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  • December 25, 2016
  • Baum, Reviews, Twelve Days

DAY TWELVE: THE HOLY TRINITY

It’s here. The final day of the Twelve Days of Breathtaking Builds. We’re hoping, at this stage, dear reader, that you’re brushing the scraps of wrapping paper from your pajamas, that you’ve successfully bandaged the grease burns on your arm from cooking a hot breakfast once a year, and that you’re sipping a hot cocoa, because the finale is worth sitting down for.

This year, Baum Cycles did something different. This is a big deal. When Baum changes something, it’s roughly within the same vein as a rewriting of the Catechism. It is, in short, picking apart doctrine and putting it back together again. Those of us who’ve gone through the Baum ordering process know how intensely particular about paint schemes the boys and girls in Geelong can be, so when they implement changes, we know it’s going to be quite thoroughly thought-out. In 2016, Baum Cycles updated the lavish Martini paint scheme. For those not in the know, Martini paint on a Baum is an intensely difficult embarkation. Every single pinstripe is painted, not decaled, and is painstaking applied in a laborious masking process. Each Martini takes over 30 man-hours to paint. Initially, when Baum released the design, it was available only in a classic white, and it didn’t matter who was asking, it was never going to be anything but white. Now, it’s available in three additional colors – blue, black, and grey, along with the original (and still stunning) white.

Today, we present our final Twelve Days of Breathtaking Builds entrant. Actually, three entrants. Three of Baum’s range-topping titanium Corretto bicycles, each wearing Martini attire in blue, black, and the original white.

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Originally worn on Porsche’s Le Mans racers, the venerated Martini paint design is one of the longest-standing racing liveries in the world. In Baum Cycles trim, it’s devastatingly over-the-top without accompanying ostentatious overtones.

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The darkest of our trio was built entirely with Campagnolo Record and Bora One hoops. Easily our choice for a mechanical shifting setup, executed flawlessly here.

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The blue Martini (Baum calls the color Duck Egg Blue, for reference) is dressed in SRAM Red eTap and custom Corima 32mm/DT Swiss 180 wheels. CeramicSpeed and fi’zi:k both pepper the build, along with eeCycleworks’ unmatched brakeset.

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Often, we’re asked why we use Shimano’s Dura-Ace skewers on nearly every build. They’re heavy. They run counter to our matchy-matchy sensibilities. And the aesthetic is polarizing. The answer to the contradiction is simple: Function. We haven’t found a QR skewer that secures a wheel with more confidence (and silence).

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Finally, we finished the blue Corretto with a THM Clavicula SRM powermeter mated to a PC8 headunit.

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The cherry on the Martini? The original homage to the classic Porsche 917 that wore the colors. Bright, brilliant white, highlighted by a deep crystal blue, with red and gold accents. Several years after this scheme was introduced (and after putting a couple together), this still remains near the top when it comes to our favorite Baum paintworks.

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Once more, eTap dresses a Corretto, and once more, eeCycleworks brakes provide stopping power. The last of SRM’s THM Clavicula cranks have made their way onto our builds this year – still likely the lightest crank-based powermeter available. Here, it spins freely on a Kogel ceramic BB.

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The rear derailleur changes gears with the help of CeramicSpeed’s new 3D-printed hollow titanium pulleys. Incredible little pieces.

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Corima again makes another appearance, but this time with their all-carbon MCC+ 47mm wheelset. Carbon spokes are bonded to the foamcore carbon rimset. Not only are the MCC+’s insatiably light, they’re also one of the stiffest wheels we’ve ridden, and thanks to the foam’s ability to dampen vibrations, they ride extremely well, too.

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The holy trinity, Baum-style, in all its glory. Each legendary in its own right, we’d be more than happy to swing a leg over any of these three.

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We’d like to thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for following along on our annual holiday extravaganza, the Twelve Days of Breathtaking Builds. But before we go, we’d like to introduce you to our own Christmas present – to ourselves.

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Meet Zora, our new fearless leader at nine-weeks-old. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us at Above Category!

NEXT JOURNAL

The Twelve Days of Breathtaking Builds: Day Eleven