Saracen’s new full suspension Traverse adapts lessons honed on longer travel bikes to build an affordable 29er that should be a blast to ride on all sorts of trails. While most of their bikes have aimed for fast descents, the larger wheels & shorter travel of the Traverse make it a more versatile everyday trail bike.
Saracen Traverse alloy+carbon full-suspension 29er
Saracen says the new Traverse is the first full-suspension 29er from the UK bike maker. At first that sounded bizarre/late for a modern mountain bike company. But since taking over nine years ago, parent company Madison has used Saracen to develop longer travel gravity-focused bikes, mostly around 27.5″ wheels. Now the Traverse is something more balanced.
The new bike matches 100mm of linkage-driven, single pivot rear travel to a 120mm fork for a ride that is fast pedaling, but still playful to descend. That’s essentially the same Tuned Ride Link design as all of their full suspension bikes, yet with a more open rear triangle. Saracen calls the Traverse an all-mountain bike, a testament to the larger wheels (& tires) and Saracen’s gravity background, if less so to what might otherwise be considered an XC-level of frame travel.
The Traverse also gets a fairly unique frame construction. The front triangle is welded from a butted & hydroformed 6013 aluminum tubeset, that gets bolted to a UD carbon rear & a carbon link. While it sticks with a single pivot layout, the carbon rear end allows vertical flex in the seatstays to eliminate need for another pivot in the narrow 142mm rear end, while maintaining stiffness.
Saracen says that the decided not to use a Boost 148 rear, but rather offset a Boost chainline to give them more space to tuck the rear brake inside of the stays, while keeping the back of the bike narrow for added heel clearance.
The bike gets modular internal routing optimized for a single ring drivetrain and a dropper seatpost. It does however include a high mount on the seattube and Side Swing ready routing on the downtube that means you could probably build the bike up with a double drivetrain, or add on a high mount chain guide.
The Traverse is available in a single £3000 complete build outfitted with Fox 34/Float Performance suspension, a Shimano XT/SLX single ring setup, Shimano brakes, and tubeless WTB STP i25 wheels on Formula hubs, wrapped in 2.35″ Maxxis Forekaster/Ikon EXO/TR rubber. It comes only in red, and is available now in a four size range from your local Saracen dealer.