1896-98? Sterling

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cds2323

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Found this Sterling bike yesterday. I’m thinking it’s from 1896-98 based on the badge and preliminary research. The serial number on the bottom of the crank is also stamped on the head tube above the fork. Does it mean anything? Has faint traces of gold pinstripes on the frame and fork. Fork ends also have traces they were once nickel plated. Unfortunately, looks like someone removed paint from the wheels, the guy I got it from said that was how it was when he found it in a barn at an estate sale. Any further information on this bike would be appreciated.
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cds2323

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
@Craig Allen , Thank you. I had heard they were striped in olive to match the frame color. Looking closer I can see no trace of any paint on the rims, couldn’t have been removed recently as the wheels haven’t been unlaced in years, the tires are quite hard.

@fat tire trader , The handlebar stem does appear to be 3/4” in diameter. The handlebars are 7/8” though.
 

Barnegatbicycles

Finally riding a big boys bike
Is the badge brass or aluminum? Also they went to a squared crank arm in 97. I'm thinking 95/96. Also how do the pedals attach. Are they threaded in or is it keyed?
 

Dick Rath

Look Ma, No Hands!
I believe this bicycle is likley an 1897 model. I completed, in 2000, a full restoration of an identical Sterling and my research at the time lead me to belive the bike was manufactured in 1897 or possibly 1896. The bike I retored I had purchased from the late Jim Huntington a former member of The Wheelmen who lived in Palmer, Mass. The purchase led to a long term friendship Jim right up until he passed away a few years ago. The bike had it's original and complete front-wheel compression hand-brake, it's original color was the same pea soup green as yours however I chose to restore it with the Sterling company's optional gloss black finish with gold leaf pin striping. My records show I purchasd the bike in 1998 for $300. and that my restoration costs totaled $3,463. which included all new ball-end spokes, complete re-nickel plating of all brightwork, new tubuar tires, a nice Carbide headlamp and roughly 120 hours in labor (mine @ $35. per hour - now.....20 yeqrs later $50. per hour. After the bike won Best In Show at the 2003 Lars Anerson Transportation Museum's Concours De'Elegance Antique Bicycle event I sold this bicycle in a 3 bicycle package deal to the owner of University Bicycle's in Boulder Colorado where it remains today. If you would like to see pictures of the restored bike go onto my website: timemachineslimited@aol.com Also on the website are pictures of another Sterling ( an 1895 men's model ) that I restored as a commission for Peter Zheutlin who had recently published his book "Around The World On Two Wheels" documenting his Great Grand Aunt Anne Kopchovsky's journey aronnd the world in 1894 on her brand new men's model Sterling bicycle that the factory finished at her request the bikes frame in Gloss White with gold leaf pin striping. Peter intended the restored bicycle which I found and purchased at the 2001 Copake Bicycle Auction's annual Swap meet, to travel with him as a display on his initial Book Tour in 2007. About 10 years later Peter consigned the bike, on loan, to the The Technical Museum of Jerusalem in Israel for an exhibition titled "Women in Sports". The Exhibition was so successful the Museum sent the entire exhibit on a world tour that lasted until just recently. So Anne, who used the last name "Londonderry" in honor of her major sponsor of her ride, "Londonderry Spring Water", a company based in the state of Maine, had the duplicate of her bike circle the globe 120 years after she embarked on her ride.
 
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