In case you hadnt heard, the legendary Joe Breeze is back designing mountain bikes and for 2011 Breezer is introducing its first line of 29ers. I got a chance to demo the Breezer Cloud 9 Pro which had literally just been flown in from the factory in Taiwan days earlier.
As one of the first to design and sell mountain bike commercially, Joe Breeze has an eye for detail thats tough to match in the industry. Breeze is also decidedly old school in his thinking in some ways which is certainly right up my alley. Not that Breezer mountain bikes dont make use of the latest materials and technology they just do so in the simplest way possible.
Take, for example, Breezes idea that a carbon fiber bike should ride like a steel frame bike. Most experienced riders would agree that steel feels the best on the trail and thanks to modern design, carbon fiber layup schedules can be tweaked to give frames a stiff yet supple feel. Based on my test rides, the Cloud 9 felt much more supple than the carbon Superfly Elite despite similar geometry and materials and offered a much more comfortable, enjoyable ride. Because its carbon fiber the bike is lightweight too, though the Pro model I rode felt a little heavy due to budget-friendly components (theres a top-of-the-line model that offers much lighter components).
Like the Superfly Elite, the Cloud 9 boasts short chainstays to improve handling. In fact, Breezer claims the Cloud 9 has shorter chainstays than pretty much any 29er out there thanks to some innovative design work.
The Breezer Cloud 9 also features a chainstay disk brake mount which is a bit unusual but well considered. It turns out rear wheel braking forces generated by seat stay rear brake mounts push the axle downward which strains weak quick-release hardware. With a chainstay mount, braking forces should push the axle up where the dropouts can better resist the forces.
All this attention to detail on the Breezer Cloud 9 adds up to a solid, refined bike that performs well and is still fun to ride. Its honestly hard to believe this is the first 29er from Breezer based on the quality and design. Word is a steel 29er is in the works as are full suspension Breezer mountain bikes. Keep an eye on Breezer over the next two years these bikes should be legendary!