There’s a new e-bike in town: the Saracen Ariel E50, E50 Pro and Ariel E50 Elite (as here). And, while there has been an Ariel-E previously, to be honest, it wasn’t really a looker. This new bike really looks like it’s been designed around the new Shimano motors and integrated batteries. It uses Saracen’s pretty bombproof linkage driven single pivot design that can trace its origins back to the Saracen Myst downhill bike.
There are three Saracen e-bikes in the range. They all share the same geometry and rear travel, though there are several spec differences throughout the range, as you’d expect. (There is an E50 Pro model too, which sits between these two, but we don’t have any photos as yet. It’ll be £5499.
Saracen Ariel E50 Elite – £6499
The Saracen E50 Elite costs £6499 and is the top of the shop, spec-wise. At its heart is the new Shimano Steps EP-8 motor with integrated Shimano 504Wh battery. Travel is 150mm at the rear, thanks to a Fox DHX2 Factory rear shock and 160mm up front, courtesy of a pair of Fox 38-E Factory forks. As befitting a top-end bike, components include Shimano’s XT 12 speed transmission and (203/203mm) brakes. Wheels are Shimano XT/DT Swiss rims with Maxxis tyres. Like its meat-powered cousins, the E50 features 29in wheels front and back on the Large and XL models, with a 29/27.5in ‘mullet’ setup for Small and Medium sizes. There will be shock links in the box for mulleting (or un-mulleting) your bike should you fancy a change.
Geometry has been given a big tweak this year, with the reach for a small being a rangey 455mm, medium is 480mm, large is 505mm and XL is a whopping 525mm. Even with 65°/75° angles, that’s a long old bike.
Saracen Ariel E50 £4499
At the more entry level (for an e-bike) price, is the standard Ariel E50. This features the more affordable Shimano E7000 Steps motor and there are Shimano Deore and SLX components specced. Fork choice is the Marzocchi Bomber Z1 with 160mm travel. Still a good all-round spec. Interestingly, the whole Ariel range (e-or not) now features SuperBoost rear ends to allow room for chunky rubber and all of those 12 sprockets. The integrated battery is still the Shimano 504Wh unit, so plenty of juice available for bigger rides.
These new Saracen Ariel E50 bikes will be coming in around the beginning of April. With Saracen’s new direct-to-customer model, you’re unlikely to see any in the flesh for a while, but what we’ve seen so far looks good.
For the full range, see the new website at saracen.co.uk