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Bombtrack Bike Buyer’s Guide: Bombtrack Hook vs. EXT, Bombtrack Arise & More

Bombtrack is a low-key German brand making cool bikes at affordable prices. If you're looking for a Bombtrack road, gravel, or mountain bike, here's what you need to know.

Bombtrack Bike Buyer’s Guide: Bombtrack Hook vs. EXT, Bombtrack Arise & More

Written by: Bruce Lin

Published on:

Posted in:Guides

Bombtrack is one of our go-to brands for tough, practical, and affordable bikes. Bombtrack’s parent company, WeMakeThings, is based in Cologne, Germany, and is behind a couple of the industry's top BMX brands — WeThePeople Bike Co. and Radio Bikes.

Bombtrack was launched in 2011. It all began when the founders of WeMakeThings discovered that, with time and age, their obsession with BMX had evolved into a passion for riding “big-wheeled” bikes. They decided to start a fresh brand to design and build the sort of bikes they wanted to ride.

Bombtrack might not have the name recognition of the bike world's big players (yet), but sometimes that’s a good thing. Instead of spending on advertising, Bombtrack relies on satisfied and passionate riders to help spread the word. If you want the best bang-for-your-buck ride, Bombtrack might be the answer. 

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Which Bombtrack bike is for you?

gosse van der meer bombtrack cyclocross racerCyclocross pro, Gosse van der Meer, puts his Bombtrack Tension C through the wringer. | Photo Credit: Sam Buchli


Bombtrack produces a full lineup of road, cyclocross, gravel, mountain, adventure/touring, and urban bikes. Most bikes are built around rugged and comfortable steel frames, with some lighter carbon or aluminum options for a few specific models. 

Bombtrack Road Bikes

Bombtrack Tempest

Bombtrack Tempest road bike review

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Who it's for: Road riders, road racers, and weekend warriors
Frame options: Steel, carbon

The Tempest is Bombtrack’s pavement-devouring road bike. Comfort was a key design goal, but not at the expense of efficiency and speed. The standard steel Tempest uses a Columbus Cromo frame with revised tubing, new a T47 threaded bottom bracket, and a carbon fork to boost compliance. It’s equipped with a Shimano 105 groupset mated to TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes. The carbon Tempest upgrades to a Shimano Ultegra group with hydraulic disc brakes. It is a bit stiffer and lighter for a sportier ride. The carbon frame also retains the T47 bottom bracket for reliability.

Bombtrack Audax

Bombtrack Audux road bike review

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Who it's for: Road riders searching for versatility and comfort
Frame options: Aluminum, steel

The Audax is Bombtrack’s unique take on a modern endurance road bike. It’s most notable feature is the 650b wheels that provide unmatched comfort and give it enough versatility to cross over from smooth pavement to rough roads to gravel. The Audax has clearance to fit both ultra-wide tires and mudguards. It retains short chainstays for snappy road handling. There is a full range of mounts and braze-ons on the fork and frame to accept either panniers or bikepacking bags. The aluminum AL version uses a Microshift 1x groupset while steel versions use a mix of Shimano 105 and Ultegra components.

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Bombtrack Mountain Bikes

Bombtrack Cale

Bombtrack Cale mountain bike review

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Who it's for: Trail riders 
Frame options: Aluminum, Steel

The Cale was designed using Bomtrack's experience building BMX bikes and the Beyond+ models. The Cale is a burly hardtail mountain bike that uses contemporary trail geometry with a longer reach (433mm for medium) and a slack 67.5-degree head angle. It’s made to be stable and easy-riding on long trail adventures, but fun and capable when the terrain gets more technical. The front end is controlled by an MRP Ribbon fork with 120mm of travel. A SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain and KS dropper complete the package. The Cale uses 27.5”+ wheels and tires but is also compatible with 29” wheels and tires.

Bombtrack Beyond+

Bombtrack Beyond+ mountain bike review

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Who it's for: Bikepackers exploring mountain bike trails
Frame Options: Steel

The Bombtrack Beyond+ is a rigid mountain bike made for bikepacking and long-distance adventures on rough terrain and singletrack trails. Fatter 27.5’’+ wheels and tires help maximize grip and comfort. The bike’s geometry is designed to remain stable once loaded with bikepacking bags, but it has a lively ride when ridden unloaded. The SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain provides plenty of gearing for climbing steep grades while loaded down. There is routing for a dropper post and a suspension fork can be added if needed. The Beyond+ ADV model includes a backswept Jones H-bar and carbon fork.

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Bombtrack Adventure Bikes

Bombtrack Hook ADV

Bombtrack Hook ADV gravel mountain bike review

Who it's for: Adventure riders transitioning between smooth gravel and rough singletrack
Frame options: Steel

Bombtrack calls the Hook ADV its most radical bike to date. It defies definition (though Bombtrack calls it a mountain bike) and blurs the line between gravel and mountain with a steel frame, drop handlebars, suspension fork, dropper post, and mountain bike tires. Plus, it has plenty of mounts for bikepacking bags. The Hook ADV is a bike ready for any adventure. The MRP Baxter gravel fork provides 40 mm of travel and, when paired with the radically wide and flared Ritchey VentureMax handlebars, it helps you maximize control on rougher terrain. An 11-speed SRAM Rival 1x groupset and high-volume knobby tires complete the machine.

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Bombtrack Gravel Bikes

Bombtrack Arise

Bombtrack arise singlespeed gravel bike review

Who it's for: The maintenance-adverse or singlespeed gravel aficionados
Frame options: Steel

The Bombtrack Arise is a versatile gravel singlespeed made so you can spend more time riding, and less time wrenching. The comfortable steel frame can accept mudguards and a rack for touring, and wide knobby tires for venturing into the wilderness. The Arise 1 uses Tektro mini V-brakes that are easy to adjust and service while the Arise 2 upgrades to mechanical disc brakes. The Arise is a great option for riders on a tight budget, or those who need a bike that can handle the worst weather conditions. The frame and hub come ready to accept a geared drivetrain should your priorities change.

Bombtrack Hook

Bombtrack Hook gravel bike review

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Who it's for: General gravel riders and racers
Frame options: Steel

The Bombtrack Hook is Bombtrack’s “classic” gravel bike with 700C tires and a steel frame. It has direct mounts for a top tube bag, three bottle cage mounts, and standard rack and fender mounts, so you can load it up or leave it stripped down for faster group rides and races. It’s comfortable and easily adaptable. The Hook 1 uses a sub-compact crank and 9-speed Shimano Sora group while the Hook 2 upgrades to a SRAM Rival 1x group.

Bombtrack Hook EXT

Bombtrack Hook EXT-C gravel bike Review

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Who it's for: Gravel riders and racers looking for more comfort and traction
Frame options: Steel, carbon

Bombtrack calls the Hook EXT the “hooligan” version of the Hook. It uses the same steel frame and carbon fork as the standard model, but switches to 650b wheels free up space for bigger tires. This gives the Hook EXT the ability to smash its way through tougher trails that would stall most other drop handlebar bikes. The EXT-C upgrades to a lighter and stiffer carbon frame for those with racier intentions. Both models use Sram’s Rival 1x groupset. The Hook EXT is the best choice for handling the widest variety of gravel terrain, and it allows you to cut loose when roads get rowdy.

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Bombtrack Cyclocross Bikes

Bombtrack Tension

Bombtrack Tension cyclocross bike reviewWho it's for: Cyclocross racers
Frame options: Aluminum, carbon

The Bombtrack Tension is a lightweight cyclocross bike made to handle tight, technical cyclocross courses. The Tension 1 and 2 use a hydroformed aluminum frame and carbon fork to provide a robust and wallet-friendly racing platform. If you're looking for a bit more racing pedigree, the pro-level Tension C sheds some extra weight with a full carbon frame. A SRAM Apex 1x groupset ensures it’ll keep the chain on through rough and bumpy sections. It’ll survive multiple seasons' worths of mud without complaint.

gosse van der meer bombtrack cyclocross victoryWorld Cup racer Gosse van der Meer | Photo credit: Bombtrack

The Tension C takes it to the next level with a lighter and stiffer carbon frame and SRAM’s high-end Force 1x drivetrain. It’s capable of competing at the pro-level and has won several UCI races beneath Bombtrack’s pro rider Gosse van der Meer.

Bombtrack Touring Bikes

Bombtrack Arise Tour

Bombtrack Arise tour bike review

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Who it's for: Long-distance, self-supported touring riders
Frame options: Steel

The Arise Tour is a bike made to escape civilization. It’s a simple touring bike with Twin Tubus racks, mudguards, and Supernova dynamo lighting. A sub-compact crankset combined with Microshift derailleurs and a big 11-42t cassette gives riders an enormous gear range for ultra-long-distance bike tours while loaded up with bags. It uses classic, utilitarian bar-end shifters and mechanical TRP Spyre brakes that are reliable and easily repaired in remote areas.

Bombtrack Beyond

Bombtrack Beyond touring bike review

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Who it's for: Mixed-terrain touring riders
Frame options: Steel

The Bombtrack Beyond is a touring bike that can survive off-road for weeks at a time. It’s made to cross countries and continents via any road or trail. The steel frame provides a comfortable upright riding position. The sub-compact crankset and SRAM Apex shifters paired with a GX mountain bike derailleur make it easy to tackle most climbs. Mechanical TRP Spyre disc brakes can be easily serviced in remote areas with a minimum number of tools. There’s even a Beyond Junior kid’s bike so you and your little one can go adventuring together.

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