Specialized Pitch Comp Mountain Bike
Will Ross, September 7, 2014
As one of the world’s premium bike manufacturers, Californian bike manufacturers Specialized have a reputation for rolling out two-wheeled mountain beauties. Eager to find a bike that would take the terrain of the Alpine Bike route in Switzerland, I went for the Pitch Comp.
A relatively new addition to the Specialized range, the Pitch is a slightly more XC focused bike than the Enduro, a bike which has been round for many years and has grown into an all mountian / freeride machine with a loyal following. Coming in at £1499, the Pitch Comp sits in a price bracket below the Enduro Comp – a difference that sees no major drop in performance. The main differential is a 10mm reduction in travel from the Enduro’s 160mm to a slightly more ‘pedal friendly’ 150mm.
With 150mm of suspension travel, the Pitch Comp fronts up well against more pricey Specialized models on demanding downhills. Even on the steepest descents of my trip in the Swiss Alps, the bike ripped and clung onto the trail incredibly well, soaking up rocks and troughs with ease. A heavily sloping downtube results in bags of standover clearance, instilling confidence on tricky downhills. Attending to detail, Specialized have specced an integrated chainstay protector that prevents slapping – nice to see this level of detail on on a mid-range bike.
While the downhill capabilities of the Pitch Comp are sound, the climbing strength of the bike shouldn’t be ignored. The drag from the heavy Eskar tyres can be sapping but keep the chain in action and you can whip the 14kg two-wheeler up the toughest climbs, depending on your level of fitness of course. Integrated FSR technology ensures that your pedal power propels the bike forwards, a key addition that should be savoured on any bike. Most of the climbs in Switerland were smooth with some technical sections but even on the tricky slopes the bike held composure. As with most bikes of this size, maintaining momentum is key; if allowed to slow the heft of the bike is more apparent meaning that accelerations back up to speed require a big effort.
Sensible speccing of components to match the capability of the suspension system was apparent. During my 600km route the Pitch rims and Specialized Eskar tyres held up trouble-free. A couple of gear shifts were sluggish at times but these were remedied with a simple cleaning of the drive train, a tweak here and there to cable tension and an application of lube. Overall the bike performed well and offered little resistance to the terrain put before it, proving that in most cases its the rider that is the limiting factor in the equation, not the bike!
If you want an all-mountain bike to complement an off-road cycling trip the Pitch Comp is well-worth investigating. I developed a fond attachment to my Pitch Comp over the week alone in the Swiss Alps, an emotion that credits to the bike’s consistent temperament over turbulent terrain. For a relatively inexpensive do-it-all bike, the Pitch Comp is a great compromise between confidence inspiring downhill capabilty and climbing pedigree and all the while maintains the all important grin factor.
Head to specialized.com to find your nearest dealer.