While we got a brief look at the new bike at Eurobike, Saracen have now officially launched their new carbon version of their popular Myst downhill platform. And at its first official race after the soft-launch, Manon Carpenter rode the new bike onto the second step of the podium at the UCI DH World Championships in Andorra just over a week ago, demonstrating its potential at the top of the sport. The new 27.5″ bike sheds more than 2/3 of a kilo off this year’s race bike. Come past the break for the full scoop, with detail shots of the new bike, pricing, and availability…
Updating the successful aluminum DH platform that the Madison Saracen Factory Team has been racing for the past couple of seasons (and on which Carpenter had already won last year’s elite World Championships, as well as a Junior title on an even earlier Myst) the new carbon bike keeps the race-winning geometry and gets a bunch of tweaks beyond just weight savings.
The lighter frame also plays a handling role, with a revised front shock mount to the downtube-only it drops the center of gravity, making for a more stable ride. The bike is put together from a mix of 24T and 30T unidirectional carbon fiber, that gets 3K weave reinforcements at areas prone to impacts to keep durability high. Saracen was adamant about building a bike that would survive the abuse of World Cup-level DH racing and refused to sacrifice the durability of the aluminum front end, even for substantial weight savings.
But the weight savings are pretty big. The new carbon front triangle drops 560g vs. the previous aluminum version. The one piece carbon rear end that was introduced back in 2013, carries over mostly unchanged, but with new internal routing for the brake in the seatstay. And the new UD carbon links save another 110g over the CNC machined ones.
The new bike also incorporates a version of the adjustable headtube/headset that we previewed at Leogang earlier in the WC DH season, which lets the racer adjust the front center length of the bike +/- 5mm depending on the course. So I guess that wasn’t a pro-only mod (and the team mechanics had been asked to keep it quiet) as it will make it to the retail bikes for next season.
The front end routing also gets tidied up with integrated fork bumpers that double as housing ports.
The new Myst Team Carbon will be available to buy this winter for £5000 with a Saint group (just a hundred quid more than this year’s Alu/Carbon team bike!) to be ready to race the full 2016 DH season.