We are happy to announce that we recently had a great write up in the December 2012 issue of Bicycling which covered the Baum Corretto (in the below photograph) that we built for Joe Lindsey. Unfortunately the article was limited in how long it could be so Joe didn’t have the space to talk about the ordering or building process. This will easily be rectified in our next post but for this one we just wanted to include the article that Joe wrote for Bicycling which you will find below.
Enjoy the piece and check back soon for more pictures of the build process. Lastly, we’d like to thank Joe Lindsey and all the folks at Bicycling for making this project so enjoyable!
The following is the excerpt taken from the December 2012 issue of Bicycling Magazine and was written by Joe Lindsey.
“Darren Baum’s exquisite frame-building skill is apparent the moment you lay eyes on the Corretto and take in the beautiful GT-R paint scheme that extends hand-laid pinstriping from the frame to the stem and post. But even with its beauty, I needed a few rides to fully appreciate its way with the road.
While slugging my way up a local climb, another rider (on a Serotta Ottrott, no less) chased me down and wasted valuable breath to ask, “Who makes that bike?”
“Baum—a small handmade builder from Australia,” I replied in brief, for want of the breath required to delve into the specifics. Not that I needed to: the bike—to its rider and others—speaks for itself.
Darren Baum was a top-level roadie and dabbling framesmith in Geelong when a car accident left him with an injured spine. In recovery, he tried various geometries to compensate for the damage to his back—vacillating between steeper and slacker seat angles, gaining a deep understanding of how geometry affects handling. He opened his shop in 1996, and bases his designs on the understanding that steering comes from the interface between the rider and the saddle and pedals. These lessons helped him to craft a bike that proved to be a batshit descender.
Batshit? On one technical descent near Boulder, I regularly go as fast as 52 mph. On the Corretto, my Garmin recorded a top speed of 59 mph as the ti frame’s ride granted me incredible traction at the apex of each turn. I’ve never whipped faster through those switchbacks; not on aero bikes, not with a tailwind, not ever.
Achieving that kind of handling in a custom bike requires a leap of faith—you have to trust in both the builder’s skill with a torch, and in his ability to manipulate geometry—a rare alchemy that Baum possesses. Marin County’s Above Category shop is the U.S. importer. My order began with a long conversation with AC founder Chad Nordwall, after which I sent him basic measurements—my own and my bike’s.
For the Corretto (Italian for “correct”), Baum uses straight-gauge 3Al/2.5V seamless titanium tubes, which are then custom-butted to match the rider’s size, weight, and riding style. The chainstays are shaped for stiffness, coming to sharp, flattened points at the dropouts; the TIG welds feature delicate, precise scallops.
The bike is an ethereal climber, even better than its 15.3-pound weight would suggest. Low gearing helps, but the impressive blend of stiffness and comfort makes the bike a pleasure to point uphill, even when I’m not feeling my best. A great bike is not one that uses a strange fit to apologize for your balky back, or tries to disguise through technology that you don’t ride enough; it’s one that challenges and inspires you to improve. The Corretto is such a bike.—Joe Lindsey”
Price: $16,000, as tested; $7,400, frame, fork and Chris King headset
Weight: 15.3 lb.
Frame: Butted 3Al/2.5V titanium
Fork: Enve 2.0 carbon fiber
Component Highlights: Campagnolo Super Record drivetrain and brakes; Enve Smart System 3.4 clincher wheels with DT Swiss 180 hubs, seatpost, and stem; Zipp Service Course SL handlebar; Fi’zi:k Antares saddle (recovered in Kangaroo leather by Busyman of Australia; Vittoria Corsa EVO CX tires; Busyman handmade Kangaroo Leather bar tape
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