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.
Do dropper and suspension a great gravel bike make?Matthew Allen / Immediate Media
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.
40mm of travel looks quite odd when you’re used to modern MTB forksMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
A non-remote dropper post might come in handy if you get too radMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
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.
Flared drops should help with technical ridingMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
The Levarg OR will retail at £2,299.99 / €2,575 and precise availability is still to be confirmed.
The Levarg; a gravel bike or is it closer to an MTB?
Builds for all
The Levarg is also going to be sold in two cheaper builds, minus suspension and dropper.
The Levarg SL has a rigid carbon fork in place of suspensionMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
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 Levarg has a Shimano 2×9 drivetrainMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
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.
Matthew Loveridge (formerly Allen) is an experienced mechanic and an expert on bike tech who appreciates practical, beautifully-engineered things. Originally a roadie, he likes bikes and kit of every stripe, and he's tested a huge variety of both over the years for BikeRadar, Cycling Plus and others. At 174cm tall and 53kg, he looks like he should be better at cycling than he actually is, and he's ok with that.