Last week, we showed a Baum Corretto handmade titanium bicycle with Campagnolo parts. I got a bit of flak for the saddle bag, which I do agree has no place in a bicycle of this caliber. So we decided to show you another one this week.
I also had the pleasure of riding this particular example for close to 2500km, and got to know it quite well. This Baum is also custom made for the same rider who owned the other handmade bicycles we have shown here so far. Though in his mind last week’s Corretto was almost perfect, he kept being troubled by the creaking bottom bracket, something which can be irritating when putting power to the pedal, but mostly a minor annoyance. So with this new build, made in 2017, the bottom bracket was specified as the standard English standard which features a threaded shell instead of the press fit one. During the time the bike spent with me, the bottom bracket was absolutely silent.
The rest of the frameset is largely similar to the former Corretto. The titanium frame comes with stainless steel chain stays which are enormous, and hence extremely stiff. The welding is top grade, aerospace quality, as some would say. And the paintwork outstanding. Baum is located in a suburb near Geelong, in Victoria, Australia.
Drivetrain components are again top of the line, but instead of Campagnolo, this time, Shimano’s top grade DuraAce 9000Di2 was specified. This is an electronic transmission kit, and works effortlessly and reliably. Unlike the EPS shown on last week’s Baum, the battery is slotted and hidden inside the seatpost. Battery performance is excellent, and I never had to recharge it once during the 2500km of service. The front chainring is the standard 53/39 while the back is 11-28. Ultra light Tune hubs are used. A CeramicSpeed Oversized Pulley Wheel System, with a huge 17 tooth jockey wheel is also installed. This is a very expensive upgrade option as the jockey wheel is not only oversized (the standard DuraAce jockey wheel has only 11 teeth) to improve efficiency, the bearings are also ceramic.
However, instead of the DuraAce brakeset, the rim brakes chosen was the eeBrakes by Crane Creek were installed. This is a very special brake set. Very lightweight, with very cool, highly engineered vibes. The braking power is superb. And the sensitivity of the brake as it engages to the touch is very soft but positive and with excellent modulation feel at the brake levers. Almost like the feel of a properly adjusted hydraulic disc brake set, though not quite.
Braking performance in the dry was excellent, as is rather the standard with the older Enve wheelset. But braking performance in the wet requires anticipation and a bit of luck. This is not atypical of carbon fibre wheelsets. And a positive point up for the use of disc brakes. Also, disc brakes do not wear out the rim, as the braking is done on steel discs which can be replaced when worn. Rims are also replaced when the brake tracks are worn, but a carbon wheelset is a rather expensive proposition.
The feel of the ride on this Corretto is pretty much similar to the other one, perhaps a bit stiffer, as this was specified during the build. Darren Baum built it with slightly larger chain stays. The ride on the Veloflex 25c tubular tyres were very smooth, compliant and very comfortable, even at 100psi.
Final note: Though I did not use a saddlebag for this bike, and opted to use my iPhone to take the photographs, I retained the use of my trusty Crankbrothers Eggbeater pedals. No apologies for that!
I hope you enjoyed the coverage of these handmade bicycles. The next episodes will cover the bicycle I actually do own. Not a handmade bicycle, but an industrially produced one – the Pinarello Dogma F10 with Fulcrum Racing Quattro Carbon wheelset and Shimano DuraAce 9100P.