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 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.