The Ladle is the slightly wider and shorter version of Charge’s popular Spoon, and retains similarly understated looks, though there’s a beautifully feminine brown version with a ﬂowery embossed cover if you prefer your bikes to be girly.
Comfort starts from the shell upwards, with a small soft area beneath the saddle nose, which allows for extra ‘give’ although there’s no visible recess on top. Padding is simple foam that's ﬁrm enough to give plenty of support at the rear, allowing sit bones to take the bulk of your weight and keeping pressure away from more delicate areas.
The rails are hard-wearing chromoly steel and though the cover scuffs up and starts to look lived-in pretty quickly, our long-term version is still going strong despite being cosmetically tatty. The short nose will be a little on the stumpy side for those who prefer to shift their weight markedly fore and aft as the gradient and terrain demands, but for longer or less technical riding, it’s a winner.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.