by Todd Knight
When I saw that Lightweight had produced a limited edition set of wheels – Obermayer Gold Ed – I knew I had to have them. The wheels were produced to celebrate the work of the founder of Lightweight – Heinz Obermayer – and limited to 99 sets worldwide. They were the trademark Lightweight. Carbon spokes, high flange carbon on premium Obermayer hub and lurid gold detailing. I wanted them.
The sight of the Obermayer Gold Ed wheels brought back memories of the first time I laid eyes on my friends Lotus 79 race car, of traveling in the back of my parents 1980s BMW JPS 3-series, seeing Jim Richards race his BMW around Bathurst. A picture started to form in my head of a bike that would suit these wheels to a tee. I’ve had quite a few sets of wheels in my time and there is no question a set of Lightweight tubulars have been the benchmark wheel for the past 15 years.
I called Darren Baum and the ball was rolling. I knew he was the place to start.
Darren called me about 45 minutes later. Darren had been on the phone to Glen from Bespoke Cycles – the Australian importer for CarbonSports Lightweight. He had secured me 07/99. Glen had seen my previous two bikes and was interested in us producing a bike to go to Eurobike – to be on the CarbonSports Lightweight stand. The show brings together the greatest bicycle and component manufacturers in the world in Germany each year to showcase their new products and their best wares. I was honoured to have my bike as one of three bikes on their stand!
My first thought was to go really out there. Darren and I instantly started brainstorming ideas about what we can do for a design to build a bike around them. We toyed with building a super weightweenie bike, something like the new era of bikes, aero brakes hidden in forks or behind bottom brackets, etc. I considered what I wanted to ride, what I had seen at previous Eurobike show exhibitors – My mind raced with ideas!
Darren and I met at the factory. We put down all the ideas we had and started to up all the options. If you know Darren, you know he does not come to an idea without weighing up all options and running through every ideas pros and cons with you. I had a few simple requests. New Campagnolo Super Record EPS – with a twist, Lightweight Obermayer Gold Ed wheels, not too fussy, and ride like a dream – something I know Baum Cycles do so well.
The part that attracted me to Baum Cycles was that they work with you to develop a perfect fit, so when people ask me about riding a Baum, I don’t say the cliché stuff, I say “It *just* fits. Everywhere.” Which means it rides perfect for me with everything in reach, plus room to climb out of the saddle, sprint and be comfortable for long periods in the saddle.
With Lightweight on board, it was important the wheels popped. I wanted to keep it simple to make them the primary focus. I like the paint designs Baum offer; and I wanted Campagnolo Super Record EPS because I feel it is the best. I didn’t want the battery and the DPI interface to be seen. We had a prototype of the battery & DPI interface put into a bar and stem combo, but it was a compromise on what we were going for with appearance, so it was shelved. Instead, Baum worked up a new approach with the DPI unit inside the bar and the interface light visible under the head stem; the battery was placed in front of the bottom bracket shell to minimise the clutter and lower the centre of gravity.
The other must have for the design was to have BusyMan Cycles recover my favourite saddle and matching beautiful leather bar tape with a fine gold stripe to suit the frame and wheels. Mick is a true craftsman, and a gentleman; he went to work on making something special.
Once again I’m thrilled with how Baum has brought together these special wheels and wrapped a bike around them which oozes the style and quality I’ve come to know and love.