A new offering of mountain bikes and altered business model for Saracen.

Saracen had a tremendous 2020, with Matt Walker taking downhill racing World Cup overall, on the brand’s Myst.

Eventful changes are afoot at the Milton Keynes company, with Saracen updating many of its frames and changing its sales model.

The most significant announcement from Saracen, is that it will now be selling the entire product portfolio online.

Read more: these are the best mountain bikes of 2021

Andy Ayers, senior brand manager at Saracen, is in no doubt regarding the company’s new transactional model. “This is a huge moment in Saracen’s history and one we felt was necessary for the brand to progress. By selling direct we can 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.”

The Ariel will remain Saracen’s anchor offering and feature new 6013-series aluminium tubing.

In Ariel 30 specification the bike has 130mm of suspension travel at either end. If you require 160mm of travel and true enduro descending capability, there is the Ariel 60 and for the ultimate in single-crown gravity riding, the 80-seres Ariel is configured with 180mm of suspension travel.

Mix-and-match your mullet options

Wheel size corresponds to frame specification and riding intent. The Ariels 30 and 60 bikes are available in 29/27.5” for the small and medium sizes, whilst the large and extra-large variants roll as full 29ers.

Saracen does have push-links for the Ariel 30/60 bikes in sizes large and extra-large, which enable a 29/27.5” configuration, if that is what potential owners desire.

True to its long-travel set-up and purpose as an agile descending in steep terrain, the Ariel 80 is only 27.5”.

Even the short-travel bikes are slack

The most affordable build option for Saracen’s new Ariel range, is the 30 at £2200, with a 30 Pro priced at £3000. Reach numbers are very generous, with 505mm on a size large, and all new Ariel 30s have a 65° head angle.

For the Ariel 60 you start at £2500 and the build options peak at £4200 for an Ariel 60 Elite. Reach numbers are similar to the Ariel 30, but the 160mm bike is little under half a degree slacker, at 64.6°.

Going big with smaller wheels

The bike park crew will be looking at £2400 for an 80 and £3300 for an Ariel 80 Pro. With coil shock kinematics, a size large reach of 485mm and 63.5° head angles these are ideal rigs for the most daring of single-crown descenders.

All new Saracen Ariels also feature the SuperBoost 157x12mm rear hub spacing. That allows for 2.6” wide tyres, with lots of mud clearance, and the opportunity to build stronger rear wheels, thanks to the wider flange width and spoke bracing of those 157mm hubs.