Bombtrack Hook 2, second best?
Having ridden the Hook ADV the day before, I did wonder if the more conventional Hook 2 might seem a little, err, pedestrian. While fitting pedals, Bombtrack’s Manuel Schuerholz came over to speak to me. He smiled and said, “I’m really pleased with how that model came out!”. Even before throwing a leg over the Hook 2 and riding it, you could see why. Bombtrack graphics and colour schemes always look accomplished, but for 2020 the detailing is spot on. Superbly deep paint finishes and subtle graphics that wrap seamlessly around the frame are the trademark here. A welcome change from some German brands that attempt to cover every square inch of the frame in acronyms and buzzwords. The Hook range also gains the Hook WMN (woman) this year. As the two models are similar I’ll cover both here.
2020 sees the debut of the Bombtrack Hook WMN, which as the name suggests is the female specific version, or is it? Marcellus Putschli, a designer at Bombtrack, hinted that naming this bike caused them some headaches as to whether having a women’s model was discriminatory. In the end they decided to run with it but added that the bike was designed for adult riders of a smaller stature. In practice, riders should choose the model that best suits their physical build.
Riding the Hook 2
I started this article wondering if the Hook 2 might leave me feeling a bit underwhelmed after riding the all guns blazing Hook ADV. The reality was quite the opposite. So much fun was had, I forgot to take many photos! On all but the roughest terrain the Bombtrack Hook 2 gave up nothing to its suspended stablemate. Most impressive was how the Columbus steel frame and Carbon fork worked in tandem to smooth the bumps while still responding rapidly to pedal inputs. the example I rode was a pre-production model. The spec was essentially the finished article but fitted with Schwalbe G-Ones. Production bikes will sport WTB Riddlers in a tan wall TCS LIGHT flavour. Considering how predictable the Hook 2 felt on trails with the G-Ones I can only see the Riddlers improving on this.
Ease of use
It’s worth mentioning the details that Bombtrack have included in their 2020 range that are designed to make the rider’s life easier. All 2020 Bombtrack bikes will come with a threaded bottom bracket, be they alloy, steel or carbon. The Hook models are no exception and will be fitted with T47 BB shells and utilise Bombtrack’s own 30mm spindle chainsets. The majority of the range will come with tubeless compatible rims and tyres too.
WNM Drivetrain Variations
The Hook 2 and Hook WMN frames are essentially identical, bar colours and geometry. Those aside the biggest difference between the two models is the choice of drive train. The Hook 2 using a SRAM Rival 1×11 system and the WMN comes with a Tiagra 2×10. However, by using their own direct-mount chainset, Bombtrack are able to equip the WMN with 46/30t chainrings and an 11-34 cassette. A set-up far better suited to gravel and adventure riding than the stock road compact gearing. Another difference is that the XS and S sized Hook WMN bikes come with 650b x 40 wheelsets. This allows Bombtrack to deliver the same handling characteristics across all sizes and keep standover and toe-overlap consistent. Both models are fitted with Spyre-C flat mount cable discs.
For me at least, the Hook 2 proved the old adage less is more. As much as I enjoyed the Hook ADV, it really is better suited for riders who regularly hit rough trails. The Bombtrack Hook 2 felt sharper and more efficient and, for what it’s worth, the cleaner lines are more appealing. A production model with Riddlers would probably help close the gap on singletrack too.
More details will be available soon at Bombtrack.com
Last modified: 19th August 2019