This morning Breezer bikes – the namesake of famous mountain biker pioneer Joe Breeze – launched a brand new and innovative 650b-wheeled trail bike, the Repack. We’re here at Eurobike where the Repack was officially unveiled and will be bringing you more news and our impressions on the bike later.
For now, here’s the word from Breezer bikes on the new Repack:
Breezer Repack 650b trail bike launched
Philadelphia, PA (August 28, 2013) – Breezer Bikes is proud to announce the launch of Repack with MLink™ suspension technology. Joe Breeze, the creator of the modern mountain bike worked with the industry’s leading full-suspension kinematics engineers, Dave Earl and Luke Beale of Sotto Group, to design a groundbreaking all-mountain bike that redefines big wheel handling and full-suspension efficiency.
Presented exclusively to members of the press at a Eurobike launch event Wednesday morning, Repack is named after the first recorded downhill mountain bike race and the birthplace of the modern mountain bike. It features a revolutionary new proprietary suspension system called MLink™, coupled with innovative Joe Breeze frame geometry that takes full advantage of its 27.5″ wheels and 160mm of travel.
“At Eurobike’s Demo Day yesterday, two riders summed up the bike with one word: perfect. I can’t wait for the rest of the world to ride it,” said Breezer Brand Manager JT Burke. “There’s more than 30 years of suspension experience loaded into this design.”
When Joe Breeze built his first full suspension back in the ’90s, he teamed up with MIT engineer John Castellano on the Breezer Twister’s Sweet Spot™ system. When starting the Repack project two years ago – evaluating the suspension systems on the market and how to improve – he recognized the value of working with kinematics experts and wanted to tap into that knowledge. Enter Dave Earl and Luke Beale of Sotto. Started in 2006 after a combined 25 years working at Lockheed Missiles, Siemens, Bontrager, Specialized, and Santa Cruz, Sotto Group is responsible for the majority of new proprietary suspension systems on the market today, including Yeti’s Switch™ system and now MLink™.
Modern full-suspension kinematics have evolved over the years from placing the critical chainstay pivot located near the rear axle – producing a flexy and limited system – to a short link pivot in front of the rear wheel, a high-stress system with long chainstays. MLink™ places this critical pivot in the middle of the chainstay, balancing out these opposing forces for a smooth and efficient system. Breezer Repack is the only bike available with this new technology.
MLink’s mid link pivot rotates only 3 degrees. Compared to short link systems’ large rotations, rapid accelerations, direction changes, and therefore, increased bearing wear, MLink’s fewer rotations translate into super smooth suspension travel and less stress on bearings and pivots. Compared to long link flexy systems, MLink allows for a rigid, triangulated rear end with riding forces diffused across widely spaced, low rotation bearings – supplying the stiffness essential for full suspension to function at its best.
“The way the bike climbs exceeded all of our expectations and is perhaps Repack’s most remarkable feature,” said Burke.
MLink’s balanced anti-squat and anti-rise design creates an extremely efficient system that balances out opposing pedaling and braking forces. Current rear pivot and short link systems focus on one or the other: reducing pedal kickback in unbalanced systems through shock lockouts or anti-squat only – suffering brakejack as a result – or focusing on minimizing brakejack and subsequently creating inefficient pedaling systems that bob or require rear suspension lockouts for climbing.
“Dave and Luke at SOTTO have managed to create a full suspension system that doesn’t require a pedal platform or lockout to make it climb well. Bikes climb best when the suspension is active and engaged. Without good suspension, you’re essentially riding a hardtail, and your bike’s no longer responding to the trail. Being able to leave your rear shock open is a big advantage,” explained Burke. “To make a bike go downhill really, really well, you usually have to give something up in ride quality for the climbs. But in our case, we feel we’ve created a bike that sacrifices nothing.”
It is not solely the MLink suspension system that makes Repack a game-changer; it’s the combination of this new technology with Joe Breeze’s ability to design a bike around bigger wheels.
Joe Breeze has been pushing bicycle technology forward for more than 40 years. Known best as the creator of the first modern mountain bike, Breeze also designed the original dropper post, the unicrown fork, the first hollow mountain bike cranks, and 3D dropouts.
“Brands are making the same mistakes with 27.5″ bike geometry that they made in the beginning of 29ers. They are trying to adapt the 26″ bike geometry that they know and love to big wheels, without taking advantage of all the benefits big wheels offer,” said Joe Breeze.
“Beyond increased rollover and stability, bigger wheels mean your axles are higher up and further out relative to the bottom bracket. This makes it harder to go over the bars on gnarly downhills or pitch backwards on steep climbs. I call this ‘riding in a valley of confidence,’” explained Breeze.
But a longer wheelbase can make a big-wheeled bike handle sluggishly. Breeze believes chain stay length and front center must be shortened in order to achieve superior handling – a characteristic that has become synonymous with Breezer bikes through the years. With slack head tube angles, the rider must lean the bike harder into the turn, which increases the likelihood of lost traction or sliding out.As Breeze says, “Shorter is faster and more efficient.”
The Repack will be available across the globe in January 2014.