Just in time for the weekend, Saracen has sent news of not one, but two news bikes that'll be of interesting to off.road.cc-ers. First up, they're got an all-new 29er trail machine called the Traverse but they've also added a motor and battery to their long-travel trail bike, resulting in the Ariel E.
Saracen Traverse 29
We might as well start with the meat-powered bike, so the Traverse is a 29er with a slightly mismatched 100/120mm rear to front travel split. Though those numbers suggest something on the racy cross-country side of the trail bike divide, Saracen reckons it's made something that's both fast and playful. the photographs of riders doing large leaps somewhat backs this up.
The front triangle is made from aluminium, but the rear end is made from carbon fibre, with a flex stay style suspension design plus a linkage driving the shock. Curiously enough, Saracen has opted for a 142mm spacing rear hub rather than the latest Boost 148 standard, which allows them to keep the overall width of the back end tighter to increase heel clearance.
There's only one bike in the range and it'll cost you £2,999 and it comes with a Fox 34 fork and Fox Float DPS shock at the rear. Stop and go stuff is all from Shimano's SLX range, with a single ring up front moving over 11 cogs at the rear. Rubber is from Maxxis, with the Forecaster being more aggressive than a traditional cross-country tyre but faster rolling than a full on trail bike item.
Saracen Ariel E
If you're thinking that this looks an awful lot like a Saracen Ariel save for the electric gubbins then you'd be pretty much spot on, Saracen saying "the pivot points and geometry are close enough to the existing Ariel that you’ll think you’re riding the same bike, and you won’t feel like you’re trying to guide a barge down a twisty trail."
The different bits are very different though, with a Shimano E8000 STEPS motor and battery cranking out 250W of pedal assistance as required, with three power modes on offer. Claimed range os about 100km on the lowest setting, but it'll be a bit less than that when using the adaptive Trail mode and an awful lot less if you go banzai in Boost. You can get a full charge from empty in five hours or 80% in two and a half either way.
Again, there's only one model and it'll cost you £5,299. As befits the extra bulk of an e-MTB, the aluminium frame has some sturdy stuff bolted onto it, with a Fox 36 fork up front and a Float DPS shock at the back. There's no word in the release as to how much bounce it has, but it's reasonably safe to assume it's going to be the same 170/165mm front to rear split as the normal Ariel.
Geometry for both bikes hasn't been released yet either, but we'll update this as soon as we have more. Either way, both bikes will be landing with dealers very soon and we hope to take a closer look at them in the flesh then.
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