Crash Tested: Charge Duster
Can you believe I bought my Duster at the beginning of the year (for 1699 golden nuggets), whacked some slicks on it then used it as a commuter bike for three whole months before it even got a whiff of the good stuff (dirt). It got to the point where I almost completely forgot that it was designed to be ridden off-road which, having now ridden it off-road, is a major injustice.
Beyond the fact that it's a beauty to look at, it pings its way along singletrack like a hyperactive puppy, with the Tange Prestige tubing providing a really nice zippy feel that makes you want to push it hard. On high speed, flowing singletrack this bike will have you grinning like a fool.
With a really nice spec including RockShox Reba SLs, Avid Elixir 5s (which grip like a one armed mountaineer), and a Charge own-brand rear hub that may produce the best buzzing sound in the world, this bike is at the top of the pile. Your pile may well be full of DH bikes but if you’re after something lighter for hacking about on singletrack, this is the one.
You can pick up the 2010 bike (like the one here, in my kitchen) for a bargain £1299 if you shop about, but if you fancy something a bit more retro, check out the 2011 incarnation. To find out more, click the image below.