Bombtrack’s Hook gravel bike family has been a hit for the brand with affordable steel bikes, a tiny women’s version, 650B bikes in both steel or carbon, and now the new steel Hook ADV that takes design cues from the origin of mountain bikes. Bombtrack calls the new Hook ADV a “hyper-gravel bike” equipped with a short travel suspension fork, drop bars & a dropper seatpost, saying it is truly “a gravel bike capable of traveling absolutely anywhere”.

2019 Bombtrack Hook ADV steel suspension gravel bike

This bike is no doubt built for adventure. We got a close look (and several first rides, impressions coming soon!) at three of the first production bikes this week – in small, medium & large. Of those, the M had already been pedaled across the Alps by Jona of Tales on Tyres as part of the Navad 1000 bikepacking race, and before we left the L was already on a plane with Joachim headed to the mountains of Kyrgyzstan for the inaugural Silk Road Mountain Race which starts tomorrow. That’s essentially to say that, as crazy as this bike looks or even seems on paper, it is a surprisingly capable (and fun) any-surface expedition bike.

The Hook ADV is unabashedly inspired by the Tomac-era of XC racing when mountain biking was in its infancy, and drop bars were still being ridden into rainbow stripes. Several decades later, and as gravel has become more technical and adventure rides getting longer, the benefits of MTB tires, a little bit of suspension up front, and the comfort of flared drop bars & a dropper seatpost are undeniable.

Hook ADV Tech Details

At the heart of the new bike is an all new double butted, heat-treated 4130 Columbus Cromor steel frame, suspension corrected for the new 40mm travel dual-air MRP Baxter gravel suspension fork.

The frame sticks with external cable routing to keep things straight forward, but does route the dropper post internally into the seattube just above the T47 oversized threaded BB.

The Hook ADV features a 1.5″ tapered headtube, 12mm thru-axles at both ends, and Bombtrack also added a ISCG 05 chain guide mount for riders looking to get a bit more rad with the bike.

The bike is built for adventure riding so it gets plenty of braze-on attachment points. The suspension fork rules out front panniers and anything fork cages, but this is a bikepacking handlebar bag kind of bike. Out back the dropper precludes a bikepacking saddle bag, so Bombtrack put a set of three Anything cage mounts angled out on each seatstay.

Bombtrack readily admits that not every rider will be able to mount a big bag there, due to pedaling/foot interference, especially on smaller sizes. But they put them there anyway, so riders have the opportunity to mount some extra storage, even if it is a single bottle cage or something like The Bike Strap that we reviewed a while back.

Beyond that, the ADV gets two sets of cage mounts inside the main triangle (with two possible positions on the downtube), plus an extra cage mount under the downtube. It also features traditional rear rack mounts.

The frame gets flat mount disc brakes (the MRP fork is post mount only, but adaptable also to 15mm thru-axles) and adaptable hooded 12mm thru-axle rear dropouts that can be converted even to a single speed setup.

Hook ADV Geometry

The frame features geometry based of Bombtrack’s 650B mountain bike-tired, adventure-ready Hook EXT with the same proven headtube & seatube angles, fork trail figures, and chainstay length. The ADV does get taller stack for a slightly more upright riding position, and ever so slightly longer frame reach paired with short 70mm trail stem for slightly more rearward weigh balance.

2019 Hook ADV Pricing & Spec, Availability & Actual Weights

The new 2019 Hook ADV will be available in a single complete bike build for 3600€ in metallic gray and three frame sizes. Besides the Cromor frame and MRP fork, the bike features a SRAM Rival 1 drivetrain (& hydro brakes) with a FSA Gossamer Pro crank, a 38T narrow-wide chainring & 11-42 cassette.

Contact points are covered by a Ritchey WCS flared VentureMax ergo bar, WCS Trail stem & bartape, and a Brooks Cambium C15 Carved saddle. The dropper itself is a 27.2 KS E30i post (65mm travel on the two smaller bikes, 100m on the large) with a remote lever mounted on the bar top.

Wheels are WTB ST rims spinning on Bombtrack hubs, and feature a wider i25 internal front to pair with the wider WTB Ranger 27.5 x 2.25″ tire up front. Out back is a i23 rim and Ranger 2.0″ tire, all setup tubeless and with WTB’s TCS Light casing.

Hook ADV Actual Weight & Availability

Bombtrack claims a weight of 13.3kg for the bike in a medium. The medium we rode had some modified spec and variable bags & accessories attached to it. But the small weighed 13.39kg on our scale, including a bottle cage and some dirt off the trail.

The new bike is already en route to some Bombtrack dealers, with full availability expected by mid September 2018.

Bombtrack.com

17 COMMENTS

  1. Bombtrack hubs are junk and the quick releases axles are worse, sort these out and it a nice bike. I own a Beyond Plus and these parts gave me crap from day 1.

    • Interesting, what issues did you had with the hubs exactly? I am not a big fan of quick release through axles as well, we are discussing to switch to hexagon through axles for next year.
      Thanks a lot for your feedback
      Marcellus

      • Front developed play. Thought it was the quick release. Tightened it up. Still had play. Then the quick release untreated when I tried to untighten it leaving a smooth metal spike exposed. Replaced both axles with Robert axle project axles. Play did not go away. Rear wheel developed play soon after . Then bearing in driver started to grind. Regreased and reassembled. Rode for around another 50k then replaced both wheels as front was developing wooble under hard breaking.

        The Chinese factory manager should look up words like “percission” and “tolerance” and maybe apply them to the manufacturing process.

        On Hopes 35w now and they are very much better.

        • The poster should also look them up, mis-spelling “precision” undermines your argument, and citing “tolerance” while invoking a poorly veiled racial slur makes you nothing but a walking oxymoron.

  2. 30lbs?! Thats what my “old” 2012 aluminum 29er FS weighs with 125mm rear and 140mm fox 34. And its a size L (56/58) w/ dropper too

  3. Instead of calling it the Hook, they should have called the Direct Hit. Because at 30lbs that’s what it could take. That thing is a tank. I don’t see the point for having a dropper or front suspension on the gravel bike. Especially with the weight penalty they add.

  4. Not for everybody for sure but kudos to Bombtrack for trying something a little different and having the cajones to make weird bikes.

    • And by different you mean a mid-90’s mtb? Not exactly cutting edge. Will the hook series come with FM radio and an 8 track next year? Maybe they can get some of those new fangled bar ends too.

  5. Might as well buy a racy hardtail with 100mm fork travel! That way you get some real suspension which could be locked out when on the road. The Bombtrack is just a short travel mountainbike with drop bars. Every bike manufacturer makes excellent hardtails weighing less than 25lbs that are not expensive. I don’t see the point.

  6. Sure, a XC mtb could do a similar job, but you won’t end up with a drop bar geometry. We don’t want to convince any XC riders into riding the Hook ADV, but it is a legitimate choice if you want to do rougher terrain with drop bars.

  7. I think this bike is pretty dang cool. Yes, you could just get a hard tail mtb but that’s not the point. A lot of my rides are up in the Cascade mountains (WA) and involve a nice cruise down a gravel rail trail, steep climbs up (and down) rutted out old jeep roads, smooth fire roads, XC ski trails and some tame to gnarly single track thrown in. I’ve done these rides on several bikes. A lightweight carbon gravel bike w/ 700×45’s (with ShockStop stem, super rad btw), a steel gravel bike w/ 650’s and a carbon hard tail (100mm fork) with 45mm gravel tires. All had their place and of course all were fun. Recently I built up a “monster” gravel bike with 29×2.0 and mtb gearing (32×10-42) and this particular bike has almost checked all the boxes for my type of riding. There is a place for these niche of bikes and If you are fortunate enough to have a choice of bikes to ride then this might be for you. There is just something cool about riding drop bars where people aren’t expecting to see drop bars.

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