Would you ride a Saracen?
Yes look nice. Bike snobs wouldn't touch it but those of us with longer memories will remember hankering after the original one back in the day.
I think that's right. I hankered after the (very expensive) Kili Flyer back in the early 90s, so they've never been a downmarket brand to me.Posted 8 years ago
I can't see anything about a price for a frame, or even whether it's going to be available as a frame only. There's going to be an 'affordable' (not in my book) £2000 version and a premium model with XTR etc. There's also going to be a cheaper £850 version, but whether this will use an identical frame or maybe a cheaper steel version I don't know. If it comes out in the £300-£400 range then it might go on my list (the Kinesis Virsa Tange Prestige JPN frame is about £350).Posted 8 years agoSpongebobMember
I bought a Saracen Blizzard back in 1988, my first MTB. The steel frame was lovely and springy unlike the stiff oversized alloy frames which are prevalent now.
Saracen was a quality brand then and my bike was specced out with Shimano Exage – a middling quality groupset and with that weird Biopace chainset. I quite liked the Biopace, but there was plenty of bits on it that you would scoff at these days. Technology has moved on a great deal since those early days!
I had my Saracen for 15 years and rebuilt it at 13 yrs, converting to a hybrid with road tyres on skinnier Mavic rims (I bent one of the original wheels). I fitted a double road chainset (highly polished Campag), rear mech, new sidepull brakes, a sandblast and powdercoat of the frame, plus a host of cheap, but good functional lightweight polishes alloy bits. I had new brake bosses welded on the rear stays enabling me to bin the weird and heavy brake that was bolted to the bottom bracket.
The reason I sold this bike was because I had also bought a road bike and so the Saracen began attracting dust. A mate now owns this rare bit if semi-retro hardware and he loves it. Of course, hybrids are all the rage now whereas this was unusual at the time i put it together.
Shame "Numpty Hut" got hold of the brand. There is nothing worse than a national chain engaged in selling bikes. I don't think they realise how utterly inept their business model is when catering for enthusiasts. As for the Saracen brand now, well it's synonymous with cheap children's bikes. At least they are better than the £69.99 supermarket specials!Posted 8 years agowoffleMember
Ahhhhh Killiflyer [drifts off with fond memories of my old tange fillet brazed Flyer Comp. I regret flogging that the most of all my old bikes]. My first two bikes were Saracens – the first I forget the name of but it had exage complete with bottom bracket mounted u-brake type arrangement. Madness when you think about it – why put that right in the muckiest place on the bike. Flogged it and saved for the wonder that was the Comp frame)
If it was anything like as well made as that then I'd consider it. About time the brand was resurrected I reckon…Posted 8 years ago
I take it from some of the comments on here that Saracen bikes probably aren't generally top of people's list of desireable bikes. However, I might be in the market for a short travel steel hardtail frame and spotted a piece of the re-launch of the Saracen Kili Flyer in the Singletrack news section. It's designed around a 120mm fork (so I assume it'll work well with 100mm) and is made from Tange Prestige steel. I think it look rather nice. There's nothing about it on the Saracen site at the moment and I don't know whether it'll be available as a frame only option, but if it is it might be worth thinking about.
Posted 8 years agoGaryLakeMember
Quite curious about Madison's motivation here. You could argue they're already cleaning up the mainstream steel hardtail market with the Genesis name, the Saracen name has nothing like the kudos it had back in the day and I reckon they'll be up against it trying to recapture those glory days of old.Posted 8 years agoneilsonwheelsMember
I have still got my nzyme, my gf rides now for college duties. It has had many bits of kit bolted to it over the years. Fox forx, xtr kit and various disk brakes. I have riden worse, i have riden better. I like it and it is now graced with good'ol deore kit for commuting. It's a work horse and I like it.Posted 8 years agocrazy-legsSubscriber
My first MTB was a Saracen, the steel framed Sahara Elite. Sure by modern standards it's nothing but that bike took me to all sorts of places where people now seem to think that you need 6" travel, 2.3" tyres and a Saint groupset for the XXXC trails…
Even did a few races on it, upgraded it lovingly over the years then eventually gave it away to a local kids cycle club.
I upgraded to a Kili Ultra Ti which Saracen nicely custom built for me. I was working in the industry at the time but couldn't afford the full XTR bling build so they built it up with an XT groupset. Fully rigid, Ti forks it was amazing.
I've still got that bike and it's still amazing. Upgraded over the years to full XTR, 1st generation CrossMax wheels, Ti seatpost and bars. So light and it'll still cope with the same trails I was riding all those years ago.
Good luck to them, I hope their new take on the old works out, they deserve it.Posted 8 years agonaokfreekMember
squin ….that was the tufftrax in yellow, my friend had one at the same time i had the traverse, although his is now chipped blue with yellow as it got nicked and 'disguised' with blue spray paint, but that did'nt stop him spotting it locked up outside the wheatsheaf in ealing about a 3rd of a mile from his house…he still has it!!Posted 8 years agoandrewhMember
I've got one of the magnesium Killis, 2004 I think. Silly light (lighter than carbon Trek 9.8) but a bit harsh and BB very low. Bought the frame NOS in 2006 for £40 so can't complain… Nice bike and never given me any trouble. Painted it myself in VW black touch-up paint so doesn't Saracen anywhere on it, people always ask and look surprised when I tell them.Posted 8 years agoepo-aholicMember
i did but i wouldn't again! back in the late 90's i was a sponsored rider – not by saracen directly but a saracen dealership. we all rode kili comp's which were 853 frames, by June that year 5 frames had cracked in the same place, the rear wishbone. Saracen beefed it up but too little too late.Posted 8 years agoGaryLakeMember
Sure by modern standards it's nothing but that bike took me to all sorts of places where people now seem to think that you need 6" travel, 2.3" tyres and a Saint groupset for the XXXC trails…
Yeah but when I was 14 and had shit for brains, my '94 Cinder Cone would take me to all sorts of places that I now think I need 6" of travel and 2.3" tyres! 😆Posted 8 years agowoodsmanMember
I've still got the saracen catalogue/brochure featuring the Kili-flyer and all their models if anyone has an old original bike, and they want it?
I bought the Sahara -= cost £400! in the day 93 I believe, as my foray into mtb – has Tange tubing, still have it and it's original although gears and brakes are almost non-existant!
The Kili-Ultra in ti seems to be the ultimate in the catalogue of 93!Posted 8 years agocrazy-legsSubscriber
we all rode kili comp's which were 853 frames, by June that year 5 frames had cracked in the same place, the rear wishbone. Saracen beefed it up but too little too late.
Yeah, I saw a couple of those frames cracked. Shame cos they looked lovely. Mind you that was still fairly early days of 853, they'd only just worked out how to make decent road frames out of the stuff so it was pretty ground-breaking at the time to use it for MTB. Same now with 953 – it's possible to make good lightweight road frames out of it but Reynolds made a 953 version of the Cotic Soul a while ago as a one-off for Cy to show what they could do with it. It was beautiful, a really stunning bike to ride but then it cracked. 🙁
The Kili-Ultra in ti seems to be the ultimate in the catalogue of 93!
I've got the same catalogue! My Sahara was 1993, my Kili Ultra Ti is 1997.Posted 8 years agochakapingSubscriber
Woodsman – Is the Kili Flyer (not Comp) purple in the 1993 catalogue?
I owned one but memory is hazy and now not sure if it's 1992 or 93.
Think I paid £650 for the bike, which had a fillet brazed prestige (main triangle) frame and full Deore II groupset though.Posted 8 years ago
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