Can someone give me information about the bicycle in the photo?

(Picture copied from profile)

  • 2
    Hi Ruth, Perhaps a more detailed question, and possibly putting your bicycle photo in the post, rather than as your profile photo might be helpful in getting the answers you need.
    – zenbike
    May 7, 2016 at 16:10
  • 1
    Learn to put the photo into your question, not as your profile picture. Newbies are limited on how many photos they can do, but are generally allowed one or two mediums sized ones in a question. May 7, 2016 at 17:53
  • A more recent photo ![enter image description here](i.stack.imgur.com/7G9vs.jpg) Zenbike's answer is perfect. This one is only not a comment because of the photo. I'm impressed that these penny-farthings / ordinaries are only 11-20 kilograms, which is about the same weight as an 80's bike - my steel rigid MTB is 17kg.
    – Criggie
    May 7, 2016 at 21:01
  • @criggie, where did you find that photo?
    – zenbike
    May 8, 2016 at 1:28
  • Hi Ruth. You question has been flagged as unclear what you're asking and too broad, and could be closed. Can you use the edit link to make it clearer what information you want, or select the tick for one of the answers if they give you what you're looking for?
    – andy256
    May 8, 2016 at 4:00

2 Answers 2


This article shows an 1891 Hiwheel Eagle. It looks quite similar to the bike shown with a small front wheel and hub mounted pedals.

1891 Hiwheel Eagle

  • Due to the difference in motive styles(cranks), this is more likely than my answer above.
    – zenbike
    May 8, 2016 at 18:18
  • I think that vest came with the bike. Apr 18, 2017 at 16:59

This is possibly an American Star high wheeler, or a replica. They were known for having the small wheel in front, to prevent the forward tipping issue common with Ordinary high wheelers.

If it is an original American Star, it dates from the 1880's approximately, and has serious collector value. If a replica, not so much. :)

They are still considered an Ordinary/Penny Farthing/High Wheeler.

enter image description here

  • I don't think that's an American Star -- the linked Wikipedia page says the American Star bikes had "A pair of independent treadle mechanisms collected power from the rider's legs instead of a crank", but the bike pictured in the question appears to have a simple crank.
    – Johnny
    May 8, 2016 at 1:00
  • @johnny, that could be correct. The photo posted previously was too small to see that much detail. I'd like to know where Criggie found his photo, though. That should help track this down.
    – zenbike
    May 8, 2016 at 1:28
  • Note that the spectacular photo is demonstrating the point of this design - riding down stairs on a traditional ordinary would lead to a face plant
    – Móż
    May 12, 2016 at 23:30

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