This week sees the launch of the 2018 Saracen Bikes range – not least the all new Saracen Ariel LT.
We spent a day with the Saracen team to get to know the bikes a little better and to learn more about their brand new range.
The 2018 line up sees a few brand new bikes and a few updates to familiar faces. Whilst there’s loads of bikes in the range and loads of options, we’ve narrowed down the bunch to pick out a few of our favourites. You can, of course, browse the full line up over on the Saracen Bikes website.
Saracen Kili Flyer Carbon Elite
The Kili Flyer is the singletrack slayer – a fast, lightweight(ish), short travel for razzing round your local woods. It’s the bike that we’d probably pack for a big day out full of brutal climbs, a lap of the trail centre or that weekly after-work razz round the local trails.
The Kili Flyer Carbon Elite is the top spec complete-bike version and looks like a hell of a lot of fun to us.
- Carbon Frame
- Fox 34 Float fork and Fox Float DPS rear shock
- 130m travel front and rear
- SLX groupset
Saracen Ariel LT
To us, this is the most interesting bike in the new Saracen range. It’s the latest generation of the Ariel and has been an absolute blast to ride so far.
For 2018 the Ariel gets a complete overhaul and takes on the same suspension platform as the Myst downhill bike and gets a full carbon frame. The Ariel LT is top-spec version of the bike with XT group set, posh DTSwiss wheels and some very decent Fox suspension. There’s also a cheaper version of the bike – the Ariel Elite – which has RockShox suspension and an alloy swing arm.
You can read our first impressions of the bike in our full Saracen Ariel LT first look here.
- Carbon frame
- Fox 36 Float Kashima fork and Fox Float X2 Factory Kashima shock
- 170mm travel front / 160mm travel rear
- XT groupset (with an SLX shifter)
- DT Swiss M1900 wheelset
- Maxxis Minion DHF II 3C/EXO/TR tyres with a pair of tan wall and black wall tyres included!
Saracen Hack in Black (and it’s little brother the Hack01)
A couple of us here at Wideopen have bought Saracen Hacks as our commuter/winter training/round town (pub) bikes and we love them.
They’re not super posh, light weight road bikes … they’re tough, dependable and go-anywhere bikes that you can plug away the miles on without any bother. They’ve got nice wide tires for cobbled streets or dirt tracks and disc brakes to keep you safe in the wet, slippy winter.
For 2018 the Saracen Hack becomes the ‘Hack in Black’ with a black paint job, hydraulic brakes and a DT Swiss wheelset.
We reckon that the £1700 Hack in Black is maybe a bit pricey to be an N+1 bike … but at £999 the Saracen Hack01 version looks ideal for the mountain biker who needs to grind out some miles.
- Hack in Black AC/DC tribute graphics
- Alloy frame
- Carbon fork with mudguard eyelets
- DTSwiss wheelset with WTB Exposure 700 x 32c tires.
- Shimano hydraulic discs
Saracen Myst Team and Pro
And the big dog of the 2018 Saracen range – the Myst downhill bike. The bike that was piloted to victory by Matt Walker at World Champs this year and one that (in its earlier version) our man Joel Anderson rode at Loose Fest in 2016.
The Myst doesn’t change for 2018, with the exception of the spec and graphics. The bike you see here is exactly the same geometry as the Madison Saracen team have raced through 2017.
The Myst Team is the top of the line version with full Fox suspension and a list of bits you could happily win a World Cup on. Perhaps more interesting though is the Myst Pro which is a bit cheaper, comes with a tuned up Fox Van RC and Rockshox Suspension.
- Full carbon frame
- Fox 40 factory fork and Fox DHX2 Kashima shock
- 203mm travel front and rear
- Saint groupset
- DTSwiss wheelset