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New disc brakes and lighter specification improve a classic commuter/tourer/crosser

The Filter Hi is one of the best looking bikes from Somerset-based Charge and we have one in for review. It's a versatile steel commuter/touring/cyclo-cross bike and for 2013 it gets new disc brakes and a few other specification changes, while it is still priced at £999.99.

The big change is the switch from the previous Tektro Lyra disc brakes of last year to Pro-Max DSK-715 discs. These are new for 2013 and use 160mm rotors at both ends. The design of the calliper is very similar to that of the SRAM BB5 (Pro-Max produce some of SRAM's components) but the calliper is 20g lighter. That also means the Pro-Max uses the same brake pads as the BB5 so replacements should be easy to come by.

Other changes include a lighter pair of wheels. Charge wanted to reduce the rotational mass without losing the Kenda Kwick Tracx 28mm puncture-resistant tyres, so they've used XD Lite rims. The handlebar, stem and seatpost have switched from the previous FSA branded parts to in-house parts to save some weight, and the cranks have been updated to FSA Omega 46/36.

Those changes aside, the rest of the build kit carries over from last year. So there's a Shimano Tiagra 10-speed groupset with a 12-28 cassette on the rear wheel for making light of the steeper hills. Own-brand full-length mudguards, a Charge Spoon saddle and U-bend grips complete the attractive build package.

Carrying these components is a Tange Infinity double butted chromoly frame that has all the necessary mounts to run full-length mudguards and racks, and there's enough clearance for you to fit some knobbly cyclo-cross tyres. This is truly a bike you could run as a lightweight tourer in the summer and transform into a rugged 'cross go-everywhere bike for the winter.

The bike comes from Charge with a distinctly urban setup, which is probably a good reflection of how most people will ride theirs. Puncture resistant tyres, proper mudguards and the comfort from the 28mm tyres makes it a great choice for somebody seeking a winter commuter. On the scales the Filter Hi weighs 11.71kg (25.81lbs).

We tested the Filter Hi two years ago and found it to be a “responsive package” with a “bit of spring” that's "fun to ride". With the changes and the lower price since we tested it in 2010, here's hoping it's every bit as good, if not better. It's being ridden as we speak so watch out for a review on road.cc soon.

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

11 comments

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JohnS [198 posts] 3 years ago
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Rather nice (and the right colour) but a bit heavy. Is it the discs that make it 1kg heavier than my 20-year-old 531ST short-wheelbase tourer? Pity, coz I've always thought discs a good idea.

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Tarzak [15 posts] 3 years ago
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The additional weight would partly come from the steel tubing being Tange Infinity rather than Tange Prestige as stated in the article. Check the Charge website for the specs.
I am an expert on this as I had a Charge Apex (the cyclocross brother to the Filter Hi) sent all the way Australia only to find to my horror that it had a Tange Infinity frame and Tange Cr-Mo fork, rather than the promised Tange Prestige frame and Tange Infinity forks.

I was pretty disappointed.

Caveat emptor.

PS. It is nice to ride though.

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Tony Farrelly [2868 posts] 3 years ago
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They will add a bit of weight, but it's also that the crash standards that modern steel frames need to meet - mean they tend to be slightly heavier than they would have been in the past.

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JohnS [198 posts] 3 years ago
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tony_farrelly wrote:

the crash standards that modern steel frames need to meet

Hmmm... I got 'round that by not crashing too often...

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Ash@Charge Bikes [4 posts] 3 years ago
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We did have a frame made with Prestige tubing, the weight saving was under 180g... which just wasn't worth the up-charge in cost.
Instead, we decided to get some weight out of the cockpit and rims which worked out more than 180g in the end.

Ash

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Tarzak [15 posts] 3 years ago
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tony_farrelly wrote:

They will add a bit of weight, but it's also that the crash standards that modern steel frames need to meet - mean they tend to be slightly heavier than they would have been in the past.

I googled "crash standards bicycle frame" and could not find any references to a Standard. Could you post a link?
I'm curious about this as the Tange website has no mention of it and just specifies the thickness and weight of the tubing.

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eddie11 [110 posts] 3 years ago
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google CEN test. however, ive only seen it as an issue in changing the 'feel' of steel mtb hardtails not road bikes.

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gazza_d [458 posts] 3 years ago
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Where's the racks?

And you cannot beat a 531ST frameset - Classic

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60kg lean keen ... [69 posts] 3 years ago
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Would any one really do a proper cylcocross race on this? If not and then its an urbancross, so why the silly 46/36 up front! It should have a 50/34, how many would consider the hassle of a swap, and costing in a new chainset before looking else where!

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Iwein Dekoninck [59 posts] 3 years ago
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The weight is about the same as the steel Genesis Croix de Fer I'm testing for road.cc at the moment (review coming soon).

I did indeed ride a proper cyclocross on it.

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mcj78 [21 posts] 3 years ago
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Nice  16

One thing on aesthetics - are those decals on the head-tube removable or are they lacqered over, not too keen on those but otherwise, it's very clean looking.

Agree with the CX v compact chainset issue mentioned earlier too - seems more aimed towards touring/commuting so a compact might make more sense, would a 50t ring bolt straight on? Even a cheap 50/34 ring combo off ebay to switch out as necessary wouldn't be a deal breaker really...