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So far it’s a solo ride.

Bike of the Week: Drew Hartman

Anthony Little |

ed. note: Today, a special guest contributor, our esteemed service manager Michael Webber.


Every few weeks we get a supply of Baum frames, and virtually every time they get unwrapped there are the close examinations, the oohs and aahs, and the subsequent satisfaction of another batch of beauties. We always know roughly what they’re going to look like before they make the trek across the Pacific from Geelong, but they just aren’t the same in a digital rendering as they are in the flesh. Imagination only goes so far.

But this one? We knew what this one was going to look like. The design was inspired by some hot-shit BMW livery. I don’t follow car aesthetics that closely myself, and the word "livery” just makes me think of NYC taxi cabs, but there was no disappointment after the reveal. Bottom line, this thing was going to be stunning built up, replete with the head badge striping and AC-Racing Baum painted details.

It says a lot that someone like Drew Hartman, who wrenches in his own premier bike shop in Kentucky, chose us to build his latest machine. Needless to say, he knows a thing or two about bikes. Drew follows the AC Journal and has noticed a lot of our builds coming with the fantastically light and powerfully actuated and modulated eeCycleworks brakes. He had opted for a full Super-Record build, so the ee brakes would compliment the spec nicely. Pairing these with a set of Boras provides some of the finest braking performance out there. Precision fit and attention to detail—those are the source of my personal ooh's and aah’s. I love that Campagnolo designs consumables to accommodate alternative brands.

But Drew is a particular kind a guy. He’s got some traditional interests and I can respect that: Mazel tof! Tradition used to have it that a gruppo was a complete package for every component in a bike build, from headset to hubs, to skewers and adapter clamps, etc. He had already made that investment in Super-Record and sitting on the fence is something he doesn’t do. Nearly the moment after the ee brakes were installed Drew got off the pot; change-order made. I'm half Italian, I'll happily accommodate. eeBrakes off, Super-Record on. It is a mere 76g weight penalty for the highest end Campagnolo caliper against the lightweight ee brakes. But Drew, ever a wise man, realizes the reality that "weight penalties" exist in the physiology of the rider themselves.

Not to be outdone by any perceived unoriginality with the build being too “stock”, Drew requested we knock out the paramount Chris King headset and replace it with another hallmark of smooth: the seminal Campagnolo Record headset. Brand correct.

The exceptionality about Drew and his choice of build parts for his dream bicycle continues. He supplied his own saddle—actually saddle selections, leaving it up to us for which to use. His choice is the fizik Aliante, a specific model not easily sourced now. One in black, one in white, old graphics and old padding. The comfort difference from the new models are really what Drew prefers. We found the white logo tape matched this best. Nice touch with the electric blue accent.

We can't wait to see the look on his face when he sees it in person! For the time being he'll have to share and let everyone enjoy this beauty by the sea.

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