The titanium and steel frames produced by Baum Cycles are now considered some of Australia’s finest, enjoying a highly regarded and desired reputation. A mutual appreciation of the work of Darren Baum and his team brought me into contact with Richard Gearing, so I could photograph his own brand new Baum Corretto.
After missing each other for a couple of weeks due to Sydney’s inclement weather, Richard and I were finally able to meet. We rendezvoused outside the brand new extension to Australia’s Museum of Contemporary Art, underneath an electronic artwork by Brook Andrew. The ultra-modern media and Aboriginal designs seemed an appropriate setting.
Rich extensively documented his acquisition of the Corretto on his blog and the visit he made to the factory in Geelong, Victoria, for the fitting. Darren is more inspired than most when it comes to bio-mechanics: when he was 17 he was hit by a speeding car which, while cutting short a burgeoning professional cycling career, inspired him to study how a better tailored bike can improve performance.
The Corretto is Baum’s ultimate titanium road-faring weapon and Rich requested Shimano’s Dura-Ace Di2 components, marrying technology and performance. A pair of Mad Fiber tubular wheels match the highly evolved groupset, making for a feather-light yet highly robust contact point with the tarmac.
The tubbys are hauled up by a set of calipers by EE Cycle Works that are both a wonder of engineering and machining. Cork pads have been installed and will both protect the braking surface while providing the best possible grip.
The skills of another Victorian was conscripted to provide the finishing touch to the build — Mick Peel of Busyman Bicycles. Like Darren, Mick is also the master of his art and created two rolls of custom leather bar tape. There’s a purple layer that is visible through the perforation which, along with the stitching, is a perfect complement to the frame’s purple panels.
I’d like to extend a special thanks to Richard for his time and allowing me to photograph his new Corretto. If you’d like to see more photos from the shoot, head to The Spoken Facebook page for the whole album. Darren and the team at Baum Cycles can be contacted through their website.