Founded in 1987 in Warwick, Saracen is one of Britain’s best-known cycling brands, and was a leader in the field of mountain bikes throughout the 1990s. In 2009, the brand was acquired by Madison, the UK’s biggest distributor to independent bike shops, and also home to companies such as Genesis and Ridgeback, and it was relaunched successfully in 2010.
Part of Madison’s plans included a development-focused race team, and the Madison Saracen team, formed in 2011, is currently managed by former British mountain biking champion and British Cycling Downhill Co-ordinator Will Longden. The team’s leading rider is downhiller Manon Carpenter, who has won multiple World Cup podiums, the 2011 Junior World Cup series, 2011 Junior World Championship and a bronze medal at the 2012 World Championships.
Other downhillers on the all-British team are Sam Dale, and new additions for 2014 Matt Simmonds and Jack Geoghegan. All members of the team ride the Saracen Myst Team downhill bike, which features low-slung lines, the Myst custom butted tubeset featuring a carbon fibre swingarm, Fox fork and rear shock, and Shimano Saint groupset.
Apart from the Myst, Saracen offer a full range of mountain bikes, including all-mountain, trail, dirt jump and Sport MTB models. The two 27.5” all-mountain models are the Ariel and the Kili Flyer, both of which are built around Saracen’s signature TRL (Tuned Ride Link) suspension system.