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Breezer Supercell LTD

- published March 2017

85

2017

RATINGS

Ride Quality
7
Power Transfer
8
Efficiency
7
Handling
7
Components
8
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
85

SHOP

MSRP
LOW PRICE
$5000.00
N/A
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

THE GOOD

  • M-Link suspension
  • Solid climber
  • Strong value

THE BAD

  • Heavy
  • Fairly heavy, value-oriented wheelset

THE VERDICT

The Breezer Supercell LTD, featuring the classic Breezer steep head angle geometry carves turns beautifully. The 29 inch wheels, the M-Link suspension and the Supercell’s frame construction make for a thrilling downhill ride though the suspension picks up large bumps better than small. It is also a surprisingly capable climber. We’d love to see a better wheelset, but that might be tricky at this pricepoint. 

FULL REVIEW

Ride Quality
The Supercell LTD features Breezer’s D’Fusion aluminum frame, which is firm under the rider and does not twist or move.  We were impressed with the weld quality on the frame. Front and rear suspension features 120mm (4.7 inches) with a FOX Float (three position on the shock) on the rear, and a FOX 34 Factory on the front. This suspension set up runs on the firm side, where big hits are well absorbed, but smaller amplitude bumps radiate through the bike (going tubeless hence lower pressure may help). The ride efficiency is notable in the Supercell. Even without locking out the suspension, it moves less than many setups, and when locked the Supercell transforms into a rigid rig. Breezer’s M-Link (mid-link, moving the pivot point away from the rear wheel) is firm under the rider, and it helps keep the rear wheel glued to the trail during climbing and descending.

Stiffness-to-Weight/Power Transfer
The Breezer Supercell LTD’s frame is quite stiff, with no discernable twist under the rider, even under the most intensive efforts, but it’s also a heavier bike (over 30lbs), with a sometimes sluggish feeling. The transfer of power is clean as a result of the aluminum frame which transfers spin to win. That rigidity, combined with the ability to lock out both front and rear ends, makes it a responsive bike and relatively adept for an aggressive riding style in the flats and on climbs. The Race Face Turbine cranks married to the Race Face bottom bracket gives the rider a stable platform. 

Climbing/Efficiency
For a bike that is heavier than some we compared it to, it climbs very well. The stiffness of the frame and the Breezer Supercell LTD’s precise steering come together to create a bike that is enjoyable to climb on. When not locked out, getting out of the saddle is not advisable, as the suspension responds, but when locked out you can pretend you are riding your Breezer 1 (featured in the Smithsonian as the first mountain bike, fully rigid) and hammer up the steeps. Of course this is all relative to its over-30lb weight – that extra heft is definitely apparent when compared to bikes two and three pounds lighter.

Descending/Handling
The Breezer Supercell LTD is built to descend. The classic Breezer geometry of a steeper head angle, for quick handling, paired with a bottom bracket that is below the wheel axels gives the rider confidence on the downhill, and helps to minimize the likelihood that you will take flight separated from your bike. The Supercell has FOX suspension front and rear, with the FOX 34 Factory 29 providing 120mm of travel and the FOX Float rear shock also 120mm of travel. With both opened wide, the suspension complements the bike's stiffness and steeper geometry, with nearly five inches of consistent plunge. With the Supercell you can either selectively choose your line given the precise steering, or simply point and drop—either way you get a gripping downhill. 

Components: Drivetrain, Shifting and Brakes
The Breezer Supercell LTD has SRAM Guide RS Hydraulic brakes front and rear (180mm front, 160mm rear) controlled by SRAM Guide RS Hydraulic Disc brake levers are excellent brakes with outstanding modulation. The lever action can be a bit stiff for some, but there's no measurable fade, and they stop when you pull. SRAM SL GX 11-speed rear shifter matched to a SRAM XO1 derailleur running with an SRAM cassette and chain operated perfectly. We never experienced a missed shift, and the driveline is quiet. The gold chain is a nice feature to boot. This bike comes equipped with a RockShox Reverb dropper post with remote on handlebar, a great feature, although internally mounted cable would be preferable. 

Wheelset
The Supercell comes equipped with DT Swiss 350 hubs (15mm front, 12mm rear) with WTB Asym i23 TCS 29 Rims. This is a stout wheel set and a value-oriented build. It's a bit sluggish, but well built and tough with DT-Swiss's always reliable hubs. WTB Trailboss 2.25 Lite Fast tires are a blast to ride on the dry. They are a quick rolling tire that delivers in sand or dirt. They are not an ideal wet surface tire given its mud holding capabilities and lack of traction on wet rocks. 

Value
The Breezer Supercell LTD will make any Breezer fan happy. It stays true to the bike builder’s vision of creating quality rides with a distinctive ride quality, and does so at a very affordable price relative to its class. This is an extremely enjoyable bike to ride, and a strong option for those who want a great build on a solid Trail bike, but don't want to pay for a carbon frame.     

How We Tested It

The bikes in this test were used on 30-50 miles of root-infested, mud-slopped, baby-head-strewn New England and/or Colorado trails and some dirt roads. Most bikes were ridden by two testers, and often ridden one after the other on the same route or segment, on climbs or especially gnarly sections or sketchy descents, to compare performance. Riding varied from longer segments to test ride feel and frame comfort, to explosive climbs and sprints for performance. 

For more reviews beyond this 2017 test, check out our other mountain bike tests, road bike tests, bike helmet tests, along with other related bike gear tests

The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.

About the Author

Seth Portner

Seth Portner

Seth Portner has been riding and racing mountain bikes since the late 1990s, specializing in XC, marathon and ultra-marathon events. He also enjoys regular multi-day road tours, and is an accomplished ultrarunner and XC skier. Seth, his wife and their daughter all split their time between Lyons and Winter Park.


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MSRP
LOW PRICE
$5000.00
N/A
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

RATINGS

Ride Quality
7
Power Transfer
8
Efficiency
7
Handling
7
Components
8
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
85

Weight

30.25 lbs

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