First Look: Saracen Goes Direct & Launches 5 Brand New Bikes – Pinkbike.com

Saracen has released a whole new range of new bikes under the Ariel name. The five bikes include trail, enduro and park bikes, plus an e-bike and a full-suspension kids bike too. At the same time, they’ve made the move to direct sales in order to offer these, and all their other bikes, at more competitive prices.

bigquotes This is a huge moment in Saracen’s history and one we felt was necessary for the brand to progress. By selling direct we are able to price and spec bikes more competitively than ever before. Andy Ayers, Saracen’s senior brand manager

At the heart of the Ariel range are the Ariel 30, 60 and 80 – add 100 to the name to get the rear travel in millimetres – catering for trail, enduro and freeride/park riding, respectively. Check the home page for a
full review of the Ariel 80. Meanwhile the Ariel E150 is Saracen’s first proper e-bike which, as the sharpest readers will have guessed, offers 150mm of travel. Finally, there’s the Ariel Junior with 24″ wheels and 120mm of suspension travel for mini shredders.

Saracen is part of the same group as Madison, Shimano’s UK distributor. They plan to use the network of Shimano service centers throughout the UK and Europe to provide servicing to Saracen’s customers. For now, they will only be available through the website in the UK and Europe, though Saracen hopes to make them available in North America in future.

The five bikes in the Ariel lineup share Saracen’s TLR linkage driven single pivot suspension design, aluminium frames only and a focus on competitive pricing. They also share properly progressive sizing, with some models sporting a 505mm reach in a size large. Let’s take a look at the range.

Saracen Ariel 30 Details

• Wheelsize: S&M: mullet, L&XL: 29″
• Travel: 130mm f&r
• 6013 aluminium frame
• 65° head angle
• Chainstay length: 440mm
• Push links included for mullet-29 conversion
• SuperBoost 157 rear axle spacing
• Bottle mounts: yes
• Price range: £2,199.99 / € 2,599, £2,999.99 / € 3,499 (Pro)
saracen.co.uk

The Ariel 30 is designed for everyday trail duties. Saracen describes it as the bike that most UK buyers should really be looking at for swooping singletrack, trail centers and big days of pedaling. The small and medium come with a mullet setup while the large and XL are 29ers, but all bikes come with the links required to change the rear wheel size if you wish. The base model sports a Fox DPS Performance 3-position shock, Marzocchi Z2 fork, Shimano Deore brakes and drivetrain with an SLX derailleur. Meanwhile the Pro model swaps to a Fox 34 Performance fork, XT/SLX drivetrain and four-piston calipers.


Saracen Ariel 60 Details

• Wheelsize: S&M: mullet, L&XL: 29″
• Travel: 160mm f&r
• 6013 aluminium frame
• 64.6° head angle
• Chainstay length: 440mm
• Push links included for mullet-29 conversion
• SuperBoost 157 rear axle spacing
• Bottle mounts: yes
• Price range: £2,499.99 / € 2,999, £3,299.99 / € 3,899 (Pro), £4,199.99 / €4,699 (Elite)
saracen.co.uk

With 160mm of travel at each end, the Ariel 60 is designed for enduro. Like the 30, the smaller two sizes are a mullet and the large and XL come setup as a full 29er, but links are included to swap from one to the other.

There are three models. The base model uses a Marzocchi Z1 fork, Fox DPX2 shock with 3-position compression lever and Shimano Deore brakes and 12-speed drivetrain with an SLX derailleur. The Pro model upgrades to a Fox 38 with GRIP2 damper and X2 Performance shock, plus Shimano’s XT/SLX drivetrain and Deore brakes with four-piston calipers. The Elite model goes all out with Fox Factory suspension, full XT drivetrain and XT four-piston brakes.


Saracen Ariel 80 Details

• Wheelsize: 27.5″
• Travel: 180mm f&r
• 6013 aluminium frame
• 63.5° head angle
• Chainstay length: 438mm
• SuperBoost 157 rear spacing
• Bottle mounts: no
• Price range: £2399.99 / € 2,799, £3,299.99 / € 3,899 (Pro)
saracen.co.uk

We’ve got a full review of the Ariel 80 on the home page. The takeaway is that it’s a highly capable freeride/park bike that can be pedaled to the top without much fuss. The base model uses the RockShox Zeb R fork and Fox Van RC shock, while the Pro model gets a Fox 38 GRIP2 fork and DHX2 shock with a climb switch (something I wished the base model had too!)


Saracen Ariel E50 Details

• Wheelsize: 27.5″
• Travel: 150mm (r) / 160mm (f)
• Shimano EP8 motor (Pro an Elite) or E7000 (base model)
• 504Wh integrated battery
• 6013 aluminium frame
• 65° head angle
• Chainstay length: 465mm
• SuperBoost 157 rear axle spacing
• Bottle mounts: yes
• Price range: £4,499.99 / € 5,299, £5,499.99 / €6,299 (Pro), £6,499.99 / € 7,299 (Elite)
saracen.co.uk

The E50 is Saracen’s first fully integrated eMTB. Its 465mm chainstays are not as fashionably short and its 504Wh battery is not as large as many modern ebikes, but starting at £4,499.99 it’s also more affordable than most. Saracen’s spec choices mirror the Ariel 60 with a Marzocchi Z1 fork and Shimano Deore drivetrain on the entry-level bike, Fox Performance Elite suspension on the Pro model and Factory suspension on the Elite model. The top two tiers get Shimano’s latest EP8 motor while the base model makes do with the older E7000 unit.


Saracen Ariel Junior Details

• Wheelsize: 24″
• Travel: 120mm f&r
• One size aimed at 125-145cm riders
• 65° head angle
• Chainstay length: 385mm
• 1×11 gearing
• Bottle mounts: no
• Price: £1699.99 / € 1,999
saracen.co.uk

The Ariel Junior is designed to get kids shredding early. With 24″ wheels and 120mm of adjustable air-sprung suspension, it’s single size is designed to be a good fit for riders between 125cm and 145cm.

All images: Laurence Crossman-Ems