Saracen’s Traverse 29er will put a spring in your stay

Short travel trail machine doesn't need no stinking rear pivot

First spotted last year, Saracen has launched its new Traverse trail 29er, a short-travel alloy-framed machine with a carbon back-end that does away with a pivot at the rear axle. 

Designed to be “fast and playful,” the Traverse gets 100mm of rear travel and uses bendy seatstays rather than a conventional pivot where the seat and chainstays meet.

This simplifies the rear end because there’s one less pivot to maintain, and it drops weight too.

The Traverse marries an alloy front triangle to a one-piece carbon rear
The Traverse marries an alloy front triangle to a one-piece carbon rear

Suspension comes courtesy of a 120mm Fox Float 34 Performance fork and a custom-tuned Float DPS shock.

A 1x Shimano SLX drivetrain takes care of shifty business, while a distinctly no-name (well, it’s called a JD YSP12L) dropper is fitted as standard.

Prospective buyers may look suspiciously at the Deore-level brakes, but Shimano’s more budget offerings are generally pretty solid, so that wouldn’t put us off.

Saracen was aiming for playful handling with this one
Saracen was aiming for playful handling with this one

The wheels are similarly inoffensive — they’re WTB STP i25 rims built on Formula cartridge hubs.

The Traverse’s geometry isn’t madly progressive — a medium has 429mm of reach which won’t set the hearts of long bike enthusiasts aflutter. Moderately tall seat tubes mean sizing up won’t be an option for most riders either.

The Traverse is pitched as a trail bike, but it could equally serve as an XC racer
The Traverse is pitched as a trail bike, but it could equally serve as an XC racer

Neverthless, it’s a handsome thing and we’re looking forward to getting one in for review. The Traverse retails at £2,999 and is available to buy right now.

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