There’s nothing new in a flat barred road bike sporting discs, but no other bike does it with quite the same style and overall substance.
Charge bikes are gaining a well earned reputation for their contemporary designs and this nimble-handling, powerfully-braked town bike is the latest in the Charge stable. We can’t think of any other manufacturer who would have a go at designing anything similar to the Mixer.
Ride & handling: instant response traffic jam blaster
The narrow–ish flat bars tiller a very direct straight bladed fork and the tight back end responds immediately to what’s going on up front, following through in an instant. As the name suggests, the Mixer is just perfect for mixing it up in gridlocked traffic. The front set-up is much like the rear and comes through tight. This creates a bit of toe overlap but we didn’t find it a problem in traffic.
The 73.5 degree seat and 72.5 degree head angles are just the right side of steep, they won’t scare or throw you off and we had no problem trackstanding the Mixer.
That taut rear is purposely snug to the seat tube and the cigarette paper clearance adds to the look while also creating tight, track bike-style handling. It does mean you won’t be able to fit anything bigger than the Continental Sport Contact 700x32c tyre but we found this fine for city duties. Charge even makes a custom mudguard clip for the seat-tube.
The heart of the Mixer lies in the butted Tange Prestige frame. They’re not the lightest of tubes, but they produce a resolute feel and it’s certainly built to take the knocks. The understated look matches the tubing too. The Mixer is designed to nip discreetly through traffic and sit unnoticed in the bike rack, which it does perfectly well.
Equipment: Excellent combination of brakes & hub gear
The obvious advantages of the Mixer over Charge’s cheaper Tap city bike are the Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and black Alfine 8-speed internal geared hub. The new Alfine hub is the real show stopper. It’s much quicker, more precise and a lot quieter than the Nexus system. There’s also plenty of range in the eight speeds and although it adds a bit of weight it doesn’t affect the fast handling at all.
The only gripe we had was with the shift levers, which are Rapidfire inspired. We just couldn’t quite get the right position for fast finger and thumb shifting on the gear paddles. However, the mighty hydraulic disc brakes do not disappoint as they deliver powerful, service-free stopping and complete the hassle-free make-up of the Mixer.