Monday, November 15, 2010

Breezer Thunder Elite

Breezer kindly provided me with a bike to race with at Iceman and to ride around for while. I have been racing on a Breezer mountain bike for nearly a decade, it just so happens the bike was a decade or more older. Now that Breezer started making race bikes again we both have gone to 21st century technology. The most exciting part is that the same great qualities that were loved about the Breezer's in the 90's still can be felt today.

The Breezer Thunder Elite is made with Breezer D-Fusion custom butted 6061 alloy frame. These tubes were designed by Joe years ago and are still used today to help keep the great riding quality. According to Joe it's not so much the material you use either it be steel, aluminum, or carbon, but the way you use it and lay it out. He also wants the lightest frame per strength. It worked back then and it still works today.

But here come the advances. The frame is hydroformed, which is the curved down tube. This gives clearance for the 100mm fork without having to join the downtube much higher on the headtube which would result in a weaker frame. Also added is a integrated headtube, fork lock out and disc break mounts.

The rear disc break mount is located on the chainstay. This keeps the pressure of breaking applied to the axle upwards as opposed to downwards on seat stay mounted calipers. It also keeps it nice and tucked in. Still in play are the infamous Breeze in drop outs. They are lighter and stiffer then standard dropouts.

It's still very classy with the old school paint scheme and the metal etched head tube badge. There is something to be said about the classic look. It still turns heads. Notice the little detailed put into this bike with Breezer being labeled on the cable frame protectors and on the handlebars.

This bike is built up with Shimano XT and Ritchey WCS. These are flawless components and execute perfectly. They also help keep the bike light as it tipped the scale at 22.8lbs. It's not super light carbon bike, but it keeps it ride quality and stiffness with sacrificing ounces.

I was surprised by how closely similar my 1995 Breezer Jet Stream (steal) and the Breezer Thunder Elite rode and raced. These bikes are designed for what Joe loves. Slicing through single track and bombing downhills. The handling of the bike shows this and gave me plenty of confidence. During Iceman there are plenty of bumpy, tight and fast decents and I never felt out of control. The frame is stiff and light making it perfect for the short steep climbs and being able to add in the fork lock out made for a stiff climbing beast. I've never had a fork lock out before and after getting advice on when to use it I instantly fell in love it. It's like having two bikes.

Coming soon into production are the Breezer Cloud 9's. These are full carbon 29ers. I wonder how these compare? As long as that ride quality is there, which I'm sure is, I couldn't imagine a much better mountain bike.

Breeze on

Friday, November 05, 2010

Here it is my secret weapon. A 2010 Breezer Thunder Elite! I was excited when Joe started making race bikes again last year and dreamed of getting on a new one. Well I emailed them and JT, who helps run the show, gladly set me up with this. Full review and more pictures to come. I know you all are jealous, but they are available to the public.

Pre rode the Iceman course today with Brent and his girlfriend Jamie. The weather went from bad to worse. It started off in the low 30's and overcast, but quickly got windy and snowy.

Here's a picture at Williamsburg Road.

Conditions made riding a little slower. The pre ride that was under 2hrs last year was a quarter over this time making the ride drag on a bit. Good day though sloshing through sand, mud, slush and snow.

I'm not going to lie, but the conditions last year were much more conducive to me getting a good result. This year it will take a bit more skills to hang it there. We will see how it goes.

Breeze On

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Iceman anyone?

Friday: Snow showers likely, mainly after 2pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 38. North wind between 5 and 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Friday Night: Snow showers likely. Cloudy, with a low around 22. Northwest wind between 5 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Saturday: A 30 percent chance of snow showers before 2pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 38.

After two years of riding around and racing in shorts and a jersey it's time to get back to reality. Wonder if we might get a surprise with a bit of accumulation. Good times are ahead.

Breeze On

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Only a few more days till Iceman, as excited as I am for the race I wish it was a couple more weeks away. I was hardly able to ride my bike all last week due to jet-lag and spending the weekend sick in bed. It was the sickest I've been in a long time. I was do for a little break anyways so it work out. Still Iceman will be fun and that is what the whole event is all about. On top of that the last two days I have finally felt back to normal and it has never felt so great.

I can't wait to reveal the secret weapon of choice for Iceman. Since I'm not ready to reveal that here is Kenda p/b GearGrinder 2011 racing kit. We'll be looking good as always.

I wrote a summary for the Michigan Bicycle Racing Association on the Tour of DMZ. Here is the report>>>

Breeze On