Saracen Ariel Carbon LT - Eurobike 2017

Sep 1, 2017
by Paul Aston  
Eurobike 2017


Saracen Ariel cLT


Saracen's Ariel was one of the first trail bikes to aim itself towards the aggressive side of the spectrum. The latest Ariel cLT for 2018 and onwards, is a scaled down version of the Myst carbon downhill bike that I was impressed by last summer. The Ariel will be available in the build pictured here for €5999, or as a frame kit for €2899. There will also be a more affordable option with an alloy front triangle and lower spec build kit.

Sizing and geometry-wise, the frames are a few steps ahead of the previous Ariel, reach numbers range from 415mm to 490mm across four sizes from S to XL. The standard headtube angle is 65º paired with a 74º seat angle. Chainstays are kept short at 435mm.


Saracen Ariel cLT
The Ariel uses the same keyed headtube and changeable cups as the Myst, allowing the reach and head angle to be adjusted.


Saracen Ariel cLT
The Ariel cLT is specced for aggressive riding with a Fox Float X2 that delivers 165mm of travel, and the 36 delivers 170mm at the business end.



Saracen Ariel cLT
The front shock mount uses a large cradle to spread incoming loads.
Saracen Ariel cLT
Just like its bigger brother, the Myst DH bike, both portions of the linkage are carbon.

Saracen Ariel cLT
Saracen Ariel cLT


Saracen Ariel cLT
Saracen is part of the Madison Distribution group in the UK, so it's no surprise to see the bike heavily specced with parts they distribute, like DT Swiss and Shimano.


Saracen Ariel cLT
It's rare to see any Enve parts on any bike under €6000, the Ariel is specced with an Enve DH bar with an 800mm width.


Saracen Ariel cLT
There will also be a frame option, priced at €2899.


Saracen Ariel cLT
12x148 mm dropouts.
Saracen Ariel cLT
Cable routing is all internal and kept in place at the headtube by this rubber port.



98 Comments

  • + 80
 I'm in love!!!
  • + 1
 Arièle la sirène! qu'elle est belle
  • + 1
 Looks beefy!
  • + 0
 It looked awesome until I noticed internal brake hose routing. No thanks
  • + 2
 @RedBurn: moitié femme moitié thon?
  • + 1
 Rode the prototype 4 months ago it was insane!
  • + 56
 Just wow! And its not an E-bike. Beautiful!
  • + 37
 Damn, with the skin walls too!? This is one nice looking bike.
  • - 13
flag fartymarty (Sep 1, 2017 at 6:33) (Below Threshold)
 I'm not a fan.
  • + 15
 @fartymarty: Darn. That's too bad Frown
  • + 0
 @LucWicklund: reminds me if the early 90s when the only tyres you could get were skin wall except Contis.
  • + 6
 @fartymarty: we'll put you down in the no column
  • + 4
 @bmoore34: looks like im getting voted that way anyway. I do like the look of the bike if that's any consolation.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: ugliest tires on the market
  • + 1
 @simooo: at least someone agrees. Cheers.
  • + 1
 Does Maxxis offer this as a service to customers?
  • + 2
 @fartymarty: I think they would look great with my manbun though
  • + 31
 saracen always do weird specs, slx and enve?! Just, what?!
  • + 7
 I was thinking the same exact thing. That may be the strangest factory mix I've seen. The bike overall looks amazing though. The exit for the rear mech cable is spot on. Such a simple detail but it keeps the cable housing out of harms way.
  • + 27
 I like that. Give me an Enve Carbon bar over some XTR mechs any day.
  • + 26
 Thats an XT build isn't it? I think its the best way to do it. People want top of line suspension and frame, but beat the crap out of drive trains, so having something that is durable and affordable on a bike like that is worthwhile.
  • + 9
 When it comes to contact points, it makes sense to choose quality. Obviously, it's a preference thing, but if a bike comes with a crap bar, it's one of the first things I'd swap out. SLX is serviceable, if a little heavy. Eliminating vibration through the hands while maintaining the right stiffness makes sense to me.
  • + 5
 Nice frame, nice suspension, unreasonably nice wheels, good contact points, basic but well proven drivetrain... sounds like mountainbike priorites done right, actually
  • + 13
 Nice! but...no place fot bottle
  • + 6
 Best looking bike I've seen in a while!!
  • + 6
 What's with that headset?
  • + 4
 Taller bottom headset cup slackens HT angles (while increase stack height). If you just need to adjust stack height but want to preserve HT angles then use spacers above or taller top headset cups. Pretty simple.
  • + 3
 Did you read the article?
  • + 5
 Holly shit! Those main link bearings are DH size...
  • + 4
 these colors ..... WOAW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Eek
  • + 2
 Its not hate but why and who likes those 20years ago tyres look ?What´s for the clear brown baby diarrehea color lateral band ?
Sugestions ???
  • + 3
 I like it. I like the colours very much and I can't see what you mean by baby diarrhoea www.babycenter.com/baby-poop-photos
  • + 1
 Where have you been man? diarrhea colour band tires are so hot right now. Hot diarrhea.
  • + 1
 It is a bit of a pitty that the headtubes are so short. It would give a huge Stack of spacers and a highriser for me... The seattube is really Long enough, it is 2017 and we have up to 200mm dropposts...
  • + 1
 Would it also be able to take an external headset? That would help you with a bit more stack.
  • + 4
 The head tube looks like a mini keg!
  • + 4
 Skin-walls should stay in the 90s...1890s, that is.
  • + 1
 Nope. They're rad. Embrace the style of yesteryear in an age where most styles suck. Those walls look sick.
  • + 1
 Just hope it doesn't suffer from those terrible bushings in the rear linkage like the old ones. Completely ruined ownership off that bike for me needing to replace them ever other week.
  • + 1
 Looks good, but I don't agree with the one-sided cable entry on the headtube. Makes for some really strange and unnatural curves for the housing/hoses IMO. I mean, look at that dropper lever housing all bent out of whack!
  • + 3
 Orange bikes are single pivot, simple. This one is also single pivot, glorified!
  • + 3
 well, people here talks about looks mainly. and oranges are... not very sexy
  • + 0
 Agreed, glad you said it first. There is no change in the instant center throughout the travel of the swingarm. Therefore it is by definition a single pivot. We'll get labeled as "cave dwelling Trogoldytes" by other users next. As I and everyone else who likes single pivots was labeled by the number one comment in the article about the new Orange DH bike.
  • + 4
 I like it. Simple clean and I even like the paint scheme.
  • + 4
 Smashed it. Looks tops.
  • + 2
 Lovely. Odd that the shifter is SLX and has the bloody number window on it as well. Super cheap.
  • + 3
 So they got rid of the AWFUL Norglide "bearings" then?
  • + 2
 About time. Utterly ruined the original that did
  • + 2
 I like how tidy bikes have become with all that internal routing. Thos bike looks good.
  • + 2
 have to admit I Likie !!!, Remind me of APP bike [Butcher] that was killer good ...
  • + 2
 I get excited about a lot of new bikes, but this one legitimately gave me a stiffy. That bike is a looker.
  • + 3
 Love the dual color scheme.
  • + 3
 Frame looks cool Paint and built must be an english thing.
  • + 2
 I'm definitely not a fan of military colors on my bike, like the new Nomad which is the same horrible color that Tacomas come in. I guess it's backlash to the neon colors???
  • + 2
 I like it. Nice touch with the headset. I assume they supply the offset cups to change the reach / angle?
  • + 0
 With madison/sportline as the distributor, probably not.
  • + 1
 Half of the team DH bikes I saw a while ago were using Works headsets so I assume if Saracen don't have decent options they will. Like the idea, I hate the trend of moving to IS headtubes like Santa Cruz and Trek have done - easier to manufacture but no more adjustment for us.
  • + 2
 On the Myst, you can only adjust the reach. Stay at 0mm or switch the cups to excentric ones and adjust +/- 5mm.
They supply the cups on the high end model.
I think it's going to be the same with the Ariel LT. This is a mini-downhill bike, i'd love to try it.
  • + 1
 @johnnyrider: they had works angle headsets in the team DH frame I took a peek at in some race pits.
  • + 2
 @Racer951: Yeah, I was talking about stock bikes. The angle headsets make possible for the team to tweak geometries but they've never been installed on stock bikes yet.
Maybe they will produce cups to adjust the head angle too.
  • + 1
 @johnnyrider: ah right, got you.

Nice bikes Saracen are putting out now, they don't get the attention they deserve.
  • + 3
 Beautiful bike! But 6k for m1900, slx-xt mix? All for the Enve bar!
  • + 1
 The style of the front end reminds me of the Marin w/o the horrible looking rear end
  • + 2
 Reminds me of the Pivot Firebird but a bit prettier, like Manon pretty.
  • + 2
 Would be helpful if the article mentioned wheel size
  • + 2
 LOVE the skinwall tires! They need to make these is a MAXXIS Minion 2.5WT.
  • + 1
 I love the look of this bike however a longer seat tube for taller riders and a bottle mount would have been nice.
  • + 1
 You're gonna need a cane creek slam set for that head tube (and then riser bars) from
  • + 1
 Mate snapped two kili flyers, about 6 rides apparently, full refund mind.
  • + 2
 Single Pivot?
  • + 1
 Is this the same linkage as the TR250?
  • + 1
 More of a head bucket than head tube
  • + 1
 It's a Firebird with longer chainstays!
  • + 1
 Get this beauty on over to the US!
  • + 2
 Cool bike!
  • + 1
 Taking bars to a whole new level, 800m?!
  • + 2
 Cut them if you want, this way no one has to replace their expensive carbon bar because it's too narrow
  • + 1
 @src248:

I was poking fun at the 800m.

I'm pretty sure he meant 800mm.


EDIT: author edited the 800m to 800mm.
  • + 1
 What suspension linkage design is this? DW Link / four bar / VPP? Thanks
  • + 6
 It appears to be a linkage driven single pivot
  • + 1
 That linkage is uuuuuggggggllllleeeeeeeee.
  • + 2
 Whatta beauty!! *_*
  • + 1
 That shock looks super big..
  • + 2
 Dear wallet....
  • + 1
 Such a nice bike Smile
  • + 1
 Whoops, "bottle"
  • + 0
 That looks like an incredibly well thought out frame
  • + 1
 Love it
  • + 1
 nice looking
  • + 1
 No bootle cage mount?
  • + 2
 just gotta drill 2 little holes on the top tube... nothing !
  • + 2
 @RedBurn: yes, I do this to my €2,900 carbon frames all the time.
  • + 3
 Same, not a big deal @Myfianceemademedoit:
  • - 1
 Lost me at the skinwall tires
  • + 3
 It comes with a set of black wall Minions as well.
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