The Charge Plug 5, though not specifically designed for cycle touring makes a really top notch machine for ‘bikepacking.’ It’s made from strong and sturdy steel, has rack mounts and best of all, disc brakes. I know traditionally, touring bikes don’t have disc brakes, but when I’m loaded up with all manner of camping shizzle and tearing down a steep hill, I really appreciate the stopping power of these babies!
Sram had to recall the first batch of it’s Red 22 and S-700 road bike disc brakes, which was really annoying as that’s what I originally had on this bike. It must have been a real headache for Charge, who’d just released the Plug 5 and then had to fart about getting all the dodgy ones replaced. But mistakes happen I guess…
Anyway, after what seemed like an endless wait where I was unable to ride this bike, I finally got these replacements, and I took the chance to switch up a few other parts to make this bike suit me a little better.
First up, I shortened the stem and put on some 40cm wide Easton EA70 bars. With the new 90mm stem and these narrower bars, I’ve shortened the reach a little to make the bike more comfortable ahead of my trip to Japan. Easton were kind enough to chuck in seat post too; thanks very much guys!
The bike itself now has Sram Red levers, Sram Via hubs, Sram Avid mechanical disc brakes and a Sram Rival crankset and derailleur.
My saddle is the Brooks ‘Swift,’ and though I’ve not had as long as I anticipated to wear it in, it actually feels really good already, plus it looks superb.
The rack is a Tubus Classic Logo; expensive but worth it as it comes with a ten year guarantee. If you’re interested in why I like it, I wrote a few words about it for Total Women’s Cycling.
Panniers come courtesy of Brooks; they’re the ‘Lands End’ panniers and are light and spacious.
And finally, I’ve stuck with my favourite Time Atac pedals and I just love them.
Hopefully this machine and I will have a lot of fun exploring Japan and several other locations I have in mind. May this be the summer of fun… just like all the other ones!