First Look – Saracen Ariel 50E Elite, an eMTB that’s actually in stock!

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Saracen’s latest Ariel eMTB range is a huge upgrade over its previous bike with new technology a new frame and what’s more it’s in stock!

UK based Saracen isn’t a new name in the eMTB market, but the refreshed and electrical Ariel line-up of bikes is sure to catapult the brand to the front of many shoppers minds. Not only do they pack the latest motors and technology from Shimano, but they’re also in stock and available to buy!

Starting with the frame, the new Saracen Ariel 50E Elite is a completely different beast to its predecessor. The original Saracen eMTB came with an external battery, older geometry and a Shimano E8000 motor. This 2022 bike packs a new alloy frame, integrated BT8035 504Wh battery, Shimano EP8, size-specific wheel specs and a massively overhauled geometry chart.

Saracen Aerial E50 Geometry


SMLXL
Seat Tube370mm410mm460mm510mm
Reach455mm480mm505mm525mm
Top Tube612mm637mm665mm688mm
Stack632mm632mm641mm655mm
Head Tube115mm115mm125mm140mm
Head Angle65656565
Seat Angle76767676
Chainstay465mm465mm465mm465mm
BB Drop25mm25mm25mm25mm
Wheelbase1250mm1275mm1304mm1330mm
Standover794mm794mm793mm793mm

The new frame hides the Shimano battery in a large downtube and we like the idea that Saracen has opted for the slightly lower weight and increased handling offered by a BT8035 battery. The battery is removable and you can charge it in the frame. Also, it’s interesting to see Saracen retain a key lock on the internal battery, something to consider if you’re worried about security.

Being a Shimano EP8 powered bike, the rider has full control over the motor and its 85nm of torque. Not only can you Boost your way to the top of the mountain, but via the Shimano ETube application the amount of power, and acceleration can all be controlled and fine-tuned to suit your needs. The EP8 system also benefits from an updated display with Bluetooth and a new wire system that is believed to be future proof and should work with future eMTB tech.

Away from the electronics, we have an all-new frameset with new suspension linkage and even wheel size specific sizing. The size large we have in for test comes with 29er hoops front and rear but smaller bikes get a mullet configuration out of the box, however, if you wanted to change this there is a convertible link included allowing the bike to run either rear wheel. Suspension travel is 160mm at the front thanks to a pair of eMTB specific Fox 38 forks while the new rear end produces 150mm of travel via a Fox DHX coil shock. The overall look is very ‘factory’ with the grey paint, Kashima stanchions and orange coil all adding to the ‘pro’ look.

Stop and go duties are all performed by Shimano, because why not use Shimano gears and brakes on a Shimano powered eMTB? Saracen hasn’t skimped here either with a complete Shimano XT groupset including the excellent 4 piston brakes and 203mm rotors front and rear.

In fact, there is no item in this build that I would want to swap out. Everything from the DT Swiss wheels, Maxxis tyres, Raceface handlebar to the KS Lev dropper is all top-notch kit. Saracen even specs the E50 Elite with an eMTB specific KCM chain too.

This Saracen Aerial E50 Elite is destined for an upcoming magazine test, but if you’re looking for a well-specced eMTB that’s actually in stock now I’d suggest heading over to the Saracen website ASAP.

Saracen Ariel 50E Elite Specifications

  • Frame // Series 3 custom butted 6013 alloy front and rear triangle. 150mm rear travel with convertible CNC link.
  • Shock // Fox Float DHX2
  • Fork // Fox 38-E Factory
  • Motor // Shimano EP8
  • Battery // Shimano BT8035 504Wh battery
  • Chainset // Shimano XT, 165mm
  • Chain device // Shimano SM-CDE80
  • Rear mech // Shimano XT 12-speed
  • Cassette // Shimano Deore 11-51t
  • Chain // KMC E12
  • Shifter // Shimano XT 12-speed
  • Brakes // Shimano XT B120 4 piston. 203mm rotors front and rear
  • Hubs // Shimano SLX front and SLX SuperBoost rear
  • Rims // DT Swiss HX 531, tubeless ready.
  • Tyres // Maxxis Minion DHR II
  • Handlebars // RaceFace Next R carbo n 35
  • Stem // RaceFace Turbine R 35
  • Headset // Prestine PT-F13
  • Dropper Post // KS Lev Integra 150mm or 125mm on size small
  • Saddle // Saracen Crmo MTB
  • Grips // ODI Eliste Motion
  • Colours // Grey
  • Sizes // S,M,L,XL
  • Price // £6499.99
  • Available from // Saracen

Comments (3)

    I like the claim that the tech is believed to be future proof! That should be the kiss of death for it! Looks great otherwise, although again battery capacity on a £6.5k bike is not great, however I suppose that is better than a larger capacity battery on a bike that you can’t actually buy!!!

    @G Kelly if you ride mostly in Eco then you should see better range than the E8000 even with the smaller battery plus you save a little weight which improve handling.

    Maybe the first ebike ever to have a good parts list that isn’t straight to landfill!

    However the battery capacity will put off most folk, me included, but I have special needs…

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