At ADVNTR we love the big glossy bike shows, meeting up with the industry’s movers and shakers and so, so, many shiny things to catch our magpie-like eyes! The fact remains though that the very thing that gets us really excited, i.e. riding bikes, rarely happens. Bombtrack realise this and choose to unveil their new bikes at an annual event called Groundwork. What could be better than living and breathing bikes in the environment in which they were designed and tested?
Kürten is a village 30km East of Cologne, where Bombtrack are based. It’s home to the Landgut Breibach, a guest house nestled in a wooded valley and the basecamp for Groundwork. For a twenty year period between the 1930s and 50s it was also the Summer holiday destination for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Mother, Princess Alice. Beats a suburban Travelodge right?
Arriving just as the sun began to set, I was greeted by Manuel Shuerholz, the head honcho at Bombtrack. I quickly dumped my bags, grabbed a beer and headed outside to join the other Groundworkers around the fire. Amongst the crowd were the Bombtrack design team, their family of riders, journos and bike shop owners.
Bike. Eat. Drink. Fire. Repeat.
The format of Groundwork is nice and simple. Take your pick from the Bombtrack range and join a no-drop ride around the forests and trails where the designs were conceived. Knowing that tarmac made up less than 10% of the routes I opted for Bombtrack’s most controversial model, the Hook ADV. Touted as a hyper-gravel bike, the Hook ADV fuses the spirit of a 90s Tomac-attack with contemporary tech. For 2020 the spec receives some clever updates and a fantastic Glossy orange teal fade paint finish. Check out our overview of the Bombtrack Hook ADV 2020 right here.
With Cologne, one of Germany’s biggest cities only 30km away you could be forgiven for thinking the trails might be choked, but far from it. With a stiff road climb quickly dispatched to clear the valley, 40km of empty trails awaited an eager Hook and rider!
While overkill on the gravel tracks the Hook ADV came into its own own loose and rooty forest singletrack. With 2.0 x 27.5 WTB Ranger tyres, MRP Baxter suspension forks and a KS dropper, I could take liberties with my line choice and carry more speed along the trail. Half-way around, the trail popped us out on the shoreline of the beautiful Grosse Dhünntalsperre reservoir.
Let’s do it all over again!
After 40km I bumped down farm track and saw the landgut in the distance. With the descent back on smooth tarmac, I locked out the forks and engaged the aero-dropper and blasted my way back. The routine was to stay the same, choose a bike and hit the trails, then trade your dusty bike in for a well earned beer when you return!
Over the course of Groundwork I got to meet the small team behind the brand, many of the riders they support, and to sample the bikes in a great location. With so many great bikes in the range it’s hard to choose favourites, but keep an eye out for features about what I felt were the stand out models.
Get on over to bombtrack.com and check out the full range!
For your nearest Bombtrack stockist, visit Lyon Cycle.
Last modified: 18th August 2019