Last week we had one of the rarest bicycles on the planet come through our shop, “The Breezer” #11.
In 1980-81 Joe Breeze built a second series of Breezer mountain bikes to follow up the first Series (1) set of 10.
This bike is serial number 11 aka J.B. 80-11. (1980, #11). Making this frame essentially the 21st mountain bike Joe Breeze ever made.
The original owner was friends with Joe and was part of the original Pearl Pass rides in Crested Butte in the early 80’s. This bike rode out with Cunningham, Ritchey and Breezer from CA => CO via the infamous road trip to complete the ride.
With Joe Breeze #1 currently residing in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, there is no question that the historical significance of this bike is unprecedented.
What do we do when a bike this rare comes into the shop? We take the bike outside and make sure it passes the wheelie test…. it did.
Here is the bike exactly how looked when it came to us:
Frustrated with the shortcomings of the old-milled, steel-framed Klunkerz, Charlie Kelly asked Joe Breeze, a local road racer, frame builder, and top Repack competitor, to design and build a bike that could withstand the demanding Repack terrain. “The Breezer” was born.
Joe Breeze is one of the central figures in the development of mountain biking. He is perhaps best known as builder of the first successful modern mountain bikes. His Breezers were the first all-new bikes built with rugged frames specifically for what would only later be called “mountain biking.”
Among the notable Joe Breeze innovations are the uni-crown fork (introduced on the 1981 Kellie-Fisher Mountain Bike Montare), the world’s first mountain bike dropper seat post, the Hite-Rite (1983), and the world’s first 3-dimensional dropout, the Breeze-In dropout (1993) – half the weight and twice the stiffness of traditional dropouts.
In 1983, Joe helped found the National Off-Road Bicycle Association (NORBA) to promote mountain bike racing and trail access. He even drew up the NORBA logo, which was used, untouched, for over 15 years. Always focused on progress in bike and component design, Joe insisted that NORBA adopt a racing self-sufficiency rule. His intent was to ensure that mountain bike companies develop vehicles upon which any rider in the wilds could depend, and which would subsequently develop better bikes for all.
Breeze designed and produced his Breezer mountain and road bikes throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Today, Breeze continues to advocate the wider use of bicycles for recreation and transportation.
Our “Breezer” has been sold to a local collector who will be restoring the bike back to original. We will repost the bike here when the restoration is complete. Stay tuned and pedal often.