We've always had an affinity for titanium bikes. Not only is the performance and ride quality like nothing else, but the longevity of a frame built from Ti is truly unmatched. It's durable and repairable, it doesn't corrode, and unlike most other materials, it will ride just the same in twenty years as it did the day it was built. In a world full of consumerism and disposability, we really love getting people excited about frames that can last a lifetime.
So for this week, we're thrilled to share a bike that's been put through the ringer, and with a fresh coat of paint and an updated drivetrain, is as good as any brand new rig. One of our first ever Baum Corretto builds came back for a breath of new life.
A Look at the Before
Let's start things off by taking a look at the bike in it's original form. We built this bike back in 2013 and it was one of our earliest Baum projects. It had a stealthy matte black finish with tasteful pops of color in the pink and blue stripes. It was built with a mechanical Campagnolo Super Record 11 speed drive train and a pair of Lightweight Meilenstein wheels. Clearly a show stopper in its own right, and has since been one of our most referenced Baum builds.
After many rides up and down the California coast line, frequent SF2G commute rides, and regular riding around here in Marin, the bike had been put through its paces. Our rider still had a ton of love for it, but after all those years of heavy use it was in need of some real TLC. The Super Record drivetrain had severely been worn out, the paint was getting a little worse for wear, and it just felt ready to freshen things up. The paint could have been touched up, but since the bike was getting torn apart anyway, it seemed like a prime time to send it back to Baum for a repaint.
A Subtle Makeover
Honestly, the original paint design was so good that the new version was only a mild update. The pink and blue stripes remained while the base color was changed to a lighter metallic matte gray. He loved the original black, but has another black on black bike in the stable. He felt it'd be good to lighten it up and have some contrast to his other steed. A subtle change, resulting in a stunning refresh.
A Shift to AXS
The biggest change to the bike was a major shift in drivetrain systems. After years and years of riding mechanical Campagnolo, our rider finally felt it was time to give in and see what electronic shifting was all about. The bike would be moving into the wireless era, so we also had Baum remove the original cable guides to clean up the look.With all that done, the bike was rebuilt with a Sram Red AXS kit. Long legs need longer cranks, so we went with 177.5 arms to pair with the 50/37 Quarq power meter spider. At the rear, a tight range 10-26t cassette. So how has he liked the switch?
"I've been riding Campy since 2012; I was deeply suspicious of electronic, probably same reason people rave about manuals vs automatic. Campy is beautiful, but it is not forgiving - meaning if anything is slightly out of whack, it needs attention (like anything Italian!). After every single person I know raved about electronic for years, I decided to give it a try...the thing that sticks out most is that I shifted 3x as much. Because it's so easy, quick and precise, there's really no 'cost' to shifting – no skipped gears."
The Campagnolo Skeleton brakes were great. The new Sram Red calipers are too. But this rebuild needed something a little more special. EE calipers were just the ticket.
Our rider made some slight tweaks to his position over time, we we updated the cockpit to match. We switched to a zero offset seatpost and updated the front end to all Enve as well. All of which got treated to Baum's incredible paint work.
Once you get a taste for riding on Lightweight Melienesteins, it can be hard to ride anything else. With everything else getting a refresh, we thought it was time to step up to the newer, wider 24 Schwarz Editions. Light and snappy, and feel plenty smooth with a pair of Vittoria Corsa tubulars glued up.
As you could imagine, this project had a number of our favorite finishing touches. Ceramicspeed Pulleys and bottom bracket keep the bike spinning drag free. An EE compression plug to shave a bit of weight at the front end. A Prova X AC titanium seat collar keeps the post secure. Last but not least, color matched donuts for the brake line. Nothing overlooked!
Transformation complete, a Baum reborn. To be honest, it's hard to call this refresh an upgrade as its original state was about as good as it gets. Regardless, we think this makeover turned out absolutely spectacular and we're excited to see this near decade old frame modernized for another ten years.
For us, this proves just how valuable an investment a handbuilt titanium frame really is. These bikes are built to last a lifetime. With a periodic finish and drivetrain refresh, they just keep on going.
Ready to get on a titanium forever bike of your own? Give us a call, it'd be our truest pleasure to help you make it happen.