Breezer Supercell Team
My brief research points to Joe Breeze and the “godfather” of mountain bikes. He appears to be credited and acknowledged as the one who built the first mountain bike. Odd since Gary Fisher, another pioneer in the sport, seems to more of a household name in the business. Different paths made the difference in each ones notoriety. Gary took the path of designing, manufacturing, marketing and selling mountain bikes. Joe took a more ambitious and honorable path in focusing on bikes as transportation. Joe eventually devoted his entire Breezer brand to making bikes solely for transportation. Only after selling the company in 2008 did Joe, working as a designer for the company at this point, began designing mountain bikes to be sold to the public. An impressive fact: Joe Breeze’s first bike, known as the Breezer #1, sits in the Smithsonian.
Jump forward several years and you have the newest technology being used on the Breezer bikes thanks to the engineering expertise of the Soto Group and their M-Link system. Other companies use similar full suspension designs and my quest for a new bike took me many months of discovery before settling on the Breezer brand and more specifically the Supercell Team model.
Time to grow up
I have no great history like Joe. I’m what most would consider a “nube” in the mountain bike game. Yes I’ve owned a mountain bike for quite a few years, but like many other owners, I never really used the bike for its true purpose.
The first bike I owned was a Raleigh. Hard tail, no front fork shock, not disc brakes and handlebar shifters. At $275.00 I got what I paid for. It was on this bike that I became addicted to the thrill of the trail…..all be it MANY years since the purchase. Once I caught the bug I knew I needed to upgrade, but the budget limited me. Like most “nubes”, I focused on components. With $800.00 to spend, I settled on a nice Motobecane Fantom comp 26″ hard tail. Say what you will about Moto, they offer top components at great prices. Shimano XT, Rockshox, Avid brakes, WBT parts along with many other name brand components. The bike served me well for no less than 4 years, but as my lust for the trail increased, I knew that I wanted more bike and at 49years old, I wanted full suspension. I wanted 29 inch wheels. I wanted the newest technology.
The quest begins
Trek, Specialized, Yeti, Giant, Kona, Santa Cruz and yes even Motobecane had plenty to offer. In fact, it was while focusing on the Moto brand that I come across the Breezer bikes. I live near a BikesDirect shop and the manager tossed out the Breezer name and more specially the Supercell Pro. Of course my desire to upgrade lead me to the Team model instead.
I read every review I could find. I compared the Breezer to every other brand, major and minor, until my head was spinning. What I discovered was that the Breezer offered as much and more than other brands. It came to wants vs needs. Carbon fiber? XTR? Dropper post? Tubeless? And on and on…..
Since I’m not going to carry the bike and I live in Florida, a carbon fiber frame was pointless. Same goes with XTR components and the dropper post. I simply had no reason to add the expense when I compared needs to wants. Tubeless was a need (three flats last year). XT components was a need (full XT was a step up from the Moto). Full suspension was a need (getting old).
$3000-$6000 was the range between brands that offered what I needed. The Breezer was neatly nestled in the middle at $4100 msrp. Digging deeper I found that the Breezer was the best deal being 100% full XT with a top end fork and rear shock.
Then came the quest for a bargain and Pricepoint had the deal I was looking for. $2700.00 later and the Breezer Supercell Team was mine.
The bike arrived with some assembly required, but nothing too complex. The instruction tag clearly states that you should allow a professional to assemble the bike. To me it appears as if the bikes are fully assembled and then simply taken apart for shipping. If you are the slightest bit mechanically inclined, you can accomplish the final build within 30 minutes.
In the seat
Once I placed my butt on the saddle I knew I made a good choice. Never before did something feel so right so soon. One takes a big risk when buying online without a test ride. That’s where the proper research paid off.
I adjusted nothing. The seat was at the right height. The bars were perfect. The brake levers were aligned beautifully. My small gripes were the extra shiny chrome of the XT break levers, which I find distracting and nearly tacky and the chain slap guard was barley sticking to the frame. Those issues aside, I was driving with a idiotic grin from the moment I sat down and began to pedal. Of course that was on the driveway and the paved road in my subdivision. The real test was 7-10 miles away.
Luckily for me I live relatively close to a fairly decent trail inside Fort Clinch State Park. Six miles of narrow trail, tight turns, tree roots and decent hills….for Florida anyway.
The 29″ wheel was immediately noticeable as a huge improvement. They take the bumps much better than the 26er and the full suspension delivered exactly how Soto said it would. In fact, I actually climbed easier than I did with my hard tail. Could be the momentum of the 29″ wheel, but my gut says it’s the design. Again, the bike just felt right. One thing I had trouble with was the wider handlebars. Yes, I know that a 29er requires a wider bar setup, but on the maiden voyage I took a nice spill due to the wider bars. The 29″ wheels gave me superior speed, but the bars clipped a tree at a tight squeeze point on the trail. No damage to me or the bike and I continued on. The tires held the trail nicely through dirt, sand, leaves, pine needles and whatever else I encountered. Shifters worked flawlessly and the brakes had all the stopping power I needed. I was worried about the potential loss of agility with the bigger tires, but my guess is that the newer geometry of the modern 29er has eliminated that issue as my bike felt nearly as nimble as my 26.
More thoughts…parts is parts
The build quality seems to be in line with the major names. The technology is cutting edge and a solid component group rounds out a fine two wheeler. There have been remarks about its weight, but the Supercell is no heavier than my old Moto and it never felt “heavy” while on the trail. That being said, the Supercell is heavier than most, tipping the scale at over 30lbs depending on pedal choice. Since the bulk of the weight comes from the frame, fork, shock setup, trimming off any significant heft would come at the increased cost of adding carbon fiber parts along with XTR components. At $4100.00 msrp, $3999.00 (from the parent companies online outlet) and especially at the $2700.00 price I paid, the Breezer Supercell Team is a bargain. Add your favorite pedals and hit the road.
Final thoughts/buying advice:
For the right price, this bike is a steal. Of course the 2016 models are now being released, but not enough has changed to make the 2014 irrelevant to most riders. At the MSRP, the bike is more than competitive with the big name brands like, Trek, Yeti, Specialized, Giant and a few others. The big question is, can you find one to test ride or do you risk the online experience? No amount of reviews can really position one to feel 100% comfortable buying without even the simplest or parking lot test ride. In my case it was worth the risk and I could not be happier riding the Breezer.
Brent Collins is the owner, rider and unpaid reviewer of a Breezer Supercell Team Mountain Bike.
- Build quality
- Its a 29er
- Climbing ability
- Tubeless ready
- Seat comfort
- No local shop to test ride,
- XT shifter are chrome and the glare was a bit distracting at times.