Philly Bike Expo 2018: Joe’s Last Breezer Built Lightning – Jarrod Bunk

Philly Bike Expo 2018: Joe’s Last Breezer Built Lightning
Photos and words by Jarrod Bunk

Nineteen ninety-two, SPDs were finally becoming accepted in lieu toe straps, Joe Breeze welded his last Lightning, and I was 8.  I didn’t have an appreciation for mountain bikes until later in life, but when I did I still remember reading about Joe.  Fast forward from twelve-year-old me to now, as I was loading some friends from Bicycle Revolutions into Philly Bike Expo, I got a text letting me know Joe brought this and was around, with the weather for Saturday looking a lot like rain I was happy to be able to spend a moment talking with Joe about this bike.

This is the last bike built entirely by Joe Breeze, this 92 Lightning was made with Ritchey Logic short butted tubing according to Joe. The headtube is the first iteration of Joe’s diffusion tubing which placed material around the headtube and tied back into the downtube with a gusset evenly distributing, or diffusing that force to the downtube.  This design allowed for use of the Lawwill Leader fork. Around this time Joe was in Moab experimenting with new ideas and concepts, one of them was the diffusion tubing concept, Lawill forks, and fairly modern (for the time) geometry.

Ritchey WCS components had just launched, so Joe built this bike with a smattering of those parts as well as his backdraft rims made by Ukai in Japan, there are even some early generation Paul Component levers that were used on the build. This bike was on display briefly before retiring into Joe’s collection, thanks to Joe for the time to talk about this awesome piece of MTB history.  I was able to meet someone who created my vehicle, my escape from daily routine, the entry drug to all other types of cycling for me, the mountain bike that certainly made PBE special.  Oh and according to Joe those zip ties belong there.

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  • That portrait is so good!

  • mark rothschild

    Front Fork Gold!!!…Geezer

    • Richard

      Lauf eat your heart out.

  • Sattelfest

    was my entry drug as well. Great built. The parallax do not fit though…xtr 900 hubs please…(-;

  • AdamBike99

    Time Machine Dream!
    Amazing rig.

    One thing though… the zip ties that are “supposed to be there” are creating a cringe-worthy bend in the housing/ferrules as they head into the cable stops. My brain keeps thinking, “thiscannotbegood, thiscannotbegood” hahaha

    • Joe Breeze

      That kink is the effect of time, there once was a smooth bend there. I was asked to remove the zip tie for the photo, but hey, it’s original…

      • AdamBike99

        Well that certainly makes sense! I am honored to learn the backstory from the guy who actually built this beautiful bike. Thanks, Joe!

      • mp

        Have fond memories of the kinks mine formed at that point. I ususally routed the cable to the opposite side. Given enough time, they would wear out… which usually coincided with the need to replace the housing.

      • Nice to see that the bike has been ridden and not just kept as a souvenir. A fair bit of riding at that, judging by the rim wear.

  • Peperbek

    Thanks for sharing this amazing time piece. Would gladly exchange my current mtb collection for this one.

  • Adam Leddin

    Saved the best photoset for last… Great work Jarrod, Thank you for documenting these amazing bikes!

  • Simon St-Pierre

    Rad bike and good photos as usual, but this copy needs editing, badly. It’s written like a middle school book report.

  • Ace Metric Cycles

    One thing that struck me with a majorly positive impact about Breezer the company, is the fact that Joe Breeze is so hand on. He attends many events, nationwide and is happy to be the most authentic and genuine brand ambassador. He even got scolded for taking too much time nerding out with me at interbike 2012. So much respect for that dude. Everyone should make time to watch Klunkerz!

  • Charlie D

    Good God

  • Hakst

    Advanced Sports Enterprises, parent company of Breezer, Fuji, SE and Kestrel, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy today. Let’s hope Breezer (and the other brands) will survive.

  • mp

    Call me old school… I don’t care. I’d very happily take this as my one bike to ride for the rest of time. Had a 95 and still have a 95. Thank you Joe Breeze!