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  1. #1
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    I bought a Charge Cooker HI 29er!

    I decided to start a thread on my new bike... Mainly because there's so little out there about this bike, and also because this is my first 29er and I thought it be fun to get a conversation going about the differences and such. So here's the new bike, at home in the garage next to my trusty Specialized Stumpjumper.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails I bought a Charge Cooker HI 29er!-image.jpg  

    Last edited by Dolbydarma; 04-06-2013 at 07:55 PM.

  2. #2
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    So, why did I buy this one... Well, I guess I just wanted something different, and since I couldn't really find anything about this bike online, I gave it a try. I tested the only one Performance Bike had, luckily it was the right size (large). After comparing it back to back with a new Specialized (Rockhopper 29) I really felt like the Cooker was just more fun to ride, plus the components were a good step up from the "Hopper". So it was different and more fun to ride (in my opinion) than what I already had and had tested, so I got it.

  3. #3
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    So initial impressions... This thing looks and feels huge (until I actually ride it that is), the obvious tire size, but also the handlebars - they're 5 inches wider than my Stumpy. The gearing is also differnent going from 3X9 to 2X10 plus I'm also getting used to triggers vs my old grip shifters. This bike is also heavier than my old bike by at least a few pounds (I'm guessing its primarily due to the steel frame). But all those differences go away when I actually go riding (except for the shifting, that is going to take awhile). The bike feels just as light as my other bike, maybe it's the bigger tires or just the excitement of a new bike. But it does feel nice and light, and nimble. The wider bars make sense when on the trail, I can really throw this bike around with the extra leverage those 5 inches allow. This is a fun package. And I've yet to bump into anyone who's heard of this bike, much less ridden one. Pretty Cool!

  4. #4
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    So I did make one change, the Rockhopper I tested had the best grips I'd ever tried, and I had to put them on the Cooker.

    Attachment 786091

    All black, so it's a match.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails I bought a Charge Cooker HI 29er!-image.jpg  

    Last edited by Dolbydarma; 04-06-2013 at 08:06 PM.

  5. #5
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    Went riding at Ute Valley today (if you are from Colorado Springs you know where that it). It was my first real test of the Cooker. Some technical, some steeps, some tight, all the stuff that makes riding here in CO fun. The 29s eat up the bumps like crazy, I expected they would, but I really was surprised at the difference. The most unexpected thing (actually 2nd most unexpected, but I'll get to that in a second) was how fast this bike climbs. It makes it so easy to keep my speed up the hill. That just doesn't make any sense to me at all, but man I am loving it. It's early in the season and I am way out of shape, but I feel much faster with this bike.

    As for the most unexpected part of my ride today. It was this:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails I bought a Charge Cooker HI 29er!-image.jpg  

    Last edited by Dolbydarma; 04-06-2013 at 08:07 PM.

  6. #6
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    And that damn hunk of wood did this to my brand new helmet. Not to mention it threw me off my bike - HARD.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails I bought a Charge Cooker HI 29er!-image.jpg  

    Last edited by Dolbydarma; 04-06-2013 at 08:08 PM.

  7. #7
    No Clue Crew
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    Still schilling that thing, huh? Least you stopped doing it in the AZ forum ...

  8. #8
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    Nice looking bike -- I'm liking the skin-walled tires!
    I ride at night - see my tips for Night Cycling
    My Blog: Cycling For Beginners

  9. #9
    mtbr member
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    Schilling it, riding it, whatever you want to call it. If you're not interested feel free to move along.

  10. #10
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    So if anyone else out there has one of these, lets hear your 2cents.

  11. #11
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Not the ideal place to ride, but at least I did get to ride with the whole family today!

    Happy Easter everyone!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails I bought a Charge Cooker HI 29er!-image.jpg  

    Last edited by Dolbydarma; 04-06-2013 at 07:50 PM.

  12. #12
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    Here's a review.
    Charge Cooker Hi 29er ? First Ride Review - BikeRadar
    X5 and RockShox XC 28 match with an aluminum Airborne Guardian.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the link, I saw that review too. Looks like Charge made a few changes since then, or maybe just made the changes for the States. Mine came with X5 and X7 components and also a Rockshox Recon Silver front fork. I'm glad they didn't keep that shock in the review, from what I've seen and read it wouldn't really have sufficed for my size and riding style. I gotta agree with them on the speed part for sure, as for the tight stuff, I can't tell for sure if its this particular bike or 29ers in general that feel so different. Should be a fun summer getting a new feel on my old trails.

  14. #14
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    Back on the dirt.

    Nice cool morning (38 degrees) made for another chance to get on the new bike. I'm starting to get a bit more used to the SRAM shifters, and I added a bit more resistance to the front fork... All in all everything felt pretty damn good. I still haven't found my perfect seat height, but I'm getting pretty close. The sweet spot seems to be in a very small range of area for me to feel in the bike instead of on the bike, or on the other end of the spectrum where I just feel too low all together.

    I'm really impressed with the pedal height, I found myself thinking, "I'm gonna smack the pedal into that rock... Wait, never mind, cleared it!" That happened over and over again. I've actually only had one pedal strike so far, pretty sure I would have had more with my last bike.

    The new grips are really making a big difference too, hands have a great amount of grip on the bars, but I never get that numb feeling that was pretty much a guarantee on all my previous grips. Best $30 so far.

    Oh yeah, got another bike on the way... Should have it sometime next week

    Can't wait!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails I bought a Charge Cooker HI 29er!-image.jpg  

    I bought a Charge Cooker HI 29er!-image.jpg  

    Last edited by Dolbydarma; 04-06-2013 at 07:42 PM.

  15. #15
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    Had to update all the photos... I uploaded a photo editor on the iPad and had some fun, thought these all looked better.

  16. #16
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    Not to be mean but it's quite a monolog you got there

    Billy Idol - Dancing With Myself - YouTube
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  17. #17
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    In defense of the OP, it's not as fun having a less popular brand bike (at least, in terms of discussing that model on the forums). Having owned (for instance), a Gunnar, a Blackbuck, and now a Soma, it's tough to find much lively discussion on them. Compare that to when I had a Salsa Fargo, which has a huge, lively thread over in the Salsa forum--it's a world of difference.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolbydarma View Post
    And that damn hunk of wood did this to my brand new helmet. Not to mention it threw me off my bike - HARD.
    Holy Toledo Batman, that could have been all bad had you not been wearing a helmet.

  19. #19
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    Big thread resurrection here!

    I bought a Cooker Hi too, except mine os the 2011 Hi which I believe is now just the Cooker. It's black and white with a X7~X5 mix. LOVE IT. It is my second MTB the old girls was sold on, a Avanti Montari Comp. 26er. Reasons for this bike.
    1: I am a noob to MTB, a good road rider. I wanted hard tail and tough.
    2: This was supposed to be a fire road bike but already several jumps and falls with some tough (to me) single track (google Parklands QLD) my first time in there was in the dark!
    3: I liked the retro style.
    4: The reviews were very good.
    5: The bike is way above my skill set, so a good entry component mix with a great frame to upgrade onto.
    6: Steel, I weigh 100kg. My old retro racer is still going 20 years on.
    7: It's not common and people like it, especially the gum walls, I have people who want them when they are nearly worn, don't know why I didn't ask!

    Oh and my wife liked it too, so much so she now has one too, ladies saddle installed and pink grips have been ordered. Matching lycra is however BANNED.

    We love 'em and as noobs it gets a lot of people coming and talking to us, a bit like having a cute puppy, people need to say hi to you to meet it!

    My next upgrade will be whatever breaks first, but I am looking into a seat dropper for the wife and chain guides for us both, it's a bit rocky in places.

    So anyway frst post, rambles on a bit but I had to join to help fend of the Cooker kickers, don't be a sheep be a lion.

  20. #20
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    First post so here goes.

    I have been toying with getting a Charge Cooker Hi 2013 for a few months now. They are now on sale which is great.

    Charge Cooker Hi 2013 - CycleSurgery

    Only problem is that the sales and new 2014 models have made these Specialized Crave Comp 2014 and Fuji Tahoe 29 1.3 2013 bikes hit my radar and now I can't decide.

    Specialized Crave Comp 29er 2014 Mountain Bike | Evans Cycles

    Fuji Tahoe 29 1.3 2013 Mountain Bike | Evans Cycles

    There is something about the Cooker i just love. My current bike is a rigid cromo Raleigh Dyna-Tech Encounter and although a great bike, she is hard work on the trails and it's time for an upgrade. I'm really drawn to the steel frame of the Cooker. The Tahoe seems to win spec wise though and the Crave is somewhere in between. There is barely any user info on the Cooker and Tahoe online.

    Unfortunately I'll only be able to ride the Crave when it gets to my lbs. The other 2 are only available by mail order. If you were in my shoes what would you be thinking?

  21. #21
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    I've had my Cooker Hi all season and still just love it. The steal frame is great, and the components are still feeling first day crisp. I've used this bike from rocky hard single track to commuting to work on pavement. It's a great overall bike. The only item I've changed is the seat. While very comfortable, it's suede like surface was too catchy on the shorts when trying to quickly slide off the back for steep drops in tougher trails. That seat is now on my old Stumpjumper which the Cooker replaced. I've gotten quite a few comments while out on it, not many people here in CO have heard of Charge, which is another reason why I bought it. Hope some of this helps.

  22. #22
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    Hmm, my only niggles with my Cooker (Large Frame)
    1: The tip of the fork lockout catches the paint under the down bar when you a,stack or b, are too lazy to remove the front wheel to squeeze it in the car.
    2: I had the replace the brakes, I often take part in fast tarmac descents, I reach speeds up to 50mph with cliff face drop offs and 90 degree turns, these descents take about 10minutes. I weigh over 200lbs the Avid1's were just overheating. I now have Shimano M785s with Airtech rotors and pads.
    3: I have not really been on the trails, but I don't rate the tires, I have replaced my wife's tires with CX 35mm and she now flies along on tarmac and unsealed paths and dry dirt and grass, I'm going to get a set myself.
    4: I too switched the saddle, but only to match my road bike as my ass could not cope with the constant shape changing

    Positives:
    1.A good local MTB'r a trail leader no less, I got him to ride mine after a big ride, his comments were he was impressed by how light it felt/ handled, and how steel communicates with you, almost like its alive. This guy has 2x29er 1XTC giant and a dually, a 26er for pure forest work. Roadies etc.
    2.Everyone loves them when they see them. Ultra cool.
    3.The SRAM stuff has a great click sound.
    4.They roll really well and fast.
    5. A local canadian MTB nutter and rocky road importer, rates it.

    Good luck, ride safe and enjoy it.

  23. #23
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    Wakatuti - what year is your Cooker? The one I'm looking at (Cooker Hi 2013) has the Avid 5 brakes.

    I've also been reading up on the steel vs aluminium frame debate. I see why my old dog of a bike has lasted so well despite numerous crashes over it's 21 years with it's fully rigid steel frame. This draws me in even more to the Cooker...

  24. #24
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    Yeah mines a 2012 which I believe is now just the Cooker specs and the Hi goes another step up. I have a 20yr old steel racer, it is still great.
    The debate over Alu, Steel, Carbon, Ti will run forever. But from road experience, Alu is HARSH you feel everything, Carbon actually has more companies than Alu as far as vibration is concerned. I went through all this when I bought my Scott Foil, a bike with a reputation for being stiff. I found a article that said Carbon was the closest feel to Steel, I agree, its a lot lighter though!. That's why Alu roadies have carbon forks to reduce vibration. Ti yuk, it felt loose. Anyway back onto MTB's for what you gain in weight, you more than get back in shock absorbing and suportive flex. IMO. Besides it's easier and cheaper to loose weight off you than your bike! You will enjoy it. I have just taken 15mm of the bar width too, it was to wide for me.

  25. #25
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    My lbs have just taken stock of the new 2014 Cube LTD SL 29 - CUBE LTD SL 29 - which again is a great setup - but then I read this review- Cube LTD Pro review | Hardtail mountain bike review | MBR - and with regards to the alu frame this ride doesn't sound particularly comfy.
    Definitely still being drawn towards the Cooker...

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