Matt Walker's Prototype Saracen Myst 29er - Bike Check

Aug 23, 2017
by Mike Kazimer  




Matt Walker will be back aboard his prototype Saracen Myst 29er this weekend after debuting the new frame at Mont Sainte Anne. The British Junior National Champ has had a several strong results this season, with a win at Fort William, and second place finishes at Leogang and Lenzerheide. He'll undoubtedly be searching for another podium finish at Val di Sole - will the big wheeler give him the edge he needs on the steep, rooty track? We'll have to wait until race day to find out.


Matt Walker s Prototype Saracen Myst
The bike uses the same adjustable carbon swingarm that the team are running on the the 27.5" Myst, with the axle sitting in the most rearward position.

Matt Walker s Prototype Saracen Myst
The Myst has a relatively progressive suspension curve, which is why they've gone with a coil shock versus air for the bike's 195mm of rear travel (that's compared to the 203mm of travel on the 27.5" bike).

Matt Walker s Prototype Saracen Myst
Up front, a Fox 49 delivers 190mm of travel. Alex Lovett, the Saracen team's mechanic, says that Matt hasn't had any trouble adapting to the slightly reduced amount of travel, or the bigger wheels for that matter.

Matt Walker s Prototype Saracen Myst
29 x 2.4" Maxxis DHR II WT tires are mounted to DT Swiss EX 471 rims.

Matt Walker s Prototype Saracen Myst
Matt's not the tallest rider out there, so the bike's front end height has been kept fairly low, in order to mimick the feel of the 27.5" bike he was on previously.

Matt Walker s Prototype Saracen Myst
Can Walker snag enough points this weekend to finish the season with a lower number plate?



59 Comments

  • 156 4
 When you're happy to see a 29er DH bike, just because it's not an e-bike.
  • 40 9
 Soon you'll be talking like that about an Ellsworth... wait for it
  • 41 5
 Love or hate 29er DH bikes.... This is a damn good looking rig.
  • 6 5
 Yep, it looks better than the standard one :-)
  • 2 4
 Agreed. Even the seat is in the right position and not pushed completely forward.
  • 5 2
 Especially since it does not have an orange fork!
  • 1 0
 So nice! I think it comes together better than the 27.5
  • 15 0
 what is the black stuff in the seam where the tire meets the rim, looks like black silicone/rtv
  • 6 3
 Looks like the alien symbiote from Marvel comics.
  • 6 3
 Probably cut tube from ghetto tubeless setup.
  • 7 1
 IT looks like the tire is mounted in a bedding compound of some sort. I'm rather curly myself what they did and why. If they glued the tire to the rim it will be hard to bump the tire and you might be able to ride it down the hill without any air in it. And all that without to much added weight...
  • 3 0
 Good question! A Maxxis WT tire is probably a little too wide for a DT471 rim (25i). I'd guess you're right...it's probably some kind of glue to help keep the tire from burping.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer spill the beans
  • 1 1
 Roadies have been gluing tires to rims since forever. Maybe we're finally doing the same?
  • 1 2
 Has to be ghetto tubeless surely?
  • 2 0
 @jeneson46: on a race bike lol, no way, my guess is black rtv/ gasket maker
  • 1 0
 I'm guessing RTV too. I have been using that to seal the small pin holes in rims/valve stems for a while, never even occurred to me to use it on beads.
  • 3 1
 @ccollord: Maxxis WT tires fit exactly fine on 25mm rims. I have a 2.5 WT Exo minion on the front and a 2.5 standard downhill casing on the back of my 27.5 bike with 25mm rims, and they look exactly the same. Measured them with calipers and one is 62mm one is 63.
  • 1 0
 @jewpowered: Not unheard of, sure I read an article on here where at least of of the WC mechanics were doing it, maaaay have been Sam Hills but don't quote me on that. Looking back at the pic I think you're right anyway. If it is ghetto tubeless then it's been cut with a potato.
  • 2 0
 @jeneson46: Dave Garland was gluing Danny Hart's Schwalbe's on when Danny was riding Giant. I think he was using regular tubular glue.
  • 2 0
 @TEAM-ROBOT: apparently they Felt way better that way
  • 12 2
 Holding out for 30.5" wheels.
  • 4 2
 What I would like to is a new wheelsize bigger than 29" that has 650mm outer rim diameter, that would fk with people's heads...
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: so like a 29+? With boosty boosty boost boost, naturally
  • 2 1
 @piersgritten: if they did make a rim with 650mm outer diameter, the wheel sizes would go (...) 24, 26' 650B, 29' 650mm (...)
  • 4 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Sure, sure...but what will the re-invented wheel be called? Those numbers ain't gonna sell themselves...

@piersgritten And no super-soupy-duper pooper Boost. That's a clunky wide axle standard with heel bashing swingarm tubes and a lot of wasted space. Offset frame spacing and narrower hub OLD will be the new anti- Booster juice in years to come. Mark my words. Soon we can all drink the Anti-boost juice.
  • 7 0
 I've heard a rumour about a 29er roadbike hahahaha
  • 1 0
 I heard they are experimenting 650bs too.
  • 1 1
 Not sure what your intent was here but clearly some people missed it. Nearly all modern road bikes are 29"
  • 2 0
 @DragontalesDH: it's a joke, 700c has been a proven wheel size for an extremely long time
  • 3 0
 @markar: odd, I thought the hahahaha made the joke clear. Never underestimate the comment section I suppose.
  • 2 0
 @markar: Proven by peloton only. If you run another wheel size and got a puncture you can have 3 coffee brake before getting a new wheel...
I always thought road wheels were too small, I won't be surprised to see a bigger wheel size some day just like what is happening now in DH.
  • 1 0
 @qreative-bicycle: But it is the same size wheel !!! just a bigger tire, 29'' is gonna be the standard, any bigger is not gonna happen, 29'' has been proven in world cup xc for years and now Enduro, and DH is starting, I knew this would since 2002 when I tried one
  • 4 1
 Looks fast,lean and mean as! I think I'm ready for a dh29er! Oh wait I'm 5ft8 and live in the flatlands Kent! If only PORC was open I would have an excuse to get it! Rad looking whip though.
  • 6 1
 Looks like a good bicycle.
  • 4 0
 Looks like they've used some kind of bead glue on the tyre to stop burping.
  • 3 0
 is that sylicone coming out of the tire?
  • 1 0
 That Shimano Pro seatpost is like $25 and surprisingly one of the best seatposts (excluding dropper obv) I've ever run. Lightweight, durable and a nice size.
  • 2 1
 This is very interesting to me to read about this very interesting information and to learn about the many wonders of this interesting information.
  • 1 0
 That fekker looks like a freight train. I think I've seen shorter tandem bikes. Crushing hard on this big girl...
  • 2 1
 I am very pleased to have this information so that i can read it and be informed of the information that i am reading about.
  • 1 0
 Whats going on around the bead there in the 3rd to last pic?
  • 1 0
 Spank spray foam, new black color.
  • 1 1
 Wonder if they foam filled the tires?
Doubt it would leak out like that though.
  • 1 0
 Probably glue/adhesive of some sort
  • 1 0
 They mastic the tyres on!
  • 2 0
 (nope)∞
  • 1 1
 I talked about this seven years ago here about downhill 29er bikes are going to rule the world._____o^o______ O^O_______ .
  • 2 0
 Better than an E Bike
  • 1 0
 can someone say diamond back release 3?
  • 3 3
 Can this bike beat Finn's bike?
  • 2 4
 Not a chance
  • 1 2
 still looks raw and ghetto. needs to be more delicate-look and more paint job before entering production imo.
  • 1 0
 Why?
  • 2 3
 Looks Like it Purrrr's
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