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Eri’s Mystery Mixed-Up Sterling

Eri’s Mystery Mixed-Up Sterling

Introducing our guest blogger, Eri, and her gorgeous new-to-her ride:
This is Betsy Bobbin! Betsy was purchased from a lovely lady outside of Calgary, who posted an ad on Kijiji. The ad had no pictures, but I was intrigued. I sent an email, asked for photos, and once I’d seen that and the asking price I knew I had to have her. She was a mystery right from the start, and she still is. (Please note addition of adorable puppy in background!)
Originally red and cream with pinstriping, she recieved a very incomplete blue spray paint job, which didn’t cover a lot of the paint, and has chipped off. With nailpolish remover, we also took off some of the blue paint to see what was underneath, but in these pictures you can already see lots of the red.
Her headbadge: painted flat metal, same shape and rivet location as the CCM-built Garry. It reads Sterling, which was a late 1800s American cycle manufacturer, but in later years CCM did acquire the rights to a lot of famous brand-names. My guess is that they used the Sterling name for one of their store brands, but which one is anyone’s guess!
{Edit by Deb: see comment below by CCM expert John Williamson. This is not a CCM frame or marque.}

Star chain ring, fluted chain guard, cottered Made-In-England cranks, pedals marked CCM. I’ve seen this chain ring identified as being a ’30s or ’40s English part, however I’ve also seen pictures of it on CCM bikes from the ’50s. A leftover part from another manufacturer?
The chain guard is attached in an unusual fashion and has extra holes, perhaps to ease attachment to many different frame styles and sizes. Was definitely cream, the same as the fenders. The fluted surface of the metal is unusual, I haven’t seen it on any other bike images I’ve looked at.
Coaster hub with CCM imprint. This version of the logo seems to date from the early 1950s, but I’m having trouble getting a definite confirmation on that.
Canada Pat. 1937 (same as on Winnie), so obviously the hub was made after that year. This patent was definitely used into the ’50s and maybe even later than that.
Front hub labelled FALCON, 1/4 BALLS, MADE IN CANADA. Must be the size of the ball bearings, I don’t know if that’s standard or not. N00b alert! The other side of the hub has a little valve-looking thing that says GARLAND and has a patent number. Very appropriate, as her name comes from an Oz book.
A very old-fashioned kickstand. It’s a little wobbly, I’ll need to see if it can be tightened somehow.
IRC ROADSTER tires and white-pinstriped red-painted rims identical to Winnie’s. There’s a lot of blue spray paint on the rims, it doesn’t look like anything was taped off before painting.
The globe logo is the only marking we can find on the faded red rubber saddle. It likely matched the paint job when it was new.
The underside of the saddle, still no markings or stampings. The whole thing seems pretty unique to me, very collector-y. I’ll DEFINITELY be replacing the saddle with something that’s a comfier ride.

Weller or Wexler De Luxe Model 50 white rubber grips. Can’t quite read the mark that’s underneath. They’re CUTE! If I replace them with whiter ones, I will definitely still keep them.

The front fork is stamped TRU-WELD TUBE PROD… ENGLAND. When I take it apart for cleaning and repainting, I’ll be able to tell you exactly what it says!
The greasy grime in the oval depression on the unusual headtube hid a surprise…
…a hand-stamped serial number! This seems to correspond to a 1929 date for the frame. However, the front fork is far too narrow to be able to fit a balloon-tire from that time period – yet both have the same original paint job, suggesting they’re both original to the bike! Once again, was this bike perhaps built by CCM using some new parts and some leftover pre-war parts, some English and some Canadian, creating a Frankenbike that’s still all factory-original? Baffled by this, but very intrigued.
The front fork and fender provide clues to the original, classic red-and-white paint scheme. Inside of fenders and chainguard is still white. The pinstriping was gorgeous! There are a few other places where the striping shows, and it’s all just beautiful. It’s heartbreaking that someone spraypainted this bike.
On the underside of the bottom bracket, where the paint has chipped, you can see the gold undercoat that gave the burgandy paint its original lustre. Carefully wiping it with acetone nail polish remover to see if there were any stamped numbers hiding under there didn’t reveal any more identifying marks, but it did reveal more of the original paint colour:
…which is also visible under the curved upper tube where the repainter neglected to spray.
Here’s Deborah’s recommendation for Betsy: “She needs cleaning, rust removal, and perhaps a wipedown with acetone before sanding and repainting. She seems to be in good running order but needs a basic tuneup at EBC. I’d add a big vintagey chrome bell and a period-appropriate rear reflector.”
My plans of course start with that, because she knows a lot more about this than I do! However, I have deeper plans when it comes to repainting. I have my paint colours and scheme all picked, and will definitely share that in a future post!
Thanks to Deborah, Angel and Nicki for letting me join them in the world of Loop-Frame Love! I know I’m totally smitten already.