Bespoke Builds - Zio's Baum Corretto

By: Brandon Nov 14

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Above Category spends plenty of time gracing our pages, and rightfully so. This Baum Coretto deserves every last glance it gets, though it may not get the attention it deserves. You see, this Corretto has a mate at home, which we featured in Volume 10. Yes, you got that right, Zio has built two absolutely stunning Baum frames into some of the best riding bikes on the planet.

Clearly the paint screams, yet somehow by the touch of Baum, it's not overwhelming. How that is, I have no idea. But the way Baum has mixed in the touches of black along with the bare titanium on the rear, the contrast somehow keeps this bike from going over the top.

Built with nothing less than Shimano's top-tier Dura-Ace 9070 Di2 and ENVE Smart 6.7 wheels, the complete bike is something of a dream build. A painted-to-match ENVE stem and seatpost keeps everything tied together.

It's almost as if Above Category is in some sort of challenge we aren't privy to. Like they've decided that each build they do has to go slightly further over the top than the last. Take it to another level. Kudos to these guys, they are killing it right now.

photos by Above Category and words by Brandon Elliott


Hands On: Fizik's 2015 Road Shoes

By: Brandon Nov 11

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Today we were lucky enough to take delivery of a number of samples from Fizik's 2015 line up. Road and mountain shoes, road saddles, and even a "29er specific" saddle".

Up first we're going to eyeball the road shoes, we have the Men's R3B Uomo, Men's R5B Uomo, and Women's R5B Donna.

Each of these were sent to us with one thing very much in common: Boa. Fizik started their shoe line touting their sail cloth straps, which I was personally very much a fan of, but not everyone is me, right or wrong.

First, some specs:

Men's R3B Uomo: 265g (size 42.5), Microtex laser perforated upper, UD Carbon Fiber sole, $300 MSRP USD

Men's R5B Uomo: 270g (size 42.5), Microtex upper with reflective heel cap, Carbon Reinforced Nylon sole, $185 MSRP USD

Women's R5B Uomo: 225g (size 38), Microtex upper with reflective heel cap, Carbon Reinforced Nylon sole, $185 MSRP USD

As with everything from Fizik, the finish is top-notch, all the way through the line. While I find myself in love with laces currently, soon enough I'll have some on-the-bike impressions of Fizik's footwear and their last shape.

I scored some of Fizik's Gen 1 shoes a few years ago. Made of kangaroo leather, they were probably the softest uppers I have ever touched to this day, cycling shoes or otherwise. But the fit was very narrow and the sizing was a bit off, so they spent more time being ogled than pedaled. Fizik has made some changes, done some updates, and they're using some new materials.

Fortunately Fizik has stuck with the sail cloth straps on some of their shoes. Lightweight and incredibly strong, that feature remains one of my favorite touches. They have done away with the kangaroo upper and have gone to a synthetic Microtex, which should allow much better ventilation.

Stay tuned for a lot more to come from Fizik's new gear.

photos and words by Brandon Elliott


Bespoke Builds - Parlee CX with 9070 Di2

By: Brandon Nov 10

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Velosmith certainly isn't unfamiliar with the pages of Embrocation, but this one belongs to Tony, the guy fitting up some of the most beautifully understated bikes on the road. More amazing than just this custom build is that it's going on it's 3rd season of CX racing. Back from a refresh from Parlee and off of a dirty gravel ride, Tony let me nab his bike long enough for some quick pictures.

Built with nothing less than Shimano's top-tier Dura-Ace 9070 Di2 and ENVE Smart 3.4 wheels. A full ENVE cockpit keeps it tidy and matching perfectly.

This is one hell of a build coming out of one hell of a shop. If you're ever around the northern suburbs of Chicago, Velosmith is a can't miss stop.

photos and words by Brandon Elliott


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