks for a Raleigh-based touring build; but looking at this frameset, I think there's another build in the works for Project Boy.

I have successfully resisted the lure of French bikes since I went through about six Motobecanes in the mid-'70s: All excellent bikes, all brand-spankin' new, each stolen within six months of purchase. I do not approve of the...'unique' sizing/threading conventions of traditional French bikecraft, and the fact that French BBs not only use oddball sizes/threads, but they also thread the drive-side cup so that pedaling will unscrew it -astonishingly stupid. But they are so pretty, and so elegant; tres sportif. And so I may have acquired Yet Another Expensive Project. Perhaps convert to 650b, for a loaded touring bike. The first step will be derustification, and seeing if I can get the rattlecanned pea-green paint off without trashing the potentially very slick copper paint underneath it. Perhaps it's time to try sfbee's vinegar trick.

It's going to the very bottom of the build pile, and there are at least two bikes ahead of it. But I will be brooding about this.

2010.06.21: Build thread going on right over here. More details and photos here as things actually get finished.

People who friended this bike usedbikes310, raleighgranprix, politburo, campystamp, joaobola, velocepedestrian, Nicolai87


I have to hand it to you for tackling this project because, simply put, that is just one sad, sad vision on a number of fronts. Not sure if that beast is totally worth the time and effort but kudos for trying to bring something back, in some form other than present in 09. I only look forward to seeing it in some better shape via this lead shot. See you on here all the time and it's like taking a bullet when this poor frame pops up. Is it in some better state as of 11-2010? It's like a photo of a homeless person on the ropes, no pants, with an ill-fitting child's top and a hat with no brim.

Gee, now you make me feel bad

Actually, it's much further along. Take a look at the build thread I linked to in the description. As of now, the seized seatpost is out, and much of the rattlecan paint is off; the rust is slowly being removed, and I'm planning on an oxalic acid treatment to finish it. I've got a complete build kit together (TA triple, Edco Competition sealed BB, Suntour derailleurs/barcons, Mafacs, Phil/Mavic wheels and so on). Plus, all the historical research - including the 1972 Bertin catalog posted by another Classic Rendezvous member I met while he was selling at the SF Bike Expo on Saturday, which pretty much confirms that it's a C34. So graphics for decals are still being prepped.

I've been approaching the cleanup gently, because there's still traces of much of the decals left. Bertin decals aren't in ready supply; I want to be sure to have enough left to clone them.

And to complicate things further, I have two Follis projects in the works as well - an even more obscure marque.

(somebody get that French monquey off my back)

Good news

Good news, indeed. Actually, I came close to buying an early 70s Follis 672 in Reynolds 531 last year. They actually had some nice frames. The upper end, top tier French frame is a light beast for sure, seemingly lighter than the Italian counterpoints. As for your Bertin, you should move that sad shot to #5 and put some more flattering options up front and in lead. The poor beast deserves a break after a year of suffering in that state for all to see. Looks like its come a long way; nice work.

At some point, I want to create a new cluster

which will feature "before and after" photos of buildups: Frameset + pile of components to built bike. Unfortunately, I failed to take before photos with five of the six bikes I have posted. I have to take a photo of the FrankenFollis (two frames, with one fork and one early '60s build kit between them) endeavor before I get it built up any further; fortunately, the weather is less wretched today.


if you need chainrings "originals, i have 2 of the big, NOS". I would like know brand of the crankset??? so i can now what i have!!!!! THANK'S

The crankset is a Specialites T.A. Pro V

Specialites T.A. is a French company that's been in business since 1947. They've done a range of cranksets, bottles/cages, bottom brackets and assorted accessories ever since. They do modern road cranksets now, along with a variety of road and track chainrings for both Shimano-style and Campagnolo-style cranks.

The Pro V crankset is a touring crank that they first released in 1963, and only stopped making a year or so ago. Velo-Orange is the main US retailer for Pro V chainrings and cranks, but there are others, such as Rene Herse Bicycles in Colorado. The Pro V uses an attachment style that used to be common in the '50s/'60s, but has since disappeared: The 5-bolt 50.4 BCD crankarm connects to the outer ring, and then all the other rings bolt to the outer ring through a second set of holes - 6 arms at various BCD settings for TA Pro V crankarms, 5 arms at various BCD settings for Nervar/Stronglight/Sugino/Lambert/Williams and assorted Japanese brand crankarms, and 3 arms for the TA Pro 3 attaches.

There's a very thorough history of T.A.'s products at Joel Metz's; well worth a look around, if you're into that sort of thing.

I may be interested in T.A. six-arm chainrings (I have two cranksets), but it will depend on tooth numbers. The six-arm Pro V can handle tooth counts from 26T to 64T(!), and there are arrangements for track, road racing, light and loaded touring. I'm particularly interested in 48T and 50T outer rings, and smaller inner rings (26T-30T), but whatever you have, let me know. Outer rings have five holes in the center (to attach the crankarms) and six holes further out (to attach the inner rings); inner rings have only the six holes. I'm also interested in mounting bolts; being French, they're a slightly different size from the chainring bolts everyone else uses :-P

French threading

If you didn't already know.

Actually, I do...

I cruise Velo-Orange a bunch (I'm pissed that they don't do the elkhide laced bar cover in white any more; that would have been great for my Raleigh International build). The constructeur racks are very slick-looking, and I might get them for this Bertin someday, if period Frenchy stuff (TA, Gilles Berthoud etc.) doesn't turn up in the meantime. And they have metal 650b fenders.

But the current cup/cone bottom bracket seems okay, although the spindle is two-ring only. The local bike kitchen has a set of 3-bolt Stronglight cranks that I'd already rejected for the Raleigh, where I want a triple (hence the pillaging of the TA Pro V); but they might work nicely on the Bertin. If I need to replace the BB, then cartridge makes sense. The Grand Cru is one option; I might also pull the existing French cups, and swap them onto a Shimano BB-71.

Bar Wrap

> I cruise Velo-Orange a bunch (I'm pissed that they don't do the elkhide laced bar cover in white any more; that would have been great for my Raleigh International build).

You may know this, but Ralph Carnevale sells stitched leather bar wrap in several colors. I bought some in white and will soon be re-wrapping one of my handlebars with it.

Carnevale is new to me; thanks!

I'd never heard of him, but the bar wrap looks about like the VO stuff, and they have both white (discontinued by VO) and several colors of suede, which VO never had. Seems to me that sweat would trash suede pretty quickly, but...The downside is, it costs twice what VO charges :-(

I had already found leather tape in some alarming colors from Global Cycling Supply; and a little aggressive Googling revealed that Selle An-Atomica also makes water(proof? -resistant?) leather tape (Team Estrogen has it for ten bucks less than SA-A's fifty-nine dollars*). SA-A has saddles and tape available in TdF yellow and Giro d'Italia pink, which Team Estrogen curiously does not sell.

* Once again, dollar signs are not working. Does anyone have any idea what the problem is, and why it goes in and out? Sometimes I put dollar signs in comments, and they show up fine; other times, they're stripped out with the attachen numbers. It's very irritating.


He's rjcarnivale on eBay. I'm not fond of suede wrap for the reason you mentioned. That's why I bought the smooth leather; that and the fact that it reminds me of Almarc bars from the 1980's, which I like.

* As to why you're not seeing dollar signs in text fields, I assume Greg is filtering them out to guard against SQL injection. If you used to see them but aren't now, he's probably changed the list of characters he's filtering out.


Hope you can keep that copper paint.

And about the elkhide bar covers, I was admiring those myself. Maybe on my next bike... With a Brooks saddle to match. And I love their racks, ultra classy.


Hope you can keep that copper paint.
Me too. If not, a medium-blue Rene Herse powdercoat (with a silver headtube panel, sort of like the old Raleigh Professional?) might be the ticket.

I'm highly copper-inclined, though. I've assembled a little treasure chest of Mafac Racer brakes; I'm going to clean up a set and walk them down to my local silversmith, to see what it'll cost to have them copper electroplated. If it's not too ugly, I might consider having a set of fenders done as well.


I wonder how difficult it would be to have the whole frame copper electroplated if the paint doesn't survive. I think the electroplating is a great idea. It might look interesting to have the handlebars done so you just see it between the stem and the tape.
I'm looking forward to seeing this thing done, however long from now that will be. Good luck.


I wonder how difficult it would be to have the whole frame copper electroplated
You're scaring the hell out of me...I'll have to investigate this.

Caswell Plating has a variety of DIY kits for electroplating various metal treatments (nickel, chrome, gold, bronze, silver etc.) onto various base surfaces. The smaller kits are pricy, because they include all the electroplating equipment. I'd guess that there's a financial breakpoint where it makes sense to invest in the equipment yourself, depending on the surface area you have to cover.

Great Frame to start your project !

If you want to sell the MAFAC brakes and all the rest let me know !
Keep the color a good powder coater should be able to match it perfect !

velospace | About | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | contact | blog | status | site map | ©