Re: [CR]Worst of the Best or...Bertoni

(Example: Framebuilders:Norman Taylor)

From: "David Snyder" <>
To: "Classic Rendezvous" <>
References: <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Worst of the Best or...Bertoni
Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2007 00:56:39 -0800

Derek Willburn wrote:
> I recently finished a rebuild of an alluminum Bertoni
> for a neighbor and it's clearly a French Vitus frame
> but had a "Made In Italy" decal and it had an Italian
> threaded bottom bracket. The bottom bracket underneath
> had CLB France embossed into it. How did Ben Lawee get
> away with that decal?

Depending on the law in the time and place that this frame was sold, perhaps some final glueing, finishing or perhaps even the assembly of fork to frame might qualify as "made in *"? I recall that at least some "Made in USA" Technium frames were put together quickly from foreign-sourced subassemblies here in the US of A, so perhaps your neighbor's Vitus, being bonded as it was, also somehow lent itself to such multinational fabrication.
>Jack Romans wrote:
>> So, if I can't give it away and since this Bertoni
>> appears to be fully
>> chrome-plated under paint, I was contemplating
>> stripping paint in certain areas
>> (lugs, maybe socks) to give it a flashier vintage
>> look. But...if steel wasn't
>> polished it may not look so great. My question is
>> then, has anybody done this
>> and was the chrome under paint presentable or better
>> left under paint?

I found an old chromed-lug Windsor Pro in a dumpster, with paint faded to the point of peeling. I stripped it and used some cleaner/polish on it, and now other riders often mistake it for titanium with it's "brushed finish" chromed-but-not-polished tubes. The lugs were polished before chroming and so are more bright and less "white" than the tubing, and the lower parts like chainstays and bb seem to have little more than the nickel in some places. All in all a striking bike, but looks more like ti or a bright, brushed stainless than fully chromed. A different brand might have better of worse tube finish, but I can't see much possibility of anything better than a fine-sanded pre-plating finish as you move away from the polished dropouts and lugs. Mine came with a fully-chromed, unpainted fork, but without any paint it was the first thing to rust and some previous owner attempted refinishing with a bench grinder, ruining it.

I built up (modernized) a too-small BERTONI for my older brother a few years back, but it later got swiped from his Sacramento garage. It was his modest garage-sale find and the fool thief passed up thousands of dollars worth of auto smog diagnostic equipment and tools, leaving with just the $20 bike and leaving behind a very large, empty duffel. That bike earned thus it's keep and I recall my brother never liked riding it anyway, what with it's extremely steep seat tube angle.

David Snyder
Auburn, CA usa