In the early 90s, Joe Breeze introduced the aluminum Breezer Thunder. He stopped production of all mountain bikes after 1998 to focus on bicycle advocacy and, later, he relaunched Breezer Bikes as a commuter bike company.
Something old, something new.
For the 2010 model year, Breeze will re-introduce the retro but all modern Breezer Thunder mountain bike.
Like its forebear, this is an aluminum hardtail. The modern edition features triple butted 6066 aluminum with lots of hydroformed curvy goodness. The trademark Breezer blue and white paint is lustrous and beautiful. Hydraulic disc brakes stop the bike, and Ritchey seatpost, headset, handlebar and tires with Mavic wheels provide the control.
The down and dirty on the available build options:
Thunder Elite ($3199): Shimano XT (including XT wheel set) with XTR rear derailleur, Fox F-Series Remote fork.
Thunder Pro ($2399): Shimano SLX with XT rear derailleur, Fox F-Series fork.
Thunder Comp ($1999): Shimano Deore with SLX rear derailleur, Fox F-Series fork.
When Breeze sold mountain bikes in the 90s, I was a committed road cyclist. These days I'm mostly a "utility" cyclist who still enjoys road riding, but I occasionally hit the trails in the Santa Cruz Mountains on an ancient alloy GT. A modern mountain bike with modern components is a real kick.
My bathroom scale says the Thunder "Pro" sample I have weighs about 25 pounds, and oh boy is it fun to ride. The Thunder Pro leaps over fallen redwood limbs in a single bound! This bike thunders (sorry) down 30 degree stairstepped descents with aplomb. I'm still getting accustomed to the slightly twitchy handling (it's not a road bike), so I appreciate the relatively light weight as I drag myself and the bike back up to the trail after I misjudge a turn and hurtle over the edge into the poison oak below.
The Breezer Thunder is a lovely and competent hardtail trail bike. Erik of Norcal Bikers and I will take the Thunder through its paces in the coming days and we'll let you know how it works out. We're tentatively talking about meeting up at Delaveaga Park in Santa Cruz this Saturday morning if you'd like to take a look at this bike. Follow me on Twitter for updates.