We ride and review the titanium Charge Skewer
It’s been a while since a bike arrived in the CW office that drew the sort of attention gained by the Charge Skewer — a good start.
Started four years ago by Hotwheels in Poole, Dorset, Charge’s aim was to create a small number of niche bikes in either titanium or steel — definitely no carbon. The plan is to produce uncomplicated, stylish designs. The bikes are drawn up in the UK with feedback from British riders and made in Taiwan in collaboration with Tange tubes. It therefore won’t be a surprise to learn that Charge uses either Tange Prestige steel or Ultimate titanium.
Our test bike is a new direction for Charge: a titanium road bike. The Charge Skewer has a classic look thanks to the horizontal top tube paired with an 18cm head tube and a 64cm seat tube, measured centre to centre. The front triangle is constructed from double-butted titanium with the tubes drawn to 0.8/0.6/0.8mm, while at the rear, straight seatstays aim to keep stiffness up and rely upon titanium’s natural flex to add comfort.
We were expecting that classic titanium ride when we headed for the hills and we weren’t disappointed but thanks to the ovalised down tube, bottom bracket flex is kept to a minimum and despite the traditional straight seatstays there was sufficient damping for us not to take a kicking.
Do check the size carefully, as the standover height is substantial. Price for the Charge Skewer is for frame and fork only.
A very interesting first bike with lines that you’re either going to love or hate. The Charge Skewer offers a titanium ride with minimal flex, making it a great all-rounder.
Tange Ultimate Titanium
8.6kg inc pedals
Hotwheels 01202 732288
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