The old Pitch was a classic, can this one rekindle the flame?
If you’ve been mountain biking a while, you may remember the original Specialized Pitch. It was an absolute ripper — 150mm of sorted suspension, great geometry, and a bargain at £1,500. It was way ahead of its time and was the forerunner for a lot of the modern trail bikes you see around today, albeit with smaller 26inch wheels. Specialized may have killed it off too soon but we have very fond memories of it here at mbr.
The new Pitch is nothing like the old one. It’s an entry-level hardtail with 650b wheels and a basic SR Suntour suspension fork. We asked Specialized whether the new Pitch has anything in common with the old one; it turns out the new bike uses the famous moniker just because it’s a good name, and good names can be hard to come by.
Three models come under the Pitch banner, separated by just £125. They all use the same A1 Premium aluminium frame, the difference is in the spec; the top-end Comp has a slightly better fork and a nine-speed rear cassette.
The first thing I’d recommend doing on the Pitch Comp is chopping some length off the seatpost. It’s a full 400mm on the large frame but only has a 100mm of height adjustment due to the bottle bosses on the inside of the seat tube getting in the way. It wouldn’t go any lower than my maximum saddle height, and riding with your seat up, especially if you’re a first-timer, doesn’t really inspire confidence when descending.
Even with the saddle lowered, the new Pitch won’t set the world alight like the original, but it’s a great first step into mountain biking. The fork felt smooth and controlled and the low BB height somewhat offsets the twitchy steering. Granted, you may get more bike for your buck if you buy from a mail-order brand, but the Pitch is likely to hold its second-hand value — often a key consideration, especially at this end of the market — plus you’ll get the perk of dealer support.