Holds its own on fast, flowing singletrack.
The original Specialized Pitch was an entry-level full suspension bike that flew under the radar. It had a cult following amongst savvy riders looking for a top-notch trail bike at a knock down price, but Specialized put it out to pasture before it really had a chance to take root.
Born again, this time as and entry-level hardtail, the Pitch Sport has big boots to fill. The geometry and attitude aren’t a forward thinking as the test winning Vitus, so its struggles to keep up on steeper, technical trails.
That doesn’t mean that the Pitch can’t hold its own on fast, flowing singletrack though, its pace putting it a notch or two a head of most bikes in the sub £500 category.
Watch: Hardtail of the Year 2017
Key to unlocking that speed is the extra effort Specialized has gone to with the custom damping inside the Suntour XCM suspension fork. It’s noticeably less bouncy than that the fork on the Diamondback, and this really gives you the confidence to push the Pitch to the limit. It helps too that coil spring is on the firm side, so it’s not using its full 100mm of travel on every hit.
Could the Pitch be even better? Sure it could, and quite easily too.
It’s crying out for a 60mm stem instead of the 80mm fitted, as this would help shift rider weight more rearward on the descents.
And, much as we like the Flak Jacket puncture protection in the tyres, Specialized could have saved some weight by just having it on the rear tyre where it’s need most.