One of the lightest bikes in the whole 2019 Hardtail of the Year test

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 9

Saracen Zenith Pro

Pros:

  • Superb handling, parties hard on the singletrack

Cons:

  • Poor quality suspension fork with only friction damping

Product:

Saracen Zenith Pro review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£699.99

With its double-butted aluminium frame, the Saracen Zenith Pro is one of the lightest bikes in the whole 2019 Hardtail of the Year test.

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It also has some nice touches, like the Crud Catcher mounts under the down and Chip Slot dropout, which is basically a modular design that lets you fit other axle standards.

Instead of opting for the tired (SIC) and tested, the geometry the Zenith Pro is cutting edge – it’s the longest bike on test, the slackest and one of the lowest. The Zenith Pro is lively, agile and also comfortable, with the frame having just the right amount of flex to take the sting out of rocky and rooty trails. In fact, riding hard technical trails only one bike could keep up and that was our test winner.

A big reason the Zenith Pro is rapid is the 120mm travel RST Omega MLC 29 fork. Yes it’s only coil sprung and friction damped but at least you’re not blowing through the travel riding down a kerb.

With Saracen looking to future with the shape and attitude of the Zenith Pro it’s odd to see a front derailleur and double chain rings fitted from the past. The Side-Swing design is neat but we’d rather see a single ring to reduce complexity and cost.

The Zenith Pro is a modern hardtail with up to date geometry but one thing stops it getting top marks – sort that fork and Saracen could be looking at a test winner in 12months time.

Details

Frame:Series 2 6061 aluminium
Fork:RST Omega MLC 29, 120mm travel
Wheels:Joytech hubs, Araya rims, Schwalbe Nobby Nic/Racing Ralph 29x2.25 tyres
Drivetrain:Shimano Alivio chainset, r-mech, f-mech and shifters
Brakes:Tektro HDM-275, 180/160mm
Weight:13.85kg (30.53lb)
Sizes:S, M, L, XL
Size tested:Large
Contact:saracen.co.uk