FLIP THIS BIKE We’re slightly ashamed in admitting that when it comes to an off-the-rack carbon bike, we have a habit of selling it at the end of the season for the sake of the next year’s model. It’s wasteful. It’s tacky. And it reinforces the culture of conspicuous consumption we try to eschew, an inelegant lifestyle littered with lost memories and emotions. The antithesis of that philosophy is why we love bikes from Baum Cycles, of Geelong, Australia.
Instead of sending a Baum to the Styxian Craigslist torrent, we ship it Down Under for a new lease on life: A repaint. This Baum Ristretto, a careful assembly of steel tubing from Dedacciai, Columbus, and Reynolds, started life as a greyscale bike, bedecked in a SRAM Red groupset. Now, an update.
Originally, this Ristretto’s patron was enamored with our house “Belgian Baum”
, a Duck Egg Blue riff on the tricolor of the aforementioned Low Country, and asked for an identical scheme. But, Baum was Baum, and they upped the stakes, sending over a paint mock that gave us both Belgian and Mondrian vibes with a brighter Sky Blue motif. The result? Quintessentially colorful with a nod to the Flandriens who do battle beneath steel grey skies every Spring.
Alternating red and yellow panels belie the normally two-color Baum GTX paint scheme, accented by crimson Chris King bits. It fits the character of the Ristretto, a no-holds-barred steel race bike designed for stiffness under intense efforts without surrendering compliance on longer rides.
Just as the Ristretto’s patina slid from a working man’s pickup truck to a flashy sports car, the group went from SRAM’s straight-function Red group to Campagnolo’s ornate Super Record mechanical. The only part of the groupset to carry over? eeCycleworks’ peerless brakeset.
Corima’s new 47mm WS rims hold the Ristretto up, offering the best ride of any carbon rim we’ve tried, and now with a modern, wider profile. French carbon at its finest.
Not ones to overlook details during a respray, we’ve swapped all the normally-black bits over to hues of red, from the cable housings to CeramicSpeed pulleys, and of course, Chris King in cardinal.
The Sky Blue field is perfectly set off by white cockpit accents, with Selle SMP supplying the saddle and fi’zi:k tape wrapping a deep-drop traditional bend Cyrano 00 bar.
Want to discover what it’s like to own a bicycle you’ll want to repaint instead of reselling? Drop us a line.