First of all let’s say something about Charge elecric bikes. Charge is a startup owned by the makers of Cannondale and Schwinn e-bikes. Charge was launched like a buyer’s brand intended for real electric bike lovers looking for quality product at a reasonable price.
So, Charge bikes are not top-of-the-line name brand, but still offers all the perks and advantages of quality components that can rise to the challenge of any off-road adventure. Charge offers 3 electric bike models at the moment and those are City, Comfort and XC. The Charge XC is their top of the line model intended for all terrain adventures as well as for city cruising. So, there are some compromises when it comes to performance (obviously since this is dual purpose e-bike), but none when it comes to quality.
So, the Charge XC is a different kind of bike, a combination between hardtail mountain bike with adjustable front suspension and city commuter e-bike providing ultra comfortable ride over flat surfaces. We liked the Charge XC and after a few long rides, we can say that we thoroughly enjoyed it. Let’s see what is so impresive about this e-bike.
Main Specs of The Charge XC
- Frame: 6061 Aluminum Alloy, Tapered 1.5″ 1 1/8″ headtube
- Weight: 55 lbs
- Maximum Weight Limit: 300 lbs
- Motor: Integrated Shimano E5000, 250W
- Battery: Detachable Shimano E8035 504WH Integrated Battery with ABUS Lock
- Top Speed: 20 mph
- Maximum Range: Up to 50 miles
- Fork: SR Suntour XCM 34, 100mm coil fork with preload adjuster
- Wheels: WTB 29″, 32 hole double wall rim, with Shimano MT400 thru axle hub (15mm)
- Display: Shimano E7000 Cycle Computer
- Tires: Goodyear Peak 29 x 2.25 puncture resistant with reflective sidewalls
- Pedals: Fiberglass reinforced folding Nylon pedal. (Size: 9/16)
- Crank: Shimano E5010 36 teeth with alloy guard (Length: 165MM)
- Shifter: Shimano Rapidfire Plus 8 speed with optical gear display
- Stem: 90 degree rotateable stem with +7 degree rise. (Size: 31.8mm)
- Brakes: Shimano MT200 Hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors front and rear
- Saddle: Ergonomic Charge Comfort Saddle. Length: 145mm
- Seatpost: Lightweight and durable 6061 Aluminium. 30.9 diameter x 350 length.
- Rack: Integrated Rear Rack (Weight Limit 50 lbs.)
- Fenders: All-weather rated thermoplastic, full-coverage design with stainless-steel hardware
- Lights: High-power LED Headlight and Taillight
- Extras: Tire Pressure Indicator Valve Caps
Meet the Charge XC e-Bike
The Charge XC stands out from the crowd. It features fully integrated motor into the frame as inconspicuously as possible, making the bike looking sleek and powerful at the same time. The Shimano E5000, 250W motor is perfectly visually integrated into the frame with black cover, but it still looks like it belongs on the bike.
The motor receives its power from a removable Shimano E8035, 504WH Battery with ABUS Lock. The battery is integrated into the down tube. As expected for an eMTB, the XC relies on sturdy components. The XC comes with SR Suntour XCM 34, 100mm coil fork with preload adjuster, powerful Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors and Goodyear Peak 29 x 2.25 puncture resistant tires.
The large battery capacity and the sturdy components of the € 2,499 didn’t influnced the total weight of this amazing e-bike. Charge bikes are known for their lightweight and durable 6061 Aluminum alloy frames enabling the Charge XC to weight only 55 lbs and all that with battery included. It’s just relieving to know that you can easily pick up your bike when needed.
The Charge XC is available in two sizes, small (5’0″ – 5’9″) and large (5’9″ – 6’4″). Since the bike sizing tends to be on the larger side, riders who are in between two sizes are better off choosing the smaller option.
So the Chege XC gives you a 250 watt internally geared hub motor from Shimano (this is my main objection and I think that 500 W motor would be much better on this bike). The Shimano E8035 battery with 504 watt hour capacity provides a lot of power and it’s extremely satisfying to zip around. There arer 3 pedal assist modes and with the XC pedal assist will speed you up to 20 mph. Also, I noticed that with the XC I had the smoothest ride ever, it just glides over the city streets and park trails. Surprisingly easy, like it’s 250 W motor provides extra power and feels mora like 500 W motor. This is a big plus for the XC. Especially when you choose “sport” mode, it feels a bit beastly, what I liked a lot.
But, since the XC is also an eMTB you probably ask how it feels during off-road riding. The adjustable front suspension (100 mm) keeps the front end planted during turns on bumpy trails. The tires are grippy and mounted on huge 29″ rims they allow you to maintain speed and roll over obstacles easily. I think Charge made the right choice mounting these 29″ rims because everything seems much easier and more comfortable on 29″ wheels. The bike offers 8 gears (I hoped for more), but even with 8 gears available, with pedal assist you can climb any hill for that matter. It worked very well and made things easy. Also, don’t expect that the XC can match some best off-road e-bikes like Delfast Top 3.0, but for an average rider the XC is all he needs.
The top speed of the Charge XC is 20 mph. However, the XC features superb brakes making any braking easy and with no problems. The XC comes equipped with Shimano MT200 hydraulic front and rear disc brakes (180 mm rotors) and they provide more than enough stopping power, and smooth and controlled stopping.
The battery on theXC is very nicely integrated into the frame. Once in place, it is locked and requires a key to be removed. The battery is removable, so you can charge it when mounted on the bike or just detached it from the bike and charge it inside a house or office. When the battery is fully charged you can go as far as 50 miles on a single charge, depending on terrain, assist level, throttle position, rider input and other conditions.
Some of the other upgrades and technical features I loved about the XC are the XCM 34 suspension fork from Suntour, surprisingly satisfying and capable. You can adjust the air pressure to accommodate your weight. I also just really like the high-powered, automatic front and rear lights so you can see and be seen.
The Shimano E7000 Cycle Computer display has great readouts, swivels to reduce glare and has an integrated USB charging port for portable electronics. And at the end, tire pressure indicator valve caps are pretty cool feature, just take a look at them and be informed if the tires need some more air.
I loved the Charge XC and could see this performing well on trails, light mountain conditions or around town as a more aggressive commuter bike. The 29″ wheels are just great for comfortable ride and add extra stability and confidence. High-quality materials and components are rarely seen on e-bikes under $3000, though, even the XC is not a top-notch performer it is a high-quality e-bike. This is the kind of electric bike I have had the most fun because it can take on any sort of terrain you encounter while riding an e-bike. Also, it comes with all sorts of extras like tire pressure integrated valve caps, high-power LED headlight and taillight, fenders, the rear rack which is useful for finishing all sorts of arrons around town including shopping, I highly recommend it to all users seeking comfortable ride in urban environment as well as during off-road riding. You won’t find better e-bike in this niche for the price of $2499.