Exclusive: Charge Cooker 29er UPDATED

by singletrackjon 37

Nick Larsen from Charge Bikes has just dropped by the office to show us a very new addition to the Charge bikes family – yup, it’s their very first big wheeled bike and it’s called the Cooker. Don’t start ringing up the shops just yet though, this is a 2012 development bike and is unlikely to be in the shops anytime before next year.

Tange Prestige tubing is double butted....

Made from a custom Tange Prestige double butted tubeset, Nick has spent plenty of time tweaking and testing the geometry to get it riding how he likes.

...and here's the front suspension bike. Picture not taken in Todmorden.

In fact, after originally being unsure of the 29er concept he’s now become a big fan of the way larger wheels work, so much so that his 26″ wheeled Duster is now gathering dust.

Long rigid forks are corrected for up to 120mm travel so later upgrades are possible...

This frame pictured here doesn’t have final geometry but the finished frame is going to have a 71° head angle, corrected for the length of 100-120mm suspension forks. Seat angle is a bit slacker than most 29ers out there and the final production bikes will probably be a bit longer in the top tube than seen here. Nick’s been aiming to make the Cooker handle just like a 26″ wheeled bike and is pleased with the results so far.

The Cooker is a looker...

The Cooker is going to be available either with a rigid fork build for around £699 or with Rock Shox suspension forks for around £1,000.

Tidy graphics as always...

Comments (37)

  1. Like it a lot, tidy bike

  2. Ooooooh – now that is very interesting 🙂

  3. oh lordy lord, that is pretty, never really wanted a 29’er until now

  4. I bumped into a chap I’ll assume was Nick on that there Cooker in our local woods and whilst I’m still skeptical about another standard it looks really rather tidy and appeared to handle well on little techish decent. Fast too though that could’ve been due to the cable discs

  5. Frame weight? And frame only option/price?

  6. Will the fork take a 36″ wheel?

  7. I like the flexibility to convert to run with gears or single speed/Alfine without the need for a tensioner – ala singular swift with the EBB, or Salsa’s el mariachi’s alternator dropout’s…etc..
    Similar plans for the ‘Cooker’ I wonder?

  8. It looks ridiculous! Open your eyes and look past the nice paint job. 29’ers are a marketing ploy.
    Taller than that building in Dubai.
    Long live 26″

  9. @ ginsterdrz – why does my 29er ride nicer than my 26
    my 26er is a cotic Soul…my 9er is a bog standard Kona peace
    No I don’t understand the answer either – but it does

  10. that looks foul. those long forks make it look like a right chopper, you just need a tash!

  11. I think it looks great maybe with a shorter fork though.

  12. That looks ridiculous, what a gate. How tall and steep?!? As for those forks… I’m a big fan of Charge, but…

  13. the pedal looks very close to the front wheel – is there any toe overlap or is that just the photo?

  14. Why is it that while I am waiting for my new steel 29er frame to be delivered. They bring out something like this.
    Very nice job

  15. I was watching a talk by Cy Turner on Youtube earlier where he was saying that in order to sharpen up the steering on a 29er the best option is to increase the fork offset (like Gary Fisher does).

    That fork looks like it has virtually no offset and a steep head angle which brings the front wheel in closer – exactly what Cy was saying is a bad idea for handling.

  16. Yup -Singular has the same argument as cy.

    Tidy looking bike, mind – just that head angle / fork length!

  17. sling some 120 forks on there and it’ll be right.

  18. Looks like a whole loada bike for 600quid!

    As for offset, if the fork is corrected for a 120mm sus fork then offset would be less apparent, no?

  19. after looking at the pictures of this bike i think i could design a much better version.
    i have never ridden it, or even ridden a 29er but i know i could do alot better than a guy who appears to have made many prototypes and tried different geometries… he is clearly wrong and this bike is rubbish.
    the geo is all wrong, the wheels too big, the forks too long and the bike i will not even bother to design will be way better in my dreams later…..

  20. Wish I had never got rid of my Kula-29.

    Why are some people so prejudice as to blind themselves to something that is just different?

  21. From my experience of riding a lot of different 29ers – geometry charts mean nothing which is bizarre as they normally go to type on 26″ wheel bikes. I’ve ridden bikes with what i would consider crazy angles that have been fine and vice versa. Sadly it’s a try and see sort of deal.

  22. Glad to see everyone’s paying this much attention. I rode the other Charge 29er they brought round – with 100mm forks on and I’ll let you know how I got on as soon as I get a moment.

  23. Is that really £600 fully built?
    Makes my Singular Swift look a little over-priced (unless the EBB retails for about £400 that is!)

  24. I really like it, i’ll seriously consider one of those when they come out. is that £600 geared?

  25. Looks too tall and long for me.
    It’ll probably suit someone who likes open, fast, wheels-on-the-ground type of riding. For flick-flacking through the trees and puddle-hopping it’ll feel like a barge.

  26. Can anyone please explain why 29ers are so steep in comparision to 26inch bikes? 71 degree head angle just seems soooooo steep, don’t get it.

  27. 71 degrees is still pretty much standard for “normal” XC riding. Charge’s 26 inch wheel XC bikes all have 71 degree head angles too so I guess it’s what they consider to be right for the average rider, regardless of wheel size.

  28. The proof of the pudding is in the tasting.
    Geometry on 29’rs is tough, there is no proven template to go from, who’s to say that Cy from Cotic is right or wrong?
    I’ve had a good ride on a Trek and a Cannondale 29″ bike and i prefered the Trek, but even then it was a bit aggressive.
    Im up for trying one of these if there are going to be any demo bikes out.

  29. Not sure if it’s a trick of the camera, but is there a slight kink in the chainstay on the right hand side where it meets the dropout? Just noticed it.

    And yep, 71’s a standard – if slightly old school – head angle. It might come in handy to speed up the steering on a big-wheeled bike, but what do I know. 🙂

    Cy (and Sam from Singular) both have a point, I think. The Singular 69er, the Hummingbird, rides very nicely indeed as both a 69er and a 26er, with 120mm forks.

  30. I don’t think tyou can really judge a bike’s geometry on how it looks in a picture..

    the fork offset / HA balancing thing mentioned is old touring / road bike set-up wisdom and was done by Jeff Jones before GF i think. it’s only ‘new’ on MTBs as we’ve had set sus fork designs for so long and it took someone like trek to push through a new fork rake. whether that fork rake was right is another point of debate.

    all interesting stuff tho and it’s good to see more people working on 29ers in the UK, it looks nice.

    “Can anyone please explain why 29ers are so steep in comparision to 26inch bikes? 71 degree head angle just seems soooooo steep, don’t get it.”

    trail is what affects steering, it’s a function of head angle, fork rake and wheel radius. change one dimension and you can change others as required to end up with the right trail figure. a steeper HA and / or more rake can shorten the trail, or offset the effect of the bigger wheel that lengthens the trail.

  31. Is it me or did the base price just jump by a hundred quid?

  32. It did. 🙂

    James-O – you’re right, of course.

  33. That’s inflation for ya! 😉

  34. Although, although – if Charge is going with a slightly whacky trail / HA / fork length set up, it’s not going to have the ability of, say Trek and Cary F, who were able to get custom crowns for the suspension forks on Gary Fisher 29ers. Whatever numbers they come up with have to work with the currently available off-the-shelf 29er suspension forks. Well, unless they’ve got a trick up their sleeves.

    Top marks to Charge for tinkering, though…

  35. doesn’t seem that whacky, 71 deg at a 100mm sus-corrected 29er fork length is about mid-range on the trail-ometer, roughly the same as a sagged-to-70-degree 26″. sensible stuff, doesn’t sound overly steep.

    i think a lot of 29er forks have the 46mm rake now, trek got 51mm? not sure off hand. I’m not convinced that the added rake ‘adds’ to the handling ability though, it just changes the layout options.

  36. @ginsterdrz BioPace was a marketing ploy. 29ers are an established evolution. It only seems like a fad because the big manufacturers are only jumping on it now.

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