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Dorel brings Charge back to the US, as an e-bike brand

Published June 24, 2020

BETHEL, Conn. (BRAIN) — Dorel Industries, which owns Cannondale, Schwinn, GT, and other brands, is re-launching its Charge brand in the U.S., with a line of affordable e-bikes to be sold online and through bike shops.

Charge was founded in 2004 by Nick Larsen, who remains with the brand. Dorel acquired the brand in 2009, when it acquired Circle Bikes, a UK distributor that owned Charge. Since then Charge traditional bikes have remained on the market in UK and the EU. Dorel sold the brand in North America for several seasons but it hasn't been on the market here for years. Despite the brand name, Charge has never offered e-bikes before.

“We know how to make cycling easy and accessible; it's what we've done for years,” Larsen said in a statement Wednesday. “Electric bikes make it even easier and more fun for people to cycle, whether they are seasoned riders or getting back on a bike for the first time in a long time. The team felt that the timing is finally right, with advancements in technology, to shift our focus to electric and bring a high quality, beautifully designed line of electric bikes to market at a competitive price point."The Charge City Low-Step model.

The new e-bike line, which will be offered only in North America initially, includes three models, retailing for $1,500-$2,300. The bikes will be sold through and through brick-and-mortar dealers in about a dozen U.S. markets. The dealers offering the Charge bikes are all current Cannondale dealers. Nick Hage, Cannondale's North American general manager, said the brick-and-mortar dealers are not part of a click-and-collect plan, although the shops will supplement Charge's online customer service for all customers regardless of the channel they purchased the product.

The Charge bikes are designed to compete with consumer-direct online brands selling for similar price points. They feature beginner-friendly features: Shipping and assembly is made easy by folding handlebars and pedals, which also make the bikes easy to store and transport. The Goodyear tire valves have red and green indicators to show if they are properly inflated. Motors have a 50-mile range and works in pedal-assist or throttle modes. Batteries can be charged on or off the bike. The bikes have a handlebar display that shows the battery's available "miles to go."

The line includes a $1,500 City model available in two standard sizes and "low-step" frame size. A Comfort model has a more upright position for casual riding. It also retails for $1,500 and comes in one size. Both the City and Comfort models have 40mm tires, 8-speed drivetrains, integrated front and rear lights and rear hub-drive motors with five levels of assist and a throttle.

The third Charge model, called XC, is a $2,300 all-terrain bike with a mid-drive motor, 60mm tires, and front suspension. The XC comes in two sizes.

The Charge comfort model.
Topics associated with this article: Electric bike

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