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The steel framed Breezer Lightning Pro is ready for a final verdict. But before we delve into that, here is the Mid-Term report, and the First Impressions can be found here. Now let’s take a final look at this classy blue and white hard tail.

Riding a Breezer is a mind-bender from the standpoint of history. Here you are on the marque that graced the first purpose built mountain bike, but all wrapped up in a modern package with 29 inch wheels. You are reminded of this every time you look at that sapphire blue and white darted paint scheme, and then check out the details it covers. I found that since the first Breezers, Joe Breeze, the man who lent his name to this company, has not been content to just crank out a steel hard tail 29 inch bike like anyone else’s. History notwithstanding- this Breezer is a bike that pushes the steel envelope forwards a bit in terms of frame design.

I was particularly impressed with what Joe Breeze designed into the chain stay/bottom bracket area. The asymmetrically sized tubes that make up the chain stays really seem to do what Joe Breeze claims- they are certainly stiff. This and the wider stance that they achieve at their attachment points due to the use of the BB-92 bottom bracket shell, which is as wide as it gets for standard chain lines- really works. Then the shorter chain stays and brake mount top it all off to form one of the snappiest, playful rear halves of a 29″er XC hard tail I have yet ridden.

It’s just too bad that all that innovation didn’t stiffen up the front triangle as well. Not that it is terrible, but the stiffness of the bottom bracket/chain stays is so outstanding, (for a steel bike), that the “average” front triangle comes off worse for it. That “waggle” I mentioned in my Mid-Term Report is something I would like to see designed out in a future edition of the Lightning Pro. When I passed this along to Breezer, they mentioned that they would consider that idea.

Conclusions: No doubt about it, this is probably one of the sweetest looking bikes I have ridden that was not a custom/small builder frame. The pedigree of the Lightning Pro is unquestioned. The final execution of the frame and spec though leaves me with mixed feelings. On one hand there are some outstanding design features in this frame that really work. The geometry, while not everyone’s cup-o-tea, is definitely hitting the designer’s intentions for a bicycle that goes through serpentine single track with ease and speed. However; the slight torsional flex in the front is something of a wet blanket here. Then we look at the spec, which also leaves me somewhat flat for a bike in this price range.

The spec is decent enough, yes, but in the marketplace, it seems to be a bit off compared to the competition. I had no real complaints on the parts bolted to the Lightning Pro, (With the exception of the rear tire. Tire spec is certainly forgivable though.), and the bike performed at a high level throughout the test. The geometry is great for going fast through tighter terrain, and climbing and descending were both top notch. Overall, besides the front end concern, the frame rode fantastically well. A definite steel feel for those that appreciate such things.

So what would I do? That’s tough. I want to totally fall in love with the Breezer for its heritage, steel frame, design highlights, and great, quick handling geometry. I have some hesitation though due to the things I mentioned above. I could live with this bike, get by the quirks, and certainly- I could upgrade as I went along. It would be great to see Breezer improve this bike with a stiffer front triangle, maybe incorporating a 44mm head tube to allow what is going on at the bottom bracket to happen for the front triangle, and obviously, to allow for tapered steer tube forks. But that’s just a “wish list”. For now it’s a bicycle that may work great for those with a penchant for a fast handling, smooth bike on buff, twisty-turny single track in their back yard.

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.