First Look: Breezer Repack
• 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.
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.
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.