Bombtrack entered the world a few years ago, started by a company called We Make Things that is responsible for BMX brand We The People, with a focus on singlespeed and fixed wheel bikes, but it’s since branched out to offer a full range of geared road bikes that cover most spectrums of road cycling. This is its brand new Hook EXT gravel and adventure bike, and it's just rolled into the office to be reviewed.
The Hook EXT is its latest model and taps into the growing gravel and adventure bike market with a steel frame designed around 2.1in tyres on 650b wheels.
You get a smart Columbus Cromor double butted steel frame packed with details, like the chainstay arrangement behind the bottom bracket to maximise tyre and chainring clearance, external cables. We really like that. There are loads of eyelets for bottles, racks and mudguards, and there's a 12x142mm thru-axle at the dropouts. Up front is the company's own carbon fibre fork, also with a thru-axle.
With a SRAM Rival 1x11 groupset and hydraulic disc brakes, the bike costs £2,199.99. The build includes WTB Nano tyres on WTB 32h rims with lots of Bombtrack branded equipment to complete the bike.The size medium we have here, one of four sizes available, weighs 11.1kg (24.5lb).
It’s a purposeful looking bike and ideally suited if you want to do a lot of off-road exploring of woodland trails, bridleways and open moorland. It’s out on test with Mike Stead at the moment and we look forward to getting his full review in soon to find out how it performs.
The Bombtrack isn’t the first 650b bike to hit the growing gravel bike market, there’s the British designed Mason Bokeh which takes 700c or 650b wheels, as does the Open UP. The Cannondale Slate is entirely designed around 650b wheels and was one of the first new bikes to do so. It seems there's a growing interest in 650b wheels and tyres for adventure bikes, and there's certainly a good argument for them on really rough terrain.
A more similarly priced rival and a bike we’ve tested recently is the Wilier Jaroon. That is available in a 650b version as well, it’s called the Jaroon+. The Specialized Sequoia Expert would be a good contender to throw into the ring as well as it combines a steel frame and carbon fork with a 1x11 groupset.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.