Saracen 2015 mountain bike highlights

Fully carbon Kili Flyer, carbon Mantra hardtail and more

BikeRadar recently made a visit to the headquarters of UK bike company Saracen, to find out what to expect from the brand in 2015.

Below we bring you the highlights from the company's forthcoming mountain bike range.

Kili Flyer series

Saracen's successful Kili Flyer trail bike is now in its third year of production. Last year saw the 120mm travel Kili Flyer gain a weight-saving carbon rear triangle. The evolution of the Kili Flyer has continued, and it's the range-topping 2015 Team model that shows the most significant changes. It now uses a full carbon frameset, and is built with Fox Factory CTD suspension at either end, as well as a 2x10 Shimano XT/SLX transmission.

The other three Kili Flyer models have had little more than spec changes and a fresh lick of paint. Riders can still get their leg over a Kili Flyer for a penny under two grand, in the form of the entry-level 121 model.

Kili Flyer 121

The £1,999 saracen kili flyer 121:
The £1,999 saracen kili flyer 121:

£1,999.99

  • Alloy frame
  • X-Fusion Velvet RL fork
  • Fox Float Evolution CTD shock
  • Shimano Deore 2x10 transmission
  • Shimano M506 hydraulic disc brakes with180/160mm rotors
  • Kore XCD 27.5 rims on Shimano/unbranded hubs
  • Maxxis Ardent/Ardent Race tyres

Kili Flyer 122

The £2,599 saracen kili flyer 122:
The £2,599 saracen kili flyer 122:

£2,599.99

  • Alloy/carbon frame
  • Fox 32 Evolution CTD fork
  • Fox Float Factory CTD shock
  • Shimano Deore/SLX transmission
  • Shimano M615 hydraulic disc brakes with180/160mm rotors
  • Kore XCD 27.5 rims on Shimano/unbranded hubs
  • Maxxis Ardent/Ardent Race tyres

Kili Flyer 123

The £3,199 saracen kili flyer 123:
The £3,199 saracen kili flyer 123:

£3,199

  • Alloy/carbon frame
  • Fox 32 Float Factory Kashima CTD fork
  • Fox Float Factory Kashima CTD shock
  • Shimano SLX/XT 2x10 transmission with Gamut P30 chainguide
  • Shimano M615 hydraulic disc brakes with180/160mm rotors
  • Kore Durox 27.5 tubeless-ready rims on unbranded hubs
  • Maxxis Ardent/Ardent Race tyres
  • KS Dropzone 125mm dropper post

Kili Flyer Team

The range topping kili flyer team now uses a fully carbon frame:
The range topping kili flyer team now uses a fully carbon frame:

£3,699.99

  • Carbon frame
  • Fox 32 Float-K Factory Kashima CTD fork
  • Fox Float Factory Kashima CTD shock
  • Shimano SLX/XT 2x10 transmission with Gamut P30 chainguide
  • Shimano M615 hydraulic disc brakes with180/160mm rotors
  • Kore Durox 27.5 tubeless-ready wheelset
  • WTB Trailboxx tubeless tyres
  • KS Dropzone 125mm dropper post

Mantra Carbon

Saracen has introduced two carbon-framed versions of its popular Mantra hardtail. The Mantra Carbon models will have the same geometry as the 120mm travel alloy bikes, and 650b wheels.

A tapered head tube and 12x142mm thru-axle rear end should keep steering accurate while ISCG05 tabs and routing for a stealth dropper post means there's potential for future upgrades. The Mantra Carbon will be available in two builds for 2015: the £1,499 Trail and a £1,899 Elite version.

Mantra Carbon Trail

Saracen mantra trail:
Saracen mantra trail:

£1,499.99

  • Carbon frame
  • Suntour Epixon Elite 120mm fork, 15mm axle
  • Shimano Deore 3x10 transmission
  • Kore XCD 27.5 rims on unbranded hubs
  • Shimano M396 hydraulic discs with 180/160mm rotors
  • Maxxis Ardent Race tyres

Mantra Carbon Elite

Saracen mantra elite:
Saracen mantra elite:

  • Carbon frame
  • Fox 32 Float Evolution CTD, QR15
  • Shimano Deore/XT 2x10 transmission
  • Kore XCD 27.5 rims on unbranded hubs
  • Shimano M506 hydraulic discs with 180/160mm rotors
  • WTB Trailboss tyres

Ariel

Saracen has left its 150mm Ariel relatively unchanged for 2015 – the differences over the 2014 range are limited to spec choice and colour options. There are only two models in the range – the £2,899 Ariel 151 and the £3,299 Ariel 152.

The Ariel 151 gets a 2x10 Deore/SLX drivetrain while the more expensive 152 is kitted out with a 1x Zee/XT drivetrain. Fox now provides suspension for all Ariel models – the Float-X piggyback rear shock used on the 152 is a highlight.

Both bikes come equipped with a KS Dropzone lever-operated dropper post.

Ariel 151

The £2,899 saracen ariel 151:
The £2,899 saracen ariel 151:

£2,899.99

  • Alloy/carbon frame, 150mm travel
  • Fox 34 Evolution Float CTD fork
  • Fox Float CTD shock
  • Shimano SLX/Deore drivetrain
  • Shimano M615 brakes with 180mm rotors
  • Kore XCD SW 27.5 rims on unbranded hubs
  • KS Dropzone dropper post
  • WTB Vigilante Race tyres

Ariel 152

The £3,299 saracen ariel 152:
The £3,299 saracen ariel 152:

£3,299

  • Alloy/carbon frame, 150mm travel
  • Fox 34 Float Factory Kashima CTD fork
  • Fox Float X Factory Kashima shock
  • Shimano Zee/XT drivetrain
  • Shimano M615 brakes with 180mm rotors
  • Kore Mega 27.5 tubeless-ready rims on unbranded hubs
  • KS Dropzone dropper post
  • WTB Trailboss TCS tubeless-ready tyres

Myst

The Myst is Saracen's downhill demon and, thanks to the extremely talented Manon Carpenter, it's currently the bike at the top of the women's standings of the downhill World Cup.

After extensive back-to-back testing by the Saracen downhill team, the decision was made to move the Myst to 650b wheels for 2015. The carbon rear triangle remains but is revised from last year's 26in design, and there have been tweaks to the suspension linkage. It also has a longer front centre to improve stability at speed.

Two builds are available: the £2,999 Myst Pro, which looks just the ticket for grassroots rippers, and the £4,899 Myst Team, which is about as close as you can get to a works bike.

Myst Pro

The £2,999 saracen myst pro:
The £2,999 saracen myst pro:

£2,999.99

  • Alloy/Carbon 650b frame, 203mm travel
  • Rockshox Boxxer RC fork
  • Fox VAN RC shock
  • Kore Torsion 27.5 rims on unbranded hubs
  • Shimano Zee transmission
  • Shimano Zee brakes
  • Maxxis High Roller 2 tyres

Myst Team

The £4,899 saracen myst team: the £4,899 saracen myst team
The £4,899 saracen myst team: the £4,899 saracen myst team

£4,899

  • Alloy/Carbon 650b frame, 203mm travel
  • Fox 40 Factory Float Kashima 27.5 fork
  • Fox DHX 4.0 shock
  • Kore Torsion 27.5 rims on Shimano Saint hubs
  • Shimano Saint transmission
  • Shimano Saint brakes
  • Continental Der Kaiser Project tyres

Framesets

The saracen myst x frameset complete with martini inspired livery will retail at £1,899 including a fox dhx rc4 shock:
The saracen myst x frameset complete with martini inspired livery will retail at £1,899 including a fox dhx rc4 shock:

Saracen has expanded its range of frame-only options to reflect the new introductions to the range. These frames are distinguished from the ones used in build kits by their unique colour schemes. The Ariel, Mantra carbon and Kili Flyer frames get a chrome-like finish not dissimilar to that used on recent McLaren Formula One cars.

The part-carbon and fully-carbon Kili Flyer framesets are available for £1,599 and £1,999 respectively, and both use a Fox Float CTD Kashima rear shock. The Myst is also available as a frameset with a DHX RC4 Kashima shock. It'll set you back £1,899 and comes in a particularly fetching Martini inspired livery. The Mantra Carbon frame will also be sold separately, for £799.99

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