2011 Specialized Pitch Pro
A real 'all mountain bike'.By Andrew Revitt
This was the third Specialized mountain bike I've owned since I started biking. The first was a late 90's FSR, then a SX Trail. The FSR was never a good bike, the SX Trail was supposed to be excellent but I must have had a lemon, so it was with some trepidation I got the Pitch Pro.
The idea of this bike was (discontinued in 2012) a good, cheapish trail bike for those who perhaps own a freeride or DH bike or prefer the descent to the climb. The short stays and lower bb give the bike a lively, almost mini DH feel. So my plan was run this and get a DH bike. Unfortunately that didn't work ok, so the Pitch Pro became my do it all bike for 2012. At 150mm of travel it's pretty capable of doing most things as thankfully it's had to.
I was planning on riding it over the winter in the UK to keep some fitness, mostly fireroad type riding, nothing technical but that didn't pan out either. I did manage a few rides and it was a pretty fun bike to ride even the boring stuff on. Out in Chamonix and with a set of Continental Rubber Queen 2.4 black Chilli's thrown on and a short Raceface stem is was sweet ride.
The Pitch climbed well thanks to the Fox RP3 shock's pro pedal (set to position 2) and you can wind the compression up to lockout on the Rockshox Sektor forks if you are so inclined. Generally I don't. Heading down the technical trails is pretty good, better than the Commencal Meta I had but less stable than the Trek Scratch. The large capacity tyres help grip wise and hinder a bit getting through the many rocks we have in CHX. As the speed builds they really dig in and the bike is keen to turn and jump.
Out into the bike park and the Pitch is actually pretty darn good. To a point. The point being the faster tracks. Once the track opens up and you have big turns, braking bumps and drops things start to get messy. The suspension feels it's price point, the Sektor fork QR keeps loosening, but flex doesn't seem a problem. The Fox on the rear just feels a bit overwhelmed. The tyres really push it beyond the bikes limits. The frame doesn't feel a bit flexy like the Meta did on full tilt but it's a way from the Scratch's stiffness, as you would expect really. You could bang on a Fox 36 fork and a coil on the rear and keep plugging away but going by my previous Specialized purchases I think it would break. Best stick to what it was designed for.
I left the bike standard apart from the previously mentioned stem and tyres not because there wasn't plenty too upgrade but because I was saving money for a DH bike.
After it's Alpine summer everything was run in nicely and ready to motor on. The white grips and saddle looked had it but were actually fine. The chain and cassette seemed a bit cheap as do the X5 shifters but again lasted no problem. The rear mech is a X9 so should last ages. The cranks have been pretty tough and didn't scratch and the same with the bash ring. Avid Elixirs brakes are alright, bit over the top size wise (203mm rotor on the front) for a trail bike but good in the park. The bars are 730mm and were wide enough for mostly everything.
Altogether we had a good time. Nothing broke, nothing played up. Restored my faith in Specialized a bit but really was never going to be a long term ride.