The bigger name Ti frames, like Merlin, Litespeed and DeKerf are out of the price range for most riders. We’ve seen a lot of sub-£1000 Ti frames over the last few years and this one scrapes into that category by a penny.
Some of them are very good, but there’s something special about a Charge Duster. For a start, it’s made from the well-respected Tange Ultimate seamless butted tubes. It’s also built to shrug off a little more abuse than most of the big money superlights: a nicely executed gusset under the down tube, a reinforced head tube and the oversized bi-ovalised down tube stand proud, and we really like the bullet-capped seat/chain stay ends where they join the dropouts
Aesthetically, the frame emphasises fuss-free clean lines. There are no rim brake bosses, the cable and hose guides are underneath the top tube, the rear stays shun all the usual snakey shapes for strong and straight tubes and the XC purist frame geometry is made to take a fork up to 100mm travel.
Ride wise, we love it. It’s fast and lively, with that lovely Ti pingy feel that makes you think you’re somehow extracting forward energy from bumps. If you can’t justify £1000, take a look at the £349 Tange steel Duster. It promises many of the same ride qualities, albeit without the special Ti spring in its stride – and it does carry a little more weight.