At Baum the philosophy has always been one of 'ride your own race'. Whether our customers pushing for the sign post finish of a bunch ride, striving for a yearly kilometer goal or emptying themselves for the finish of an official event – we challenge ourselves and ride our own race.
It this drive that finds not only our Front of House, Ryan Moody, entering the World 24 Mountain Bike Championships but also the boss. Darren Baum. The frame builder whose name is on the bikes, who is now putting in some significant time on the dirt, took up the challenge – and on the 12th and 13th of October he will be lining up at Mount Stromlo in a Solo Open Mens Worlds 24 Hour World Championship race.
In preparation for this, Ryan and Darren have been been working hard on not only their fitness and conditioning but additionally on refining what bikes they are going to race. Darren's primary weapon of choice will be his 650B SRAM XX1 Extensa, rolling on Enve wheels and with a Quarq planned for the race and an upcoming 29'er as bike two.
The race length and light requirements make two bikes almost a requirement. But like all Baum customers, Darren had to put the new 29'er in the build list. No queue jumping, not even for the man behind the welding torch.
Ryan is choosing a slightly alternate approach. Both wheel size and gearing. An in-production 650B Exserta as his primary bike and current 26" Extensa as the back up will be his choices – which will be running on a single speed drive train.
As if racing any bike for 24 hours was not already hard enough! There is method behind this apparent madness though, as no gears will remove the chance of rear derailleur issues. It also means less weight.
This leaves the battle between the pair not only which wheel size handles the conditions better, but how much of a handicap (or advantage) single speed proves to be.
You can follow the progress of both Ryan and Darren on Strava. We can also confirm Darren has 'only' broken 2 ribs so far. It appeared that "they hurt a little" was his term for diagnostically broken ribs. The coming months could be very interesting…