A lot of weird crap has shown up on bikes at Roubaix over the years.
I’ve heard apocryphal tales that Rock Shox’ “Ruby” moniker for its 700c fork was based on Greg Lemond’s inability to pronounce “Roubaix”. And Pieri’s Headshok in ‘03 might have been less about protecting him from the banging of the cobbles than protecting the bike from his noteworthy bulk.
Full suspension’s had its day on the stones, too, from Bianchi’s 27lb fully-sprung monstrosity to slightly more reasonable designs found under Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle in the early 90’s. Trek had a dalliance with elastomer pucks and commuter forks, but we know how that movie ends.
For my money, though, it’s tough to get uglier than Steve Bauer’s customized 1993 rig (above) which, with its 67-degree seat-tube and outrageous chainstays, looks to be frozen in a state of perpetual collapse.
Since the mid-aughts, though, cooler (or more brand-conscious) heads have prevailed, and it’s rare to see more nod to the battering of the pave than ‘cross bikes, some brake mods, fat tires, and more clearance.