This is my new Baum Corretto!! This is a little write-up about my experience and a review of how it rides:
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I first saw a Baum at a bike show in Melbourne and was amazed with how they look. I had always liked the thought of a Titanium bike, as I had read reviews and comparisons of different bikes and materials.
Over the last couple of years I have got back into cycling and have slowly built my fitness. I've been riding my Giant OCR C2 and as my fitness improved, I realised the shortcomings of the bike for the type of riding I was doing. So, it was time to upgrade. I didn't just like the Baum because it was titanium, I could also choose the components, wheels, colour and because it is custom; I could choose how it rode.What I asked for
From the beginning I knew I wanted a Corretto with Super Record and all other details would come. I had a great day at the Baum factory when I went for my bike fit. Nick took me through everything, coffee, bike fit, factory tour, talking paint with Jared and finalising geometry with Darren.
I told Nick and Darren I wanted a bike I could race and discussed my riding style with Darren. When I was younger and lighter I was a strong climber, I'm not at that level anymore but it's coming back, so I wanted something that could climb. Due to my mountain bike experience, I'm a good descender and wanted this bike to be fast down hill. After Darren made some adjustments to the bikeCAD, he said 'this is going to be a Rocket'. I left there after about five hours with the feeling I was going to get everything I had hoped for.The pick-up
The bike was fully built and ready about two weeks before my pick-up date. I've been working in Malaysia, so I couldn't get it early and only had the Flickr pics to look at. I couldn't believe the photos looked exactly as the colours I had planned with Jared a month earlier. Nick told me that all the visitors to the factory were all drooling over it and that everyone at Baum was really happy with how it turned out.
After flying back home to Australia and waiting for a couple of days, it was finally pick-up day. I arrived in the morning and Nick took me around to see my bike. I was shocked and amazed to finally see it, although the photos look great, it is truly beautiful in the flesh. I put my gear on and had my first ride; my first impression was that it really accelerates quickly.How it rides
Each time I ride it, I appreciate something else about it and my muscles are still coming to terms with my new riding position. Though, in short, it is exactly what I wanted it to be. I will try my best to describe how it rides, I may not use the right words, but hopefully you can understand what I'm getting at.
The Corretto is very stiff and responsive; after a few stomps on the cranks, the bike surges forward and accelerates rapidly, with a different sensation to my carbon, aluminium and chromoly bikes of the past; I guess this is the titanium springiness people talk about. This springiness really makes you want to power around every corner and every hill you can find.
The Corretto climbs hills better than any bike I've ridden before. Of course this is a combination of a good bike fit, geometry and weight, but it is also just what I wanted. It is very easy to find a good rhythm when seated and standing and I haven't yet been searching for a lower gear that is not there.
The reason I look forward to climbing hills with the Corretto is because it usually means there is a down hill coming. As Darren predicted it is a Rocket down hill. I have done rolling comparisons next to a couple of other bikes and have either rolled away easily or had to drag the brakes to stay next to them. On a couple of hills I have ridden regularly on my previous bike, my max. speed on the Corretto has been about 10km/h faster.
On my Corretto you steer using telepathy. Although this means it sometimes requires concentration on rough roads, at all other times it will go where I want, as hard as I want and usually before I have made a conscious decision to go there. I really just look where I want to go and use my body, no hand steering required. So far my max has been 79km/h, which I was shocked to find after my ride, because it didn't stiffen up, it's balanced and nimble at all speeds. Specs
Baum Corretto, with GTR paint
Campagnolo Super Record groupset, with Titanium Ultra-Torque Carbon Crankset
3T seatpost, stem, bars, bar tape and forks
Enve 65/45 carbon clincher wheels and DT hubs
Selle Italia SLR Kit Carbonio saddle
Chris King headset
Weight: 6.84kg, without pedals
I wanted to write this review for anyone else considering a Baum. At Baum, titanium is not just an alternative material to the modern carbon bikes; it can be whatever you want it to be. Mine is a seriously fast and beautiful racer, where people notice how good it looks before they realise it's titanium. For me the cost was worth it for getting exactly what I wanted. I've looked at titanium in the past, but this time I didn't even bother to consider any other brand/make. I did not want titanium and consider a Baum, I got titanium because I wanted a Baum.
The guys at Baum were professional, friendly, relaxed, patient and helpful. Darren really knows a lot about bike geometry and is a great welder. Nick gave me great advice on components and took me though the whole journey of getting the Baum. Jared's advice and paint work has really finished it off beautifully and it is exactly as planned. Thanks to all at Baum for creating my beautiful bike, I love it!!!