14/06/2024
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1983 Breezer Series III – The Pro’s Closet Breezer Mountain Bike.

1983 Series III Breezer Mountain Bike

The fun part of restoring vintage bikes is the process and sometimes that process feels more cohesive than the transaction.  From finding the right components, to saving the frame from frame finish repairs and metal scrap yard!  Nick Martin, founder of Pro’s Closet, shares with us a wild story about how a truly rare frame, the Breezer Series III, was rescued from a scrapyard in Canada!  Read on below for this wild story!

American-made bicycle pickers

In the early days of The Prose Closet, our business model was essentially the “American Pickers” of the bike industry, which provides unique access to the garages of some of the most influential people in our sport.  Given this proximity, I have been fortunate enough to get up close and personal with many of the world’s historic bikes over the years.  As I “nerd out” on the history of our sport, there are two types of vintage steeds that make me stand dead in my tracks: the original race bike, the full patina and the custom tinkering (features like Julie Furtado’s C-26 in our last issue from the vault)  And the Early Breezer (Series I, II or III, all of which are a perfect blend of form and function).

This led TPC to host the world’s biggest series of anciental mountain bikes. With over 200 unique bikes mounted on the walls of our office, itโ€™s hard not to be surprised at the evolution of our sport.

  

Shoot the Breeze

Maybe it’s a Reynolds tube with brass fillet-brazing, finished with a nickel plating that makes it stand out from the rest.  Or topped with stunning details and a braze-on Swiss coin, like a clamp-on stem attached to a brazed-on stub in a steerer tube.  Perhaps it’s the slack 70 ยฐ headtube angles reminiscent of the original Fat Tire balloon bikes that were popular in the Marin County hills of the 1970s.  Either way, the rarity of the Breezer Series III, which is covered with the master craftsmanship of mountain bike pioneer Joe Breeze, makes these bikes the most sought-after mountain bikes of their time.

Breezer Series I bikes are generally referred to as mountain bikes with the first purpose.  10 Series I bikes have been produced and most of these bikes are still owned by their original owners.  Next up were the 25 Breezer Series II bikes that were the revision of the Series I bikes.

Prose Closet Series III Breezer Mountain Bike

Then, in 1982, Joe Breeze began construction of the Series III framework.  Most Series III frames were built from 1982 to 1983, as Joe’s most notable invention, Height-Right, began taking off in 1984, giving Joe very limited time to build frames.  One hundred Breezer Series III frames were expected, but only 24 were produced for a total production run of 59 Breezer Mountain Bikes built by hand.  These Series III frames featured steep geometry for more aggressive handling with Charlie Cunningham and Reynolds tandem blades attached to an arched crown using tubes.  Today, more than half of Series III bikes are given accounts and can be viewed in the archives of Vintage Mountain Bike Workshops.

This particular Series III is almost gone forever, thrown by someone who doesn’t recognize its value.  Fortunately, a lucky twist resulted in a last-minute phone call that saved this bike from destruction.

Scrapyard bikes

In late 2014, I received a blue call from Canada’s Metal Scrap Yard.  Since their traditional assortment methods did not identify the nickel plating that overlapped the breezer frame, the gentleman at the other end of the line knew he had something unique.  Upon further inspection, they noticed that the coin had been brazed on the top of the fork and was even more uncertain about scraping this old bike.

The frame was then set aside for identification, which was a real diamond.  After sorting out the day’s materials, the gentleman sat down, lifted up Google, and typed the letters written across the frame’s downtown: Breezer.  He saw TPC’s article about the bike a month ago and dropped us a line on a whim.

When we started talking about the frame, he mentioned that there was a “West Point Cycles” sticker on it, a long-standing bicycle shop still in Vancouver.  This is where the bike was originally purchased.  This is the Holy Grail found so it can easily slip through the cracks to grind and scrap, never to ride again.

My heart started racing. โ€œSir, you’re preserving the Series III Breezer, one of the rarest and maximum collectible bikes withinside the world.  I’m no longer positive what it is really well worth in scrap metal, however I can inform you that during the modern day market the body is really well worth someplace around $ 6k (it’s in 2014).  There became a protracted silence on the alternative end. “Sir, are you still there?”  On the floor with the realisation that his intuition was spot on, we made a deal and promised to restore it to its original glory and follow him when the restoration was complete.

We both laughed from ear to ear over the weekend and today you can view this historic discovery in the front lobby of the Museum of the TPC along with other notable cycling history.

This particular Series III bike is stamped with serial number 43 (18th frame built in series III range).  Rescued frame with period-correct and new-old-stock parts Araya 26 x 1.75 Gold rims Phil Wood hubs, Shimano brakes, Dura-Ace Uniglide chain (32 years and still in box), Santur BMX.  Campagnolo Nuovo headset with pedals, and proper steel top cup.  The Breezer Seatpost Sandwich allows the proper Brooks B-72 saddle to fit seamlessly with the Dura-Ace seatpost.

This bike is a perfect blend of form and function, and for me, the Breezers always sit at the top of my “Dream Quiver” list.

The Breezer Mountain Bike Details 

Year: 1983

S / N: J.B.  B.83.43

Frame: Breezer Series III

Fork: Breezer Type I

Stem: Breezer

Headset: Campagnolo Nuo Record

The following enclosures: Phil Wood

Handlebar: special heat-treated aluminium

Shifters: Shimano

Front Derailleur: Shimano Dior XT M700

Rear Derailleur: Shimano Dior XT M700

Brake Levers: Magara

Front brake: Shimano Dior XT M700

Rear Brake: Shimano Dior XT M700

Crankset: Sugino AT

Chainrings: Sugino 26-38-50

Pedals: Suntour BMX MP-1000

Hubs: Phil Wood Cartridge Bearing

Rims: Araya 26 x 1.75 Gold

Tires: Special Stump Jumper

Wheel QR: Campagnolo Super Record

Seatpost: Shimano Dura-Ace

Seatpost QR: Exclusive

Saddle: Brooks B-72

Grips: Magura pow-r-grip

Cogs: Santour New Winner 6 Speed

Chain: Dura-Ace Uniglide

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