The legendary Repack name has been resurrected for a new bike by the legendary Joe Breeze. The Repack full-suspension 27.5er from Breezer Bikes is a "do-it-all" mountain bike, able to climb and descend in equal measure, claims Breezer Bike’s first YouTube video. It has a suspension platform created by ‘suspension kinematic’ engineers David Earle and Luther Beale of the Sotto Group.
Repack is the name of the two-mile fire-road downhill course on Mount Tamalpais in Marin County, California, used by the MTB pioneers – such as Joe Breeze, Gary Fisher, Charlie Kelly, Otis Guy, Alan Bonds and others – to race their early machines. The clunkers of the time had coaster brakes that needed repacking with grease after every descent. The Repack name was later registered by Charlie Kelly and he’s allowed Joe Breeze to use the name on his new bike, the first full-suss machine made by Breeze since the 1990s.
The 1990s full-susser used the Sweet Spot system by MIT engineer John Castellano. The Repack’s middle-of-the-chainstay pivot suspension platform is called MLink and this "redefines big wheel handling and full-suspension efficiency," said a statement from Breezer Bikes.
Sotto Group is responsible for many of the new proprietary suspension systems on the market today, including Yeti’s Switch system.
Breezer brand manager JT Burke said:
"MLink’s balanced anti-squat and anti-rise design creates an extremely efficient system that balances out opposing pedalling and braking forces. Current rear pivot and short link systems focus on one or the other: reducing pedal kickback in unbalanced systems through shock lockouts or anti-squat only – suffering brakejack as a result – or focusing on minimizing brakejack and subsequently creating inefficient pedaling systems that bob or require rear suspension lockouts for climbing.
“Dave and Luke at SOTTO have managed to create a full suspension system that doesn’t require a pedal platform or lockout to make it climb well. Bikes climb best when the suspension is active and engaged. Without good suspension, you’re essentially riding a hardtail, and your bike’s no longer responding to the trail. Being able to leave your rear shock open is a big advantage."
Joe Breeze, who made the first US-style mountain bike, in 1977, (Breezer #1 is now in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History), said:
“Brands are making the same mistakes with 27.5″ bike geometry that they made in the beginning of 29ers. They are trying to adapt the 26″ bike geometry that they know and love to big wheels, without taking advantage of all the benefits big wheels offer.
“Beyond increased rollover and stability, bigger wheels mean your axles are higher up and further out relative to the bottom bracket. This makes it harder to go over the bars on gnarly downhills or pitch backwards on steep climbs. I call this ‘riding in a valley of confidence.’”
BikeBiz.com talked with Joe Breeze at Eurobike. He said Breezer Bikes currently no official distribution deal in place for the UK and is open to discussions. As well as mountain bikes, Breezer Bikes makes a full-line of transportation bicycles.
Breezer is owned by Advanced Sports International, a privately held company headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and also owns Fuji, Kestrel, SE and Oval Concepts.