This bike I found on a Brazilian mountain bike Instagram page, they caption it as a bow and arrow with wheels.

Anyone ever seen this strange looking beauty before? I can't quite tell but it might be an early folding bike. I'm saying is old because it's got a rod brake.

enter image description here

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    Never seen anything like it. Probably not a very good "mountain" bike, as the frame would not be very strong (unless the materials are very heavy). I'm curious about the stuff under the diagonal tube -- looks like it might be a mechanism for folding somehow. Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 18:36
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    Looks like it might be from same project as these: behance.net/gallery/35437979/Velocipedia. Note that there's a lever for rod brake but no brake.
    – ojs
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 19:45
  • Wow, looks like I was wrong and it's a real bike with all the design flaws. The photos show that the brake is not usual rod brake but a spoon brake that is hidden inside steerer tube.
    – ojs
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 7:30
  • I wonder if the photo in the question is actually of a reconstruction -- it doesn't quite match the Gérard, as it only has a single top/down tube rather than the parallel pair. The Gérard also has a chunky hinge that's missing from the above picture, and obvious saddle rails that could pass for steam train parts. I assume it's a physical reconstruction rather than just a computer model -- surely no one would put those mismatched tyres on a computer model
    – Chris H
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 14:01

2 Answers 2


This is a very old military bike, estimates say circa 1898, credited to a French officer and cycling advocate Captain Gerrard (although actually probably designed by someone else). It is indeed a folding bike, one of the first of its kind. Soldiers on bicycle were a relatively common thing prior to the first world war. Lots more information here, The BSA & Military Bicycle Museum ; and here Captain Gerard history

Vintage advertisement for a 1912 Captain Gerard folding bicycle Patent description for 1899 Captain Gerard folding bicycle


That's art, not a bike. Its not intended to be ridden.

If you did try and ride it, your first hard take-off would likely flip you backwards unless you were out of the saddle and leaning forward.

Braking would be quite good, assuming its a fixed gear and not just a single-speed. The weight distribution would put more on the rear helping with skid stops. But the pedals lack retainer straps or clipsless pedals, so its not a real fixie.

As noted, the front brake is absent, and the hand lever is just for show.

If you got it rolling okay, it would be a floppy horror to steer. That front wheel will want to turn 90 to the left or right, so requires strength to hold it up.

Answer its a show bike not for riding. What a waste of time and effort.

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    Not to mention the first time you hit a bump, it’ll crack where the top tube meets the seat tube.
    – RoboKaren
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 1:35
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    It's like one of these hipster Strida bikes. Nice to look at but an unstable horror to ride...
    – Carel
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 10:43

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