I am an Ottawa native and lived in Hull for a couple of years, but I only just recently ventured into 'Cycle Bertrand' on Eddy St. This is the original Bertrand location, and not the new-fangled one around the corner that is apparently owned by Gilles' son (or something to that effect).
In any case, up for sale there for the reasonable price tag of about $4,000 (down, I'll add, from $7,000) was an amazing Bertrand cycle, straight out of the eighties but with some of the nicest Campy components I've ever seen.
Anyhow, it converted me. A life-changing experience. It is now my goal to own a Bertrand cycle. I want one of the originals, something out of the 70's or 80's. There was a picture on the wall of a girl riding a Betrand track bike! Which really got me excited. I want one pretty damn bad. I would LOVE to own a bike with the words 'Hand-built in Hull (not Gatineau) QC' rightly painted on the sides.
If anyone has any tips for me, or better, has an old Bertrand they'd be willing to part with (especially the elusive Betrand track bike), I'd love to hear from you. If any Ottawans have yet to go to the shop, I'd highly recommend going to check out that fantastic pink machine in the shop.
Wow - thanks vjp. What an interesting read. It's so cool to see Gilles himself working in the shop that I was standing in just a couple of days ago. This makes me want one all-the-more!
$4,000 is definitely a little steep. I don't know my newer model Campy stuff very well, but I can't say I've ever seen components like these, very deep v's on the rims with only 5 or 6 spokes, incredibly narrow tires and hubs that seemed to bulb out, as opposed to being concave. Gorgeous stuff. The paint job is immaculate, and totally unique.
Anyways, I really appreciate the article. I'll cherish it. I'm looking forward to hearing more so keep the replies coming. My route to the elusive Bertrand track bike continues.