It’s one thing to visit a frame builder’s operations but it’s another to actually get to ride bikes with them. When I say “ride”, I mean max heart rate, dripping sweat, leg-cramping, trail chasing.
After FYXO and I visited Darren at Baum Cycles, he invited us to go ride their local trails at the You Yangs Regional Park. The You Yangs are quite the locale. Along the mostly flat countryside between Melbourne and Geelong, rises this abrupt hill range. The You Yangs is a dense trail system nestled inside that range.
While most of the trail is manicured – like, they cemented rocks into the ground and put down pavé in some switchbacks – a lot of it is natural, snaking switchbacks through the flood plains. Nothing was too technical, so my loaner Yeti was total overkill with its high riding position and sluggish climbing posture. The few moments I could smash down a trail, it was over within seconds and we were back to the ups and downs where XC bikes reigned supreme.
Baum makes bikes for their local trails. Slammed, long (by today’s standards) stems, 100 or 120mm travel forks and a zippy geometry make their Extensa and Exserta titanium frames perfect for XC riding or racing.
Both Ryan and Darren are incredibly fit, although both will deny their fitness and all I can say is that I really earned my meat pie finish…
We ended with 20 miles and 2,000′ of elevation. Not a large ride by any means, but it was a lot of fun seeing these frames get thrashed!