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


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Will Swan said...

Wow! Great bike and review. Now, where can I buy one?

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