Charge Grater 1 review

Entry-level flat-bar runabout

Charge’s Grater range starts with the singlespeed 0 at £349 and reaches up to the Grater 5 at £2,199, which boasts a titanium frame, hydraulic disc brakes and SRAM Rival 1x11 gearing.

Charge Grater 1 spec overview

  • Frame: 6061 alloy PG aluminium (L)
  • Fork: Charge Whisk steel
  • Gears: Shimano Altus, 38t Truvativ chainring, 11-32
  • Brakes: Tektro BX1 V-brakes, Promax levers
  • Wheels: Tough Urban
  • Stem: Charge
  • Bar: Charge 660mm
  • Seatclamp: Charge
  • Saddle: Spoon
  • Tyres: 32mm Charge Coaster

Charge Grater 1 frame and equipment

It says a lot for the Charge brand and the Grater platform that it can pull this off. Not only are those polar-opposite bikes credible and competitive at their prices, the spec of each bike in-between looks well judged.

Some comfort is salvaged by the Charge Spoon saddle, which is one of the finest saddles of all time

The Grater 1 has a 1x8 drivetrain, with a Shimano Altus rear derailleur. The combination of a 38t chainring and 11-32 cassette is a proficient one and we never found ourselves without a suitable gear, while the Altus under-bar shifter is snappy and intuitive to use.

The Tektro V-brakes and Promax levers look a bit low-rent on a bike of this price — you might reasonably hope for mechanical disc brakes — but there’s no questioning their performance. The Grater is even able to out-brake some similarly priced disc-braked bikes, so there were no stopping worries.

The 32mm Charge Coaster tyres are made by Kenda, and while 32mm is pretty big, the non-butted frame and steel fork are far from compliant and need all the help they can get from a big air chamber; that said, it’s a firm ride over bad surfaces.

They do at least roll briskly, though the wheels flex noticeably. Some comfort is salvaged by the Charge Spoon saddle, which is one of the finest saddles of all time and the winner of numerous tests. It also looks great with its contrast stitching.

Charge Grater 1 early verdict

Good value flat-barred machine but you’ll feel bumps through the firm-riding frame.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Robin Wilmott

Tech Writer, Tech Hub, UK,
Robin began road cycling in 1988, and with mountain bikes in their infancy, mixed experimental off-road adventures with club time trials and road races. Cyclocross soon became a winter staple, and has remained his favourite form of competition. Robin has always loved the technical aspect of building and maintaining bikes, and several years working in a good bike shop only amplified that. Ten years as a Forensic Photographer followed, honing his eye for detail in pictures and words. He has shot at the biggest pro events since the '90s, and now he's here, drawing on all those experiences to figure out what makes a bike or component tick.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 178cm / 5'10"
  • Weight: 75kg / 165lb
  • Discipline: Road, cyclocross, time trials
  • Beer of Choice: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

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