Ah yes, remember the days of old when, inspired by the introduction of mountain bike suspension, a new train of thought on how to tackle the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix was born.
And probably none was as outlandish as the custom Eddy Merckx that was built for team Motorola rider Steve Bauer that was just a few degrees off from a laidback recumbent position. The Canadian star was a big, muscular rider and the thought was to put a different kind of muscle group to work for the Hell of The North. As his Wiki page reads…”For his 1993 Paris-Roubaix campaign, he had a bike built by the Merckx factory with “an extreme rearward seat position” to test his theory that it would “engage the quadriceps more efficiently” and with it “more power to the pedals”. He failed to make the top ten (finishing over 4 minutes behind the winner in 23rd place and never rode the bike again.
Not much is known about the bike, or it’s whereabouts today, but there the following is taken from a page on RetroBike …
With its slack seat tube, long top tube and short stem the bike was eerily prescient of what would one day become standard enduro mountain bike geometry.