British mountain bike manufacturers Saracen have relaunched as a direct to consumer brand, overhauling the Ariel platform in the process with five new full suspension mountain bikes. The range now includes 130mm, 160mm and 180mm travel options, a 150mm travel eMTB and an Ariel Junior for your little rippers. Here’s a brief introduction to the 2021 Saracen Ariel line-up.
2021 Saracen Mountain Bikes
The 2021 range of Saracen Ariel full suspension mountain bikes get all-new 6013 hydro formed aluminium super boost (12mm x 157mm) frames, all of which have been put through their paces by none other than the 2020 World Cup Downhill Champion, Matt Walker. All except the Ariel Junior, that is.
On top of that, the brand have relaunched as Direct to Consumer, stating this was a necessary move for them to be able to continue speccing and pricing bikes competitively. Here’s the low down.
Ariel 30 Downcountry Bike
Saracen have added a downcountry bike to the full suspension mountain bike roster for 2021. The Ariel 30 gets 130mm of rear wheel travel married to a 130mm fork. Available in sizes Small to XL, the S & M frames run a stock mullet setup while the L & XL bikes are complete 29ers.
Those riders on the smaller frame who want a 29″ wheel in the rear too can go right ahead and have it; Saracen provide an additional link that can be swapped in to allow it. Reach spans a 455mm to 530mm range. The head angle sits at 65° while the seat tube angle is an upright 76.5°.
The 2021 Saracen Ariel 30 is available as a frame and shock (FOX Float DPS Factory) for £1,199.99. You can also get it as a complete bike at two price points. Pick up the Ariel 30 Pro for £2,999.99 with Performance Elite level suspension from FOX, or the base level bike for £2,199.99 with a Marzocchi Bomber Z2 fork and a FOX Float DPS Performance shock.
2021 Saracen Ariel 60 Enduro Bike
The Saracen Ariel 60 gets a mullet option for 2021. In their stock configuration, the small and medium frames get a 27.5″ rear wheel out back and a 29″ out front. That said, Saracen do offer an additional push link (included) for riders who want to run a 29″ wheel in the rear too. Meanwhile, the large and XL frames are complete 29er enduro bikes.
As the name suggests, the Ariel 60 runs 160mm of rear wheel travel paired with a travel-matched fork. A little slacker than its previous Ariel LT iteration, the new frame gets a 64.6° head angle paired with a steeper 76.5 degree seat tube angle. Reach is considerably longer, however, stretching from 455mm in small to 530mm in XL. Chainstays are 440mm across the size range.
The 2021 Ariel 60 complete bike is available at three price points, and there is also a frame and shock option. At the top-end, the Ariel 60 priced at £4,199.99 gets a FOX 38 Factory fork, DHX2 coil shock, 12s Shimano XT drivetrain, XT 4-piston brakes and a DT SWISS EX 511 wheelset. Pick up the frame and shock (FOX Float X2 Factory) for £1,499.99.
Ariel 80 Park Bike
The Saracen Ariel 80 is their longest travel full suspension mountain bike that isn’t a full downhill rig. Its intention? Bike Park laps. This ride rolls on a 27.5″ wheelset running 180mm of rear wheel travel paired with a 180mm fork.
With a Series 3 custom butted 6013 aluminium frameset, the Ariel 80 is available in frame sizes S-XL, covering rider heights from 154cm right up to 196cm. Featuring a long, low, slack geometry, the size large gets a 485mm reach, a 63.5° head angle, 76.5° seat tube angle and 438mm chainstays.
The Ariel 80 is available at two price points. Pick up the Pro level bike for £3299.99, complete with DT SWISS E532 rims, FOX 38 Performance Elite forks, DHX Performance shock, 12-speed Shimano SLX group and Deore 4-piston brakes.
A budget option Ariel 80 is available at £2399.99, featuring a RockShox ZEB, DHX Performance shock, Shimano Deore/SLX drivetrain, Deore 2-piston brakes and E532 rims from DT.
Saracen Ariel Junior Kid’s Mountain Bike
The Saracen Ariel Junior is a 24″ wheel full suspension kids bike for ages 7-9 years, or riders 125-145cm tall. The rear end runs non-boost 12mm x 142mm spacing with 120mm of travel serviced by an X-Fusion 02 Pro shock. Up front you’ll see a 120mm X-Fusion Velvet RL2 fork.
The Ariel Junior is available in one size only; the frame reach is 360mm with a 65° head angle and a 75° seat tube angle. The seat tube measures up at 315mm giving a standover height of 687mm.
Pick up the Saracen Ariel Junior full suspension kids mountain bike for £1,699.99.
Saracen Ariel 50E Elite eMTB
Finally, the Saracen Ariel 50E eMTB rounds off the Ariel line for 2021. With geometry most similar to the Ariel 60 enduro bike, the 50E runs a 65° head tube angle and a 76° seat tube angle, with reach figures spanning a 455mm to 525mm range across S-XL sizes. The frame travel is 150mm paired with a 160mm travel fork.
As with the Ariel 60 and Ariel 30, the 50E is set up as a mullet mountain bike for the small and medium frame sizes, running a 27.5″ wheel out back and a 29″ wheel up front. The additional link that is included in each sale allows riders to run the bike symmetrically as a full 29er. The L & XL frames are stock 29ers.
The Ariel 50E eMTB is available in three model builds. At the budget end is the base-level bike priced at £4,499.99. That gets you the Shimano STEPS E700 motor, a FOX Float DPX Performance Elite shock and a Marzocchi Bomber Z1 fork.
The Ariel 50E Pro comes in at £5,499.99, fetching you the Shimano STEPS EP-800 motor, a Float X2 Performance shock and a FOX 38-E Performance Elite fork. The top-end Saracen eMTB is the 50E Elite with a price tag of £6,499.99. That money gets you Shimano’s latest and greatest EP8 motor, the FOX Float DHX2 Factory shock and a FOX 38-E factory fork.
Saracen go Direct to Consumer
Andy Ayers, senior brand manager at Saracen, said: “This is a huge moment in Saracen’s history and one we felt was necessary for the brand to progress. By selling direct we are able to price and spec bikes more competitively than ever before, which is only a good thing for riders. We are incredibly excited about the new Ariel platform and have tried to design progressive bikes that are super fun to ride. This a new chapter for us at Saracen and we think we have created our best range of bikes to date.”