First Look: Breezer Repack - Eurobike 2013

Aug 27, 2013
by Mike Kazimer  
First Look: Breezer Repack
Repack Details
• 160mm travel
• 27.5" wheels
• ISCG mount
• Price: €2499 - €3699 (US pricing TBD)


• MLink suspension design
• 12x142mm thru-axle
• BB92 bottom bracket
• 6066 aluminum frame, sealed cartridge bearings

Breezer, founded by mountain bike pioneer Joe Breeze, is a brand more commonly associated with cross country or urban transportation offerings, but for 2014 the company is looking to expand into the all-mountain segment with the introduction of the Repack. The Repack will be Breezer's first full-suspension offering since the mid-'90s, and with 160mm of travel and 27.5” wheels it's a far cry from those initial forays into dual suspension.

The Repack has a 68 degree head angle and 438mm chainstays, numbers that aren't radically slack or short, but which were chosen by Joe Breeze for the well-rounded handling characteristics they provide. Breeze's theory is that the higher axle location that comes with 27.5” wheels means that a bike's head angle can be steeper than it would be on a 26” wheeled bike and still achieve the same ride characteristics.

Breezer Repack

With the MLink suspension system the rearmost pivot is located in the middle of the chainstay. Expanding collet pivot hardware is found on the pivots located on the seattube, where sealed cartridge bearings rotate around 17mm axles.


Suspension Design
While Joe Breeze is known for his expertise in frame geometry, he sought outside help to develop a suitable suspension design for the Repack. This outside help came from the Sotto Group, a firm that has developed numerous suspension systems, including Yeti's Switch suspension design. For Breezer, the firm developed the MLink suspension system, an interesting combination between a dual short bar link design and a Horst link, with a pivot placed in the middle of the chainstays and a rocker link mounted to the seat tube. This mid-chainstay pivot location means that the pivot only needs to move 3 degrees as the bike goes through its travel, which could help extend bearing life, since the bearings don't need to move as much as they would in a dual short link design. Frame stiffness was a key factor in the design process, with the end goal being to create a low maintenance, flex free frame. To accomplish this, the rear shock is connected directly to the rear swingarm, and an aluminum brace joins the seat stays to the chainstays for additional solidity.

Parts Spec
There will be three models of the Repack, with the Team version coming decked in a full XT build kit, a Fox 34 Float up front and a Float CTD rear shock. The Pro model gets an SLX drivetrain, and the Expert gets Shimano's Deore gruppo with X-Fusion's Sweep fork and O2 RLX rear shock.

The legend himself, Joe Breeze poses with the Repack. The name comes from Marin County's Repack Hill, the site of mountain biking's historic early days in the mid 1970s.


www.breezerbikes.com


134 Comments

  • 62 7
 "This mid-chainstay pivot location means that the pivot only needs to move 3 degrees as the bike goes through its travel, which should help extend the lifespan of the sealed cartridge bearings."

This is a flawed statement. If I'm reading this correctly (which I may not be) then it sounds like the design uses a cartridge bearing to rotate 3 degrees. Rolling element bearings that are used for oscillating applications must rotate enough to provide at least one full rotation for each rolling element. This means that in a bearing with 10 balls, the bearing must rotate 36 degrees. For a bearing that rotates 3 degrees, this means that there must ne 120 rolling elements, which seems unlikely. Bearings that don't have this minimum rotation tend to fail (very) early due to fretting corrosion as the ball immediately wears through the lubrication. This is why bushings are typically used for these types of applications, bro.
  • 45 45
 It's true that bushings would work well in this application - I spoke with Breezer about it and they said they hadn't ruled out using them in the future. However, it has been proven in multiple frame designs that cartridge bearings can work well even if the bearings aren't going through one full rotation. And please don't call me bro.
  • 69 11
 Whats the matter with him calling you bro dude?
  • 38 4
 aks is 100% correct. Guess we'll see what changes.

Do you even Bro, bro?
  • 31 41
flag cyberhawk (Aug 27, 2013 at 7:37) (Below Threshold)
 you want to make a solid statement or comment .. dont end it with ghetto talk..
  • 7 1
 Reminds me of the Stumpjumper.
  • 13 2
 aks21 is correct.
  • 28 2
 I'm not your friend, buddy...
  • 5 3
 There would be less force on the bearings, so maybe this reduces the problem. bro
  • 10 1
 Mike, proven to work well, and proven to work are two different things. Case in point: lower link bearings on the Mojo HD. 1/8 of a rotation maybe? Upper links turn more. If you don't actually remove the lower bearings you wouldn't know much is wrong, as the leverage of the swing arm still provides pretty smooth movement. But if you remove the bearing you will find it is completely fretted. High load, low rotation, bearing replacement every 6 months.

Just because it's designed by an engineer, does not make it well engineered. I'm in the aviation industry, and a lot of engineer are seriously lacking in on the ground stuff, like wear and metallurgy. When they come to an experienced engine mechanic to ask them 'what do you think' before they make a recommendation, really leaves me serious doubts about bike engineers ;-)
  • 9 1
 Good point ukr77. Both you and aks21 raise valid arguments, and I completely agree that often times cartridge bearings end up used in places where a bushing would be a better option. We'll just have to wait and see how this offering from Breezer fares in the real world.
  • 3 6
 bro gnar
  • 17 4
 "bro" is ghetto talk? I thought it was surfer talk, dude. Or it is brah? bruh? man.
  • 13 6
 Who cares? The man just doesn't want to be called bro. Play nice, respect his reasonable request and be grateful that people like him write articles like this for us all. That aside though, you make an interesting point aks21 Smile
  • 2 1
 Of course this doesn't have bushings where it makes perfect sense they they should be. Bushings have a bad rap, and in this era where MTB evolution is driven by marketing BS, no bushings, you'll just have to replace your worn out bearings every 6mo. And all due respect to Breeze, one of the founding fathers of our sport, but this bike looks horrible. There is no shame in going with a tried and true design, and nailing the details.
  • 3 1
 What did he say? You lost me somewhere between 3 degrees and rolling elements. Do the wheels roll and is the warranty good? I'm in.
  • 11 1
 I'm not your buddy, Pal.
  • 3 2
 Calling someone "boss" or "chief" is way more ghetto, bro is much nicer.
Lol!
  • 3 0
 or 'yo'
  • 4 0
 @arna86 thats true. I do owe him some good reading times and Im sure he is lol about the bro thang mate
  • 9 1
 You got it don - it's all in good fun. We're all here because we like riding bikes, and that's what really matters.
  • 5 3
 Brosephina? Brocephus? Bro-ontosaurus? Yea, was with aks21 all the way up to "bro". Valid points that kind of lose their merit when you end your sentence in what some would deem a very sarcastic term. In most pre-fight shit talking, every sentence ends in "bro". "What's your problem, BRO?" "Get off of my girl, BRO." "You stole my wave, BRO!" It's more of a sign of indignation than a real familial term.
  • 6 1
 Clearly he didn't get any sand in his brogina over this one.
  • 2 1
 Lol, Brogina, lol
  • 1 1
 wouldn't that pivot in the center of the chainstay cause flex as well? from what I've heard from other armchair engineers it seems bushings are stiffer than bearings
  • 2 3
 there are currently 8 ghetto pussy's who were offended by my statement..
  • 3 1
 Hey Mike, I agree with your comment about the real world being the decider of the design - if it works then all of this armchair engineering won't matter. I design and build industrial machinery and the emphasis is placed on durability. We're talking millions upon millions of cycles between service intervals, so admittedly my perspective is a bit skewed. That being said I am glad to hear that Breezer can convert the design to a bushing if the need arises. Sorry about the bro comment, just thought it would help lighten up an otherwise long and nerdy post!
  • 3 1
 No worries aks21 - I'm continually amazed at the level of expertise many PB commenters possess and certainly like hearing the differing opinions on a new frame design. No offense taken by the bro comment either Smile
  • 1 2
 Well... f*ck me

right ... ? Blank Stare
  • 1 2
 Damn it, i'm too late to the game. Yeah, cartridge bearings may work plenty fine, but they live the longest when they are constantly rotating and are put under load. That's why Scott's Gambler philosophy of high rotation, low load in the beggining and high load, low rotation (if it can't be avoided) in the end of travel is good, since the bearing will be smooth around the sag point (the most commonly used part of the travel) and possibly be fried only in the deep part of the travel, where forces are high enough anyway to hardly notice it.

EDIT: and yeah, as i can see it, putting a pivot in the middle of the chainstay would only bring problems. With a normal horst link or an old Kona style you at least have a strong axle connecting the two sides, keeping the pivots at least slightly colinear. With a DW-link (or any other short link system) you encase the bearings in a uniform shell with a pivot all around it. Stiff as hell. With this you have a pivot on each side that's connected with a wonky stick (sorry, but MTB frames are more or less weak sticks, their shape more or less guarantees it). Which is just awesome for fley, aligment, wear, etc.
  • 1 1
 Come at me bro
  • 1 2
 If your comment was aimed at me, go ahead, ride spaghetti stiff bikes. Then come back and tell me that you like it, if you dare to lie.

Without people being anal about stiffness and suspension performance we'd still be riding kluknkers. If i were you i'd buy the guy, that's raging on about some bike sucking (and giving arguments to his thinking), a beer.
  • 50 2
 Its got kashima, suspension gadgets and big wheels...at least they got their marketing right.
  • 7 1
 Well that escalated quickly...
  • 10 0
 They totally forgot all about the carbon fibers though, I no longer want it.
  • 3 1
 Haven't you heard - steel is BACK Razz !
  • 29 1
 So the chainslap will go right onto the pivot in the middle of the chainstay?
  • 1 0
 Lol looks like it
  • 23 0
 Not sure about having a pivot in the middle of the chainstay but good to see a bike at a lower price point
  • 2 3
 I take a look in Sotto Group website and they mande this system, but is a bit changed, I think its bike it have more susp travel

www.sottogroup.com/frames
  • 2 7
flag makripper (Aug 27, 2013 at 7:08) (Below Threshold)
 it will blow up haha, they designed the evil revolt!
  • 1 0
 If u ever owned one you would know..
  • 1 0
 They designed the mountain cycle too xD
  • 14 0
 you would think that the bike market would be saturated with excellent designs of perfect suspension platforms based on the amount of experts on here, where are all of these bikes?
  • 8 0
 Let us all "professionals" wait and see on a full blown review. Give the bike , designers, Mr. Breeze and Mr. Kazimer a break . So many of us talk like we know everything, yet we are sitting in front of a keyboard instead of being the "MAN" who invents the bike that does it "ALL". Good on someone taking a business risk in this economy !!
  • 8 0
 It can't be repack if it's not klunkin'!
  • 3 0
 Not much info on how the "M" Link works... You'd think they would waste more words on that then the parts spec... In fact, anyone notice most reviews or chatter about bikes lately spray more about the parts we all already know about than the "new" suspension design?? Makes you wonder...
  • 7 1
 This is just a first look - without any time on the bike it's hard to go into much detail about the suspension short of speculation. On our full reviews we typically have a more in depth analysis of a bike's suspension layout.
  • 4 6
 Give it a few days, I'm sure one of the armchair frame designers on mtbr will put the layout into their copy of solidworks CAD or something and render some cute gif animation to show how it works to all the other armchair designers out there.
  • 1 0
 Agree. One of the reasons I quite reading bike reviews in magazines. 10 paragraphs on the components, if they shift well, if the suspension is squishy.... 2 paragraphs on how the bike actually rides. pffft.

Understood - it's a first look. But no need to speculate. Joe Breeze worked with Sottogroup to design this, they could discuss what the "M Link" hopes to accomplish. What are its characteristics? Will it be stable pedaling platform? More plush? Sit deep in the travel? There must some ideas behind why there is an M link there and what it does compared to others?

All this could be discussed without putting a leg over it, it wouldn't be speculation - it would set expectations.
  • 2 0
 I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say their goal was to make the frame stiff, efficient, and active. I don't think it would have been productive for Mike to make stuff up about how he thought it would ride based on looking at it. Really the only thing these articles can accomplish is making us aware these bikes exist and showing us some pretty pictures.

I'm intrigued but not terribly excited, seems to me like the pivots on the stays will be more trouble (weight/maintenance) than they're worth. With only 3 degrees of movement I'd rather just have a solid hung of metal there personally.
  • 1 0
 I was playing on linkage a couple of months ago and came pretty much to that exact design when trying to maximize antisquat at the sag point and minimize it at bottom and top out- its freeware so don't ask for a save, but I might have the screenshot still.

.... So pedaling efficiency at sag, more active everywhere else?
  • 2 0
 Speculation/expectations aside, this is a new design, I am curious how it'll work.. I suppose I'm a geek when it comes to new suspension designs...
  • 2 0
 Interesting suspension design. Would love to see the slow motion video of it working.

If, as stated in the article, the mid chain-stay pivot only rotates 3degrees, and let's say 17" chain-stays (just rounding off) - then it would seem you get less than 1/2 inch of travel at the rear wheel from the chain stay pivot. There are interesting ride feel implications for when in the full travel the mid chain-stay pivot takes over and for how that rotation is limited.
  • 8 6
 "the pivot only needs to move 3 degrees as the bike goes through its travel, which should help extend the lifespan of the sealed cartridge bearings. "
Um, small amounts of repeated rotation is exactly what kills cartridge bearings...
What an awful looking bike! Looks like they've designed it around whichever layout avoids most patent infringements...
  • 3 0
 Rear looks stiff. If it handles as well as past Breezers and adds160mm to their game, I'll gladly trade my Stumpy. Hmm, now which dropper to add (doesn't look like it comes with one).
  • 1 0
 get the new overpriced ks carbon short travel post! you'll be the envy of all the 29er lycra wearing riders
  • 2 0
 took this shot the other day ---

that's an old skool Breezer Lightning still going strong some 20 years later ---

www.pinkbike.com/photo/10007392


l love the Breezer line.... l used to sell the snarkies outta them back when they just did steel. really glad to see they're back making 29ers and that new full squish is sweet!!!
  • 3 0
 If Breezer is referring to the Repack days on Mt Tam lets hope this things bearings hold up and don't need a repacking at the bottom of the hill :p
  • 3 0
 m.youtube.com/watch?v=6LsYAC32Ul8

The comments between aks21 & mikekazimer where more interesting than the article!
  • 1 0
 Swap out the chainstay link with a more flexible material like Ti or 45 degree lay up carbon to get that 3 degrees of rotation and this would be a much lighter and lower maintenance/worry-free suspension concept. Think of the Cannondale Scalpel's chainstay or the old Ibis Bow Ti (only in terms of pivot-less rotation). Personally, I think it would make this great concept even greater.
  • 2 2
 Another bandwagon jumping 27.5 bike? I recon Breeze saw the "enduro/lets have another wheel size craze" gap and took it. Smart move. Not too sure about the look of that rear suspesnion design though - a few too many extra bits to stiffen up the triangle were needed.
  • 2 0
 Looks like a titus moto lite with a random pivot in the middle of the chain stays. Hopefully this is not the bike that Joe Breeze is remembered by............
  • 2 0
 Love this bike man. I live 15 minutes away from where mtb began, so this is nostalgic for us marinite mtbers. thing breathes AM, perfect for the shit around here
  • 1 0
 With WTB and Ritchey parts. Marin tribute bike?
  • 1 0
 I hate to be negative, but my first look at that shiny paint and the sticker work made me instantly think of some Walmart bike. Other than that, the design reminds me of Rocky Mountain's ETSX.
  • 2 0
 I like bikes that are unlike other bikes. Something different is good. Makes you look cooler on the trail too, more gawkers. And nowadays, it's all about gawking.
  • 1 1
 The suspension design is interesting but I wonder whether patent rights having been granted for it. The Sotto Group in my judgement has a questionable track record of claiming patent protection for designs that introduce little more than trivial or obvious variations to well known prior art. For example, the Sotto patent on which the Yeti Switch suspension design is based appears to be very similar to an older Btwin/Decathlon patent. It would be unfortunate to see any company benefit from patent protection for a suspension design like the Mlink. With the end of the Specialized horst-link/FSR patent designers should be free to position chainstay pivots as they please without threat of legal sanction.
  • 2 0
 That 2500 got me stoked, then I saw it is probably frame price and in euros....
  • 2 1
 That's what happens when they put a dollar sign in front of it instead of the sign for Euros.
  • 3 0
 How bizarre - some earlier posts re the suspension design have vanished...
  • 3 0
 Ya, I don't think they liked what we had to say. LOL
  • 1 0
 Maybe - lets make the point again - I think is that the suspesnion design is nothing new except in how it looks. If you reduce it to the basics its an uglier version of a maestro/dw/vpp bike. Its all about shuffling pivot locations and not infringing patents...
  • 5 2
 There's very little original in suspension design for bicycles that isn't being taken from automotive suspension designs that date back decades. That you can get patents in the USA at all for obvious to anyone with a brain and a textbook on prior designs, is the problem with the patent system.
  • 1 0
 Thank you deeeight. I think the excuse is "integral to the frame design" iirc
  • 1 0
 Looks sweet. It looks sort of like a maestro or a vpp type 4 link. Joe Breeze is the father of mountain bike design. I would like to try out this bike.
  • 1 0
 Oh. My. Garsh. I just realized I can run this bike as a single speed with a Gates belt drive.... Or does the rear axle path lengthen too much?
  • 6 3
 meh..........
  • 3 3
 meh.. too
  • 1 3
 Looks flexy.

And how the heck does it extend bearing life, when bearing really do not like such small movements?

And direct connection to shock means shock will not last long.

I thought FSR patent in US was about to expire?
  • 3 2
 The horst-link patent expired in the spring.
  • 2 1
 MMhhh I like the bike but not sure about the steep head angle.
  • 2 0
 The neat thing about this bike is its designed to handle well, and uses numbers that make sense.
  • 1 0
 Purchase. Install Angleset. Profit.
  • 2 0
 I feel like there's a step missing...
  • 1 0
 Ride?
  • 1 0
 I tend not to gain money by buying an angleset.... maybe the step was becoming a hooker?
  • 3 1
 FLEXYYYYYYY
  • 7 0
 and your proof of that is what?
  • 1 0
 old skool steel --- steel is real.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/9388181
  • 1 0
 carbon is faster
  • 1 0
 ha ha --- maybe so but not the point especially when my steel Breezer frame is several years older than you, dating back to when Breezer first came out on the market, before the whole Interloc and Dfusion.
  • 1 0
 Does the Pro use the same Fork and Rear Shock?
  • 1 0
 The rear linkage looks very very similar to the enduro. Hmmm..
  • 1 0
 With Ritchey and WTB parts this thing is like a Marin tribute bike.
  • 1 0
 yo la veo muy bien en tiene muy pero que muy buena pinta
  • 1 0
 the team bike comes "decked" with full xt... not xtr?
  • 1 0
 But you really need xtr? Cut them some slack, it will work great- your bike will be heavier, but so will your wallet.

I would probably kill someone for xt. Don't quite know what I would need to do for xtr...
  • 7 8
 Looks like a real "Low maintenance" bike. Jeez pivots and bearings everywhere!
  • 8 3
 No more than practically every other 4-bar design around.
  • 2 5
 True. But the pivot between the lower link and the chain stay seem very prone to flex (break?). Could be a lot of stress on those bearings.
Curious to see how it rides though, it's good to see something a little different.
  • 4 1
 Why?! There's more leverage on all the short-link 4-bars out there (DW/VPP and others) and they rotate more during a suspension cycle and millions of frames have been made using them without failing.
  • 1 0
 How is there more leverage on the short links on a DW bike? Those are usually way over-built, and very short. I think that these links will flex way more than on a DW bike laterally.
  • 3 0
 The entire swing arm acts as a big lever, while the rear wheel center is virtually pivoting around a point in space where the links line up, the swingarm itself is physically pivoting off the upper and lower link connecting points and doing so puts leverage and stress on whatever bearing mechanism is used at the pivots. Long upper / lower links experience less leverage against their ends than short ones do. This is PRECISELY why the short links on a DW or VPP vike are so over-built. .
  • 1 0
 But the pivots are smack in the middle of the chainstays, exactly where they will experience the greatest amount of lateral load and flex, hence the ugly brace joints. How long do you think those bearings will last there? You also get the chain slapping the drive side, plus they are more exposed when crashing.

Friend of mine had an ETSX designed similar to this that went through multiple rounds of bearing replacement in the short time he had the bike, back of the bike was always getting sloppy.
  • 3 0
 ETSX's had more problems than just the short links, they went thru multiple redesigns to solve the seat tube cracking issues. The link bearing ends were basically a non-issue compared to the cracking of tubes.

There are numerous bikes that have horst links that suffer chain slap... its just gonna scratch the paint and maybe chip the surface of the stays, its not gonna kill bearings which have stainless steel outer races. Worried that much, put a lizard skins over it. IF you actually bothered to read what Mike wrote about the bike, he specifically mentions that the frame designers, who know shitloads more about metallurgy, stress, path loads and so forth than anyone who chimes in ever on pinkbike articles, put the brace where they did EXACTLY to solve flex worries. Ya do know why triangles are used so much in bicycle frames right ?!
  • 2 1
 Well, I may not be a bike engineer, but I do design for a living. Do you know why so many bikes look similar, and license DW, VPP, Horst ( formerly)? Because they are inherently sound designs, each of which does compromise in one area or another. When I see a design that requires this much structural bracing, it screams poor design. They know that this area will flex and is vulnerable to failure, and have decided to address it by building it up. You go ahead and buy it, but for me it's no bueno.
  • 2 0
 @deeight: At that position of the lower ling there's not much space to make something sturdy, with cranks coming nearby. It's not like on side is "embracing" (montage en chape, dunno in english) the other, or at least I can't see it on the pic.
Comparing to short link is non sense as usually the chainstays come around the link and you have a single through axle. I guess it's hard to achieve the same rigidity with such a design, whether you want it or not. No need to neg prop me for that, I'm not badmouthing. I am just very suspicious that two tiny short axle (guess 15 mm long each maximum) will provide the rigidity of a single 60 mm long (if not more on say Nomad or Mojo) single axle holding together the short ling and the whole rear triangle squeezed in between (or the opposite fo the Nomad)
  • 3 2
 ...will it blend?
  • 1 1
 It looks like they took an fsr stumpjumper and made it ugly
  • 1 0
 *never mind Wink
  • 2 1
 DO. NOT. WANT.
  • 1 2
 what if... you didn't have to buy it? :everybody gasps and goes silent at the new revelation:
  • 1 0
 Looks different
  • 4 5
 Oooo I love Stumpjumper FSR evo's, glad to see it in 650b
  • 2 2
 just saw the chainstay pivot... oops. That's cooler now.
  • 2 0
 Stumpy without Horst-Link^^
  • 1 2
 different tyres...
  • 1 3
 L*A*M*E
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