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Deciding yes/no on a Breezer Radar Expert...

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Deciding yes/no on a Breezer Radar Expert...

Old 06-23-21, 07:31 PM
  #1  
Chris Bamford
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Deciding yes/no on a Breezer Radar Expert...

I'm contemplating purchase of a Breezer Radar Expert tomorrow; it seems to ride fine, but frankly I'm haven't enough experience with different bikes to really know. It has some equipment unknown to me; I'd sure like to hear your comments and/or any experience with this particular bike and the standard equipment.

Background info: 5'-9", 200 lb. I have an old 26" rigid MTB utility/winter bike, and the new rig is to replace my stolen-last-year Cannondale Caad-X which I quite liked. My riding is primarily urban and for fitness, mostly paved, some granular trails and light off-road. We have a nice river valley nearby and often I'll climb out and speed back in several times a session.

The Breezer in question is a medium 51 cm frame but compact geometry so apparently suitable for my height. Link HERE (I hope).

The MicroSHIFT R9 Dual Control shifters are new to me but seem OK. The cable-operated hydraulic callipers confuse me — why not all hydraulic or straight mechanical? Seems a needless complication this way.

I'm OK with the price and, around here anyway, there's few other bikes to choose from in what I want (this mainly based on my Caad-X experience: drop bars and dual chainrings plus discs). But I don't have to buy this bike if there is good reason to pass on it — my MTB will do for now.

Comments, opinions, suggestions? Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-23-21, 11:34 PM
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Bumpity-Bump

i haven’t hung around much the past several years, but I remember these forums as a livelier place… particularly when opinions have been requested 🙂
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Old 06-24-21, 01:02 AM
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The mechanically actuated hydraulic disc brakes lets them use less expensive shifters but still market it as hydraulic disc. I have them on my bike, and I find them fine. I chose them for more or less the same reason; I was able to use an inexpensive 105 level mechanical brake shifters, but still have hydraulic brakes. There's a bit more lever travel before the brakes engage, as compared to my hydraulic discs. But I find braking control to be comparable.

2x9 is pretty ancient. OTOH 30/46 and 11-36 gets you a pretty wide range. It's maybe not MTB low or road high but is decent IMO. Obviously depends on your plans though.

Personally I like the 5 bottle cage mounts, room for 2.1" tires, rack and fender mounts, and drop bars. That's not as hard to find as just two years ago, but OTS bikes with those features are not common. But that's me; if those features are less important to you, there are plenty bikes to consider.

QR dropouts. I just built a bike with QR, and I have some regrets due to limited hub options. I'm not a thru-hole fanboy by any means, but manufacturers are dropping QR. And with those Formula hubs, you have hub replacements in your future.

Components are a mashup of various groups. It's an OTS frankenbike. I expect they work fine, but it's not even 105 level. House brand stuff and Formula hubs are generic. I wonder if this mashup is reflective of what's available to them during the great bike part shortage.

Steel frame, steel fork; it's not going to be light.

But the really big deal is, does it fit. The numbers you should look at are Stack Height and Reach. Knowing what numbers you want is the challenge. It's best if you're starting with a drop bar bike that fits, so you know what to look for. You can do a lot of adjustment with stem angle and length, and you can do some with saddle fore/aft, but you only do so much. Stack and reach need to be close. I think if you're going to spend >$1,000 on a bike, it's worthwhile to spend money on a bike fitting before the purchase.

Cheers
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Old 06-24-21, 04:32 AM
  #4  
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Breezer is a cool brand thanks to American cycling icon Joe Breeze, who still designs for the company. They’re not as idiosyncratic as they once were, but the bikes are smart and sweet-handling.

The Radar is their entry adventure bike offering, which is a very different bike than a CAADX cyclocross bike. It’s designed around stability, and weight was not much of concern, so be aware of that. It actually sounds like it’d be fine for your plans, but it’s just noticeably not the same kind of bike.

While I wouldn’t worry about either hub quality or replacements unless I was doing hard, heavy mileage, downtube42 isprobably correct about the component spec being a pandemic-induced selection. I watch Breezer pretty closely— I have two that I love!— and I’m nearly certain the ‘21 Radar Expert was not launched with Microshift. I know almost nothing first-hand about the gear other than that the single Microshift thumbshifter on my Tern yanking a Shimano Sora 9spd derailleur feels good, looks sharp, and works nicely. Reports are generally good on the stuff, and certainly worth giving a shot given how hard it is to get bikes these days.

If you have questions about ride character and geometry differences, we can get into the numbers and details of that.
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Old 06-24-21, 07:58 AM
  #5  
Chris Bamford
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Thank you Downtube and Chaad for your helpful and informative posts — much appreciated.

I had noticed the long brake lever travel; the action felt a bit spongy but they worked well enough for my non-panic test ride stops. Point taken about the importance of fit, which again felt fine but I'm not much of a judge. The dual chainrings are apparently uncommon these days, but I sure used the full range on my Cannondale (no idea of the tooth counts), so this is a criteria when shopping.

I've been on the fence since yesterday... not fully enthused but unsure why. I'm going to sit this one out. I could be waiting a good while longer but when spending this sort of money—or more if need be—I want to get really excited.

Thanks again.
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