Since UK distributors Madison took on the Saracen brand, they’ve been developing all-new models in a bid to breathe life into the once-popular range of British-designed bikes.
The new range was on display at this week’s iceBike trade show, including the Ariel full-suspension bike, Kili hardtail and a host of commuting machines.
The flashy little number pictured above is the top-end commuter bike, the Urban Clever Mike. Retailing at £799.99 it uses Shimano’s eight-speed Alfine hub and hydraulic disc brakes.
Next in the line-up is the Urban Rush at £449.99 which has a Nexus three-speed hub, cable disc brakes and a suspension seatpost to protect you from potholes and other road defects.
The £329.99 Urban Myth comes in both men’s and women’s models and uses Shimano Altus 7×3 gearing, a Suntour chainset and has mounts for a rack or mudguards.
Saracen had some of their 2011 Kili mountain bike prototypes on show, as well as the Myst downhill bike that we showed you earlier this week. The Kili sits at the top of the hardtail range and has been designed with versatility in mind.
You can built it up as a lightweight racer or alternatively kit it out as a more hard-hitting all-mountain trail crusher, ready for a full day of riding in comfort. It’ll be available in both Tange Prestige steel and titanium versions, with geometry to accommodate a 120mm fork.
Saracen kili titanium 2011 prototype: saracen kili titanium 2011 prototype Matthew Cole/BikeRadar
Ariel trail bike
The production version of Saracen’s Ariel 140mm full-suspension bike features revised CNC-machined linkages to provide extra stiffness, a tapered (1.5-1-1/8in) head tube, and Fox suspension front and rear.
The top-of-the-range Ariel 3 retails at £2,599.99 and has a Shimano XT drivetrain, Race Face Evolve chainset and Respond finishing kit, Deore M595 disc brakes, Syncros DS28 rims, Maxxis Larsen TT/High Roller tyres and a Fizik Gobi XM saddle.
The lower spec Ariel 2, pictured below, has Shimano SLX shifting with a Race Face Evolve chainset for £2,099.99. The basic Ariel 1 costs £1,599.99 and has a downgraded Deore chainset. Delivery of the first production bikes is expected at the beginning of April.
Saracen ariel 2 : saracen ariel 2 Matthew Cole/BikeRadar