Australian custom bike builder Baum launched its new titanium frame, the corretto, at an unlikely venue last week: the Volvo stand at the Melbourne Motor Show.
The corretto features individually butted tubes throughout the frame. This includes the chainstays and seatstays, and even the headtube and bottom bracket shell are CNC machined to be thinner in low stress areas, and thicker in welded areas, according to designer and framebuilder Darren Baum.
That’s an unusual feature in a titanium frame. While thinning down the tubes produces unarguable weight savings it’s a time-consuming and expensive process. Butted tubes are therefore rare on less expensive titanium frames, and a corretto with fork and Tune Bobo headset will set you back a cool AU$6,995 (about GBP3,250 or US$6,500 at current rates).
Darren Baum thinks it’s worth the effort. “The idea of butting each tube to rider specification is really the ultimate expression of our commitment to custom frames and a demonstration of our in-house butting capability and CAD design,” he says.
“It really came about because customers who already had one of our ristretto titanium frames were looking for that bit extra in terms of ride quality and weight reduction. As soon as the first frames were delivered, we were amazed at the feedback we got in terms of ride quality and overall performance. From that point onwards we’ve been pushing to make the corretto part of our regular model range.”
The frame’s name is a tongue-in-cheek reference to coffee, following Baum’s naming theme; a corretto is an espresso ‘corrected’ with a shot of grappa.
“If you’ve ever drunk grappa, you’ll remember it for a while afterwards,” says Baum. “We wanted to make a frame that would be just as memorable, but was a little easier on the legs, and on the head!”
But what was Baum doing launching the bike at a car show?
“Volvo have supported cycling over a long period, and have worked us over the last four years,” says Baum. “Launching the bike at the Motor Show seemed like the natural thing to do, and a good way to say thank you to Volvo for their support.”