Friday, 8 March 2013

My Green Wheels - The Charge Hob 3

 Eagle-eyed HelpMyChainCameOff! wizard readers out there would have noticed that I have been sporting some serious green wheels. Are you green with envy?

Going by the famous formula adopted by bicycle crazies (n+1) with 'n' being the number of bicycles one currently owns, I realised that I didn't have enough bikes in my repertoire to call myself the Chief Cyclist of North London. However, I'm not failing nearly as bad as this guy who must think the formula is n-1.

Source: by Zhao Huasen

Somebody give him a bike please.

So continuing my bid to be Chief Cyclist of North London I thought I would present to you the wheels I am currently riding.

Bought through the Bike2Work scheme whereby I pay my bicycle off every month through my salary (because I am poor) and omit paying a pension because.....well...the economy is screwed, so why not? I selected the Charge Hobb 3 bicycle for it's handsome characterists and Britishness. The Olympics may be a distant memory but I can at least pretend that I am a GB rider everyday, especially as it is plastered on the frame in case you forgot.

I even managed to shove my slightly rusty back rack from my vintage bicycle onto the bike and invested in a 'proper' lock. And don't worry! I have two locks so do not fret..

There is no battle of the sexes here, this bike is made for both men and women. Being unisex doesn't make it any less comfortable, I find it easy to hop on and off the bicycle, even wearing skirts. And it is is remarkably nifty and perfect for nipping in out of traffic.
Being used to women's bicycles with seats more soft and cushioned than my sofa, this seat looked pretty scary when I wheeled it out of the shop, but actually it's the most comfortable bike seat I have ever had the honour of sitting on.

Thankfully the striking, glittering green paint hasn't encouraged me to become a Frogger cyclist yet and my seat remains at the appropriate height for legs to push the pedals down. 

I have fallen in love with smart features such as these:

And the three gears is plentiful for my city riding. The other day I even managed to overtake a MAMIL, which is truly a remarkable acheivement seeing that I don't wear skin tight fabric exposing inappropriate lumps all in the name of reducing my air resistance by a fraction.

Having sturmy archer gears, I can change gears when stationery meaning I win the race of setting off quickly at traffic lights. This bodes well for my Chief Cyclist of North London bid.

I have even spotted a couple of men eyeing my wheels up which is a first in my cycling memory. Shame that I am a galumpher and have already got some major chips and scratches, dust and rust forming. But hey, that's what happens when you cycle in potholes and grit and ugly British weather. Still I need to learn to give this darling bicycle a bath every now and then if I want to avoid maintenance problems. Ideally I would have liked it to have a chain guard but I understand that it would have reduced the sleek, chic appearance of the bike and obviously I'm too young to be 'practical'.
I haven't migrated my burger bicycle bell to this bicycle yet so I am currently *bringless* when it comes to turfing pedestrians out of my path. I'm sure this isn't really a problem seeing that the high-viz brigade clear the paths before me in the mornings from any unyielding pedestrians. Thanks guys!

I am a big fan of this bicycle so far and I hope to take him out for some romantic bicycle adventures this year and engage in a mutual marriage of appreciation.


Anonymous said...

Fantastic bike and great set of tyres. Colour kicks some serious ones :-)

anniebikes said...

Practical, zippy, and comfortable. Sounds like perfect complement to your beefy other bike. I've been eyeballing this brand name through a U.S. catalog and wondered about them. They are classy looking machines with a reasonable price tag. I thought the rack was stock until you mentioned its origin. Thanks for giving us your impressions.

Paul M said...

I had been meaning to ask: what happened to that big black beast you won in a competition (I think)? I take it that is the “+1”?

You mention it being “for men and women” which makes me ask: why do we view bikes with step-through frames as “ladies’ bikes”? I use a Brompton for commuting, and that is more or less step-through without anyone arguing that it is a ladies’ bike, indeed women are a small minority of Brompton riders around central London. For around town at home, a small market town in Surrey, I used to ride a “gent’s bike”, a Dawes CityVision, but having recently made a resolution to cycle to the supermarket as much as possible instead of driving, I found that my creaking joints and aching muscles can no longer swing a leg around behind the saddle and over two large pannier baskets. I treated myself to a nice German roadster, a Fahrrad Manufaktur S300, which was available in a large enough step-through frame to be comfortable. I don’t feel in the least bit embarrassed about it – if there is anything which gets me stared at it is simply the sight of anyone at all on a bicycle, sadly a great rarity out here and a sign of eccentricity.

Jemma said...

Hi Paul, I have still have the big black beast! I've been waiting for the sunshine to peep it's head out so I can go on some long sunny cruises around town the weekends.

I mainly meant that the bike is for men and women, not specifically referring to the step- through frame, but more because the seat looks like a seat for men rather than the cushty women's seats I am so used to. Also, I have only really ever had bikes which have been marketed as 'womens' bikes so this is the first one which I have bought labelled 'unisex'. But as you say, a bike is a bike :-)

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