2009 Specialized Pitch Pro

Pro Reviews

The Ride:
Shore – Fromme and Seymour

The Pitch performed admirably on the trails on the North Shore which involve long climbs, then loose rocky descents with drops and steep pitches. Also found are technical climbing trails that put a bike through its paces. This bike was great on all the trails and was only compromised when the terrain became slippery. The cranks would hit while riding over terrain containing large rocks and stumps within the trail, in this situation a half pedal stroke could get one through. The low standover was a noticeable advantage in this terrain.

Squamish

On more flowing fast smooth trails interspersed with technical features found in areas such as Squamish, the Pitch rode firm and true when pedaling up, down or accelerating on rolling terrain. The fork and brakes allowed for confidence when the trail got rough and the bike easily navigated through the rough back to high speed cruising.

Squamish Trails
Entrails

Whistler and Pemberton

Areas containing trails mixed with steep climbs, descents, rock faces, loose rocky chunder and fast and flowy loam typical of Whistler and Pemberton requires a bike capable of performing in this wide range of conditions. A bike capable of handling a mixture of terrain would reign over this land, the Pitch Pro fits the bill. The 150mm rear travel matched with the adjustable 95-140mm fork allows one to match this bike to most trails in this area. A bigger tire was used on these trails for flat resistance and enhanced braking performance.
Lumpys Epic Climb

PHD

He said:

I didn’t ride it in all the conditions Sharon rode so I’ll divide my impressions into two categories: uphill and downhill. This makes sense to me since it is, after all, an all-mountain bike.

Uphill:

Be aware that the RP2 rear shock is incredibly sensitive to rider weight and tuneable with different air pressures and ProPedal. You have to dial in the rear shock for the bike to climb well. Once I did have the rear set up for my weight (the standard 1/3rd sag formula),the Pitch Pro’s climbing ability surprised me. It feels more like a free-ride bike with its slack angles, short (70mm stem) and big wide chopper bars. I wanted it to be sloppy climber but it wasn’t. Instead it climbed technical rooty climbs like the proverbial goat. Just for a lark, I attacked one rooty section that usually tosses me and cleaned it. The rear tire bit, the rear end stuck like glue and I ground away alternating seated and climbing attacks and made that darn climb!

As for fire-road climbing, the Pitch Pro climbs as well as any low 30 lb bike will climb. It’s not going to win you any UCI World Cup races but then you wouldn’t buy this bike for that purpose would you? Suffice it to say that it does the job in extended long grinds and the bike puts you into a comfortable climbing position. I liked the tuneability of the Pike for this type of climbing. You can lock out the fork completely or if you just want the fork stiffened up a bit, you can also tune that into the fork with the twist of an easily turned dial.

Downhill:

I expected the Pitch Pro to be a better descender then it was a climber. Bearing in mind that I was pleasantly surprised by its climbing prowess, the bike was also an exceptionally nimble descender. Both the front and rear ends can be tuned for plushness and both are stiff; the bike inspires confidence when dropping in and I have to attribute a lot of that to how well the suspension is paired. I had tried Eskars on last year’s Enduro and was a bit nervous about them this time around as I had found those tires to have shockingly poor traction but this year’s edition of the Eskar was much better – so much so, that I left the tires on for slow technical and for faster trails.

On faster trails, the Pitch Pro was stable; the slack angles give one the ability to sit back and enjoy the ride and let suspension do the work..

It’s tough to find anything to fault with this bike. Let me try. The bars are wide! If this was my bike, I might cut them down a bit as I’d bash them into trees a few times. For some inexplicable reason the bike also seemed to attract stick and twigs – probably its just me. I realized I’m reaching so let me stop right there; simply put it’s tough to find fault with the Pitch Pro.
Rock and Roll Merritt

Summary

Specs: 4/5
Price: 5/5
Ride: 5/5
Overall: 4.6/5

Rating Guide:
5.0 Outstanding
4.0 Very Good
3.0 Above Average
2.0 Fair
1.0 Poor

Pros:
- Good mix of components that are tough and reliable.
- Lots of standover and slack headangle to make steep descents less intimidating.
- Great value bike for someone getting into the sport, or someone who can’t quite afford their dream bike yet.

Cons:-
- While the Pike works well, an air fork for more precise adjustability and a two step for easier switching between travel would be beneficial.
- cable routing makes cables susceptible to damage by rocks and chain slap and transport over a pickup tailgate.
- kept hitting low lying roots and rocks with cranks

Overall:
Capable of accommodating a wide range of terrain with no compromise in climbing or descending, this great value bike will benefit a new rider, a rider who can’t quite afford their dream bike and will offer years of performance and enjoyment.

Detailed Specifications

The source for this information is Specialized. Suggested Retail of this bike is $2700.00

Specifications are as follows:

Frame Set – 2009 Pitch frame, M4 Manipulated Alloy tubing, double ORE downtube, DMD front derailleur mount, sealed cartridge bearing pivots, replaceable hanger, bolt on cable guides, 150mm travel
Fork – Rockshox Pike 351 for Specialized, 140mm travel, coil U-Turn, Motion Control damper, disc only, alloy steerer, rebound adj., Maxle 360 included
Shock – Fox RP23, 7.875×2.25″
Sizes – S, M, L or XL
Color – Burnt Orange

Wheelset – DT Swiss 445D, disc, 24mm, double wall, pin joint, eyelets, 32h, Specialized Hubs, front with 20mm through axle.
Tires – Specialized Eskar Control, 26×2.3″, 60 TPI, tubeless ready, aramid bead
Stem - Specialized, 8 deg. rise, four bolt 31.8mm clamp, 3D forged. M/L:75,
Bar – Specialized mid rise 31.8mm, 6061 alloy, 660mm wide, 8 degree up, 8 degree back sweep
Post – Specialized 6061 alloy, black, 30.9×350, setback head, 2-bolt micro adjust
Saddle - Specialized Enduro, 7mm Cr-Mo rails
Headset – 1-1/8″ Threadless, loose ball bearings w/ seals, black steel cup
BrakeSet – Avid Juicy 4 RSL, 203mm front, 185 rear
Crankset – Shimano M532 175mm cranks and BB, 22, 32, 44 teeth rings
Pedals - Shimano 505 SPD
Front Derailleur – Shimano SLX FD-M660, E-Type
Rear Derailleur
- SRAM X-9, 9-speed, mid cage, 11-34 cassette
Shifters – SRAM X-5, trigger, 9-speed

Geometry for a M Pitch Pro is as follows:

Standover - 748mm/29.4in
Head Tube Angle - 67o
Seat Tube Angle – 74o
Effective Top Tube Length - 586mm/23in
Bottom Bracket Height – 356mm/14in
Chainstay Length – 421mm/16.6in
Bike Weight - 32lbs

About the author: Sharon Bader

I am 5’9″, weigh 154lbs. I have been riding since 1991. I started on a classic XC hard tail but have moved with technology and now ride a Pivot Mach 5.7 for XC, a Trek Session for DH and a Pivot Firebird and Knolly Endorphin for freeriding/shore/technical XC riding.


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  • Andrew says:

    Haha yeah. For some reason, my Pitch Pro also attacks twigs and branches… I’ll be descending parts of narrow single tracks and I’ll hear my wheels eating up and snapping twigs and branches that jump into the bike.

  • roger says:

    Hi there, Great review. What size frame were you using? Am thinking of getting a pitch…am 6ft, and was thinking larger, but some reviews say go smaller, say a medium? I do prefer a slightly bigger bike though.
    Many thanks :)

  • roger says:

    …sorry, that was supposed to say large, not larger.! :)

  • If you're big enough, get a large. I'm Med and I fit a med says:

    see above.

  • Pierre Kaufmann says:

    Hi Lee
    Just want to let you know how much I appreciate your reviews, informative, well written, accurate and interesting. I also appreciate your reviews on Wildsnow.
    I have been riding since 1981 and have worked in outdoor education with students (I’m a teacher too).
    I was wondering if you have an index of all the reviews you have done, it would be a great resource for grade 9/10 language arts project on reviews.
    I currently have 4 bikes, RMX, nomad, Trance XO and a altitude 90rsl which I just picked up for a song.
    I also tour tele and alpine out of the Nelson area (sled up logging roads on 4 stroke turbo).
    If you ever need an additional perspective on a review I would love to collaborate.
    I have worked in the self propelled outdoor education movement for 40 years and still going strong. I’m semi retired and am the principal of a small alternative school in the Slocan Valley with a strong outdoor leadership program.
    As a rock climber i have several first ascent big walls under my belt too. ( I started climbing when I was 15 in South Africa where I grew up).
    My perspective is important as I have watched the evolution of equipment and have a strong technical background too. I have worked in retail for a stint including MEC in the early 1980′s and was an Arcetryx pro- athlete for awhile.
    Keep shredding and slaying it with your keyboard too.
    Thanks again
    Pierre
    PS epic Ski-touring up here near Nelson if you are ever in the area I would love to give you a tow up on my sled, awesome lines in the Valhallas.

    • Patrick says:

      Really? Then buy a bike, ride the shit out of it, start a blog, and review it. Then tag links to it, that way of stating what you can maybe do, you are showing what you have done, and if it’s any good I’m sure these guys would love to give you a shot. Regards
      Pat

  • gramgram says:

    “I expected the Pitch Pro to be a better descender then it was a climber”

    You mean “than it was”, not “then”.

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