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The oversized steel racing bicycle is something of an anachronism, born after materials like aluminum and carbon began to take over the professional peloton. Still, it remains one of our favorite frame construction methodologies, immensely stiff, yet springy and forgiving, a sprinting platform that encourages the pilot to mash the gas pedal harder with unmatched liveliness thanks to enormously thin tube walls. The Ristretto is Baum's 21st century ferrous offering, their distinctly Australian response to the overbuilt steel bike, an amalgamation of Columbus, Reynolds, and Dedacciai butted tubing, selected based on the rider's fit and preferences. The ultimate steel race bike, finished with Baum's famously fanatical attention to detail and stunning paint? Indeed.

The Ristretto comes with an added bonus: It's Baum's gateway drug, the most affordable of their racing bicycles. While heavier than its titanium siblings, the Corretto and Cubano, it features full anti-corrosion treatment and stainless seat/chainstays, making it suitable for duty in poor conditions where one would normally avoid taking a steel bike. It features the same scalloped chainstays of its titanium relatives as well, adding an additional spring to its foot, and maintaining aesthetic consistency across the line. The Ristretto comes in a dizzying array of colors in Baum's legendary autosport-inspired GT paint schemes, a decision process we collaborate with Baum and the client to create the most stunning expression possible of the rider.

A simple testament to the legitimacy of Baum's steel weapon? Of all our bikes, the one with the most miles on it is the Ristretto.