5 January 2008

Breezer Uptown 8 buyer’s guide: Differences between old, new models

Posted by todd under: Breezer Uptown 8 .

There are two models of the Breezer Uptown 8. Breezer refers to them them as “New” and “Classic.” If you’re in the market, you’ll want to decide whether you want the newer model or the Classic (where available).

So it’s worth knowing the differences between the two.

Boys and Breezer Uptown 8I have the older-model Uptown 8 (right). I heartily recommend it. But there are significant improvements in the newer model.

Your local Breezer dealer might have the older model in stock. They could order the newer one for you, but they might be willing to sell the one they have on hand for a bit less in the interest of moving inventory.

You never know until you ask. (How much? Prices I’m finding online range from $900 to $1,100. Is that too much to pay for good transportation? I don’t think so.)

The Uptown 8 came out in 2004. Its parts specifications remained unchanged until 2007, when the bike got four improvements.

The Uptown 8 will be unchanged in 2008, company owner Joe Breeze told me in a recent Q&A.

Here is an overview of the differences between the older and newer models:

TIRES: The older Uptown 8 has CST Europa 26 x 1.6 tires. The 2007 version has Schwalbe CityPlus 26 x 1.75 tires. Both tires have a reflective white strip on the sides.
ANALYSIS: Breeze says he likes the Schwalbe better because it has a flat-fighting puncture guard layer. My Uptown 8 has the Europas, and I have not had a flat in a year of frequent riding on a 6-mile daily commute.

BioLogic gripsGRIPS: The older Uptown 8 has fairly plain-Jane Kraton rubber grips. The newer model has BioLogic ergonomic grips (right).
ANALYSIS: The BioLogic grips are flared and contoured. “Your palms rest on a broader, softer surface,” Breeze says. The BioLogics look comfortable, but I have no complaints with the Kratons.

HEADLIGHT: The older Uptown 8 has a lightbulb in its Lumotec Oval Senso Plus headlight (left). The new model has the DLumotec Oval Senso Plus (right), which uses an LED light.
ANALYSIS: The manufacturer says the LED won’t burn out. In fact, you can’t even open the lens cover on the new light. The older model’s lightbulb can burn out. (The manual for the new light is here; the manual for the old light is here. You can look for both lights on the manufacturer’s site, but there’s no direct link; click on “catalog” in the menu on the left-hand side and look for the name of each light.) I favor the LED because it’s simpler. The manufacturer says the lightbulb version puts out more light: 17 lux, compared with 16 lux for the LED version.

CHAINCASE: The older Uptown 8 has a partial chaincase, but the newer version has a full chaincase.
ANALYSIS: The full chaincase is a great feature because it protects the chain from water and grime, and it lessens the chance that the chain will rub against your clothes (although the partial chaincase also does a good job of this). Because my Uptown 8 does not have the full chaincase, I asked the company whether I could install one; here’s the verdict.

[[Find more about the Breezer Uptown 8, including a ride report and more about the bike’s features and benefits.]]

One Comment so far...

Jim McCarthy Says:

5 June 2008 at 2:40 am.

Thanks for all of your efforts to inform the other 6-7 milers….like us. I liked the commuter bike article. I had a 2004/2005 Cannondale Adventure 600 stolen in Madison, WI which had an internal hub. Nice. Now considering the Jamis Commuter 4, wonder if there are any deals out there?

Very sorry to hear that you were victimized. Thieves steal so much more than an object. This loser also stole your time (it took you time to earn the money to buy the bike); your money above what you originally paid (prices have gone up, so your replacement cost will be higher); and potentially your health (if you are getting less exercise because you don’t have a bike to ride). These kinds of individual disasters happen every time the 8th Commandment is broken. /sermon. I can’t say about any deals — that’s the short answer. I just don’t know. REI runs specials on their bikes at their stores from time to time, and I know Performance is selling complete bikes now. -6-

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About the picture atop the page

Yes, that's me, Todd Van Campen. No, I'm not wearing a helmet. Yes, I usually wear one, so please don't scold! Seriously, I endorse wearing a helmet! Pinky swear! In fact, I almost ALWAYS wear one (while riding a bike anyway). (On the other hand, if YOU don't want to wear a helmet, I have no problem with it.) I don't remember what happened on this particular day. Fortunately for all of us it makes for a less-nerdly picture. My exceptionally talented professional photographer friend Charles Bertram took this photo.



Art for art’s sake

I asked my 6-year-old son, Caleb, an avid bicyclist and artist, to draw a bike for me. I think he did a great job!




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