A bit of a thread to document changes to my Plug. It started off as a frame only purchase, new from eBay, of a Charge Plug (Tange Prestige version). Initially built up last summer with some heavy 700c wheels and a load of mismatched cheap, second hand and spares box parts, to be used as a work bike for courier-ing around Leeds. A switch to a different job in January of this year meant it could be re-purposed as a more all-round gravel, light touring, town bike.
Built up a set of 650b wheels (XT rear, re-branded SP dynamo front, Crest rims), whacked on some Horizons, fitted an 11-40t Sunrace 9 speed cassette with XT shifty bits and a 42t NW ring, then stripped off the guards and front rack once spring arrived.
In use now for longer road/bridleway/gravel rides when I'm not fancying mountain biking. Really enjoying the comfort of the fatter tyres as well as being pleasantly surprised by how well they roll along once up to speed. Working towards getting it ready to ride the Torino-Nice Rally at the start of September, which will entail:
Picture as it stands today.
Thought of switching to forks for something with more bosses instead of hacking of canti studs?
I've been considering it, perhaps a Surly Straggler or Thorn disc fork, or something carbon to drop some weight. Current fork is a cheap and fairly nasty Kaffenback one.
I've just bought one of these frames, mainly because my tange prestige charge juicer is so frickin comfy! Interested to see what you do about forks. Barring Chinese crabon there's very little choice in carbon. The brother kepler fork might be an option but it's not cheap.
An eBay special? I bought mine after seeing this thread on STW: https://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/cheap-charge-plug-5-frames-on-ebay/
Chinese seems to be the best way of going carbon without too much expense, a few people on the above thread have used Genesis CdF or Kinesis carbon forks though.
It does ride really smoothly, very happy with it for the price.
Any thoughts on bar tape colour?
Yep it was an eBay find - the chap bought one but never built it up. I've been scouring the web for a pair of suitable second hand forks but have yet to come up with anything.
Camo bar tape? I suppose it depends what colour you have it painted.
It took a while of waiting until a suitable pair of forks came up from mine. Secured some shifters last night, hopefully be able to fit them and the bars over the weekend. Still unsure on the repaint colour too which is unhelpful.
Shifters and bars arrived this week, along with tape and a dirt cheap Brand-X stem to figure out a comfortable reach before going for something a bit nicer (actually not a bad stem at all for £7). Had just enough time to throw it all together this evening and go for a 5 minute spin. Poor quality photo and bar taping attached.
First time using flared drops, feels a bit weird, going to need some fiddling with the bar angle/lever position.
Got out for a steady 50k's today. Lots and lots of messing with bar angle/stem height/saddle position/lever position and angle, to come to the conclusion that the stack is too low. Too much weight on my hands, so it's going to need either a fork with a longer steerer or (more likely) a quick fix highrise stem.
Also going to need an inline barrel adjuster for the gears, I'd forgotten that using a mtb mech and road shifters means no barrel adjusters. Running reasonably smooth without atm though.
Really happy with how it's riding though, smooth and stable.
Looks good! What company were you couriering for, I might recognise you! I courier in Leeds but don't recognise the bike.
New stem arrived, 35° 90mm which should reduced reach by 19mm and increase stack by ~40mm. Feels much more comfortable even if it looks a bit ugly. Comfort is the name of the game for this bike though so stem slamming will have to be reserved for other rides. Need to wait for better weather to re-tape bars and get some decent photos, and hopefully I'll get into the frame builder next week to get an extra bottle boss sorted.
I worked for Deliveroo mainly, between Oct 2016 and Jan 2018, name's Jack.
Interesting project! I got something very similar going on. Also got the frame of eBay. I went for a Surly Straggler Disc fork which does a great job but I am thinking about getting a Fyxation Sparta All Road.
How is the rear clearance for you? Mine is super tight.
I replaced this bike once but kept the frame and eventually came back to it because I love it so much. I was actually thinking of investing some money and getting some alternations done and a new paintjob.
Dibs on the Straggler fork if you do go for carbon, suits the bike better than my Kaffenback one. Nice pair of builds, looks great loaded up!
Clearance was tight on mine with 700c, could just fit a 32c + guards, mainly due to the chainstay bridge. Tight to the chainstays themselves now, with the Horizons, maybe 5mm each side? Not overly worried as they're slick, dragged it though plenty of mud this weekend and no rubbing, might be a different story with something a little nobblier.
Back visiting parents in Shropshire this week meant a decent ride out on Monday with plenty of climbing, a welcome change from the flatlands of York. 85km and 1600m of up confirming that the bar position is much better, still need to re-tape the bars after faffing with lever position.
Also confirmed that lower gearing is going to be needed for the TNR, tempted to just re-install the inner ring from the triple and manual shift for the long alpine slogs.
Minor update. Found a crack in the crank arm on my fixed gear, so the cranks of the Charge have been moved over to that. Put gears and rear brake back on the fixed gear too.
Decided to make the move to HT2 cranks on the Charge. New XT bb ordered and fitted along with a new 38t NW ring on order. Found some old RaceFace cranks in the spares bin, fitted and remembered they're mega wobbly and 175 mm so a bit long too anyway, need to go in the actual bin. Got some older XT cranks from eBay which should hopefully arrive today ready to be sorted at the weekend.
Also ordered a couple of tins of Spray.Bike to give the Charge a bit more colour, should be on with that sometime next week.
Going to get some half decent pics taken of the other bikes too (90's Geoffrey Butler road bike/Titus 29er hardtail/YT Wicked 650b), as I fiddle around with them too.
Made a few changes this week:
Picked up the calipers from the jumble at the York Bike Rally, to replace the mtb pull BB7s, an absolutely steal at £2 for the pair. Stripped, greased, and popped fresh pads in, much more feel to the levers now with the correct pull ratios.
Happy with how the cranks are looking and as they're a triple they'll allow me to fit a manual shift granny ring for loaded touring.
Finally, found an evening to strip the bike and paint it. Very happy with the colour choice, the pink really pops, though it's difficult to pick up with a camera phone. For reference the blue from Spray.bike's standard range went on a lot better than the fluoro pink, much better coverage and less grainy too. Time will tell how durable it is, but for £15 I'm happy.
Ran out of zip ties to finish tidying the cables up and still have a light to purchase.
Image below does a better job of showing the pink.
Well that’s cheerful! Really like what you’ve done with the paint!
Looks great fun
I used to love going to York Rally as a kid. Not been in ages. What a bargain.
Bike looks great.
A few updates. Finally happy with bar position and taping, I was really struggling to get comfortable before (numb hands etc). Located another cheap Kaffenback fork, this time with an uncut steerer so I can ditch the high-rise stem, just needs spraying pink before it can go on the Charge.
Since upgrading the Charge (which used to be my town bike), I've become a bit reluctant to leave it locked up when going to the shops etc. This leaves a nice gap for a new beater for round town. A rummage through the spares found enough stuff to build up a 700c, disc, flat bar, ss. Just need a frame with 135mm rear spacing and horizontal drop outs. After keeping a look out on eBay for Genesis Day Ones and Pompetamines I came across a Cotic Roadrat, which fit the requirements and was snapped up.
The frame arrived yesterday and the pink fork was taken off the Charge to use on it. All built up now, will hopefully grab some photos tonight. A very brief ride showed that 42x19 is way too low, I've got a few smaller ss cogs to try until I settle on a ratio then I'll get a fixed cog to bolt onto the rear disc mount.
The fully loaded pic is ace! I dig that...
I keep seeing these frames on ebay...tempted for a touring job. This looks rad.
It's a great frame, very versatile. Can't really go wrong at the price they're going for on eBay.
Managed to grab a few photos of the built up Cotic between the thunderstorms this evening. Swapped out the 19t rear for a 17t which feels much better, still a fairly steady gear though, I'll give it a few weeks ss then get a fixed cog.
I was going to repaint the pink fork from the Charge back to black, but actually quite liking it as it stands, thoughts? Also, 760mm bars are waaaay too wide for round town.
This looks rad! Keep it pink
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