Charge Bike Review
Charge is a British company that was established back in 2004. The company started out with 3 off-road bikes which were initially designed in the United Kingdom. The building of the bikes was done in the Far East and then sold at inexpensive prices. Their fixed bike, the Plug, was started in 2006 and was inspired by the many customized bikes used in the courier industry and leaned around the streets in London. Charge claims that the aim of building the Plug was to introduce a high quality bike with a classic look.
The company has said that all the components of the bike were carefully thought through to create a high quality bike. The company started out with an all-silver component bike with the idea that this would provide a great platform on which riders would customize their bikes and make them more personal. Charge wanted the bike to have a frame that is as clean as possible and this led to a bike frame without many components such as rack mounts, mudguard eyelets or cable stops.
The Charge Plug fixie bike is not the lightest bike in the market. The bike is also not the fastest on the road but this does not mean that it is slow. You will find that the bike will zing fast through the streets and you do not have to worry about the type of shoes you are wearing because the pedals are made for all types of shows including old boots. The bike has a stiff frame and you will get a bike that can squeeze through tight spaces as you ride through traffic. This will help you get to where you are going fast without facing the delay caused by traffic.
The Charge fixed gear bike combines simplicity with high quality parts which will ensure that the bike offers a smooth impressive ride. The bike is also elegant and its looks will definitely turn heads in the streets for both cyclists and non-cyclists. If you choose to buy the Plug fixed gear bike, you can expect it to be heavier than most of the other bikes in this category but the weight will not be a big issue. If you feel like the fixed gear is presenting some challenges, you can easily change the cog and use the single gear cog which allows you to enjoy the free wheel when you do not want to keep pedaling.
The bike gets both the front and rear hubs from Formula and this affirms the minimalistic nature of the bike. The bike does not have quick release but the cup and cone look good and add to the strength of the wheels. The wheels come with rims provided by Alex DM18s, which have machined sidewalls. These rims match well with the frame and add to the appearance of the bike. You will get 28 mm Kendas tires which might feel sluggish but if you are cycling on pothole riddled roads or rough roads, these tires will be just great.
You will not find bike frames as basic as this. There is no sloping top tube and Charge does not involve double or triple butting and there are is no aluminum and carbon fibers. The frame is simply made of steel and this explains the weight issue. The frame resembles what you would get on a mountain bike on the cheaper scale. This frame is heavy but since it is built for the tough urban setting, then the steel works quite well. The frame is stiff and will not be flexible.
The frame has clean lines because there is no addition such as bottle mounts. The main focus is ensuring that the frame is as clean as possible and this is why you will not find the normal attachments that are present in other bikes. There are removable cable guides that might compromise the simplicity of the bike. The frame offers generous stays and this ensures that the bike can be fitted with fatter tires if this is what you want.
Charge is enthusiastic about their brand and you will find the logo on the saddle. The saddle is comfortable and complements the bar tape and the bull-horn bars that face forward. Not all riders will be in love with the brakes because this is a fixed gear bike. Though this is the case, brakes are legal necessities in most areas and this is why Charge ensures that the bike comes with a pair of high quality brakes.
The seatpost, headset and bars are more functional that glamorous. The bike being a fixed gear ride, you can expect a tight chain and this means that you will have a challenge in anything that is a gentle slope. Pedaling will only be easier if you are dealing with an area where the flats outnumber the climbs. The free wheel option will greatly give you the rest you need from the fixed gear pedaling. This Charge fixie has a chromoly fork which is straight and though the head angle is slack, steering will be direct and positive. The bike has a flip-fop hub that allows you to enjoy the benefits of fixed gear and single speed bike.
The Plug is the only fixie bike Charge makes and sells. The company is all about simplicity and tries to keep the price tag inexpensive. With about $399, you will get the high quality Plug fixie from Charge. This might not be the cheapest price tag in the fixed gear market but is its quite low compared to other bikes with similar qualities.
Charge Bike Pros
- The fixed gear bike from Charge is among the cheapest bikes in the market.
- This bike is designed for tough roads and the steel frame will contribute a great deal in ensuring that the bike is strong and sturdy.
- The bike is simple and works well for the fixie bike enthusiasts who are all about simplicity and fewer components on the bike.
- Charge has been in business for over a decade and they have made a fixed gear bike for a decade which is a good sign that you can depend on the company’s information about the longevity of their bikes.
Charge Bike Cons
- It is quite difficult to find information on warranties and return policy because the company does not make the information readily available.
- The steel construction will be quite heavy for some riders but the weight will not be felt while you are riding the bike.