The Bottom Line
- Signature Breezer details add up to a lively ride.
- MSRP will not break the bank.
- The good-looking design will have people stopping to stare.
- Internally-mounted rear disc brakes are harder to work on.
- Sizes: XS (15”), S (17”), M (18.5”), L (19.5”), XL (21”)
- Triple-butted 6066 aluminum
- SRAM Recon Silver TK Coil, 100mm Travel Fork
- Shimano BR-M575 Hydraulic Disc Brakes
- Mavic XM317 Disc Rims
- MSRP: $1,699
Guide Review - Breezer Thunder Comp
The year was 1977 and Joe Breeze had built the first modern mountain bike frame. His Breezer frames were made of chromoly steel and purposely designed for the demands of riding off-road. After some time, Breeze stopped making mountain bikes to focus on establishing the commuter bike market in the United States.
Fast-forward to today and strong consumer demand has led Breeze back to the off-road scene. The first Breezer mountain bikes in over a decade are now available in bike shops across the U.S. and Europe.
But a lot has changed since Breeze strayed from making mountain bikes, and things have certainly come a long way since 1977. Do his current off-road models match up? I tested the Thunder Comp to find out firsthand.
A real crowd-pleaser, the Breezer Thunder Comp takes the prize for attracting lots of stares. More than once, total strangers stopped me on the trail to ask about the bike and compliment my “good-looking” steed. True story. (Some people have expressed that the bent downtube gives this bike an elegant appearance.)
But we all know you can’t judge a book by its cover. Good thing it has some substance underneath to back up its pretty face…er, frame.
Made of triple-butted 6066 aluminum, the hardtail Thunder Comp is outfitted with an integrated head tube, hydraulic disc brakes, a 100mm travel fork and Mavic Rims, among other features. At one-third the density of steel, aluminum bikes have the ability to be lighter than bikes made from other metals.
The Thunder Comp manages to produce a dynamic ride by using a special kind of tubing shaped to make the bike both lighter and stiffer. D’Fusion tubing, as it’s called, diffuses the stress that travels through the joints over a wider area, which decreases the risk of fatigue. In the rear triangle, D’Fusion makes the chainstays more rigid and reduces chain suck.
Another signature Joe Breeze frame detail comes in the form of internally-mounted rear disc brake mounts. You’ll notice that the seat stays are slightly bent to accommodate this. Why would you want the rear brake caliper on the chainstay? Breezer claims that it increases braking performance and decreases chatter, while being safely protected within the rear triangle. I had no brake issues—squealing or otherwise—during my extended test period. If you are so inclined to fix things on your bike yourself, you will notice that the caliper is a bit more difficult to access.
Breeze-In dropouts are the last trademark touch from Breezer. A protective shell over the dropouts results in more rigidity and less weight than your standard variety.
Though none of the unique Breezer features may be revolutionary on their own, it’s the addition of them all that make the bike come alive and add up to an enjoyable ride. A relatively light, lively hardtail, the Thunder Comp proved to be a strong climber (even if I was not), and treated me right on most trails.
I leave you with a quote from the man himself. "My lifelong quest is to distill the bicycle — the most efficient form of transport ever devised — to its purest form. When you achieve the essence, you bring forth the most endearing traits of a bicycle, the qualities that let us fly down the road with the greatest of ease, and give us the biggest smiles." ~ Joe Breeze