Tag Archives: Saracen

Achilles and the Tortoise (or GoatSurfer is a slow ass)

Long time readers of this blog will recall me visiting Saracen HQ back in 2009 to scan their entire MTB catalogue archive for the benefit of the RetroBike community. Finally after some serious help from DrystonePaul this mammoth task is finally complete and the first 11 years of Saracen catalogues can now be found HERE.

I will also host these on my own site in due course.

Vintage Saracen Catalogue Mother Lode

On Monday I spent the day at Saracen HQ as a guest of Simon Wild, the designer of the relaunched Saracen bike range. Saracen has been brought back from the dead by Madison Cycles and they have launched an entire range of bikes in the last two months.

Of interest to any Retro MTB fans might well be the 2010 Kili Flyer that I reported on a while back on this blog . This bike is going to be fillet brazed in the UK and available in small numbers next year.

The purpose of my visit to Saracen was to scan in all of their catalogue archives from the original Saracen company, these will prove to be valuable documents to anyone with an interest in this iconic British MTB company, or anyone restoring an old Saracen MTB.
I was given an office for the day and took in my own equipment but despite scanning non-stop from 9:30am until late in the afternoon I only managed to get from 1987 to 1998 (somewhere in the region of 350 Hi-Res scans ).

Simon was kind enough to let me take the archives home with me so I can complete this mammoth task over the Christmas break. The intention is to tidy up and crop all of the scans and create a high quality PDF for each year. Once this is done they will be hosted on both my site,
Saracen.co.uk and also in the RetroBike Archive

Some teasers


1 x 7 Beater Project – Pt 4

Some minor updates on the Beater Project…..got most of the parts now for the brakes, had to go buy some items as I seem to have given away too many Magura parts recently and left myself short . Gear cable outers have now been cut to size and fitted in the cable stops and I’ve found a rough-ish Mavic 231CD/Shimano DX wheelset laying around that will do just fine for this build.
I’m still searching for the crown bolts I put in a ‘safe place’ when I traded some Pace crowns earlier in the year….if the damn things don’t show up I’ll have to source some replacements from someplace. A friend of mine has some tatty old bars that sound just right for this bike, hopefully I’ll get my hands on those soon then I can cable up the one Thumbie, fix up the Magura’s and get them bled. I’m kinda concerned about them stem as it does look to short but we’ll have to see how it rides…

Bike shaped at last

Wot no crown bolts…..


Mavic 231CD’s….Mmmmmmm

1 x 7 Beater Project – Pt 3

Not any riding currently going on at GoatSurfer Central, still suffering from dental trauma (with more on the way this coming week )

Some minor updates on my ‘not to be taken too seriously’ Beater project.

The trashed Kona Racelight saddle has been ‘sympathetically’ repaired and I’ve found a stem in the parts bin that will do for now. I reckon I have some old Mavic 231 CD’s that will do for wheels and I’m sifting round for some suitable bars.

DUCT tape repair one…

DUCT rape repair two…

Et Voila

Old Spesh stem

Back From the Grave – Saracen Kili Flyer

If you were into MTB’s in the UK back in the 1980’s then no doubt the name Kili Flyer will bring back misty eyed memories of a long forgotten iconic steed.

Well, I had an email from Simon Wild at Saracen today and he tells me they are re-launching the Kili and its going to be Fillet Brazed Tange Prestige and built around a modern 120mm fork. There’s not much info around so far but Singletrackworld have some pix available here: http://www.singletrackworld.com/2009/10/saracen-revive-the-kili-flyer/

It certainly has a nice clean look to it, the bike will be available in either SLX or XTR flavours when it hits the streets.

Picture – Copyright 2009 Singletrack Mountain Bike Magazine

1 x 7 Beater Project – Pt 2

Found the original rear mech that came with this bike back in 1991, this badboy has covered at least 10,000 miles and is still going strong




Then I found some spare cranks I had laying around and also an old 36t HyperGlide ring



And last but not least a saddle in……erm…..rather a distressed state

1 x 7 Beater Project – Pt 1

This is a little ‘side project’ and one that shouldn’t be taken too seriously ok?
There are bigger and (maybe) better things destined for this frameset but for now it is going to be a kind of ‘Parts bin, junk, beater’ build where I’m using up all sorts of crap, some of it tatty old junk, some of it new parts to create a fun 1 x 7 build suitable for my local bike park.

Background:
This is a 19″ Saracen Traverse Competition Hydrotech and I bought this bike new in 1991 from the Chesterfield Cycle Center (J.E James of Sheffield, England) for £600 and it was my first proper MTB. I couldn’t afford the exotic Funk in the showroom at Shockwave in Nottingham so this had to do……..it was full DX and originally had Wolber rims, Magura HydroStops, Saracen’s own bizarre oversized handlebars and a 150mm stem . Very quickly I dumped the stem and bars for a Syncros Cattleprod and some Answer Hyperlights and it stayed like this for six years while I rode it every day, putting 200 miles a week on it all year round. In 1997 after thousands of miles on this bike I bought myself a new Pace RC200 F6, gave this to a friend and promptly forgot about it. Fast forward 12 years and I get a call from this guy saying he had found an old white bike frame I’d given him and did I want it, wow….I got my baby back

As mentioned earlier I do have some radical plans for this frame in the shape of a Singlespeed project but this 1 x 7 thing is more of a bit of fun and as a ‘proof of concept’ so its most definitely function over form…..it WILL look ugly and have an odd mix of parts on it

The bare frame (Tange MTB, weighs LOTS!!)

Posh headset for a piece of old crap…

My Crown Race Setting ‘tool’…

Some old forks I had laying around

Taking shape…

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