Just wanted to drop a note on how things are going with my 07 breezer Uptown 8 since many of you were instrumental in me researching and eventually purchasing it.
1. It's a tank. Very solid. Nothing breaking or falling off. Of course, it's heavy too, north of 30lbs
2. Schwalbe City tires (kevlar) are rock solid. No problems. Ride is a wee bit stiff but no flats. I'll take that every time.
3. Planetary gears are great (this is the "premium 8" with the red stripe). In fact they get smoother as they get more use. Shifting down at stop lights is the best. Tough to go back to anything else.
4. Lights work as advertised. The built in hub is terrific (makes the front rim look clunky but so what).
5. Rear rack is nice. Saddlebags fit snugly. (related - with the saddlebags, clearance is tight. Heels contact the bags if I'm not careful).
6. Seat (w/suspension) is OK. Not the best but everybody is built differently. I'm 185 lbs and just at the top of the range for the medium duty spring. I might get the heavy duty because even at max tension it moves too much for my taste.
7. There is always a slight "whirring" noice when I pedal. I'm told this is normal for this drivetrain. Being a roadie, I"m used to dead quiet so this is slightly annoying.
8. In fact, on the subject of sound, this is a noisy bike. Between the fenders, the rack, the chainguard, the kickstand, the lights, the light generator etc., there's a lot of stuff always clinking and clanking around. This is not necessarily a complaint. Just a fact.
9. Gear ratio. 8 is fine for most of what I do (ride with kids, go to store etc.). I find though that on level ground or the slightest decline, I'm routinely pushing the top when I want to get somewhere fast. I could see wanting more top end. As for the low-end. I think gears 1-4 are fine. And yes, this is a commuter, not a road bike so I understand the design intent.
10. Size. This is subjective, but at just over 6 feet and 185 lbs, the "large" frame (21.5" I think) "feels" a tad small for me. The x-large (23"?) although technically too big for me, might be a better fit. If I run across one, I'll try it out and see. As it is, I have the seat and bars fairly extended to get a proper fit with the current frame. Not a complaint, just an observation in case anyone around my size is contemplating a purchase.
11. Maintenance. None so far other than replacing the incorrect light that it shipped with for a new one. This is why I bought the bike (get on it and go) so this worked out well.
Summary - overall very pleased. It does what it advertises itself to do. Very complete, well made commuter. Personally, I'm probably over my roadie phase and this bike will stand in Ok for shorter weekend rides (10-20 miles) with the family. I don't go much further than that these days. However, to mix it up with my kids who are all about light trails and dirt, I'll probably also get something more off-roadish for those jaunts. I'm spoiled with the Nexus hub though from an ease of operation & ease of maintenance standpoint. Does anyone make a hybrid that will do trails but with an internal hub?