Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Charge Lazy Susan.

Recently I've come across a really cool bike on the internet. I've yet to see it in person because I can't find a shop that stocks them in LA. Charge Bikes seems to be a British company. All the retailers on the website are in the UK. I have seen the fixed gear Charge Plug in an LA shop but not this sweetie - The Lazy Susan.

Photo via Charge Bikes

Isn't that a gorgeous bike? They've taken the step-through/Dutch/city bike and made it completely modern, a little bit punk rock and not at all prissy. Personally I have no qualms with a girly girl bike but for some women (maybe like the one in the photo below) something with a little more edge is in order. I love the angular chain guard, the clean lines, the silver fenders, and the stunning burnt-orange color. Notable specs are a Sturmey-Archer 3 speed hub , drum brakes, and an integrated rear rack.

Photo via road.cc

In the above picture you can see the bike provides an upright riding position like a traditional European city bike.

Photo via road.cc

Does anyone have experience with a rack like this? Though it's absolutely beautiful, I wonder about its utility. The tubes seems very large. I don't think I'd be able to get my hard plastic pannier hooks around them. Also I'd be worried about scratching up the beautiful paint on the rack with  the pannier hooks. I've always wondered about how well painted racks hold up in general.

Photo via Ridelow Bikes

Maybe a pannier set with leather straps like above would solve the problem - but those kinds of panniers are not as easy on/easy off as the kinds that mount with hooks.

Photo via road.cc

Another fun feature is the retro-looking shifter. Apparently those are the graphics of the old-school Sturmey Archer shifter. Very cute. The three speed hub might be a deal breaker for people who live in hilly cities.

Has anyone out there seen the Lazy Susan in the wild, or ridden one? There seem to be a couple of online retailers that sell them here in the U.S. for around $700.

If it were my bike I believe I would change out the saddle. The stock saddle looks a little cheap. I'd also do something about those rubberized grips. Finally I would look for a front basket that was harmonious with the chic modernism of the bike - maybe a Wald Woody or a Velo-Orange Porteur Rack. This beauty below by Axiom is a rear basket but it's oh so chic.

For a good review and more pictures of the bike check out road.cc.

Gentlemen, if you can't quite rock an orange step-through, they also make the Steamer. Not quite as charming somehow but still really cool.

Photo via Charge Bikes


  1. OOOhhh, nice! I've been wanting a bike like this. Sadly, I must wait until I graduate college to add to my ever-expanding bicycle collection. :-P

  2. Are the tattoos optional?...

    I have several bikes with that "old school" shifter, it dates from around 1980 or so and is still in production.

    I also have those panniers on my City Bike, and no I don't normally bother to take them off.

    I have not seen any of the Charge bikes around here, but then again, my local Trek dealers doesn't stock anything like the Belleville either.

    But then again Walmart does Fixies...


  3. I love those wooden rear racks but havent quite installed them on my road bike - it is darn heavy as is. maybe once I decide to go bike campin and such things, but is is great research work you have here.
    racks rule, and im a tad envious of them when I ride my road bike. the frenchie (mi mixte) has a great basket that has accomodated every one of my needs, so far :-)

  4. I need that Lazy Susan bike, my name is Susan, and I've been known to be lazy. Besides I love bikes. Like your Bianchi Milano btw. Pretty bike.

  5. Globe makes a bike called the "haul 01" or "haul 02". I got the 01 and i love it! it has 14 speed and about a 250# weight capacity on the back incorporated rack. problem was the tubes are too big for panniers to fit them and too wide for a child seat to straddle. I got creative and made a child seat out of a milk crate and DYI panniers. again, I still love the bike because, even with a 4 year old on the back I can still peddle up the steep hill from the american river to old fair oaks with a coffee in one hand.

  6. I have (and love) the Lazy Susan. You're right about the rear rack tubes - hard to get a pannier over bars this big..I had to try a few before finding this one that does fit and is hard wearing despite the pale colours (http://www.cyclechic.co.uk/shop/bags-baskets-panniers/messenger-bags-rucksacks/bolzano-pannier) but you have to take the plywood off the rack to allow for the clips (easily done).

    And I love that you chose that basket - i'm on the lookout for a front metal basket like it. Just waiting for the perfect bargain.

    The bike is heavy but enjoyable to ride. As long as you don't mind being overtaken by other cyclists!

  7. i have got one, it looks good but has a few big flaws
    - not enough space for the mudguard , it either touches the chain or the crank
    - rear mudguard/fender came off and developed a hole in it
    - despite the mudguards you still get covered in water and mud
    - the angle of the seat-tube is to relaxed and you are too far back to pedal comfortably and can even develop a knee injury
    smaller issues:
    - very heavy
    - handle bars are extremely wide so you need as much room as a bus :)

    i would recommend to buy something else