Breezer Uptown 8 Review

Breezer Uptown 8

The Breezer Uptown 8 bicycle is an around-town and commuter bicycle which comes equipped with about everything you need to hop on and use the bike for your normal transportation needs. I’ve had a review model in for testing for well over a month now, and am glad to share my Breezer Uptown review below.

The Company

Breezer Bikes was started by Joe Breeze, who became a legend as a mountain bike pioneer, but who surprised the industry by switching the focus of Breezer Bikes to more transportation-oriented bicycles about a decade ago. What was surprising then seems almost prophetic now, as rising gas prices, environmental concerns and health benefits have all sorts of folks interested in starting to commute by bike.

The Breezer Uptown Series

Among their many types of commuter bikes, Breezer makes a series of bikes in its Uptown series with variations in gears and amenities, but that are all practical transportation bikes with fenders and chainguards. Cycling For Beginners has previously mentioned the very affordable Breezer Uptown EX in our post on affordable commuter bicycles. Now we’re moving a bit further “Uptown” with the Breezer Uptown 8.

The Breezer Uptown 8 is a modern 8-speed city bike with an aluminum frame that is relatively light and painted in handsome black and brown livery. The Uptown has 26 inch wheels and tires with reflective stripes, which give you some great side visibility at night. Other commuter-friendly amenities include fenders, a bell, a headlight and taillight which are both powered by a Shimano dynamo front hub, back rack, an Axa ring lock and a full chaincase (which keeps the chain clean and keeps oil off of your pants).

The Uptown 8 is ready for night riding.

The dynamo front hub does a nice job of powering both the bright Busch & Miller headlight and the also impressive Basta Riff taillight, while not requiring much additional pedalling effort to generate this power. Some old-style bottle generators that I’ve tried really require a lot of extra pedalling effort, so I really liked the Uptowns efficient hub dynamo. The headlight and taillight also have a “standlight” feature that keeps them on for a while after you come to a stop.

The Uptown 8’s ring lock is a nice feature: a built in lock which allows you to immobilize the rear wheel while you run in to a store or park in a fairy safe location. You wouldn’t leave a bike parked in Manhattan for a day using only this kind of lock, or park somewhere else where bike thieves are rampant, but immobilizing the rear wheel gives you some protection from joyriders or other thieves who would be deterred if they could not hop on and ride away.

The Uptown 8’s full chaincase is also noteworthy. While many bikes have chainguards that cover some or even all of the side of the chain that faces your leg when riding, the chaincase on the Uptown 8 actually completely encases the chain — so not only are you protected from getting oil on your pants, the chain is also protected from dirt, rain, snow, etc., meaning it should be very low maintenance (which is certainly convenient for a commuter bike).

Riding the Breezer Uptown 8

The frame geometry and the riser handlebars of the Breezer Uptown 8 allow for a very comfortable upright riding position, which most people prefer in a commuter bicycle. This, combined with a suspension seatpost, a suprisingly comfortable saddle, and some pothole-forgiving bounce from the 26 inch tires, makes for a really comfortable bike to ride around town. The bike feels light enough (even with all of the commuter accessories) that it still handles fairly nimbly and is fun to ride.

Since this is a bike designed to serve as daily transportation, I made sure to test the Uptown 8 in wet weather. I do have to say that the stock pedals on the Uptown got very slick in the rain, so I would recommend spending $30 on a different set of pedals for commuting. On the plus side, I tested the fenders through some big puddles and they did a great job deflecting the water. Also, the Uptown has V-brakes on both wheels, which did a great job of bringing the bike to a stop quickly and consistently (even in wet conditions).

The Uptown 8 has an 8 speed internally geared Shimano Nexus rear hub, which shifts very smoothly and allows you to change gears also when the bike is stopped (convenient if you forgot to gear-down before coming to a stop). With the smooth shifting and comfortable riding position, it does not take long to really find your stride with the Uptown 8. In fact, many times I would ride the Uptown over the same routes that I ride my road bike, and the Uptown performed well. Sure, it’s not quite as fast as a road bike, but it is quick and comfortable and has all of the amenities to make commuting and running errands a breeze.

The Verdict

Riding the Breezer Uptown 8 was a pleasure. The Uptown 8 is a practical, modern bike that comes ready with everything that you need for comfortable commuting, and it is also a lot of fun to ride!

Other commuter bike reviews:

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