Fatter is better.
UK-based Charge Bikes got its start building stylish urban and fixed-gear bikes, but the company's no one-trick pedaling pony. Its Cooker line of hardtail mountain bikes is getting noticed, and so too are the company's fat bikes, the Maxi 1 and 2. The Maxi 1 is the more affordable of the two, and while it drips Charge's clean and eye-catching aesthetic, it's built up to ride everything from snowy roads to sandy trails to rocky descents, making it perfect for year-round riding no matter where you take it.
The beauty of the Cooker Maxi 1 is twofold. First, the giant Maxxis Mammoth tires (in this case they're over three inches wide) provide killer grip, so you can tackle slippery or rugged surfaces without slipping, sliding, and struggling. Second, since the Mammoths are tubeless-ready, they can be ridden at lower pressures, which means they act much like a suspension, smoothing out rough terrain and giving you a surprisingly cushy ride. This, in turn, means you don't need a suspension fork; in fact, Charge built the Maxi 1's fork from steel, so it's extra stiff and durable for years of reliable riding.
While the fork is steel, the rest of the frame is lighter, but still bomber, aluminum. A SRAM X5 2x10 drivetrain and X5 derailleurs give you plenty of hill-climbing options, and the Pro Max mechanical disc brakes provide reliable all-condition stopping power. Charge's own Spoon saddle gives you a comfortable perch, and the sweeping flat handlebars are finished off with Charge Square lock-on grips for miles of comfortable riding.
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