First Impression: Charge Bikes Cooker 4

Ed’s Note: This bike is part of our annual, sub-$3,000 bike test where the Dirt Rag staff spends significant time aboard less-expensive but fully capable offerings that we’d seriously consider buying ourselves. The final review will be out early 2016 in issue #189. Subscribe today so you don’t miss it!

Price: $2,400


Charge Bikes’ Cooker 4 is a 27.5plus entry in our sub-$3,000 bike group test. The Cooker features an all-aluminum frame, a RockShox Reba RL Boost fork, 1×11 SRAM GX drivetrain, a 725 mm RaceFace Evolve handlebar, Shimano SLX brakes and WTB 2.8″ Trailblazer tires riding on 40 mm wide rims.


The chainstays provide just enough clearance for the 2.8-inch WTB Trailblazers, and I’m wondering how much more rubber can fit in there. 40 mm rims provide a nice wide platform so that the tires don’t look out of place or too round, and I haven’t had any problems since I set them up tubeless.


Because it was designed in Great Britain, I felt is was appropriate to take the bike out and give it a good mud bath. Like peanut butter and jelly, some things are just meant to go together.


So far the Cooker has been a worthy companion. The combination of the Reba and large tires make line choices through roots and rocks a bit less important, and the bike seems to roll nicely through most conditions and trail surfaces. I haven’t perceived much of a weight penalty from the extra rubber, and the geometry feels spot on. I’m looking forward to getting a good bit more time with my new buddy so I can bring you a complete review, out in January.



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