Today Saracen had launched the 2021 offering with the range seeing a host of updates and tweaks. However, taking centre stage is the all-new Ariel. It comes in a handful of models to keep single-track slayers and bike park big-hitters alike happy.
On the subject of the Ariel, that's where we'll start. For 2021 it comes with three models all featuring different lengths of travel. There's the Ariel 30 which comes with 130mm of travel front and rear, that takes place as the trail bike. Then there's the Ariel 60 with 160mm of travel which is more enduro focussed and the Ariel 80 with 180mm of travel which is aimed to be the big-hitting bike park rig. All bikes come built around alloy frames.
Apart from the Ariel 80 which is a 650b bike through-and-through, the bikes get mullet wheelsets for the small and medium sizes while large and extra larges get 29" hoops.
A really neat move from the brand is that if you choose a small or medium frame and aren't happy with a mullet bike, both models come with additional push links so you can throw a big wheel in the back.
Both the Ariel 30 and 80 come in standard, Pro and X models with the Pro models seeing in an upgraded spec and the X's mark the frame only builds.
Setting the Ariel 60 apart from the rest of the range, it comes with an Elite build which introduces a coil shock which is great if you're that way inclined. The Ariel 30 is available with only air shocks, while the 80 only gets coil.
As for the geometry, the Ariel 30 gets a 65° head tube angle, a 76.5° seat tube angle and a 440mm chainstay. A large frame gets a pretty lengthy 505mm reach. The 60 comes sorted with a very similar shape with a slacker 64.6° head tube angle.
Then the Ariel 80 gets a slightly different look. It comes with a 63.5° head tube angle, a 76.1° effective seat tube angle, and a 438mm chainstay. Then it gets a shorter 485mm reach.
Joining the Ariel range is the brand new Ariel 50E. Yep, you've guessed it, it's the brand's new e-bike. While there has been an e-Ariel before, Saracen has been able to design this bike with a fully integrated motor and battery.
The base model comes fitted with a Shimano STEPS E7000 motor while the Elite and Pro models get the all singing-all dancing EP8 offering.
Much like the Ariel 60, the 50E comes in three models, with the base and Pro models rocking air shocks, while the Elite version is coil sprung. As its name suggests, the 50E gets 150mm of squish at the back, paired with a 160mm travel fork.
Adding to the heap of Ariel is the Ariel Junior. It's a fully kitted kids mountain bike that comes with 120mm of travel front and rear from an X-Fusion Velvet RL2 fork and a 02 Pro R from the same brand. It's then driven by a SRAM NX 11-speed drivetrain and it gets proper Maxxis Minion DHR II tyres.
That's it for the Ariel line-up, but that doesn't mean that's it for everything new from Saracen.
Of course, there's then the hardtail range which includes the Mantra and Zenith. The Mantra rolls on 650b wheels and comes with 140mm of travel from either a RockShox 35 Silver on the Trail model or a Marzocchi Bomber Z2 on the Elite model.
The Mantra get a touch of the long, slack, low treatment, featuring a 65° head angle, a 75° seat tube angle with a large frame getting a 490mm reach.
Finally, there's the Zenith which takes the place as the Mantra's 29" sibling. The Zenith comes kitted with 130mm of travel from a Marzocchi Bomber Z2 and is driven by a SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain.
The Zenith gets a 65.5° head tube angle, a 75° seat tube angle with a 445mm chainstay. Then on a large it also gets a 490mm reach
Prices for the Ariel start at £2,200 and go up to £4,200. The E50 will set you back £4,500 to £6,500 with the Mantra costing from £1,000 up to £1,400 and the Zenith is priced at £1,400.
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