Hardly any other German brand has made such a name for itself in the international bikepacking scene as Bombtrack. The Hook 2 combines features from numerous disciplines, including a big portion of bikepacking DNA. Is that enough to hold its own against the competition?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best bikepacking bike in review

Bombtrack Hook 2 | 10.76 kg in size M | Manufacturer’s website

Bombtrack are very popular among die-hard bikepackers, so much so that the German company sent us the € 1,999 Hook 2 instead of more suitable models such as the Hook EXT or Hook EXT-C, as these were already completely sold out in spring 2020. The Columbus steel frame of the Hook 2 has numerous mounting options for luggage, eyelets for mudguards, a T47 bottom bracket and thru-axles. Up front you get a carbon fork with a tapered steerer and triple cage mounts on the legs. The modern lines of the fork blend seamlessly with the tapered head tube. .

All cables are routed externally and are protected from the weather with continuous cable housings, thus offering a good balance between easy maintenance and a tidy appearance. There’s also no rattling to be heard here! While the Hook 2 has clearances for up to 700 x 42C tires, Bombtrack have opted to spec the bike with 700 x 37C WTB Riddler tires, which suit the overall concept well. The 1×11 SRAM Rival groupset is no-nonsense too and comes combined with mechanical TRP Spyre dual-piston actuated brakes. These are paired with a 160 mm rotor up front and 140 mm at the rear, the latter of which we would size up. On the other hand, the drivetrain offers more than large enough gears. Paired with the 11–42 t SRAM PG-1130 cassette, the 40 t chainring is a tad too big for steep climbs with all of your luggage.

Classical lines
The round tube shapes will make every nostalgic heart beat faster. Nonetheless, the bike doesn’t eschew modern standards like a tapered head tube.
Bosses galore
The Bombtrack has enough mounting points for all conceivable loads.
Simply too small
There’s no place for 140 mm brake rotors on a bikepacking bike. The mechanical stoppers on the Bombtrack in particular would benefit immensely from larger rotors.
Oversized
The Bombtrack uses a threaded T47 bottom bracket.

Bombtrack Hook 2

€ 1,999

Specifications

Seatpost Bombtrack Beech
Brakes TRP Spyre C 160/140 mm
Drivetrain SRAM Rival 1 40 (11–42)
Stem Bombtrack Roam 90 mm
Handlebar Bombtrack CX-10 420 mm
Wheelset WTB ST Light i19 Double Wall TCS 2.0
Tires WTB Riddler TCS Light-Faltreifen 37C

Technical Data

Size S M L XL
Weight 10.76 kg
Wheelsize 700C

Specific Features

bosses on the fork
fender eyelets
rack eyelets
entirely external cable routing


Apidura
Expedition Handlebar Pack (9 l, € 108.50) | Expedition Full Frame Pack (12 l, € 167)
Expedition Saddle Pack (14 l, € 142) | Expedition Top Tube Pack (1 l, € 53)
2 x Backcountry Food Pouch (0.8 l, € 43)
Size S M L XL
Seat tube 495 mm 525 mm 545 mm 565 mm
Top tube 525 mm 545 mm 562 mm 579 mm
Head tube 110 mm 130 mm 150 mm 170 mm
Head angle 71,0° 72,0° 72,0° 72,0°
Seat angle 74,0° 74,0° 73,5° 73,5°
Chainstay 425 mm 425 mm 425 mm 425 mm
Wheelbase 1,004 mm 1,015 mm 1,027 mm 1,045 mm
Reach 370 mm 383 mm 389 mm 400 mm
Stack 542 mm 564 mm 583 mm 602 mm

Solid, no-nonsense and with a consistent focus on adventure. The concept works perfectly!

Helmet Fox Racing Speedframe | Glasses 100% S2 | Jersey Rapha EF Education First Technical Shirt
Shorts Rapha Men’s Cargo Bib Shorts | Socks Stance Star Wars Sith | Shoes Dromarti Leather

At 10.76 kg in size M, the Bombtrack Hook 2 isn’t necessarily a lightweight but you’ll still be able to get it up to speed quickly enough and it doesn’t feel overly sluggish. The easy-rolling WTB Riddler tires, together with the stiff T47 bottom bracket, ensure good acceleration and especially on compacted gravel and asphalt, lots of efficiency. Once up to speed, it just keeps going! The bike always feels easy to control, even at high speeds through wide corners, though in winding terrain, it requires a lot of input and correction from the rider to stay on course. The bike’s composed, good-natured handling instils you with confidence in every situation and the frame is stiff enough for the handling to be unaffected by heavy loads.

The only compromise are the brakes: compared to hydraulic models, they’re more difficult to modulate and occasionally lack braking power, which is ok for leisurely tours but makes them unsuitable for more aggressive riding styles. The compliance of the frameset is great for long rides if you ride mostly on asphalt and compacted gravel. The Hook 2 offers a good balance between stiffness and flexibility but it’s slightly lacking in comfort on very rough terrain. However, due to its versatility and fair price, this is something we can easily gloss over.

Tuning tips: larger rotor for improved braking performance | carbon or Cane Creek eeSilk seat post for even more comfort

Conclusion

The Bombtrack Hook 2 is unaffected by heavy luggage, remaining easy to handle and extremely composed. With numerous bosses and eyelets for almost anything you can think of, it offers the ultimate in versatility and compatibility with a wide variety of accessories. If you can overlook the limited comfort on very demanding terrain, you get a solid and coherent overall package at a fair price. The Hook 2 cuts a fine figure on the way to work as well as on extended trips with a lot of luggage on compact surfaces – our bikepacking Best Buy!

Tops

  • value for money
  • composure
  • riding position
  • bombproof!
  • cable routing

Flops

  • 140 mm rear brake rotor is too small
  • 40 t chainring is too big
  • no XD freewheel

For more info head to bombtrack.com.

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best bikepacking bike in review

All bikes in test: Bombtrack Hook 2 | Canyon Grail AL 7.0 SL (Click for review) | Fern Chuck Explorer (Click for review) | Marin Headlands 2 (Click for review) | Mason Bokeh GRX (Click for review) | MERIDA SILEX+ 8000-E (Click for review) | RONDO BOGAN (Click for review) | ROSE BACKROAD AXS Mullet Build (Click for review) | Salsa Cutthroat GRX 600 (Click for review) | Specialized Diverge Comp Carbon (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Epic HT AXS Custom (Click for review) | Trek Fuel EX 9.9 XTR Project One (Click for review)

Words: Benjamin Topf Photos: Benjamin Topf, Robin Schmitt, Valentin Rühl