By Maurice Tierney
What better way to “Get the Skinny” on a test bike than a ride with it’s creator? Joe Breeze is a legend of mountain biking and we’re fortunate to have an office nearby his home turf of Marin County, Cali-for-nye-aye.
Joe is a super-nice guy and it’s a super-pleasure to take a ride with him on his home turf.
That’d be some fire roads outta Joe’s place in Fairfax to some singletrack at Boy Scout Camp Tamarancho. I requested a hardtail for this test due to the larger amounts of climbing I’m facing here in the Bay Area. A 29er hardtail to be specific, so this fits the bill to a “T”.
With over 225 miles in on this test sled, today will be the last 11, plan being to ride some more technical stuff and get a handle on the Cloud 9’s capabilities in that regard. Many of the test miles have been on hard packed double track, so I am chomping at the bit to rock some rocks and roots.
In a nut this, bike did everything I asked it too quite well. The climbing was solid for hours on end, the switchbacks were no problemo, and the high speed fireroad decents were a blast. Like many designers, Joe tried to make his 29er handle like a smaller bike, and he hit the nail on the head in that respect. Joe is an awesome photographer too.
The only nit you’ll read about in my full review (appearing in Issue #157) will be about the spec. I sure missed a good solid thru axle on the fork, and the somewhat generic brakes left something to be desired for this weight of rider (225lbs.). Oh well.
The Cloud 9 Pro retails for $3,000. Joe himself rides the LTD model, which retails for $5,900 and, while being the same frame, has green accents rather than orange.
Joe threw a leg over my bike, which has been set upo real custom like with 23˚ bars from Groovy and an awesome Maneke Neko squeezy horn.
Oh, and did I mention, Joe can ride these things.