At a time when cycling brands are continually joining forces and fusing their styles, it's easy to tire of collaborations and co-titled race teams. Marketing strategies replace a genuine desire to further design ideas and promote the full gas fun we can have racing – win or lose. But an honest meeting of minds will always stand out – where you can see and feel genuine respect between two brands, where a whole new entity is born – not just a short-lived collaboration gaining social kudos and keyboard applause.
This might be the birth of a new race team. But the revolutionary idea of harmony is our major goal. Led by the like-minded leaders of both brands, John Polson and Darren Baum, the unity begins at home – both Black Sheep Cycling and BAUM are born and bred Australian. Proudly so. Something unique in itself. We also share the same philosophy and speak the same language. Black Sheep are 'Dedicated to being Different'. Baum believe you should 'Ride your own Race'.
It’s cliche as all hell but steel is actually still real. Other materials still have their virtues, only the steel Essence model speaks to the bicycle that formed the very foundation of Baum Cycles. In the same way Black Sheep have gone about a process of continual improvement on their original apparel construction and design, so have Baum with the Essence. Darren’s classic 90s steel now blends contemporary custom dropouts and stainless fittings with a state of the art custom fit. All the while tailored tubing selections retain the classic ride quality with the in-house paint meticulously crafted to very same exacting standards as every other Baum. Here is a machine where pleasure and performance need not be mutually exclusive.
Built from scratch, with brand new fabrics, fit and detail. From summer to winter, the team is outfitted with Black Sheep’s latest developments. They will be the first to use Black Sheep’s Light Asteroid 2.0 fabric, the beautifully soft base fabric in the team's jersey. The team's bibs are a brand new prototype from Black Sheep's Woolshed. A reimagined short with a centre thigh panel for added support, and our just-released 'Perfect Pad'. And to battle what Nick Squillari calls the "Arctic Melbourne Winter", all riders will be repping the brand new Elements winter range.
The harmony of this collaborative partnership extends to the philosophy of it being one team, which includes men and women, not a men's and women's team. Same kit. Same bikes. Same sponsors. Same meticulous attention to detail. Individual goals maybe, but a shared passion for racing bicycles, a need for speed, and a commitment to not to utter the words watts per kilo nor take yourself too seriously. Other than the matching Giro Helmets, Oakley Sunnies and VeloKicks that is!