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Charge Plug 5 Touring Bike Set Up

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!

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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!

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The bike itself now has Sram Red levers, Sram Via hubs, Sram Avid mechanical disc brakes and a Sram Rival crankset and derailleur.

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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.

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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!

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Comments (15)
  1. sony_fr May 31, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Hi. I was wondering how did you install the tubus classic on your disc brakes equiped bike. There is a specific tubus rack for disc brakes but I like the logo.

    Thanks.

    • Juliet_Elliott June 1, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      Hello. My Tubus Classic Logo is compatible with disc brakes, that’s why I got it. I just had a quick look on Wiggle and they say:
      “it is compatible with disc brakes providing the brake caliper is mounted on the inside of the frame. If you have your caliper mounted on the external side of the frame then you’ll need a disc brake specific option.”

  2. Paul Marschner November 4, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    Hey Juliet, I just saw that you chose Time pedals for your Japan trip. So I have a question here which kept me searching the net for days. I am getting a gravel bike which is supposed to be my main ride for road cycling and touring as well. I am riding Look Keos at the moment and am not sure if I should stick with them because of the high wear and tear when being off the bike (which kinda happens more often when touring). So would you say that Time pedals can be a good alternative regarding comfort and force transmission? Your opinion is highly appreciated, thanks Paul.

  3. Sachin Bhoite November 17, 2015 at 6:12 am

    Hi Juliet,
    Hope your trip to Japan was fun.
    I am about to buy the same bike on sale and was wondering if there was anything to watchout for from you experience.
    Best,
    Sachin Bhoite

    • Juliet_Elliott November 17, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      Hi Sachin,
      It was absolutely amazing. I want to go back and do it all again!
      I found that bike to be superb. It’s not a particularly light bike but it’s very comfortable and super reliable. Not a single thing went wrong with it for the whole trip.
      I hope you have a brilliant time. I’m sure you will!

  4. Connor Murphy April 7, 2016 at 5:04 am

    I have the charge plug 2015 sora edition from performance bike. I’ve had a very difficult time finding specs on parts and what not. I’ve been using it for touring. I’m planning on going with Axiom’s streamliner series rear rack.
    I am having trouble finding a front rack though, as the shape of the fork is not very accommodating of most rack systems. Any suggestions?
    Also, I am planning to work in a dynamo front wheelset with a biologic battery and dynamo kit.
    After thatI plan to put in an internally geared rear hub to make it the ultimate touring/riding machine.

    Cheers

    • Juliet_Elliott April 8, 2016 at 10:01 am

      Hi Connor,
      Sounds like your bike is going to be great! I’m not sure about front racks I’m afraid, as I’ve never used one – I prefer to keep the weight down as much as possible. Have you considered using frame bags instead or are you set on a front rack?

      • connor murphy April 22, 2016 at 11:47 pm

        I’m hoping so

        I have considered a frame bag but $$$$.
        I’ve also heard that having your gear loaded in the front is more aero (?).

        • Juliet_Elliott May 16, 2016 at 10:00 am

          I think the general consensus nowadays is that frame bags and bar/saddles bags make the whole experience more pleasant as panniers can be a little cumbersome. BUT i haven’t tried that kind of a set up yet so I don’t know. Could just be a fashion thing, I’m not sure yet

  5. James Rai April 12, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    Hi,

    Thanks for the info and pictures posted: it convinced many of us to buy this frame/bike.

    I managed to get hold of this frame and now in the process slowly adding the parts.

    Do you know the seat tube size for the front mech by any chance?

    Thanks again for great read.

  6. Shady April 21, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    Did you ever try fitting larger tires and fenders? I’m going in the same direction with my wife’s bike and wonder how big I can go with fenders.

    • Juliet_Elliott April 21, 2016 at 6:14 pm

      it depends on what fenders you have. My husband just put some 32c tyres on his but he had to tweak the fenders a bit to make them fit.

  7. Nick March 20, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Did you get the standard size Tubus Logo classic, or the new 29″ size?

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