Charge Bikes 27 Plus With Canopy and Stars
To celebrate a new partnership between awesome British bike brand Charge and purveyors of very fine alternative accommodation Canopy and Stars, the husband and I were dispatched to Dartmoor with a pair of new bicycles for a spell in the most wonderful tent I’ve ever seen.
Yes, it is such a very hard life, but I took one for the team, truly I did.
Though made of canvas, a stay at The Nest at Leewood is very different from ‘regular’ camping, so I suppose it’s worth using that rather horrid word ‘glamping,’ to describe it. And even though I adore normal camping, I have to say it was pretty heavenly living outdoors for a few days but being extremely comfortable whilst doing so, particularly as we aren’t often blessed with the best weather.
The outdoor kitchen was quite the coolest damn thing I’ve ever seen in my life, and I pretty much squealed with delight for the first half hour. The huge tent was filled with tapestries, rugs, mirrors, drapes and an enormous bed and even had a wood-burning stove, so we actually got undressed before going to bed and were – shock horror – warm. It all felt so decadent in the best possible way – a bit of luxury with the focus on things that matter to me; I absolutely adore spending as much time as possible outside, barbecuing, pottering about barefoot, paddling in rivers and drinking beers under the stars.
As The Nest is located just on the edge of Dartmoor, it made an ideal base for trying out the newly introduced Charge Bikes Cooker 27 plus. I’d had a chat with Nick from Charge at their recent press day about his reasons for changing the wheel size of the entire Cooker range from 29 to 27 – like many people I just can’t keep up with all the chopping and changing and was interested to get his perspective.
I was informed that the new 27 plus bikes keep a lot of the high rolling capabilities of the 29ers but with more maneuverability, and that the 2.8-inch tyres on 40mm rim make the bike ‘chubby’ rather than ‘fat.’ Which is good because I’ve never really felt the need for a fat bike myself – riding on sand or snow just isn’t my bag.
I rode the entry level Cooker 1, an aluminium frame that comes with 1-11 gearing, an aluminium suspension adjusted fork, custom tubeless ready rims and Race Face bars and seatpost.
Nick had told me to run the tyre pressure super low to take advantage of the cushioning and grip the wide tyres deliver, so I was a little concerned the bike would feel really slow. Thankfully, those fears were unfounded – I found the bike responsive and extremely fun, and I felt my energy was efficiently converted into forward motion rather than lost in spongy tyres, in fact I was actually amazed at how fast it was. It was utterly ideal for Dartmoor and the well-known Princetown railway loop.
I also took it on some of the rockier sections, and despite the fact it’s got a rigid fork, the Cooker handled the bumps very well and kept rolling straight over them. In my opinion, you’d be better off going for a decent and solid rigid bike like this than one with an extremely budget suspension fork.The tagline for the new Cookers reads ‘more grip, more speed, more miles and more fun,’ and I’d have to agree. I’d love to load this bike up with some frame bags and head off on an adventure somewhere! Maybe a tour of Canopy and Star’s finest locations? I’ve seen some incredible treehouses listed on there!