There’s only one thing in life better than a new bike, and that’s two new bikes. If you thought you’d have a moment to breathe after the launch of the Ariel LT last year, then you’re sadly mistaken.
The Saracen design team were locked back in the cupboard and told not to come out until they had two new bikes for us. Happily, they obliged, and we’re super excited to announce the Ariel E and the Traverse, two more bikes you’ll want to own.
Hide your wallets under the sofa and shred those credit cards, because here come the details.
Ariel E (£5,299.99)
E-bikes. You might have heard of them. They’re not coming any more, they’re well and truly here, and anyone who’s anyone has some skin in the game by now. But Saracen has been watching and waiting, ready for the perfect moment to unleash their latest creation, knowing that they didn’t want to do it quickly, they wanted to do it really bloody well.
And that’s because making an e-bike is far more than just taking your existing frame and sticking a motor on it. You want to make an e-bike that feels like you’re not riding an e-bike, with the same feel and characteristics as your favourite trail bike. Just with a little more juice when the going gets tough and you need to turn those pedals.
Take all of that, mix it up and carve it into a bike and you have the Ariel E.
The Ariel E is built around a Series 3 custom butted and hydroformed 6013 alloy front triangle paired with a carbon swingarm and linkages which help to keep the weight down while taking nothing out of the ride. And crucially, 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.
Drive system comes courtesy of Shimano, in the shape of the E8000 STEPS motor. STEPS is the best drive units on the market, and its three power modes – Eco, Trail and Boost – give you power when you need it, but preserve battery life when you don’t. Charging is 5hrs for 0-100%, or up to 80% in just 2.5hrs, and you look forward to up to 100km of supported riding on a single charge.
Suspension is handled by a Fox 36 fork up front and a Float DPS shock at the back, giving the type of performance that’ll leave you wanting more. And, if you want to get back to the top double quick, you have a motor to take give you a helping hand.
The Traverse was designed with two principles in mind: make it fast, and make it playful. Swing a leg over the Traverse and it won’t take you long to figure out that Saracen has nailed both of those.
With 29” wheels, 100mm travel at the back and 120mm at the front, the Saracen Traverse is a seriously fast trail weapon. The Series 3 custom butted alloy front triangle give the bike a solid platform, and it has been matched to a Toray UD carbon swingarm at the back. That swingarm also uses ‘Flex Stay’ technology, which reduces weight by eliminating a rotational pivot and securing hardware.
You’ll also notice that Saracen has opted for a 142mm rear hub, offset to a boost chainline which means they’ve been able to conceal the rear caliper inside the stays, keeping the bike nice and narrow at the back and offering plenty of heel clearance.
Up front, a Fox 34 fork helps to keep you on an even keel, and it’s complimented perfectly by a custom tuned Fox Float DPS shock at the rear. Drivetrain is Shimano’s 1×11 SLX which will keep your momentum on the way up, and the Maxxis Forekaster tyres will keep you rooted to the dirt on the way down.
Simon Wild, product manager at Saracen, said: “Building great bikes is what we love to do; bikes we want to ride and bikes you’ll love. It was the usual labour of love with these two new beauties from initial design to testing and then finally into production. It’s safe to say all of us at Saracen are super excited to add these new steeds into our stable!”
Both bikes are available now from local Saracen dealers. More information can be found on http://www.saracen.co.uk.