Well now, this looks like one heck of a bike from Saracen and one that could potentially bring them right back into the thick of the trail riding market. The 2014 Ariel has 650b/27.5/Inbetweener wheels, it looks great, it’s been prototyped and prototyped again and you know it’s been tested to its limits by the brand’s team of up-and-coming downhill racers.
Here’s the fun introductory vid and the official word from Saracen:
Saracen on their new Ariel:
We’ve been working away on our 27.5” platform since early 2012 when component makers confirmed they were developing the hardware we needed to make a killer bike. We knew very early on with our Kili Flyer development that 27.5” was the perfect format for our Ariel. We started with full-alloy mules to tailor the same riding characteristics that our Ariel was known for: fast neutral handling that’s a blast to ride on singletrack and climbing but when pointed downwards is a superlative experience.
We set the travel at 150mm combining the best of our 140mm and 150mm 26” variants and worked hard to reduce the overall frame weight without sacrificing durability and stiffness. In this process we engineered a Toray carbon rear triangle which gave us just the right balance we were looking for. Overall frame weight is less than the current 140mm frame.
Once the frame was sorted we acted on feedback from riders about spec. We did our homework and simplified cock pit controls and included dropper posts and chain devices.
Three flavours for 2014: Ariel 151 and Ariel 152 complete bikes at £2599 and £3199 and a build-it-your-way Ariel 15X frame kit at £1699 including a Fox Float Factory Kashima CTD rear shock, headset and seat clamp.