This bike’s not for you if you like the low carb beers.
Charge bikes are gaining traction in Australia, more and more commuters and couriers yearn to ride in style on a reliable frame and wheels so it’s no wonder this new brand of bike is becoming more popular.
The Charge Mixer 700C is the apex for street bike cred, think of it like a car from the 70’s fitted with the latest technology. Style, exuberance, reflex; this nimble handling bike responds like the best of them.
The Tange frame is tough, not the lightest tubing but certainly tough, once these wheels are spinning on a flat surface or downhill, there isn’t anything slowing it down. The rigid frame allows for quick turning and maneuverability through bumper to bumper inner-city traffic.
One of my favorite attributes of the Charge Mixer is the Alfine internal hub gearing system, we tested the Alfine earlier on a Ducati (push bike of course) and still remain impressed. The internal hub gearing allows for seamless confident gear changing so when your off the saddle you don’t worry about slipping on the cross tube. Because of the internal hub it has the look and sound of a single spinner, with no gears crunching or building up of dirt and grime as the gears are concealed.
It’s the subtle features that make this bike even more special, the signage is minimalistic with ‘Charge’ stamped on the headstem and Mixer just above the crank. They’ve even stamped ‘a bicycle company’ on the rear stays just in case you didn’t know it was a pushie.
After riding for about 10kms and becoming familiar with the geometry and the setup, one word really comes to mind, no its not ‘bloody unreal’ that’s two words, its ‘Quality’. This bike is fit with quality components; from the slightly narrow OEM Charge flat handle bar with comfortable Plunger MTB grips to the Continental Sport contact tyres, they’re extremely grippy in the dry but don’t show a lot of give for the wet with the lack of a decent tread pattern. They’re 700c in size so perfect for both the short commute and long distance ride.
The saddle becomes a real feature on this understated frame, and because the frame is quite large (a homage to the trends of past) the seat post doesn’t need to be raised as much adding to its ‘cool’ appeal. The saddle is also Charge branded, it’s called the ‘Spoon’ - leather stitched, perforated and padded enough to not have to wear the knicks underneath those skinny black jeans.
After a few weeks of riding in a mixture of different conditions; by the way watch the tram tracks of Melbourne, we were all extremely impressed. The weight of the frame is on the heavy side but hey, it only makes you stronger, and the hydraulic disc brakes will pull up no matter how fast you’re traveling. The rapidfire shift levers proved effortlessly perfect for shifting which is sometimes not the case with this technology.
Overall, a trendy bike that won’t disappoint, will definitely raise an eyebrow or two in traffic and perfect for someone who’s after a bike in between a mountain bike and a road bike who wants to ride in style.
Ride this set of wheels for $1990.
4 stars out of 5
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