Charge Bikes are one of our favourite brands. Why? We think they stand out from the crowd – they are functional , unique, look good, and the brand is committed to producing steel bikes when much of the bike world is all about carbon bling. Now we like our bling just as much as anyone else – but if you are using your bike day in day out, for commuting or hacking – steel is definitely the way to go in terms of durability and value. And whilst only having been around for six years, the brand is fast becoming recognised worldwide as a leading UK bike marque – so we’d like to think one day we’ll be featuring them alongside Pashley, Brooks and Brompton in our features.
So a few weeks ago we lept at the Chance to see what the brand has in store for 2012. After enjoying last years launch so much, this year the brand showcased at the Conran store – this is because of a joint collaboration with Conran on a range of commuter bikes. More on that later.
New for 2012
The Zester (not to be confused with a Zesty!) and the Scourer are 2 new commuter models. Squarely aimed at urban riders and commuters, these new additions show the brand commitment to catering for the growing ranks of commuters on the streets.
The Filter road (CX/Commuter) range has been boosted with a new looking Filter High – nice paint job!
And of course the Plug still continues to be the ever popular choice for singlespeeders.
On the MTB side of things, Charge are focusing on the growing trend of 29’ers this year, and have put a lot of effort into getting the new models right, after lots of testing and experimentation. Available in October, these bikes are definitely going to be more popular on the trails.
This 29’er freestyle fixed model meets the demands of a new breed of urban rider.
Check out this collaboration effort with Conran.
And don’t forget it is not just bikes, Charge also make a wide range of colourful and stylish accessories – including the most popular saddle in the world ever, the Spoon.*
Q&A WITH ASH
We also caught up with Ash, Product Manager for Charge and asked him a few quick fire questions:
Please tell us a bit about the company’s ethos Ash
We make stylish, clean, functional bikes, and like to think we are at the forefront of that side of the market.
Is Charge Bikes a boutique brand? There is a slight perception out there of this?
We wouldn’t describe ourselves in that way as we do cater for a wide range of riders – see above answer!
What is your favourite 2012 bike and why?
The new Filter Hi – because of the spec and colour, isn’t it awesome! The Blender is also my favourite MTB – it just does everything.
Tell us a bit about the whole singlespeed trend?
We picked up on it early, but you would be surprised, it’s perhaps not quite as big as you think, and obviously concentrated to urban areas, London mainly.
Charge get involved in loads of cool events – which is your favourite?
The Erlstoke Twelve (this was last week Ed.) Formally known as Set 2 Rise it is just the best chilled Mountain bike race in the calendar!
Finally, tell us what the best and worst things are about working for a bike company?
The best thing is being at the forefront of bike design and having the opportunity to innovate. I don’t think there is a ‘worst’ thing but I would say that the hardest part is having to second guess the market all the time – to spot trends basically and work out what we should do next! Also, I think nowadays the complexity of bikes these days and all the marketing hype also gets in the way of that simple notion….of just getting out and riding your bike!!!
Cheers Ash, nice talking to you!
Thanks to Charge Bikes for the invite, go check out the new range as soon as you can!