Apr 17, 2011

Breezer Cloud 9 LTD

So I finally received my new Breezer Cloud 9. It arrived on my birthday April 14th. When I got to the shop it had been built up with Crank Brother Eggbeater 11's, Easton Monkey lite SL handle bars, and Ergon GX2 Carbon grips. The bike weighed 24 lbs. I was not terribly impressed. As an XC racer I am looking for a light bike. I did a little investigation and found the major culprit to be the tires, 775 grams for those WTB's. That's gotta go, and tubes? No tubes. So I put some Bontrager XR3 550 gram tires on without tubes and sealed with Stan's sealant. The bike lost well over a pound right there. I tried a Sele Italia SLR seat with a Thomson post. I like the post as it puts the rider more forward on the bike than the stock Oval setback post. But the SLR saddle proved to be a little uncomfortable. I am not real sure why, I have used that very saddle for years. I think it is mostly because I am at the end of a seven day run of 2 hr days, a lot of which has been high intensity. So I put the stock saddle back on. The stock rotors are too heavy, I swapped out to Sram's xx rotors(160mm front and rear). The stock cassette is very heavy to, about 340 grams for the XT 11-36. On order is a Sram XG 11-36 cassette that weighs 237 grams. So the bike should weigh 22 lbs when I get the new cassette, very respectable.
When I first threw a leg over the bike things were feeling good. My prior 29er was a Spot Longboard 9 and this was feeling somewhat similar, a little shorter of a cockpit, but still felt comfortable. First adjustments were the saddle height and position. All of the way forward is normal for me with my short femurs? Then adjusting the XTR brakes, takes an allen but works well. Air pressure on the fork is 120lbs in the positive and I started at 120lbs in the negative and let air out till it felt right. I weigh around 165. The tires are a little skinny so 26lbs in the front and 31 in the rear.My Spot has had a rigid fork on it for the last 6 months so the first couple of rides on this bike have been amazing. This bike feels as fast or faster than my Spot on the climbs. That does not make a lot of sense because they weigh about the same and the spot has a rigid fork but I attribute it to efficiency. I think this bike( and probably a lot of new carbon 29er hardtails) is very effective at transferring the power into forward momentum. Good news. Then the downhill. This bike is of course even faster here. I got used to the shorter cockpit immediately and I am no technical wizard on the downhill sections. The bike is quiet as a mouse. All you hear is the tires humming along. The carbon mutes a lot of noise. It seems to me tire choice is not as critical when you have suspension. These Bontrager tires seemed a bit sketchy on my rigid Spot but felt a lot more controlled on this bike with the suspension tracking the dirt.

I really feel at this point this bike will take many minutes off my race times compared to my Spot. Granted the Spot with rigid fork was kind of a limited race machine. Oh yeah I changed the wheels set to Easton EA90's but I think they weigh about the same as the stock WTB's.
Bottom line is I think any new carbon fiber 29er bike will be a great improvement over any older bike. I feel the geometry of this Breezer bike is very normal and comfortable. It feels like you are riding a very solid predicable machine that only moves in ways it was designed too. The new XTR stuff is great. It feels like the bicycle has finally been perfected and I am very happy.
As my legs get fresh this week I'll advise of any new thoughts and feel free to ask any questions.