Saracen have steadily been rebuilding the brand for the past couple of years, with its clear efforts to reposition the brand back to the hard hitting trail bikes we used to know and love back in the 90s, and it’s obvious that game plan is paying off nicely.
At iceBike this week, a bike show hosted by Madison, the parent company of Saracen, the latest developments from the Saracen design lab were on show: in the shape of the Kili 29er and the Zen 29er. The former is a hardtail built around a 100mm fork the latter a 120mm fork.
Both share a similar geometry that brand manager Simon Wild describes as slacker and suiting the type of customer that will choose a Saracen. Think aggressive hard hitting trail riding. Currently the head angle is 69 degrees, which puts it in the company of similarly slacker 29ers out there (and many from other UK brands too).
We’re impressed based on our first look. There’s something about them, they just look right. And the raw finish ticks a box for us too! Both come with 44mm head tubes and there’ll be a range of bikes, launching in September.
Beside the two 29ers was a cyclo-cross bike that has been designed for mountain bikers. How does that work you ask?Quite simply it’s a bit slacker, a heavily sloping top tube (though this huge 58cm model does undo that a little), it takes a short stubby stem as you see pictured, and takes disc brakes. Also, it takes a 30.9mm seat post, so you can fit a dropper seat post in there…
That short stem, up close.
Photos © George Scott and David Jaquin