Breezer Lightning Pro 29: Mid-Term- by Guitar Ted
With Spring in full tilt here I have been getting plenty of rides in on this steel beauty. For my first impressions on the Breezer Lightning Pro 29, you can go here. For now though, I will concentrate on a few things that stand out for me when I ride the Lightning Pro 29.
One of the main design intents for the Breezer 29″ers was to make them handle well on tighter trails, and in this regard, the Lightning Pro 29, (and other Breezer 29″ers as well, since they all share the same geometry), really hit its marks. This is a fun, fast single track bike. It zips around tight corners with relatively no drama. That isn’t to say everything is hunky dory with the Breezer.
I mentioned it in the last update, but it bears repeating that the Lightning Pro 29, with its slender top tube, has a waggle in the front end if you start pushing the handle bars more aggressively. The flex is in the top tube and allows the handle bars to wiggle side to side if you really start trying to fight the bars with side to side pressure, say like you might in a rougher technical situation. Smooth single track? You’d likely never notice this.
For those who need a dead solid front triangle, the carbon fiber Breezer Cloud 9 or the aluminum Thunder 29 model may be a better choice. I learned to be a bit gentle with regard to the handle bar and I never noticed the issue until things got hairy a couple times. Then the wiggle in the front caused by the flex in the top tube would remind me that this is a thin tubed steel frame.
Interestingly, the rest of the frame seems to be far less flexy on this bike, perhaps due to the asymmetrical chain stays and longer Press Fit BB92 bottom bracket. At any rate, the bottom bracket and chain stays of the frame are pretty stiff on the Lightning Pro 29.
The other thing that literally jolted me was a few pedal strikes. The handling on the Lightning Pro was encouraging me to keep on the gas all the time and I clipped a big rock on an off camber. Okay, no big deal, right? But it happened three more times in different spots. The Lightning Pro has a bottom bracket height of 12 inches, so it isn’t necessarily a low bike, but it is lower than some other 29″er hard tails.
In climbing and descending the Lightning Pro 29 shows decent manners. The short-ish chain stays at 435.5mm reveal a bike that can pop the front wheel in the air during seated climbing on steeper grades. If you slide forward on the saddle, this can be easily controlled. I found standing climbing really benefited from the shorter stays. The rear tire really felt hooked up in these situations.
Going down was fun and controlled, even though the Breezer has a shorter wheelbase than many others. With the rider’s weight already back over the rear wheel more than on some other bikes, I usually just hovered above the saddle and let it fly. The riders weight is also pinning the front wheel with the way the frame is designed here, so attacking down hill corners became easier as well.
Components have been decent and mostly trouble free. The SRAM X-7/X-9 drive train squawks a bit on certain shifts under power. This isn’t at the level of smoothness that a X-0 or XX drive train would be at, but it is decent enough. Interestingly, the chain and cassette are Shimano here. The only other concern has been a loose head set, but that was easily adjusted up. Finally, the switch to the Geax AKA in the rear of the Breezer has been fantastic for this area and the front Bronson pairs really well with it.
Okay, that’s the story so far. Stay tuned for a Final Review to come in a few weeks time.
Note: Breezer Bikes sent over the Lightning Pro for testing and review at no charge to Twenty Nine Inches. We are not being bribed, nor paid for this review and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.