Joe Breeze has always done things his own way, whether it’s developing one of the first mountain bikes, coming back to focus on commuter bikes, or now, avoiding flat mount disc brakes and thru axles when he thinks they don’t make sense.
Exactly a year ago we saw a prototype of the Breezer Inversion, the first performance road/cross bike from Breezer in a long time.
It took a bit to bring it to production, but it is now available and we’ll have one under us in a short time to give you the low-down on this steel mixed terrain performance bike.
Breeze, when not racing vintage mountain bikes in All Mountain stage races, has been working hard over the past year, with backing from parent company ASI. Breeze spends his time in the creative department designing and overseeing production of bikes bearing his name.
To review, the Inversion is a top-end bike of steel alloy sourced in Japan, hydroformed, then TIG welded and finally heat treated after welding. Breeze specifies that process since he wanted shaped tubes to tune the ride quality, and hydroforming could achieve that, but heat treated tubing could not be shaped easily. Using this process, the company says it is able to build strong frames without the need for gussets or reinforcement, and preserving ride quality.
Mark Vanek, product manager for Breezer Bikes also explained why this frame does not follow the trend of using flat mount disc brake mounts, revealing that Joe Breeze did not opt for this trend on the rear end since he had not found an optimum solution for reinforcing the mount while maintaining the ride quality. As a result, the rear brake is post-mounted with the load shared between the seatstay and chainstay. Is it noticeable? Or an explanation for a bike designed and spec’d before the flat mount trend? We’ll give you more on the Inversion when we have a review bike in hand!
Also new this year is the Radar Adventure bike designed for world touring, which can include a lot of dirt roads. For that reason specifically, Breeze specified quick release wheels, allowing relatively easy replacement even in more remote locations, since 135 disc hubs have been around for over two decades now. The TIG welded double-butted chromoly frameset has touring bike geometry and fixtures, with clearance for 700X52 (29X2.1) tires, or narrower with fenders mounted.
Touring geometry means a low, 7.5cm bottom bracket drop and 45.87cm chainstays for load balance and heel clearance with panniers. There are five bottle cage mounts, three in the usual places on the downtube, with 2 additional sets, one on each fork blade. There are threaded provisions for a front rack as well. Brake mounts on the fork are IS again for easy sourcing. The Radar is available for a pittance starting at $889 for a model with 9 speed Shimano Sora and Deore components paired with TRP Spyre brakes. A “Pro” model that we saw at Sea Otter 2017 has 2×10 speed SRAM GX drivetrain and hydraulic brakes for $1489 USD.
A brand new introduction at the 2017 Sea Otter Classic is the Doppler, designed around the 650B wheel with 47mm tires, equaling the rolling diameter of a 700X23. The Doppler is TIG welded of double butted chromoly steel and comes with stainless steel fenders that are easily removable and flat mount disc brakes with a reinforcement on the chainstay. Vanek says in the line-up, the Doppler fits between the performance oriented Inversion and the touring oriented Radar. It also includes 5 bottle mounts like the Radar, and has rack mounts in the rear in addition to the included fenders.
The Doppler is available in three models, two with drop bars. The top model will be around $2000 USD and is equipped with Shimano Ultegra with RS685 levers and RS805 flat mount calipers and a full-carbon fork. The other will be Tiagra 10 speed by with TRP HyRd brakes and a steel fork for around $1500 USD.
On display was an eye-catching shiny gold “cafe model” Doppler with upright bars, SRAM Apex 1 and Tektro hydraulic brakes with a steel fork. This had the WTB Horizon 47mm road tires mounted with the fenders in place, and it looks like a fun bike to take either around town or further. This model will be around $900. The Doppler does not currently appear on the website, but will be available by this summer we’re told.
More info: breezerbikes.com
See our ever-growing stream of new cyclocross and gravel-oriented bikes, wheels, tires, components and cycling gear from 2017 Sea Otter here.
2017 Sea Otter Classic Breezer Bikes Inversion, Radar and Doppler Photo Gallery: