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  1. #1
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    breezer uptown8 vs. cannondale street premium

    Ok folks, I've spent about 6 hours combing every thread on this forum that's relevant so its time to post my own. I've narrowed down my choice in bikes to these two models. I was an avid cycler in my teens (I'm now 43) but the biking world and the equipment are so different now that I'm really starting over. I play softball and I golf. I'm in pretty good shape. If/when I ever get back to serious cycling (and maybe its never) I will purchase a good road bike in addition to this utility bike. I own my own businesses and if I do commute (I'm in Orange County, CA) it would be less than 2 miles each way, flat. I have LBS for each brand within a short distance. I have almost ZERO time for manual upkeep - it's get on and go save for checking the aire in the tires.

    The main purpose of the bike is recreation - out with my wife and/or oldest boy who is 6, probably on a tandem attachment for now until he could keep up on his own. Maybe pulling my 2 yr old. Surface is mostly pavement with graded paths (equestrian bridle paths actually). Evening is a definate possibility, especially on the way home from the many parks that are reachable around here.

    So - I know the "specs" for these two bikes. What I can't tell from the mfr web sites is the intended audience for them and if they are different. Is the audience a pure newbie? Are the components of these bikes decent? Is the Street a "higher end" bike than the Breezer? If so, why? The Breezer has 26" wheels, the Street 700C. Will that make a real difference on the dirt (aside from tire width)? Pulling my 2 yr old? I'm pretty sure it makes the Street "faster" but how much? 1 or 2mph? etc. etc.

    With the Breezer 07 coming in at $1100, they seem to now be in similar price ranges, although with Street I still need to add the rack I believe, if not the fenders to the base price.

    I bow to your collective wisdom on the differences between these two bikes. Any input would be appreciated.

    -gb

  2. #2
    Senior Member thdave's Avatar
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    I recommend the Breezer, although I've never seen that Cannondale and don't know enough about it.

    The Breezer has good quality components on it--I've got the Villager. I'm sure the Cannondale does, too.
    Note that you are paying for a very nice light system on the Breezer that isn't on the Cannondale. I find that to be a great feature.

    The Breezer has a different ride that the typical hybrid. With the smaller wheels and the seat position, it accelerates quickly from a stop. I think that's inherent with smaller tires, although gearing can make the 700 tires do the same. Regarding top speed, I get my Breezer up to 16 or 17 mph regularly and am able to keep it up there on the flats, as my MUP (bike trail) permits. I do a little better on my hybrid, which saves me a minute or so on my half hour 6.5 mile trip. That is not much time difference and I much prefer my Breezer, as it is more fun and comfortable to ride and has all the equipment and the internal gear hub--which I like.

    The Breezer will be lower to the ground, which is nice and stable for pulling a trailer. One more thing about Breezer--they sell comfortable bikes for transportation/utility. I like supporting a company that does so. Cannondale has a full line of bikes--they are different companies.

    I really can't say anything about the Cannondale, except that they make great bikes. If I were you, I'd try to ride them both and compare. It would be a fun thing to do.
    Cleveland, OH
    Breezer fan

  3. #3
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    They are both nice bikes in their class. The Breezer is probably the better value, since it already has a rack, dynohub and lights. The Cannondale might roll a little better on its 700x35s. For this style of bike, I'd have to give Breezer the edge in terms of experience. Joe Breeze has been building these bikes for a few years, before they began to regain some mainstream popularity, while Cannondale has just rediscovered this niche after decades of 'sporty' racing-style bikes.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  4. #4
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Hey Dave, it seems like all of us Cleveland area BFers are screwing off today....must be the summer weather.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  5. #5
    Senior Member thdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    Hey Dave, it seems like all of us Cleveland area BFers are screwing off today....must be the summer weather.
    I'm bored stiff review proposals (albeit slowly) all day.

    Besides, my arse is cold as my office is about 63 F. I rode in and my bottom half has never really warmed up, if you know what I mean! (aka, my boys are playing it close to the vest).
    Cleveland, OH
    Breezer fan

  6. #6
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    Both bikes are based upon mountain bike practice and adapted for street use. They are both decent bikes. The real difference between these bikes is that the Breezer is fully equipped with a good hub generator and lighting system, chainguard, fenders, and rack already installed. Putting a hub generator on the Street would likely be at least $300, since wheelbuilding is required. You could use the Breezer for a two mile commute as is, and the chainguard would allow you to save ten or fifteen minutes by just wearing your office clothing. The intended audience seems to be someone who wants a bike that is as convenient to use as a car. It would be suitable for daily use even under severe conditions.

    The Street has merits, too. If you don't order the "extras", the Street will be a few pounds lighter. One of the appealing things about the Street is that you can upgrade it with options that would make it better for utility riding. Some people want to make their own choices regarding lighting systems. On the other hand, they may not consider the lights, rack, chainguard, and fenders to be necessary. With the Street, they don't have to get them. You describe your intended riding as "mainly recreational", and the Street would be good for this if it cost less than the Breezer.

    Since the "stripped" Street costs as much as the fully-equipped Breezer, I'd recommend the Breezer. Either should work fine for you, though.

    Paul

  7. #7
    ROM 6:23 flipped4bikes's Avatar
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    The Breezer is $1100? How about saving 3 bills and getting an Electra Townie 8 700c? Lights, rack, V-brakes, Nexus 8...
    Every time we let a vehicle pass there is a little bit of compromise. But compromise allows the city to function and allows cyclists to function in the city. The trick is not to eliminate compromise but to learn how to work safely within it.

    --Robert Hurst

  8. #8
    Senior Member Twebs46's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flipped4bikes
    The Breezer is $1100? How about saving 3 bills and getting an Electra Townie 8 700c? Lights, rack, V-brakes, Nexus 8...
    Actually, you may still be able to get the 2006 model Breezer for about $899. (Ask your dealer. Mine was able to in late October). I did and love it. I've been commuting for just over 6 weeks and it's definitely a get-on-it and go, low maintenance, fun around town bike.

    Tom
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  9. #9
    Senior Member thdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flipped4bikes
    The Breezer is $1100? How about saving 3 bills and getting an Electra Townie 8 700c? Lights, rack, Nexus 8...
    The Breezer's prices have a nice range to them--if your limit is $800, then compare the Townie 8 to the Villager. Add on the equipement needed and compare. Note that your add on's might not be as well designed or optimally installed as they are on the Breezer. I think in the end you'll find the Breezer is a good value and a well designed package.

    When I was shopping a year ago, the Uptown was $950, Villager $800, Citizen $550, and Freedom $300. I heard the 2007 version has some upgrades, which explains the price increase. I'd love to hear the new model features--has that come out yet?

    Note that sometimes e-Bay has new Breezer's for sale at discount.
    Cleveland, OH
    Breezer fan

  10. #10
    ROM 6:23 flipped4bikes's Avatar
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    OK, I know I've hijacked the thread enough, but what makes the the Uptown a better value than the Townie? It looks like they both have similar spec. Is it the frame, and a better value at $300 more?
    Every time we let a vehicle pass there is a little bit of compromise. But compromise allows the city to function and allows cyclists to function in the city. The trick is not to eliminate compromise but to learn how to work safely within it.

    --Robert Hurst

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by thdave
    The Breezer's prices have a nice range to them--if your limit is $800, then compare the Townie 8 to the Villager. Add on the equipement needed and compare. Note that your add on's might not be as well designed or optimally installed as they are on the Breezer. I think in the end you'll find the Breezer is a good value.

    When I was shopping a year ago, the Uptown was $950, Villager $800, Citizen $550, and Freedom $300. I heard the 2007 version has some upgrades, which explains the price. I'd love to hear the new model features--has that come out yet?

    Note that sometimes e-Bay has new Breezer's for sale at discount.
    Thanks all so far for the informative (and really quick! - isn't anyone working today?) feedback. Seems like lots of Breezer fans here. Definately sounds like the "get on and go" vote goes to the Uptown. As for the "why not the new townie8 with 700C's" - well, I've ridden an older one and to be honest, the different geometry doesn't really do anything for me (maybe when I'm older and more brittle) from a ride persepctive. Too much upper body. I don't particularly like "pulling" on the handlebars.

    By the way, I'm assuming the Uptown has the Premium (red stripe) 8? As does the new Electra?

    I'll definately take each for a spin if I can. The Cannondale has a better asthetic (my opinion) and given my road past I'm partial to the 700's vs. the 26's. My (probably unsubstantiated?) fear there is that the 26's might rob the ride of "zip". I guess I could put something thinner on the Breezer if necessary. How "loose" can the trail be before the Breezer gets out of its comfort zone?

    All subjective of course. I'll take a spin and see for myself. If anyone out there has actually ridden the Street, I'd love to hear from them.

    thanks again,

    -gb

  12. #12
    Senior Member thdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flipped4bikes
    OK, I know I've hijacked the thread enough, but what makes the the Uptown a better value than the Townie? It looks like they both have similar spec. Is it the frame, and a better value at $300 more?
    I don't think you are comparing apples to apples. You get an integral generator hub dynamo light system with standlight, ring lock with key, rack with spring clamp, box rims, kick stand, mud flaps, and more with Breezer. All are high quality components that are designed into the bike.
    Cleveland, OH
    Breezer fan

  13. #13
    ROM 6:23 flipped4bikes's Avatar
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    The lights on the Townie are hub driven. I can't tell if they're B&M. And I will concede that the Breezer has more goodies and a 7005 frame vs. 6061. I just wanted to point out is it worth the bump in price.
    Every time we let a vehicle pass there is a little bit of compromise. But compromise allows the city to function and allows cyclists to function in the city. The trick is not to eliminate compromise but to learn how to work safely within it.

    --Robert Hurst

  14. #14
    Senior Member thdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbrandt
    cut

    By the way, I'm assuming the Uptown has the Premium (red stripe) 8? As does the new Electra?

    I'll definately take each for a spin if I can. The Cannondale has a better asthetic (my opinion) and given my road past I'm partial to the 700's vs. the 26's. My (probably unsubstantiated?) fear there is that the 26's might rob the ride of "zip". I guess I could put something thinner on the Breezer if necessary. How "loose" can the trail be before the Breezer gets out of its comfort zone?

    All subjective of course. I'll take a spin and see for myself. If anyone out there has actually ridden the Street, I'd love to hear from them.

    thanks again,

    -gb
    Yes, the Breezer has the premium 8.

    If you are used to 700's, you will be in for a shock with these fat 26's. They look like mountain bike tires (without knobbies) and you'll think that it will be too slow.

    Take it for a ride, though, and you might like the tires quite a bit. You ride lower to the ground, which feels more sporty, especially on stone/dirt trails. The aluminum frame is stiff and you don't feel the lag that you do otherwise with that first pedal stroke. At first, I thought the ride was a little herky jerky when accelerating, but now that I'm used to it I'd say it's responsive and quick. The tires aren't "slow" but the bike feels softer and smoother at higher speeds. It feels different--a lot different than 700's.

    You might not get over the tires--I almost didn't. Keep in mind that this bike is designed for comfort. So get on that Cannondale, too, and make sure what you want to do.
    Cleveland, OH
    Breezer fan

  15. #15
    Senior Member thdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flipped4bikes
    The lights on the Townie are hub driven. I can't tell if they're B&M. And I will concede that the Breezer has more goodies and a 7005 frame vs. 6061. I just wanted to point out is it worth the bump in price.
    Huh--I didn't see any lights on the Electra website when I looked at the Townie 8. I stand corrected!
    Cleveland, OH
    Breezer fan

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by flipped4bikes
    OK, I know I've hijacked the thread enough, but what makes the the Uptown a better value than the Townie? It looks like they both have similar spec. Is it the frame, and a better value at $300 more?
    Does the Electra have the Premium hub or the standard? I'm guessing based on the price point it is the standard.
    Still the Electra looks to be a nice lower priced alternative to the Uptown. I think the two bikes are different enough in wheel size, riding position and included components that they are not equivalent bikes but different solutions for similar riding.
    Craig

  17. #17
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    I've got an Uptown 8, and I think it's a very different ride from a Townie. I use it mainly for commuting and I haven't gotten a trailer yet, but I see Uptown 8s around the city pulling kids and cargo. A guy at my food co-op does that, and he's as enamored of his bike as I am of mine.

    What are the elevations like in your part of Southern California? If it's pretty flat, you might consider the Villager with the 7 speed hub. If my riding didn't feature a few of the steeper hills it does, I'd have gotten that one. Heck, if I were living in Michigan where I was raised, I would have bought a 3 speed model.

    I do have one piece of advice if you buy the Breezer - get the shop to switch out the stock brake pads before you even take it home. I had to clean the rims so often - such an unnecessary waste of my time. My replacements are so much cleaner and stop much faster.

  18. #18
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    Central Orange County between the foothiils and the sea. You could say we have ascents and descents vs. hills where I plan to ride. Meaning everything is very gradual unless you move into the foothills themselves. Everyone I've talked to who's ridden the Premium 8 thinks its a real step up from the standard 8 and the 7. I think I even read in one thread that in the Premium, gear 4 or 5 is a "direct drive" and that if the hub mechanism fails, rather than a complete meltdown, you end up riding what amounts to a fixie in that gear until you get it repaired. Pretty cool if that's true.

    You're right about Michigan. I'm originally from the north east side of Detroit area myself. I think only Holland (the one in Europe, not Michigan!) is flatter...I even had an English 3 speed (Raleigh) my father handed down to me when I was young. Everything that changes stays the same...

    -gb

  19. #19
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    I tried the premium 8 and then a bike with the 8 and I have to agree that the premium is much nicer. The Breezer is a wonderful bike. I doubt you'll regret getting it if that's what you decide.

    I'd like to convince my mom to get herself a 3 speed Citizen for her riding in very flat Downriver. Ever since she got rid of the Schwinn and bought a bike with derailler gearing, she doesn't like riding a bike anymore. Funny, that.

  20. #20
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    Speaking of value,I have a Bianchi Milano and a Jamis Comuter 3-you could almost get both nexus 8 bikes for 1100.

  21. #21
    Senior Member thdave's Avatar
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    Another bike to consider is the REI Novara Fusion. But I don't think it has the premium Nexus 8.
    Cleveland, OH
    Breezer fan

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    Quote Originally Posted by CBBaron
    Does the Electra have the Premium hub or the standard? I'm guessing based on the price point it is the standard.
    Still the Electra looks to be a nice lower priced alternative to the Uptown. I think the two bikes are different enough in wheel size, riding position and included components that they are not equivalent bikes but different solutions for similar riding.
    Craig
    The Electra Townie is really a completely different kind of bike that doesn't compare with the OP's choices. It's almost a recumbent without a seat back - sort of a "Rocky the Flying Squirrel" riding posture, with way more fork rake than most would ever want (or even consider ridable). My personal impression is that they're built for people who want to "look cool" straddling a bike while going nowhere, and would be horribly uncomfortable for any distance not measured in feet and inches. But, I assume there must be some who like 'em.

  23. #23
    Senior Member thdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnamb
    I tried the premium 8 and then a bike with the 8 and I have to agree that the premium is much nicer. The Breezer is a wonderful bike. I doubt you'll regret getting it if that's what you decide.

    I'd like to convince my mom to get herself a 3 speed Citizen for her riding in very flat Downriver. Ever since she got rid of the Schwinn and bought a bike with derailler gearing, she doesn't like riding a bike anymore. Funny, that.
    The 3 speed Citizen is a great bike for the money. I'd love to get my wife one and my youngest kid one, but I still don't think they'd ride much.
    Cleveland, OH
    Breezer fan

  24. #24
    Solo Rider, always DFL
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    If you want to possibly switch for narrower, faster tires the 700c wheels on the cannondale are a better choice. There are not as many narrow, high pressure options in 26". You mentioned possibly swapping them, so I just wanted to make you aware. I have a cannondale touring bike that I like a lot but I don't know the Street personally.

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    All the Breezer owners get to chime in .

    Based on what you've listed for requirements, I'd say the Uptown is a better choice (even though I'm biased and have no experience with the Street). The generator lights require no attention, they are plenty bright/safe for city riding. I used mine exclusively for my 7 mile roundtrip commute and errands for several months, now its my goodie hauler (groceries), out late night, and foul weather bike (love them fenders).

    The wheels shouldn't bother you so much. They are stout, and you can find good fast-rolling tires for them. I really didn't care for the stock tires on my 2006 model, I switched them out for 1.5in specialized nimbus armadillos. These are much stiffer and seem to roll a bit faster (though sacrifice is a bit harsher ride). Isn't one of the upgrades on the new 2007 model different stock tires?

    I'm not sure if front suspension is stock, but I'd recommend getting the fixed fork instead.. I don't think suspension really does much for riding around the city.

    I'll also second the sentiment of supporting Breezer because of their focus on the urban transport commuter utility bike (whatever you want to call it) market. I vote with my dollars.

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