The new 'Australian made'
Bicycle envy in Victoria
When winner of the 2011 Tour de France, Australian Cadel Evans, mentions you in his book, Close to Flying, you must be doing something right. Darren Baum, of Baum Bikes in Geelong, Victoria, has made a couple of bikes for Evans. Though “made” is an understatement.
Considered one of the top 10 bicycle makers in the world, Baum designs and engineers, fits for bio-dynamics and constructs each individual bike frame. He even paints and details frames according to clients' wants (the quirkiest example being when a client handed over a sock by British clothes designer, Paul Smith, for inspiration). His road bike models, which start at around 7,000 Australian dollars, are named after coffee typestyles – cafes being the universal place for riders to meet – including Ristretto, a short shot of espresso, and Cortado, espresso with a small dash of warm milk. His mountain and touring bikes have names equally as quirky.
Trained in aircraft maintenance and welding, Baum turned to bikes after his career as an elite level cyclist was ruined when he was injured in a car accident. This sparked his interest in how biomechanics and bike design could be used to increase cycling performance.
He sold his first commercial, custom-made frame in 1996 and he has been on a roll ever since, making and selling his hand-made bicycles to cyclists in Australia and overseas.
Each bike's chainstay is etched with the phrase, "Handcrafted in Australia".