This weekend is the 113th edition of the men’s Paris-Roubaix, and the second women’s event. The cobbled classic took place last in October of 2021, due to a rescheduling as a result of COVID-19. Wout van Aert will not be riding, so most people will look to Mathieu van der Poel or perhaps Amstel Gold winner Michal Kwiatkowski to spoil the show. In the women’s race, defending champ Lizzie Deignan, Marianne Vos or on-form Marta Cavalli. could could take the win but don’t rule out Canadian Alison Jackson as a wild card. Canada’s Guillaume Boivin is another rider who must be excited to have another go at the Hell of the North, given his fantastic ride in 2021.
Nowadays, bikes are relatively more straightforward for the race. Chainring and cassette choice is tinkered with, or bar tape and wheels, and there are still special bikes unveiled. This year, some riders will be able to regulate their tires on the fly.
But in years past, there were some radical bike choices. Legend has it that in the old days, mechanics bemoaned the weekend as riders would have so many requests, from double bar tape or prototypical suspension forks that would require last minute tinkering.
Here’s a list of some of the wild rides of yesteryear.
1. Gilbert Duclos-Lasalles’s RockShox
In 1992 and 1993, the French rider and teammate of TdF winner Greg Lemond, would use suspension forks to take the win. Although he was not the only one to do so, he […]