Introduced in 2008 and following Specialized’s catch phrase of “Innovate or Die”, the Pitch Series of All Mountain Bikes complements its big brother the M5 Enduro. While both have 150mm rear travel the Pitch comes equipped with the proprietary 140mm Rock Shox Pike Coil U-turn fork and Juicy 4 brakes. Specialized’s buying power has allowed this company to create this bike as an affordable, uncompromised option to its higher end Enduro line. Continue reading →
Some Low End Components
Pike 351 Fork
I purchased my 2010 Pitch Pro on closeout in the beginning of 2012. The bike shop gave me a great deal for which I had to sacrifice less than ideal fit. I'm 5'10" riding a size XL and it has required some tweaking to make it ride-able. I've put a very short 35mm stem on and moved the seat as far forward as possible. This makes the reach to the bars acceptable.
The suspension soaks up small bumps and trail chatter well giving a smooth ride. The 150mm of rear suspension travel is excellent and feels completely bottomless. The 140mm travel Pike 351 on the other hand is less stellar when the bumps get bigger. Maybe it is simply under sprung for my weight but the fork seems to blow through it's travel at an alarming rate leading to some less than pleasant bottom outs. A fork upgrade would likely do a lot of good for this bike and given the very sturdy frame and decent geometry it will likely see one for next season.
The drivetrain is a bit of a mixed bag. The rear X9 derailleur and cassette are great and have worked flawlessly with a bit of general maintenance and tuning. The front derailleur is a low end Shimano SL that has required a bit of fiddling with to make it shift decently. The stock X5 plastic shifters are crap. They felt mushy and imprecise from day one. I wrecked rather early in the season breaking the front shift levers off and used this as an excuse to upgrade to X7s. These are immensely better and I would highly recommend this to anyone considering this bike. The stock Shimano chain is also crap and snapped on my third ride on the bike. I switched it for a SRAM and have no chain trouble since.
I've seen a lot of complaints about the Juicy 3 brakes but in my experience they've worked quite adequately. Admittedly I don't have any stellar downhill runs in Illinois to really put them through their paces but they give decent feel and stopping power. The big 203mm front and 180mm rear stock rotors are nice as well.
The stock wheels are decent, the rear hub is less than stellar but has served reasonably well with the occasional tear down, cleaning and re-greasing. The front hub has worked without a hitch since day one. The DT Swiss 445d rims are sturdy and reasonably light weight. I did have to take them in to get them trued partway through the season though as the front had developed a bit of a wobble and I busted a spoke on the rear.
Finally onto how the Pitch rides. First off this bike is very long. The wheelbase is 47.7in (according to the specialized website), combined with the slackish 67 degree head angle this bike is a bit of a wrestling match in tight corners, for someone taller or with correct bike fit this would likely be less of an issue. The 14in bottom bracket is a little high and could be 1/4 to 1/2 in lower which would help getting that "in the bike" feel. All that being said the Pitch is awesomely stable and an absolute blast when tearing through medium and high speed corners.
The FSR rear suspension pedals well with minimal bob and I rarely find myself switching on pro-pedal for climbs. For long grueling fire roads though the option is there and noticeably firms up the rear giving better power transfer. The Pike 351 also has a lock-out/ compression adjustment knob for the up hills. Up rocky technical ascents the Pitch does surprisingly well for its weight and geometry. There is some front end wandering but it is very planted and I've never had any front end lift at all.
On the descents the long wheel base and slack head angle make for an awesomely stable confidence inspiring platform. This is tragically hindered by the front fork which blows through it's travel far to quickly and has a rather jarring bottom out. again a fork upgrade would help immensely on the downhill bits. The rear suspension on the other hand is fantastic and soaks up the bumps wonderfully feeling smooth and bottomless all the way through its travel.
Overall I'd give the 2010 Specialized Pitch Pro 4 out 5. For the price it is an excellent all mountain bike that pedals up and descends well but is hinder by some tragic low end component choices. With new shifters, chain and a new fork I expect that my Pitch will be with me for many years to come.
Similar Products Used: Yeti 575, Gary Fisher Kaitai
Bike Setup: X7 Trigger Shifters
Rockshox Reverb Dropper Post
35mm Easton Havoc Stem
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: August 24, 2012
Strengths: strong bike frame, good shifting, breaks stop very well. light weight.
Weaknesses: crank arm bent after a couple months of riding. and the stock seat and grips just suck... but i got new ones.
Over all a great bike i'd recomend this bike to anyone that likes to mountain bike, cross country, or basic DH, it can take any sort of abuse u send at it, just dont bend the crank arm like i did, breaks are great, shifts very well, and the bike frame is very solid. great bike
Bike Setup: Specialized Pitch Pro
-Truvativ GXP2 2.1 2-piece crankset with 24/36t rings
-RockShox Sektor 150mm-travel
-Custom Fox RP2 rear shock
-Custom Avid Elixir 5 SL hydraulic disc brakes/levers
-Pitch disc-specific double wall rims
-Black specialized grips
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: July 17, 2012
Strengths: Versatile - comfortable doing XC or chairlifting in a Park.
Strong, solid frame
Weaknesses: I haven't found any - perhaps a tad heavy for XC, but we're talking a couple pounds - less than the weight of your camelbak....
This is just an awesome bike, and it's too bad Specialized has discontinued it but I can see why. The Pitch was a $2,500-$3,000 bike being sold at a $2k or less price point. It occupied the region the buffed up Stumpjumper now sits in - a 6" all-mountain rig that is light enough to handle cross-country but is burly enough to be secure in a hardcore downhill park setting like Northstar (and they can sell the SJ at a $3k price). The suspension is tried-and-true. I can power this thing around any xc trail, and then abuse it at Demo, and the thing just rolls. It is surprisingly quick and agile in singletrack and reminds me of how a SC Superlight feels.
After reading so many favorable reviews on the Pitch, I found a great deal on the frame with stock RP2 shock, and built it up from there. The 150mm coil Sektor fork and en21 wheels, with slx brakes and drivetrain, gives me a bike that I can take anywhere and feel extremely confident. you can find these used on ebay or craigslist for less than a grand, and that is such an insane deal. Compared to bikes that I think it compares really favorably with (blur lt2, enduro, reign, heckler), you can save a ton of cash and have the same ride with the Pitch.
Similar Products Used: Kona Coiler, Santa Cruz Blur LT2, Specialized Stumpjumper/Enduro, Santa Cruz Heckler, Giant Reign
Bike Setup: 2009 Pitch Pro Frame (L); Sektor Coil 150mm fork; RP2 shock; Mavic EN21 wheelset with xt hubs and 2.35 High Roller Tires; SLX brakes; 22/26 SLX crankset; SLX shifters (9 speed)
a All Mountain Rider
from Kanata, Ontario, Canada
Date Reviewed: March 19, 2012
Strengths: -Very durable.
-Good components are this price point.
Weaknesses: -A little heavy
Very excellent product. I use it for every kind of riding. The weight is a bit up there but it takes a beating and is a very durable bike. Stock setup is just fine. Good bike for anyone who's looking to have a durable long lasting ride that will take everything you throw at it and then some.
Similar Products Used: Cross country versions of Specialized bikes
Bike Setup: Stock. I switch the tires over to Kenda Slant Six's for hard packed cross country
a Weekend Warrior
from Vancouver, BC
Date Reviewed: September 7, 2011
Strengths: Frame, shock, all around capabilities, light weight.
Weaknesses: Stock juicy 3 brakes suck, grips, shifters (sram 5's) could be more 'accurate,' Pike fork not stiff enough for me (220 lbs without gear).
This bike is an amazing value. I got mine for less than retail which made the value that much better. The frame is awesome, the suspension is awesome (especially with the longer travel Domain fork 160mm) and with the above changes I am completely happy.
Bike only weighs 33 lbs even after swap outs according to my scale.
Pedal-able, light (compared to everything else I used to ride) and fun! Would buy again and would recommend to anyone.
** if you have unlimited funds I think the Giant 'reign' series has a better suspension design. I rode one and it was smoother and the back brake did not affect the suspension stroke AT ALL... The specialized horst link travel is still affected by the back brake but only abit (I can feel the bike stiffen up under hard braking while going downhill).
Its a small point and the Giant is alot more money. If you are value conscious I am confident you will not find a better bike for the money than the pitch pro! **
Similar Products Used: None... first dually bike- all hardtails prior.
Bike Setup: Swapped the fork for a 318 Domain (AWESOME FORK!), brakes for Shimano SLX (haven't ridden on them yet...), ODI lock on grips added and tires swapped to Kenda Nevegals stick-e compound front and rear. Otherwise stock.
a Weekend Warrior
from Westchester, NY
Date Reviewed: August 3, 2011
Strengths: Great frame for all mountain, fairly light, good climber. great on the decents.
Weaknesses: I got this frame and rear shock in '08 as a replacement after I snapped my '00 Enduro frame. Most of the parts came from my old bike. No complaints.
As mentioned by others this frame can take anything that I throw at it. A shout out to Tommy at Y-town Cycles for pushing Specialized to replace my old frame and to Spesh for their quick service. When they say, "lifetime warranty," they mean it. I am a big fan.
Bike Setup: xtr shifters,avid elixir brakes, double track sun rims, pike 454 front shock and much more
a Weekend Warrior
from Windham, CT, USA
Date Reviewed: July 10, 2010
Strengths: Great geometry, and suspension performance. Good value. Stiff frame
Weaknesses: Rims are weak, rear hub is crap (blew through 3 deore hubs in 2 months) all were warrantied by Specialized and they finally sent me a new DT swiss hub for free, no issues since. Seat and grips are cheap. SRAM's x-5 shifters work, but could be better. Had to replace the bearings in the hub after 10 months.
I would definitely recommend the bike to anyone who loves trail riding. I am getting a new wheelset soon and then it will be ready for anything I can throw at it. Simple: buy this bike and ride it until you want to replace the smaller bits and pieces. I am very hard on my equipment, and other than the wheels everything else is built to last. This bike rips.
Similar Products Used: test rode giant reign (almost identical) and too many others to list.
Bike Setup: Stock except ODI lock-on grips, WTB Power-V saddle, and soon Stans ZTR flow rims
a Weekend Warrior
from SLC, UT,USA
Date Reviewed: June 1, 2010
Strengths: This solid slack frame has a great shock and good fork - fun both uphill and down.
Weaknesses: The low bottom bracket combined with the long cranks results in many pedal encounters with rocks.
The Pitch Pro is an excelent bike for riding the kind of trails I preffer, all mountian. The Rock Shox Pike spring fork is perfect for a 200 pound rider and the pedal pro on the Fox RP2 works like a dream on the uphill. Just lock out the fork and flip the pedal pro switch and very little energy is wasted. The bike's saddle and grips should be replaced shortly after purchase to make the ride more comfortable. The escar tires seem to wash out a bit to easily so they should be replaced when able.
Strengths: Lightweight for what it is, can take a hit, rims have stayed true despite abuse, fork adjustability is useful. Can't fault the rear shock. Shifting is good despite the mech taking hard hits, SRAM is quite impressive after having always used Shimano. Brakes are also quite good for a low end hydro setup. Very versatile bike.
Weaknesses: Feels cramped for top tube length. Bottom bracket clearance is an issue when sagging on the shock, pedal often scrapes on the ground. Comes with clipless pedals. French valves, why? Stock tyres aren' great. Brake rotors were never straight.
Although i'm talking about the 08 Pitch Pro, its prettymuch identical to the 09. This bike is versatile! I use it for all types of riding. It pedals well on the uphill xc, does beautifully on the steep technical xc stuff, right at home on flowing singletrack, and is surprisingly competent on the DH and freeride stuff. I have put it through some drops of 6 foot and it handles it fine. The rims have stood up to bad landings very well, there is virtually no evidence of the wobbles.
After a bit of getting used to the shorter top tube feel, and adjusting pedalling style to avoid pedal scraping, I am reasonaly happy with my purchase. A great all round bike at a good price point.
Similar Products Used: Giant Trance, Giant Reign (just a quick test ride).
Bike Setup: Maxxis Minion on the front, DMR V8 pedals, replaced the flimsy 3rd chainring with a bashy. Cut the seatpost so i could drop it for doing DH.
from Fort Collins, CO, USA
Date Reviewed: September 16, 2009
Strengths: Pike is rad, Frame is Rad, rp2 works well
Weaknesses: besides the suspension the stock components only last about a year, taco'd both stock wheels, and both juicey 3 brakes broke. (expected)
This is a Great frame with good suspension for a great price. Ride it for a year and upgrade the cheap stuff as it breaks off. This bike rips and with a Push tune it shreads! Get a coil for the rear and it'll handle any resort.
Bike Setup: juicey 5's, 819's, push'd suspension. sunline bars, trail king peddles, stock crank still.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: August 10, 2009
Strengths: General all round usabilty.Climbs weel, goes downhill well,brakes well! This is a very good bike! Fits me well 5ft 9 inch and I weigh circa 12.5 stone.
Weaknesses: Front wheel now has developed a looseness around the spindle are.Bike shop says 'this is normal'-I don't think so!Front brake- I hit a rock which cAused the front nipple to come loose.Result no front brake going down a rocky hill section.Easy repair. Rear brake cable bust,the cable hangs under the frame so is suspect to 'snagging',I pulled the rear brake on , nothing was there , all the hydraulic fluid hadleaked out. Front wheel spindle I had to replace this because the original one got 'jammed in'. I have done around 1100 miles (mainly off road), and I have replaced fron and rear pads once. The rear tyre is starting to lose its grip now. Please don't think this is a bad bike I actually think its ace!Plus I am sure that any other bike on the market is not perfect!
I would recommend this bike to anyone.I have put my honest thoughts here and due to the varying terrain that I have went over, I don't believe that a more expensive bike or a bike from another manufacturer would have faired any better.
A good bike for the price!
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: July 18, 2009
Strengths: Climbs like a mountain goat. Same geometry that allows to climb so well shines on the downhill as well. Point and shoot. Fox RP2 shock with Pro-Pedal makes a noticeable difference for me uphill. Super plush downhill when full open. Components hold their own.
Weaknesses: Stock components could be better, some of the stuff is near entry level. I would expect a little better on a bike at this pricepoint (MSRP that is). Pike is super plush and really did surprise me but would be nice to have something that matches the back end a bit better like as another reviewer mentioned (I upgraded to a Lyrik Coil U-Turn and it's a beautiful match).
This bike is fantastic. It's the first complete bike I've bought since my parents gave me a Trek 4900 in 6th grade but it's made me realize that Specialized knows maybe just a liiittle bit more than I do about building a bike ;). It really fills the all mountain niche. It has more suspension than the bike I built up yet it climbs 5 times better. If you're looking for a true all mountain bike, buy this bike. It's obvious that it's design comes from the years that Specialized put into the Enduro and that's why you may pay a bit more for this bike than for a comparable bike from another brand but it's worth the extra. I'm loving this bike downhill so much I'm thinking of taking it up to the mountains to ride some medium sized freeride/downhill courses.
Similar Products Used: Custom built bike I've been working on for the past 6 years that was stolen a few weeks ago.
Bike Setup: Stock + ORI lock-on grips and a RockShox Lyrik U-Turn fork (though I rode the bike quite a bit with the Pike)
a Weekend Warrior
from Greenville, SC
Date Reviewed: June 9, 2009
Strengths: Simple design, Fox RP2 rear shock, big 8" front brake rotor, fairly light for an all mountain bike (size medium 31 lbs), very reliable.
Weaknesses: Pike fork - I am 130 lbs / 5'8". For me, the spring in the fork is a little to stiff. Unfortunatly, according to a local dealer the stock spring is as light as they come. Another weakess is the wheels. I haven't taco'd one yet, but the spokes seem to keep coming loose. I have to tighten them about every 3 rides outs.
I am reviewing a 2008 model. The simplistic geometry is great. As in other reviews, this bike climbs well. The Fox RP2 is plush when full open for blasting the downhills, and the pro pedal woks well. Many are fans of the Juicy 3 brakes, but I haven't had any issues yet. I would like the adjustability of juicy 5 or 7. The front 8" rotor gives me all brake I need. As mentioned above, I don't care for the Pike fork. I will replace it with a 150mm Fox Talas or something Fox air fork in the future.
Overall, This bike take anything you throw at it. As mentioned in many other reviews, it is a do all bike.