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Gallery: Bombtrack 2019 range preview


Joe Delves
21 Aug 2018

Gravel and adventure specialists launch new all-terrain bikes and tweak existing models.


Considering only three people make up the core team at German adventure specialists Bombtrack they sure produce a big selection of bikes. Now six years old, Cyclist got a preview of the brand’s newest models on the roads and trails around its home base of Cologne.

Focusing on all things rad, the range now spans everything from suspension and dropper-post equipped adventure machines, to more conventional steel road racers. Having spent three days riding them around the German countryside, we’ve picked out some of the highlights. 

Hook ADV

The most debated bike of the launch was this suspension and dropper-post equipped, steel, 650b, monster bike. Capable of ploughing through anything you dare point it at, its MRP Baxter suspension fork provides 35mm of squish. Smoother and more capable than any drop bar bike I’d previously slung a leg over, the flip side is increased weight and a chunky price tag.

Dotted with rack mounts, including holster mounts on both seat stays it’s designed for adventure touring in the roughest conditions, or for mixed use where a mountain bike might previously have only been the only option. Likely to remain of fairly specialist interest, its design is partly intended to show what the brand can do, while also trying out new ideas. 

Hook Ext & Ext Carbon

Both the 650b Hook Ext & Ext Carbon remain in the line-up. A favourite of the journos riding at the launch, the carbon model is quite aggressive, with WTB Nano 27.5 tyres lending it the ability to ride mountain bike style terrain. Its steel sibling provides a few more mounting points, and with a robust ferrous frame will also be happier to find itself laden down with bikepacking bags.

Obviously weighing a little more, its ride is marginally smoother, while an ultra-wide cassette helps mitigate the increase in mass. 

Hook 1, 2, & Wmns

The more conventional 700c Hook 1, 2, and Wmns models also carry over. With steel frames and they’re aimed at marginally more sedate gravel and adventure touring. 

Tension

With the addition of pro cyclocross rider, Gosse van der Meer to the team comes a new line of race bikes. The top-tier all-carbon Tension 3 is race-ready, with low weight, an easily shoulderable design, and Challenge Baby Limus tyres. Using Sram’s Rival 1x drivetrain and brakes, it’s happy in the mud and features a speed-oriented 11-36t cassette.

Sitting below this are two aluminium models. The Tension 2 features an all-carbon fork, Hunt Wheels, and similarly, race-focused Rival 1x groupset. The Tension 3 uses a more adventure ready wide-ratio Apex group, but with a more budget FSA chainset. 

Audax & Audax AL

Both Audax models employ voluminous 650b tyres for smooth rolling and to minimise the chance of punctures or rim damage.

The steel version takes the form of a high-end tourer, with mixed WTB Horizon and Byway tyres lending it increased all-terrain ability. Using Shimano 105 hydraulic shifters and brakes, an Ultegra clutch mech keeps the chain quiet and secure, while a T-47 bottom bracket allows for oversize tubing, but without the potential creaking of press-fit models.

The extensively hydroformed Audax AL is equally keen to go touring, but could equally be put to use on the commute. More budget focused, it uses a Shimano Tiagra groupset paired with TRP Spyre cable discs.

Beyond 1

With the Audax and Arise Tour catering for the socks-and-sandals touring brigade, the drop bar Beyond now only comes in this chunky off-road version. Using 700c wheels fitted with mountain bike width tyres, its super wide bars and short and upright stem take the strain off of your back. Extremely fast rolling, its large diameter wheels smooth everything in its path.

In fact, we were bigger fans of the set-up than the 650b models that seemed more popular with the other testers. Made for backcountry adventures, the basic Sram 2x drivetrain features very small chainrings for lugging kit up prolonged inclines. Happily, for a bike that’s designed for remote tours, the split rear chainstay that caused problems on a recent test is now gone.

Tempest & Tempest WMN

Taking the sort of features that regularly crop up on custom builds and applying them to a production bike, the Tempest is based around a Columbus steel frame with flat mount brakes and clearance for 30c tyres. Built with a short, tapered head tube and bolt-through axles they’re designed for racing or fast rides.

Using the same T-47 bottom bracket as the rest of the brand’s new steel frames, this permits the use of oversized tubing, large crank spindles, all with hopefully less chance of noisy bearings.  

Outlaw

Also catching our eye was the city porteur style Outlaw. Using a belt drive and sporting a large-platform front rack it looks to be a great city run-around. With big tyres and Shimano's budget yet awesome M200 flat mount disc brakes, this steel framed bike is more fun than seems appropriate for a weekday commuter.