Breezer Radar Pro Review Review

November 10, 2017
Breezer Radar Pro Review
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GEAR INSTITUTE RATINGS
83
Ride Quality
8
Power Transfer
7
Climbing/Efficiency
8
Descending/Handling
7
Components
7
Wheelset
6

The Good

  • Great value
  • Steel frame for smooth ride
  • Built like a tank

The Bad

  • Heavy
  • Old-school Quick Release hubs
  • Rear wheel traction loss
THE VERDICT
Breezer is an original “off the pavement” bike brand, with true credibility on the dirt. The Radar pro is a steel bike frame at an approachable price point of $1,489 as tested. A wide range of gears makes for capable climbing, while fatter tires offers fun descending. It was one of the most comfortable bikes on the gravel that we tested.
FULL REVIEW

Ride Quality

It should surprise no one that when Breezer builds a gravel bike, even an affordable one, it would excel in the quality of ride. Whether hammering up, drifting down, or just meandering along dirt roads, the Radar Pro truly has a superior ride. Low vibration transmission from the wide tires (WTB Riddler 45c), absorbent steel frame (Breezer butted chromoly steel), and comfy saddle (WTD Volt) collude to offer a pavement like feel even on dirt. With a head tube angle of 71.5 we expected quicker steering, however the Radar Pro has a perfectly sleepy feel on the front end, which we truly appreciate on a gravel bike. Whereas on a mountain bike, front end twitch can be helpful when you need to go around versus over something in a hurry, gravel riders want a more stable front end that doesn’t panic when you do. The Radar’s steering is ideal.

Stiffness-to-Weight/Power Transfer

The Radar Pro is appropriately stiff for a gravel bike. The steel frame shows no flex, even when out of the saddle, and the steel fork and bar are equally stiff. The Oval Concepts 325 bar has a wonderful feel in the palm up high, but is less enjoyable on the hoods or drops, more on that later. The SRAM S-1000 cranks are plenty stiff as well. One surprise is that Breezer has the Radar Pro listed on their website as weighing 24 lbs. Our bike weighed in at just under 26 lbs. Not sure how to explain the difference (no pedals/bags on bike when we weighed).

Climbing/Efficiency

The Radar Pro has an open cockpit, with a longish top tube (566 effective), and is reasonably stiff. These qualities usually make for enjoyable climbing, and they certainly did on the Breezer. There is no noticeable slop in the bike (but you pay on the scale)—at this price you get stiff or light, but not both. The gearing, 48/32 up front on the SRAM cranks, and 11-36 SRAM cassette in back provides that easiest gear that is often lacking on a gravel bike, and that helps out with the climb. One tester experienced some rear tire traction issues when out of the saddle on advanced gradients—too high tire pressure may have been the culprit.

Descending/Handling

Descending on the Radar Pro is fun, pure and simple. The WTB Riddler 45c tires positively light up the gravel roads when going down. I lost my nerve before the Riddlers did. The bike position is excellent, and the vibration absorption is notably high which just makes you more confident. The SRAM s-700 hydraulic brakes are excellent. Gentle actuation, good power, no fade. One gripe, I burned my hand on the disc when having to reach down to open the old school quick release on the bike in the middle of a downhill. A through axle would have been preferred.

Components: Drivetrain, Shifting and Brakes

A full SRAM drivetrain with SRAM S-700 HRD shifters worked well, with an occasional missed shift, and a bit of a clunky interface. At this price point however, the performance was on mark. The hydraulic disc brakes, as previously mentioned, are excellent. The old school quick releases are a bummer (as opposed to through axles, especially with discs), however it does keep with Breezer’s old school vibe. The Oval Concepts handlebar has a 25 degree flare, with a 4 degree sweep, and I loved the top position on the bar, less so the drops and hoods. The flare is excessive and cants the hoods such that it wasn’t ideal, same feeling on the drops.

Wheelset

The Breezer Radar Pro we rode came with Vera Terra rims with Formula sealed bearing hubs (tubeless compatible). This is a totally reasonable wheel set on this bike, and they took our abuse without coming untrue nor failing. The WTB Riddler 45c tires are a blast to ride simply because they are huge.

Value

The Breezer Radar Pro wins the value race. This is a great bike for the money. Unlike some gravel bikes, this bike isn’t going to hang on a cyclocross race, nor enable you to head out with the roadies, but it is going to be a great commuter, tourer (thank you for ample braze-ons) and a proper gravel bike.

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WHERE TO BUY
MSRP
$1,489.00
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