Here’s a quick desk top review of the Charge Plug 4. I often find myself liking slightly quirky bicycles which are a little different to the mainstream. This one happens to be a very useable and good looking bike at a very attractive price right now and sure, it’s a little different.
Currently priced at £664.99 it is really good value for money with 30% having been chopped off the price, presumably because it’s a 2016 model. It’s important to remember bikes priced at just under £1,000 are keenly priced to attract Cycle to Work scheme buyers, so they often represent good value for money. With the sale price taken into account, it’s a bargain. At the time of writing, Wiggle currently have stocks of every size. Each bike is built, checked and sensibly packaged for mail order.
The heart of the Plug is the frame which is 6061 Aluminium with with carbon bladed forks; all good stuff. The drive train is Shimano 105 and wheels are Charge hubs with Alec Draw 1.9P disc rims. Brakes are cable operated discs, front and rear. This is all pretty good for a bike costing £1,000 and truly fabulous for the current price. The tyres are relatively wide for a road-type bike and this makes for a comfortable ride 700×42 tyres (naturally you can fit narrower tyres if you prefer).
It is worth saying something about the gearing as I like the offer very much. The Shimano 105 leavers work superbly with both gears and brakes. The smart, cool looking compact chainset with 50 and 34t chain rings is fairly standard these days. Having a wide range of gears at the rear is very sensible and 11 speed gearing is attractive.
All of the other parts are straight forward, nothing fancy. Apparently the Spoon saddle is award winning (The Daft Name Award?).
The Plug looks a bit of an all-rounder, except it’s a fast, commutable all-rounder. The frame has been designed to accommodate a pannier rack and mudguards which add to this being a practical bike. So this means you can use it all year round, either as your main bike or as a ‘winter’ bike while you wrap your carbon fibre dream machine up in cotton wool for the grotty season.
You can certainly use this for a wide variety of cycling. With a pannier rack you can do your weekly food and grocery shopping. With lights it becomes a commuter bike. With thinner tyres you’re spot-on for taking part in a sportive. Those wide tyres make it a great bike for a little rough-stuff. By this I meant tracks and trails.
At the time of writing, there are three reviews on the web page. Each one is positive and nobody is disappointed with the bike.
The pros and cons
Pros: great value for money. Capable multi purpose bike and will take a pannier rack, mudguards. Can take a range of tyres, depending on use. Slightly quirky, different.
Cons: Plug 4 is a meaningless name. Any colour so long as it’s black. You need to invest in some decent pedals.
Link to Wiggle’s Plug 4 page: click here