When we visited Specialized’s headquarters (check out that tour here), we also walked through their concept bike museum. The collection there proves that long time Big S designer Robert Egger spends at least half his time dreaming up and actually building the craziest things he can think of. There’s so much, I’m breaking it up into three parts: Fast, Fun and Motorized. Here are the Fast Bikes, lead off with a tribute to everything the UCI won’t let them do. In the foreground (click to enlarge) is an e-bike road bike with disc brakes and shapes that probably wouldn’t pass tube dimension inspections. It’s an incredibly clean design, hiding the battery inside the frame’s aero shaped tubes, had disc brakes long before they were allowed in the peloton, and a great sticker on the chainstay…
If you were going to make a bike as fast as possible, rules be damned, it might look something like this.
Fairings and fenders block the wind…
…and integrated front brake caliper keep the front end producing minimal drag.
A rear storage compartment keeps your essentials out of the wind, too.
This one sets a carbon rim on small rollers to create a hubless design. The front cockpit is a fully integrated arm rest and handles, completely eliminating the standard handlebar designs and keeping your forearms out of the wind.
UPDATE: Thanks to our own writer Jayson, we found out this wheel was actually a production item. Designed by Paul Lew, it’s called the Black Hole and sold as a fork and wheel set. They were sold to the public for a short time in 650c and 700c, for triathlon and track. The UCI banned them after a world cup track meet.
Remember this? The Specialized Tandemonium “supersonic divorce machine” debuted in 2009. It used a shaft drive between the front and rear cranks.
This scale model took the concept one step further, integrating a full fender and disc wheel on the front steering assembly, and a full disc in the back, too.
Jim Merz is a legendary frame builder that’s been instrumental in some of Specialized’s bike development and growth. Most recently, he played a hand in the Sequoia gravel adventure bike project (we covered the bike here, and Watts laid down some words on his ride camp here). This bike is one of Merz’s original mountain bikes…check out how wide those handlebars and tires are!
This concept full suspension gravel or cyclocross bike is dubbed the Scrambled Egger. It utilizes a pivot-free rear triangle like on the new Epic full suspension XC race bike, but took a different approach to a micro-BRAIN system on the rear.
It’s like they shrunk the shock and BRAIN unit.
Up front is a very short travel inverted fork with side control knobs for compression and rebound damping. The fact that it’s using Avid brake calipers that aren’t flat mount suggest this concept was way, way ahead of its time.
Stay tuned for more!