Charge Duster frame review

Cool and compliant

BikeRadar score3.5/5

Nobody has done a better job of establishing a super-cool brand image recently than Radstock-based Charge Bikes, and the bikes themselves are quality performance pieces.

The Duster is their chromoly trail hardtail, based around high-spec double-butted Tange Prestige tubing – a brand that old-skool mountain bikers will know and love.

The geometry, with a 71° head and 73.5° seat angle, is classic too, and the reinforced head tube means you can stick in a longer fork to add some stability if you want. Either way you’re getting a well-balanced and eager bike that’ll eat up the trail miles.

A skinny 27.2mm seatpost and the natural twang of the Tange tubing gives the Duster a sting-saving skip and hop feel when you rattle through the rocky stuff.

While it’s not cheap, at under 5lb it’s reasonably light, and the next generation frames will use a lighter and more lively feeling double-butted rear end. The graphics can be complemented with Charge’s ever-growing accessory collection.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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