July 10, 2015
Pitch Sport 2015
Affordable for beginner to intermediate with upgrades.
Specialized (will probably keep value).
Pedals are cheap.
1-1/8 steerer instead of tapered (see review).
Tires depending on your terrain type.
First, because this is an "entry level" bike, be careful when reading reviews. I believe that some people that buy this level of bike might be "too heavy" for a the brakes/shock. At 180 geared up, I have no problem with the fork or the brakes. They work as well as I expect for their performance level on the terrain around me (Colorado Front Range, lots of rock gardens, lots of technical singletrack).
If you ride hard, then your first upgrade will probably be pedals. After about 6 rides mine started to fall apart.
Next you might consider tires. The ones on it are pretty bad in mud, and not great on rocks. I think they'd be best in gravel.
Your big upgrade might eventually be the front fork. I recommend riding it as hard as you can until you need a new one. It does its job fun but it's HEAVY. Consider the Suntour loyalty program (you can get some of their "higher end" forks for cheap with proof of purchase of the bike). You WILL need to pay attention to steer tube types. This bike has a zerostack 44mm steertube, so it can be adapted to tapered tubes with the appropriate parts from Nukeproof or Crane Creek (Nukeproof's website has a good manual that explains what you need). Otherwise it is a stock 1-1/8 straight steerer.
Bottom line: after upgrading the shock I believe this bike is competitive with $1000-$1500 hardtail offerings. Spring for the hydro-brakes, and maybe the 9 speed if you really want it, though I haven't found any need for faster or slower gears.