Well, the booths have been broken down and the trucks are packed and rolling out of Vegas, but we still have a lot of news to down load to you all out there. Here we will continue with ride reports of several of the bikes we had a chance to throw a leg over at the Outdoor Demo.

Breezer Cloud 9 Pro Carbon 29″er Ride Report: by Grannygear.

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Recently we had some dialogue with the good folks at Breezer about how Joe Breeze had brought a unique twist to his jump into 29″ers with his Cloud 9 hard tails in carbon and aluminum. We interviewed Joe in the pages of Twentynineinches.com and spoke with him at length at Demo Days. Joe is a pretty cool guy and has a wealth of bike building knowledge, so I was keen to get in the saddle of one of his 29ers on the trails of Bootleg Canyon.

The bike that was my size and hanging in the rack was a Cloud 9 Pro carbon. The stem was way too long for me at 120mm or so (est), but it was what I had to deal with on the XL frame. Other than the rangy stem, it was a good fit. The XT/SLX build with the 2.2 Wolverines w/tubes and a Rock Shox Recon TK Silver fork was 27lbs 4oz with SPD pedals.

Off to the trail head, I was surprised at how well the bike was absorbing the small hits of trail chatter, especially for a bike with tubes in place. Carbon is like any other other material that you can make a frame from; how you construct it, thicknesses, tubing profiles, etc, all have a big impacts on how the frame performs. The carbon frames I have ridden have ranged from stiff and racy to more laid back and comfy. The Breezer impressed me as being to the comfy side of things. I could see some BB deflection on hard efforts, something that I have not seen much of on bikes like the Jamis carbon or the latest Specialized S works carbon. The trade off was a very nice riding bike in the Cloud 9 Pro. Is that OK? Sure, as long as you get the result you want, so if that result is a sweet ride that still pedals well enough….there is more to life then super stiff racing bikes, even in carbon.

interbike2010 005One of the things that Joe Breeze was adamant about was keeping a ‘fun’ handling bike in the twisties. With that mindset, he shortened the chain stays to 439mm/17.3 inches. Even with that, tire clearance was quite good. There are a few debates raging in the 29er world and one of those is how long chain stays should be. There are good reasons for both long and short versions, but the trend is tending to go from 18”+ to under 17.5”. The result of a shorter rear section on a 29er is typically a more agile handling scooter. It sure works out that way for the Breezer and it was anything but stodgy. Balancing out the shorter back end was a moderate steering response from the front end. I never felt the bike was too quick, but the trails at Bootleg are not a high speed run unless you begin higher up the mountain. We are expecting a sample of a Breezer hard tail to put through a long term test, so that will give me time to get it on the fast and rough fire roads and double tracks of home, something that tends to flush out any consequences of short stays and too steep front ends.

interbike2010 003So my impression from the 45 minutes of rocky trail was that the Cloud 9 carbon is a compliant, good riding bike that is above average in agility and not too nervous in turning response. If those traits are what you desire in a ride, give the Breezer a look. As well, Joe challenged me to ride his aluminum version as he feels that they ride like a steel bike. A steel bike. Huh. Now that I have to feel to believe! I am looking forward to that chance to see if he is right!

Note: Following is a video interview with Joe Breeze and he talks with Grannygear about his Cloud 9 Pro.