First Look: 2014 Charge Cooker SS 29er Mountain Bike

When we unboxed the Charge Cooker SS mountain bike, everyone had something to say.

Mostly, folks wanted to start customizing it right away. Here were some of the initial reactions:

  • I want to turn it into a monster bike with drop bars!
  • You’ve got to find some chrome grips and bits to match that frame finish.
  • I could totally ride that to work.
  • No horizontal drop outs? OH! It has an eccentric bottom bracket. Nice.
  • I could always use another mountain bike. Do you need that right now? Can I have it?

Clearly, everyone was excited about the possibilities that the Cooker SS presented, but at first blush, it had plenty to offer right out of the box.

About the Frame


The 2014 Charge Cooker SS Mountain Bike

The first thing that we noticed was the matching frame and fork finish. The Tange steel-butted chromoly tubes feature a gorgeous, polished finish, an eccentric bottom bracket and stainless steel hardware. For some perspective, Tange steel is custom drawn and has a titanium-like feel: lively, comfortable and forgiving thanks to its road vibration dampening properties. It is formed using Tange’s 90 years of experience in manufacturing steel tubes. It has a high level of strength, responsiveness and stiffness. The Cooker SS fit, in conjuction with a more aggressive frame geometry and a wide, 9-degree sweptback flattop handlebar, translates into a body-forward, confident riding position to handle plenty of aggressive trail obstacles.

About the Drivetrain & Brakes

Charge chose versatile 32-tooth to 18-tooth cog gearing. The Truvativ E400 crankset features a chainguard for added chain security. It is easily customizable by adding your favorite 4-bolt ring or single-speed cog.

About Tires & Clearance

Like most 29ers today, the Cooker SS featured a set of hydraulic disc brakes with 180/160mm rotors. Given the lighter duties of a rigid single-speed bike, that is more power than will be required by most riders; a definite bonus in our minds.Finally, terrain can vary widely, depending on where you live, and where you love to ride. The Cooker SS comes with a great set of Maxxis Aspen tires. They are ideal for fast-and-furious trails, where low rolling resistance and less dig is required. However, if you prefer something beefier, the Cooker SS has plenty of tire clearance. Personally, we love the Forte Pisgah tires for their bite, durability and versatility.

Our Two Cents

In conclusion, if you’re in the market for an eye-catching single-speed 29er, the British designed 2014 Charge Cooker SS offers plenty of performance right out of the box, plus the ability to be customized to your hearts content.

Photo Shoot Behind-the-scenes: Welcome to sunny San Diego, CA!

This year for our annual spring photo shoot we traveled to beautiful Southern California for a week of shooting new spring bikes and gear.  By now you’ve started to see a lot of this new photography in our spring catalog, in emails, and on our webpage.  But we wanted to share a little behind-the-scenes look at what it took to create these images, as shared by Chris, one of our merchandising assistants and erstwhile mountain bike model.

As fate would have it, after scheduling all of the models, the photographer, and booking tickets for ourselves, we flew all the way all across the country, from our home base in North Carolina, only to face the threat of rain.  This prompted us to quickly reschedule some of our shoots so that on our first day in California we made our way to a cliff overlooking an amazing vista so that we could start getting some mountain bike shots right away.

Here’s what that same action from the shot above looked like from the photographer’s point of view:

There were four of us being photographed, plus a team of four people on the other side of the camera, including talented photographer Rod Walker.

One thing we had not counted on in this location was the wind.  It was almost enough to take us off of our feet!  Here are Cathy and myself trying to reload the van, with limited success.

Each shot takes a healthy dose of planning before the photographer snaps a single frame; here’s Bill trying to show us (the riders) where he wanted us to ride.  But you can clearly see why we choose this location, it’s simply beautiful!

Here’s TJ and I riding along the line that Bill had picked out for us.

On our way down from that peak, we passed multiple controlled burn locations where the local forestry service was working hard to prevent a big fire.  While it looks perfectly safe in this photo, it still made for an exciting drive.

Not wanting to waste any time while we had some sunshine, we drove off of the mountain and straight to downtown San Diego for our urban shoot.

It was a whirlwind tour–we hardly had time to stop to eat before we were prepping new bikes and new models for the next shoot.  We got set up just in time and were able to snag some great shots as the sun started to set downtown.

We were blessed with a great group of models, all of which knew how to handle a bicycle (and of course we had a great group of bicycles, all of which knew how to handle a model)!

Day one ended with a couple hundred great shots already in the bag, but with rain on the horizon . . .

2011 Bikes

Since we’re talking about what we’re looking forward to in 2011, what list would be complete without a little talk about new bike gear!  Here at Peformance Bicycle we are always working hard to give you the best possible value and performance from our exclusive brands, like our fantastic USB-rechargable Spark lights or our award-winning Performance Elite bib shorts.   For 2011, we’re really proud to bring you a brand new lineup of exclusive bike brands.  we’ve got new bikes coming soon that will meet any riders’ needs–from the hardcore mountain bike racer to the urban commuter, from the first-time rider to the elite racer, .  We’re just going to give you a sneak peek of the new lineup right now, but don’t worry, we’ll have more in-depth specs and videos in the next few weeks.

The biggest update to our exclusive bikes is with our Access brand of mountain bikes.  As you can see below (from photos we shot during our employee-exclusive bike preview), we’ve really expanded our Access lineup.

Front and center in the new lineup are the race-ready Access Stealth carbon 29er hardtail mountain bikes.  Yes, we said carbon 29er.  We’ve been testing and refining this new bike for some time now, and we can’t wait to show off its performance (and hot graphics).

But we haven’t neglected our aluminum-framed 29er options, as you can see with the Access Prowler series, with solid component specs and sharp-looking color schemes.

Also new is the Access Raptor series of 26″-wheeled hardtails, available, like all of our bikes, with a range of components to meet everyone’s needs and budget.

Of course we didn’t forget to upgrade our road bike lineup either, with new graphics and components throughout our Scattante brand bikes.

And our popular Scattante Americano single-speed lineup is back with more component style:

And cool custom graphic details:

Plus we don’t want you to miss our updated Transit line of commuter bikes, with their practical specs and understated style.

So, like we said earlier, we’re really looking forward to 2011!  We’ve worked hard to bring you exclusive bike brands that have something for everyone and every need, and we can’t wait to show them off!

Bike Snob NYC Collabo Sneak Preview!

With his new book coming out next month and having finally revealed his identity this week, we couldn’t think of a better time to reveal a recent project we’ve been working on in honor of Eben Weiss AKA The Bike Snob.  So without further ado, we present the…

Scattante Americano – BSNYC Edition

As you can see, we’ve taken the essence of the Bike Snob’s personal steed and boiled it down to a practical everyday bicycle.  It’s got trendy yet functional “wheelbrows”, flat handlebars, rear rack, and yes, even a front brake!  We also added subtle graphics to let everyone know that you have the custom BSNYC colorway:

All You Haters Buy My Bike!

Here at Performance, we lead the way in practical, well-priced bicycles and now with the style & panache of Mr. Weiss, we’re ready to break Fixed Gear Culture right back open!


Impress The Snob And Win

As you may have heard, Bike Snob NYC has just launched his “Meh Free Scat Contest”.

You can check out Bike Snob’s blog post for all the rules, but the entry deadline is 12:01AM EST on Saturday, January 30th.

We’ve got no input about who will win, so we’ll be no help there, but the prize is your choice of one of our new 2010 Scattante Americano single speed bikes.

However, since there is only going to be one winner, if you want to get your hands on your very own 2010 Scattante Americano you can place your order on right now (all 4 models will be in stock and posted on our site soon).

Plus we don’t mind if you want to try some “barspinzzz” with your new ride (not that we’re recommending it).

2010 Bike Preview: Scattante Americano Courier Series Single Speeds

This year’s Scattante Courier Series sold out in no time.  2010 Couriers will adopt the Americano model name and break new ground with graphics, parts packages, and color matching.  These bikes look just as good in person and will be the perfect ride to head down the hipster silk route… or just for a pit stop at your local library (but be sure to lock it up when you go inside).  You can expect to see these new models around February, so until then you’ll just have to make do with more pretty pictures:

2010 Scattante Americano 1

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