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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:24 pm 
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therealkw15 wrote:
big.eck wrote:
GoldenEraMTB wrote:
just for reference, what american brand would be the equivalent?


prob a wallmart special :lol: :lol: :lol:

good question actually :?


I realise that you are going for devil's advocacy here, but given that the older Saracens had very good build quality, used good tubing, used good componentry, and had incredibly durable (and vivid) finishes, the comparison made is clearly not even close.

At the time I bought mine (1989), there was no question in my mind that the Tufftrax was a better proposition than the overtly Far Eastern built Rockhopper and its ilk (on the basis of tubes, groupset, wheels, appearance...), and comparable with the Stumpy. As it is still running sweetly and in near daily use 20 years later, I've never regretted buying it.

So I would say Specialized level or better for the old steel Saracens :)


Thanks for the perspective :)

I could see it being like Specialized in its early days...good stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Kili Comp
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:48 pm 
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Carlos the Slackal wrote:
Sidster wrote:
konatime wrote:
Kili Comp


'What a wishbone'


Those frames were lovely. The wishbone was just beautiful to look at, and even the cable guides were a cut above!

That was pretty much the last of the good era, IMO, before the rot set in.


Does the wishbone being specifically under the top bar relate to a particular frame riding characteristic? (forgive my ignorance if this is a stupid question)


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:17 pm 
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therealkw15 wrote:
big.eck wrote:
GoldenEraMTB wrote:
just for reference, what american brand would be the equivalent?


prob a wallmart special :lol: :lol: :lol:

good question actually :?


I realise that you are going for devil's advocacy here, but given that the older Saracens had very good build quality, used good tubing, used good componentry, and had incredibly durable (and vivid) finishes, the comparison made is clearly not even close.

At the time I bought mine (1989), there was no question in my mind that the Tufftrax was a better proposition than the overtly Far Eastern built Rockhopper and its ilk (on the basis of tubes, groupset, wheels, appearance...), and comparable with the Stumpy. As it is still running sweetly and in near daily use 20 years later, I've never regretted buying it.

So I would say Specialized level or better for the old steel Saracens :)


i agree with you 100% there :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:12 am 
National & North West AEC
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It's a bit difficult to make any comparison with a US brand as the history of Saracen is relatively long and varied. If you concentrate on the earliest days then I guess the Specialized comparison isn't a bad one, as they both had frames copied from Ritcheys.
Interestingly the earliest incarnations of what would later become the Saracen brand were also essentially copies of Ritchey frames. [See below]

Bob Jackson built Saracen Conquests were also the bikes used by Nicholas and Richard Crane to sucessfully conquer Mount Kilimanjaro in 1984.
The 'Kili' sub brand has been around ever since.

The Saracen brand was undoubtedly a very important part of mountain bike history in the UK, but unfortunately as often happens, the brand lost it's way at some point in the mid-nineties.
But under new management and investment with Madison, some of the new 2010 bikes are actually looking pretty good.
Anyway here is an extract from the early history of UK mountain biking straight from Graham John Wallace.

GrahamJohnWallace wrote:
By the end of 1982 American built Ritchey's were being brought into England. I remember it being received wisdom that Norman Hiller of Covent Garden Cycles brought over the first purpose built US Mountain Bike, an early Tom Ritchey built Bike. Others claim that either Journalist Richard Grant or Richard Ballantine brought across the first Ritchey's from the States. Richard Ballantine's two bikes brought over for a Saharan expedition were the inspiration London bike shop, F.W. Evans Cycles, to design a Mountain Bike that became the F.W. Evans ATB, Saracen ATB. Both bikes were identical, apart from the first being usually painted silver and the latter being painted black or red. In July 1984 I hired a black F.W. Evans ATB from Kingston Cycles, its frame number was 001.



Which was the first Mountain Bike mass-produced in Britain? Raleigh Bomber? 1981 (I don’t think so). They were American style Beach Cruisers. Only three speed hub gears, caliper brakes and small frame/seat Designed for teenagers who were outgrowing their BMX bikes.

Early 1984 F.W. Evans ATB/Saracen ATB? (Manufactured by Bluemels).
In 1982/3, Richard Ballantine asked London bike shop F.W. Evans Cycles to build up two Ritchey frames he had brought from the U.S. for Tim Gartside's and Peter Murphy's ,February 1983, Saharan expedition. Evans were curios and persuaded Bluemels to build some bikes based on what they had seen. The resulting F.W. Evans ATBs were mostly silver and branded under the shops own marque. The Bluemels’ own Saracens bikes were identical, apart from being painted black.


The rest of this thread is here:
http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7667


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:56 pm 
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'93 Saracen Kili XTR Elite:

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Full story in my signature. :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:01 pm 
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could we do less typing and more posting of pictures?


Please post here on the merits of the brand as theres 40 odd pages of gassing on about them:

http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... ht=saracen


Theres some bloody good saracens on this site and hardly any are posted...


:evil:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:46 pm 
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That 93/94 kili xtr will deffo get my vote. Very smart.

LGF I will put mine up soon I promise.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:42 pm 
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yummy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:42 pm 
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My killi racer. Needs amberwalls I know but I ride it far to much!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:46 pm 
National & North West AEC
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legrandefromage wrote:
could we do less typing and more posting of pictures?


Please post here on the merits of the brand as theres 40 odd pages of gassing on about them:

http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... ht=saracen


Theres some bloody good saracens on this site and hardly any are posted...


:evil:


Sorry LGF. Just providing a bit of background while Saracens are firmly in the spotlight... :oops:

I agree that there are still too many nice Saracens that haven't been entered yet.

Where are you all?

BTW. I love the Kili XTR. 8)


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