Weekend review: Breezer Supercell team

  • adam 
Breezer supercell team image

I’m getting my rear brake rebuilt – so while my actual bike is in sick bay, I have a totally different style of machine on loan to play with. It’s a Breezer Supercell Team from 2014. These are Breezer’s ‘trail’ 29er bikes, with the team machine being near the top of the tree. It retailed for over $AUD4000 back in 2014, and a current Supercell team is going to tick just over $5k. Naturally, this is a level of bike where you expect it to function extremely well.

Here’s how it went – and bear in mind I’m coming from the viewpoint of normally riding a purpose-built gnar devourer in the form of a Liteville 301, so the supercell is a big step back into ‘normal’ mountain biking.

Geometry/frame stuff

Let’s talk first about geometry. The Supercell is a conservative bike, winding back a bit from the LLS (long/low/slack) steamtrain that I usually travel on with a first class ticket . It’s very upright, quite steep, and bit hard to wheelie. This, however, managed to not translate to a terrible ride. Which we will get to.

Suspension wise, my one main gripe with the M-link is that it is hard to clean. Cleaning the beast takes second fiddle to ideals about suspension rates and curves. It was pretty easy to blow through all the travel, and could have used a bit more bottom our resistance – probably a bigger volume spacer would have done the trick.

Having said that, I took it a good way outside of it’s intended purpose…

Parts

Read the details here – basically reliability is the go. Top-of-the-tree suspension for people who just want to not have to care about it, the ever reliable shimano XT groupset (down to hubs), and Fuji’s house brand bar/stem/seatpost. The shop had wisely installed a 50 mm stem, a long way shorter than the stock 100 mm unit. The wheels worked, the … everything … just worked.

How does it ride?

Suprisingly well. With close to 100 mm less wheelbase than usual I totally killed all the uphill switchbacks. It handled cruisey flowy trails really well, and was stable on rocky parts – although finesse is required. 29ers are definitely adapted to rolling along, and the supercell did just that – really easy to keep momentum up.

At moderate speeds it’s a spritely, playful machine up and down hills – I agree with every other reviewer of the breezer range here, once underway its slight portliness in the grams department seems to melt away.

Pointed down, it handled predictably. Fast enough to be fun, but definitely not stable enough to balance on that ragged millimetre between speed and destruction that my usual ride handles so well. In the Supercell’s defence, it also flies OK – hucking the odd double and doing some smallish drops. The rear suspension gets through travel quickly – but really, the Supercell prefers to stay grounded, keep your bum comfortable, and let you swing it sideways on the odd occasion when the mojo strikes.

Who is this bike for?

It’s for anyone who wants a fuss-free ride that doesn’t need wrestling through uphill switchbacks, or thinking too far ahead, and is happy to just take it to the mechanic when they want a service.  You can ride it sideways, but it’s most comfortable and most fun when you’re not pushing the boundaries in  to the absolute limits. In other words, you want to just head out and chew up some cruisey, fun trails and ride all day if you want without any fuss.

Here is the link to current specs again (2017): http://www.breezerbikes.com/bikes/specs/supercell-team

How is this bike going to help me evolve?

Yes, this is a standard question for all my reviews 🙂 So this bike – for me personally it helped me to remember where I came from riding wise. It was actually a lot of fun to go ride a normal-ish, not cutting edge exotic mountain bike. So it was nice. I got to see the world from a less rushed point of view. For a potential buyer? It’s going to give you the confidence to just go ride and have fun – I really can’t see much going wrong here. Keep it clean and maintained, and I think it’ll let you stress less about heading into the wild.

Summary

A well-built, well thought out, old-school-ish package made for riding trails. If you baulk at all the newfangledom and want a bike that is fun and you understand, the supercell has your back in a ‘just go ride it’ package.

The pseudo-sales-pitch

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