Video: Prototype 2011 Charge Freezer Titanium cyclocross bike
Titanium prototype put through its paces for next winter
We'd heard tell that Charge were interested in adding a cyclo cross bike to their range and here's the evidence that the aptly named Freezer is on the way - a video of the bike being put through its paces at a cross race.
The new bike is very much a thing of bling, well it is titanium - we're guessing made from something very similar to the Tange Ultimate 3AL-2.5V butted titanium tubing as its road-going titanium stablemate the Skewer. The look is classic cross bike and that effect is only further enhanced by a set of Dugast handmade tubs on some Hope Hoops RS- SP 50s. The SRAM Red drivetrain may not yet have achieved classic status but it is certainly bling and extra points on that score have to be awarded for the TRP Eurox Magnesium canti brakes, oh and the Easton carbon fork is fairly tidy too.
After a bit of atmospheric slo-mo cyclocross action, Charge rider Jon Watson, gives us his first impressions of the bike… he likes it.
And here's Vecchiojo our team cyclo crosser makes of it…
"It's easy to make any old tattty 'cross bike look like it can rip it up round Koksijde by dressing it up with posh parts, a bit of bling and Dugast tubs on deep-section wheels, so let's look past the jewellery and concentrate on the frame, which is the only bit Charge do to be fair.
The wishbone yolk and nicely curved seatstays look like they give fistfuls of mud-room at the top there but we can't quite see the clearance round the chainstay/bottom-bracket area, where it really counts.
Whilst routing the gear-cables along the top-tube is a laudable way of keeping cables out the mud it's not really that much of an issue during an hour-long CX race, but obviously as most 'cross bikes are bought these days by people who have no intention of racing clart-free cable-runs can become more relevant, although the downside is that if you're running a bottom-pull road front mech (which this one is) then you'll need to put a cable-roller on the back of the seat-tube to route the cable down-and-up again, cable-rollers are great mud-magnets and can cause worse cable-clag than just simply running the cable under the bottom-bracket (it is only a prototype though - ed).
"It would be nice if there was an elegant cable-stop on that fat seat-stay yolk rather than the 10p-part seat-clamp/cable-stop (it is only a prototype though - ed).
"The cowled dropouts are neat and make for a handy large welding area for the chain and seatstays, for you engineering types.
"That semi-sloping top-tube is a nice compromise between a chuckable compact frame and being able to get your shoulder through to carry it, although it looks bloody short" (it is only a proto… oh, yes, we also found some more pics of it here).
No word yet on when the Freezer will be available - but we'll take a punt and say late summer, hopefully as both a frame and fork option and as a full bike… Can't help thinking that if it's a full bike only with the spec on show here it'll be lovely but most us will have to content ourselves with pressing our noses up to the bike shop window.