The Blender from Charge is designed to be a no compromise 4X/dirt bike, but its hardcore high speed setup means it also makes a superb balls out, short burst singletracker. Hang on while we explain...
Speak to any hardcore dirt jump or BMX rider and they'll tell you that for absolute slam down security, survivability and strength, you can't beat steel. Charge have sourced top quality Japanese Sanko Cromoly steel for the Blender, complete with reinforced head tube and an ISCG chain device mount.
The seat post slot faces forward to keep spray out and there's masses of mudroom round the
2.35in tyres. The £250 frame comes in white or black colour choices and a (oh boy, do we want one of these) titanium tubed version for £999.
It's a very specific frame though, with no cable stops for a front mech and vertical rather than singlespeed-friendly horizontal dropouts. It only comes in 16in too,
so riders over 5ft 9in will struggle to get 'proper pedalling' height and it's short enough to skim your knee on the shifter when sprinting.
It's this compact nature and unique slack geometry that make it such a fantastic trail hooligan, though.
With the bike down below your knees, it snaps from side to side instinctively. You can't help rip round anything remotely like a berm and we were immediately using parts of the trail we'd never touched before to pump, push and smear the bike along in a brakeless blur of speed.
The super slack geometry really helps here too, and - unlike most BMX-angled BSX bikes - the Blender really comes into its own at genuinely eyewatering speeds.
It let us hit step and rock sections absolutely flat out, without any hint of nerves or flinching, however sketchy the surface or tyre grip. The steel tubing noticeably smooths out trail impacts too, skimming and flowing through trouble rather than beating our arms and feet numb like the alloy bikes tend to do.
The stub stem keeps everything super light, responsive and stumble free at low speeds. Combine the tail-happy tendency of the slick rear tyre and the ease of weight shift (to pinning front wheel traction to getting off the back and float/manual through stuff) and we just couldn't help but go absolutely mental every time we rode it.
The kit is as you'd expect from a dedicated BSX bike, with single ring and chainguide transmission, close ratio rear block and reinforced jump bike-style finishing kit. The Pike U-Turn fork is a custom chopped version, with travel limited to a maximum of 120mm. We're happy to say that it works fantastically for short blast singletracking though, absolving all worries about skipped gears, dropped chains or twangy forks.
While the tyres are great on frozen/baked hard/man-made trails, you will want something toothier in the mud. There's no doubt that you could easily build a far lighter - but still plenty tough bike - from the £249 frame, too.
Charge's unique Blender is short, low and a phenomenally fun short blast singletrack/street/dirt/whatever hooligan. The geometry works superbly at speed, the steel ride is outstandingly smooth and we just absolutely loved it.