specialized concept bike museum with prototypes by Robert Egger

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…

specialized concept bike museum with prototypes by Robert Egger

If you were going to make a bike as fast as possible, rules be damned, it might look something like this.

specialized concept bike museum with prototypes by Robert Egger

Fairings and fenders block the wind…

specialized concept bike museum with prototypes by Robert Egger

specialized concept bike museum with prototypes by Robert Egger

…and integrated front brake caliper keep the front end producing minimal drag.

specialized concept bike museum with prototypes by Robert Egger

specialized concept bike museum with prototypes by Robert Egger

A rear storage compartment keeps your essentials out of the wind, too.

specialized concept bike museum with prototypes by Robert Egger

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.

specialized concept bike museum with prototype Tandemonium TT tandem road bike by Robert Egger

Remember this? The Specialized Tandemonium “supersonic divorce machine” debuted in 2009. It used a shaft drive between the front and rear cranks.

specialized concept bike museum with prototype tandem TT bike

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.

specialized concept bike museum with original Merz mountain bike

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!

specialized concept bike museum with prototype Scrambled Egger full suspension gravel bike

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.

specialized concept bike museum with prototype Scrambled Egger full suspension gravel bike

specialized concept bike museum with prototype Scrambled Egger full suspension gravel bike

It’s like they shrunk the shock and BRAIN unit.

specialized concept bike museum with prototype Scrambled Egger full suspension gravel bike

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!

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21 COMMENTS

  1. I’m usually not one for “design concepts” due to the amount of focus is often put into absurd things like non adjustable saddles, bars, and friction filled hubless wheels, none of which are technologies that are likely to eventually be integrated into the mainstream. Having said all of that, the inverted gravel suspension fork is actually kind of cool, and I could imagine it maximizing the benefits of inverted, while minimizing the liabilities, due to the short travel and potential for a lot of bushing overlap.

    • It’s funny how easy it is to “disprove” subjective posts:

      I think that Specialized truly has had absurdly beautiful design aesthetics for a long, long time.

    • I had one of those awesome Magic Motorcycle/CODA cranks on my MTB. 1990’s external bearings, stiff as all get out for me back in the skinny days. Was sweet until it wasn’t, clamshell bonded halves started to de-bond and split.

  2. Interesting that the e-bike has a TESLA logo on the seat stay. Wonder if that was a collaboration back in the day.

    So glad they don’t put that crazy flowy type design in to their modern bikes, other than the curved top tube that is now gone.

  3. I would’t say the lack of flat mounts is what dates the Scrambled Egger. Looks to me that it has mechanical levers with elixir calipers. Obviously, that’s not going to function but it’s a good indication of when this bike was created.

  4. That black hole wheel was commercially available, although only about 150 were made if I remember right. The were produced by Paul Lew. I still have mine and the matching frame of which only a couple were made.

  5. I’ve seen bicycles made to go as fast as possible, rules be damned, and they look nothing like that. An unfaired lowracer would be faster than that bike, as would a full fairing upright, but upright bikes always have a significant penalty in the form of wind facing surface area.

What do you think?