Saracen has launched an all new gravel bike with the option for front suspension and a dropper post. It’s called the Levarg and if you’re wondering about the etymology of this strange name, it’s “gravel” backwards. Naorg.
Don’t call it a mountain bike
The top spec Levarg OR follows a familiar formula with its chunky tyres, big clearances, and practical, boss-laden alloy frame.
It goes go somewhat radically off-piste however with the addition of Fox’s AX Step Cast fork with a tiny 40mm of travel, which wouldn’t look out of place on a 20 year-old mountain bike.
The sight of a fully-fledged suspension fork will doubtless raise some eyebrows and elicit rude remarks from some quarters about gravel machines slowly morphing into XC bikes, but we’re not going to pass judgment until we’ve ridden this specific setup.
Our man Thomas McDaniel liked the AX when he took on the Hairy Hundred on a Fox-equipped Niner, and our testers are fans of Lauf’s gravel-specific leaf spring fork design.
The Levarg OR also sports a dropper post, operated by an under-saddle lever rather than a remote. Droppers seem to be popping up (ha!) all over the gravel scene, and we can certainly see the logic.
Otherwise, the bike is built up with SRAM Apex 1x and matching hydraulic brakes. Wheels are 650b WTBs and they come wearing matching, balloon-like 42mm Resolute tyres. They’re anchored with thru-axles, and claimed weight for a complete bike is 11.15kg.
The Levarg OR will retail at £2,299.99 / €2,575 and precise availability is still to be confirmed.
Builds for all
The Levarg is also going to be sold in two cheaper builds, minus suspension and dropper.
The SL sticks with SRAM Apex but swaps in TRP Hy/Rd mechanically actuated hydraulic brakes. It weighs a claimed 10.74kg and will retail at £1,349.99 / €1,510.
The entry-level and rather eye-catching Levarg (with no letters after its name) is specced with Shimano Sora 9-speed components and TRP Spyre mechanical discs for an 11.29kg claimed weight. It’s priced at £1,099.99 / €1,230.