Category: Bicycle Brands

2010 Breezer Thunder first impressions

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.

2010 Breezer Thunder

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.

2010 Breezer Thunder Pro

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.

2010 Breezer Thunder Pro

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.

2010 Breezer Lightning

Coming in December — Breezer will re-introduce the Lightning, a steel hardtail mountain bike.

2010 Breezer Lightning steel mountain bike

Custom butted Reynolds 525 cromoly and integrated head tube, 23.3 lbs equipped with

  • Fox 32 F100-RL Remote Lockout 100mm Travel
  • Shimano XT FC-M770 44/32/22T Chainrings
  • Shimano XT, 28.6mm top swing dual pull front derailleur
  • Shimano XTR rear derailleur
  • Shimano XT Trigger 27-speed shifters
  • Shimano XT 11-32T 9-speed cassette
  • Shimano XT Hydraulic Disc brakes
  • Ritchey WCS Logic Zero Integrated headset
  • Mavic XC 717 wheels with Shimano XT CenterLock Disc 32H hubs
  • Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires

MSRP will be $3199. Available in 15”, 17″, 18.5″, 19.5″, 21″.

2010 Breezer Lightning

Cannondale Hooligan

I saw this Cannondale Minivelo bike (or is it a BMX hybrid?) in a Taiwan bike magazine.

The Cannondale Hooligan has a beefy Al frame, a Lefty style fork, 20″ wheels. Available with a SRAM 3 speed hub or Sunrace 8 speed derailleur. The short wheelbase means twitchy handling, which is not so great for speedy mountain descents but is perfect for the urban environment Cannondale is targeting for this bike.

Best of all, this bike is apparently available in the United States.

Electra Ticino bicycles

I gave you a little sneak peek of Electra‘s new Ticino line of bikes a couple of weeks ago. Here are the specific models and details. They’ll be available in November 2009. All bikes come in “Men’s” and “Ladies'” models.

Ticino 20D $2,000

• Handcrafted, Smooth Welded, Double Butted 6066 Aluminum Frame
• Hand-brazed Fork with Investment-Cast Crown and Butted CrMo Blades
• Shimano 105 20-Speed Drivetrain, Dia-Compe Downtube Shifters
• Ticino Forged Alloy Compact Double Crankset
• Five Star High Flange Hubs and Electra Elite High Polished Double Wall Rims
• Ticino Dual Density Saddle
• Hammered Alloy Fenders, Stainless Steel Rear Carrier


Ticino 18D $1,500

• Butted 6061 T-6 Aluminum Frame
• Hand-Brazed Fork with Investment Cast Crown and Butted CrMo Blades
• Shimano Tiagra 18-Speed Drivetrain and Rapidfire Plus Shifters
• Ticino Forged Alloy Compact Double Crankset
• Five Star High Flange Hubs and Electra Elite High Polished Double Wall Rims
• Ticino Dual Density Saddle
• Hammered Alloy Fenders, Stainless Steel Rear Carrier


Ticino Lux $1,250

• Triple Butted Chromoly Frame
• Hand-Brazed Fork with Investment Cast Crown and Butted CrMo Blades
• Single-Speed Drivetrain with Five Star Flip-Flop Rear Hub
• Ticino Forged Alloy Crankset with 42t Alloy Chainring and Double Alloy Chainguard
• Tektro Dual Pivot Pull Brakes
• Ticino Dual Density, Genuine Leather Saddle w/Chromoly Rails
• Painted Alloy Fenders


Ticino 16D $1,100

• Butted 6061 T-6 Aluminum Frame
• Hand-Brazed Fork with Investment Cast Crown and Butted CrMo Blades
• Shimano 2300 16-Speed Drivetrain and Rapidfire Plus Shifters
• Ticino Forged Alloy Compact Double Crankset
• Tektro Cantilever (Men’s) or Dia-Compe Center-Pull (Ladies’) Brakes
• Hammered Alloy Fenders, Stainless Steel Rear Carrier


Ticino 8D $800

• Butted 6061 T-6 Aluminum Frame
• Hand-Brazed Fork with Investment Cast Crown and Butted CrMo Blades
• Shimano 2300 8-Speed Drivetrain and Rapidfire Plus Shifter
• Ticino Forged Alloy Crankset with 42t Alloy Chainring and Double Alloy Chainguard
• Tektro Cantilever (Men’s) or Dia-Compe Center-Pull (Ladies’) Brakes
• Hammered Alloy Fenders
• Tubular Stainless Steel Constructeurs Rear Carrier


Ticino 7D $550

• 6061 T-6 Aluminum Frame
• Hand-Brazed Fork with Investment Cast Crown
• Shimano Acera 7-Speed Drivetrain and Thumbshifter Plus Shifter
• Ticino Forged Alloy Crankset with 42t Alloy Chainring and Double Alloy Chainguard
• Alloy Linear Pull (Men’s) or Center-Pull (Ladies’) Brakes
• Stainless Steel Fenders


Ticino 1 $500

• Cromoly Maintube Frame
• Hand-Brazed Fork with Investment Cast Crown
• Simple Single-Speed Drivetrain
• Ticino Forged Alloy Crankset with 42t Chainring & Double Alloy Chainguard
• Alloy Linear Pull Brakes
• Stainless Steel Fenders

2009 Bianchi Pinella steel frame

After a two year absence, it looks like Bianchi will reintroduce the Boron steel Pinella frameset in 2009.

2009 Bianchi Pinella steel frameset

I don’t have information on the 09 model, but the sub 3 pound Pinella has been among the lightest weight steel frames available. Though there are concerns with durability — the light weight comes from paper thin tubing — when built up the Pinella frame makes for a fantastic looking bike that handles well at high speeds. It will be available as shown in the classic Celeste color with black graphics.

2009 Bianchi Vigorelli – Steel is real

After a one year absence, Bianchi has reintroduced steel road bikes for 2009, including the nice Vigorelli.

09 Bianchi Vigorelli Ultegra 10 sp compact

The Bianchi people I’ve spoken with really like the 2009 Vigorelli steel road bike — the exact word used is “love,” and this bike built up with Reynolds 631 CrMo tubing and carbon fiber fork is indeed easy to love. Equipped with a mix of Shimano 105 and Ultegra 10 speed components with a compact crankset, the price I’ve heard is “under $1800.”

It’s good to see a decent steel road bike from a top tier bike vendor. 2009 will also see the return of the Imola (Tiagra 9 speed triple) and the entry level Brava (Sora 9 speed triple).

While Bianchi has a nice lineup of carbon fiber dream machines for 2009, higher prices on everything as well as renewed interest in steel among consumers will make the Vigorelli and their other steel bikes a good seller, I think.