We’re currently down in Milton Keynes – City Of Dreams – at Madison’s huge in-house dealer show, iceBike*. As we’ve come to look forward to each February, iceBike* is an opportunity to get a hands-on look at Madison’s extensive array of brands, with each showing off their current product lines in a big ol’ exhibition hall. Being at the tail-end of winter, there wasn’t a huge amount of fresh product on show, but there have been some notable highlights that we’ve been checking out.
One such highlight is the brand new Traverse from Saracen Bikes.
Announced to the internets just last week, the Traverse is a new short-travel trail bike from Saracen built around 29in wheels, a 120mm travel fork and geometry that aims to offer all-day pedalling comfort, while remaining calm and composed for the descents. We think this is going to be a pretty popular bike with the UK market, so we grabbed ahold of Jack from Saracen at iceBike* to take us through the finer details of this beautiful Candy Apple machine.
2018 Saracen Traverse Features
- New lightweight 29er XC/Trail bike
- Hydroformed alloy mainframe & carbon one-piece swingarm
- Single pivot suspension design
- 100mm travel
- 120mm travel fork
- 67.5° head angle
- 435mm chainstay length
- 73mm English threaded bottom bracket shell
- Shimano Direct Mount Derailleur hanger
- 2x compatible
- 142x12mm rear thru-axle
- Available sizes: Small, Medium, Large & X-Large
- RRP: £2999
As of right now, the Traverse will come in a single spec option. You’re looking at a Shimano SLX 1×11 drivetrain, Shimano M500 brakes, Maxxis Forekaster tyres, and a Fox Float suspension package. Jack indicated that we might see more spec options open up in the future, and depending on its popularity, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch of the imagination to see Saracen introducing a full-carbon version down the line.
On that note, would you like to see a full carbon version? Let us (and Saracen) know in the comments section below!
Whereas the mainframe is made from hydroformed alloy, the swingarm is a one-piece carbon fibre structure. The main pivot sits inline with the 30t chainring, though there are no pivots on the back of the swingarm. Instead, the carbon flexes ever so slightly throughout the travel. The result is a lighter, laterally stiffer, and simpler one-piece design that is not unlike what you’d find on the back of bikes like the new Scott Spark and Specialized Epic.
One interesting note is the 142x12mm thru-axle rear end. Saracen did prototype a Boost 148x12mm rear end, but found issues with heel clearance that caused rub on the chainstays for some test riders with bigger shoes. The 142mm wide rear end is (obviously) narrower, and helps to keep everything nice and snug back there. This is a pretty interesting spec choice, given so many bikes are moving towards Boost-only hub spacing.
2018 Saracen Traverse Specifications
- Frame // 6013 Hydroformed Alloy w/Mitsubishi UD Carbon Fibre Swingarm, 100mm Travel
- Fork // Fox 34 Float Performance, GRIP Damper, 120mm Travel
- Shock // Fox Float DPS EVOL
- Hubs // Formula DC-711 Sealed Bearing, 110x15mm Front & 142x12mm Rear
- Rims // WTB STP i25 TCS 29, 32h, 30mm Internal Rim Width
- Tyres // Maxxis EXO Tubeless Ready Forekaster 2.35in Front & Ikon 2.35in Rear
- Chainset // Shimano SLX 30t
- Rear Mech // Shimano Deore XT, 11-Speed
- Shifter // Shimano SLX, 11-Speed
- Cassette // Shimano SLX, 11-42t, 11-Speed
- Brakes // Shimano M500, 180mm Front & 160mm Rear
- Bar // Saracen OS 6061 Alloy, 25mm Rise, 760mm Wide
- Stem // Saracen 6061 3D-forged Alloy, 50mm Long
- Grips // Saracen Lock-On
- Seatpost // JD YSP12L Dropper Post, 30.9mm, 125mm Travel (100mm On Small)
- Saddle // Kore Connex
- Sizes available // Small, Medium, Large & X-Large
- RRP // £2999 GBP