Test: With the Bombtrack Hook 1, we tested one of the few gravel bikes with a steel frame - and the frame material here lives up to its reputation. High weight stands in the way of excellent comfort.
Bombtrack Hook 1 2020: The Facts
Frame material: Steel
Wheel size(s): 700 tsp
Maximum tire clearance: 40 mm
Axle dimensions (v/h): Quick release
Mudguard Eyelets: Ja
Luggage carrier eyelets (v/h): Yes / Yes
bottle holder: Down tube up, down tube down, seat tube
Other: Eyelets on the top tube
Weight wheels v/h/total (with tires and brake discs): 1.830g / 1.987g / 3.817g
Weight complete bike without pedals (size M): 12,10kg
Price: € 1.399
Versatile steel frame with numerous mounting points
The manufacturer Bombtrack, based in Cologne, is extremely broad. From fixed gear to bikepacking and gravel to modern racing bikes, crossers and recently also mountain bikes, the Rhinelanders enrich numerous facets of the bicycle market. The Bombtrack Hook is one of the "longest-serving" and at the same time perhaps one of the most versatile bikes in the current portfolio.
The elegant steel frame, which all Hook models share, is particularly in the limelight. With its numerous eyelets and mounting options, this should also be very popular with bikepacking fans: In addition to the three bottle holders (two on the down tube, one on the seat tube), there are of course also mounting options for mudguards, a rear and front luggage rack and eyelets on the top tube , to be able to attach a bag here.
The geometry of the steel gravel bike also reflects its versatility. A rather steep steering angle and short chainstays promise agile, nimble handling, with a short head tube and low stack, riders should find themselves in a rather sporty seating position, which of course could be "defuse" at any time with spacers under the stem, for example.
Geometry Bombtrack Hook
|seat tube (in mm)
|Top tube horizontal (in mm)
|head tube (in mm)
|chainstay (in mm)
|Wheelbase (in mm)
|Steering angle (in °)
|Seat angle (in °)
|Stacks (in mm)
Solid equipment, but high weight
For our test, we took the Bombtrack Hook 1.349 entry-level version, which costs 1 euros. It should be clear that you can't expect high-end equipment for this, so you'll find rather solid, inexpensive components and attachments here. In conjunction with the steel frame, this of course drives up the weight – the bike in size M and without pedals weighs a whopping 12,1kg.
When it comes to the gears, the built-in components are based on the manufacturer Microshift, which is quite unknown in this country - at least for the rear derailleur, front derailleur and cassette. The STIs come from Shimano and come from the Sora 9-speed series. The chic crank with Bombtrack lettering and a 32/48 compact chainring set can definitely be described as a treat. In combination with the 11-36 cassette, you get an impressive bandwidth of 491%, with which you should be able to cope with a wide variety of terrain.
By the way, braking is done with a mechanical disc brake from Tektro. The Spyre is one of the better representatives here, even if it cannot hold a candle to cheap hydraulic brakes. On the other hand, maintenance and repairs are much easier here than with brakes with mineral oil or brake fluid.
|Bombtrack Hook 4130 CrMo
|Aluminum disc tapered
|Bombtrack Title hubs / Bombtrack TX20 rims
|Kenda Flintridge 35mm
|Microshift RD-M46 9-speed
|Bombtrack Beech 27,2mm
|Bomb track CX-10
The wheels made in-house make a very solid impression, but like the entire bike they are not necessarily trimmed for lightweight construction. With brake discs and the not exceptionally heavy, 35mm wide tires from Kenda, the set weighs over 3,8kg. Speaking of tyres: With the 35 Kenda tires there is still plenty of room in the frame and fork. Bombtrack itself states a maximum tire clearance of 40mm, but depending on the tire, rim and mud pack, 42 should still have enough clearance.
Attachments such as the saddle, seat post, stem and handlebars are all made in-house and look great with the bike. The parts also make a very good haptic impression and in no way look like "cheap OEM parts".
More tests, products and background information about the Velomotion Gravel Month:
- Storck Grix Platinum Ultegra Di2 gravel bike in test: Race tourer for gravel and off-road
- GT Grade Carbon Pro in the gravel bike test: Comfortable triangle for lots of driving fun?!
- Orbea Terra M30-D in the gravel bike test: Lively bike for training and gravel tours
- NS Bikes Rag+ 2 in the gravel bike test: Convincing aluminum all-rounder
- Rondo Ruut CF 2 in the gravel bike test: Fast gravel bike with a striking look
Let's Gravel: The Bombtrack Hook 1
Only steel is real, true to this motto, we received one of the few steel bikes in the test field with the Bombtrack Hook 1 and were of course excited to see what this bike has to offer. But we can tell you this much, we were more than surprised - in a positive sense.
We have to admit that we were almost a little shocked by the weight at the beginning, i.e. before the first test drive. Over 12 kilograms is a real announcement and a heavy burden in the truest sense of the word, even in the entry-level sector. It is also thanks to this fact that the Hook 1 cannot necessarily be described as nimble in practice - but: The negative effects are not that strong, the acceleration is perfectly fine, especially compared to other entry-level bikes. You sit quite sporty on the Hook 1, but you can, for example, use additional spacers under the stem to defuse it.
But now we come to the great strength of the steel graveler from Cologne: comfort. This turns out almost sensationally good. Even on the roughest passages of our test track, the Bombtrack almost exuded a pleasant softness, ran extremely smoothly and yet didn't appear spongy. Actually exactly how we want it and exactly what should conjure up a big grin on the face of a beginner. The same applies to the ergonomics: handlebars and saddle are extremely well done, you feel right at home here.
In view of the low price, the equipment is more focused on durability and simple functionality than on unnecessary frills. The Shimano Sora 9-speed and Microshift mix isn't exactly sexy, but it does a solid job. The shifting processes are not quite as fast as with more expensive groupsets, changing the chainrings is a little louder, but both are always reliable. In addition, you have a really wide range. What makes it a bit more attractive is the crank with Bombtrack lettering, which skilfully fits into the overall picture.
The in-house attachments such as handlebars, stem and seat post are kept simple and also go well with the Bombtrack Hook 1. The Spyre brakes from TRP are sufficiently powerful for a gravel bike after braking and are undoubtedly among the better mechanical representatives.
Other gravel bike highlights in the test:
Test: The Specialized Diverge is entering its sixth year in 2020 and has lost none of its original fascination as an adventure and gravel bike. The top model Diverge Expert we tested impresses with outstanding comfort, also thanks to the Future Shock System. Specialized Diverge Expert 2020: The facts Frame material: Carbon Wheel size(s): 700cc (650b compatible) Maximum tire clearance: 42mm / […]
Test: The Rose Backroad GRX Di2 reached our test editors in a slightly modified equipment variant with carbon wheelset and additional brake levers - so equipped you not only get a "full chapel" in terms of equipment for around 4000 euros, but also an enormously versatile bike. Rose Backroad GRX Di2 Custom: The facts Frame material: Carbon Wheel size(s): 700cc Maximum tire clearance: 40mm Axle dimension (f/r): 12×100 […]
Test: With the Checkpoint, Trek sent its first gravel bike into the race for the gravel crown last season. The top model Checkpoint SL 7 convinces in the test across the board - if you can get along with the very sporty basic orientation. Trek Checkpoint SL 7: The facts Frame material: Carbon Wheel size(s): 700c Maximum tire clearance: 45mm Axle dimension (f/r): 12×100 […]