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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:07 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:02 am
Posts: 53
Location: UK
Just got a Saracen Sahara SE for £26, which I'm going to convert to a tourer.
It came with Weinman Bontrager B3C wheels with Exage hubs, and a Maxdrive cromo fork.
Are these any good or best swapped out?
The fork looks a bit iffy to me, kind of pretend suspension, though isn't. I was going to swap it for a Kona P2, but don't know it that's heavier/worse. Wheels, I've got a few hanging around, but never come across the Weinman Bontrager.

Anyone got an opinion.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:42 pm 
National & North West AEC
National & North West AEC
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:43 am
Posts: 8146
Location: Macclesfield Forest
Hello.
Firstly the Sahara SE will date from around 1994 or 1995 so you are probably best asking questions about it in the pre 1998 section rather than post 1998.

This is the one off eBay I assume?
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Saracen-Sahara-El ... _500wt_950
So it did come with wheels then...?

Anyway, it will be a well built frame and perhaps just one or two of the main tubes will be butted to save a little weight and add a bit of compliance. It will be a bit on the heavy side though.
The Saracen frames of that period ride nicely and last forever.

I'd certainly recommend replacing the forks with rigid ones, especially for touring. P2's are a good option assuming they don't have too long an axle to crown measurement, ie corrected for 100mm + suspension forks.
If the AtoC measurement is 390mm or less then the P2's should be fine. Any longer and the front end of the bike will be too high and your steering angles will be very slack.
Personally I prefer curved blade forks for touring as they have a bit a give to them. Comfort is everything on long tours.

Exage hubs can last for a very long time if they a serviced every year or so. They aren't as well sealed as the Shimano hubs further up the ranges so they are more susceptible to water and dirt ingress. But if you strip them down and re-grease them annually, and replace the bearings every couple of years or so, then they will pretty much last forever.
I've a few pairs of wheels with Exage hubs and they work just fine.

The Bontrager rims are not eyeletted so they aren't as strong as those with eyelets. That said, if the rim braking surfaces are in good condition and they are true and with evenly tensioned spokes, then they should give you no problems either.
I also have a set of wheels with those rims.

It'd be nice to see some photos now you've got it.
A real bargain by the way.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:46 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:02 am
Posts: 53
Location: UK
Thanks for that. yes, it was that one. Basically, the seller found the wheels and two bontrager slicks (unsued) at the back of the shed after the sale. (he'd moved into the house and found the frame in the shed), and said I could take them. Didn't even try and sell them, which was nice.
I've got an assortment of wheels I could fit. Just need to sort out which are best. Trouble is, I've been out of the mountain bike scene for a good while now (having been more road/touring on 700s), and so don't really know the worth of them.
I've got a set of Rigida Turbo 90s with Parallax hubs, which look nice. I was given them. Do you know how good they are? Also got a spare set of wheels off a GT LTS 3000 DS (my last remaining mountain bike), but from memory, the hubs are GT proprietry and rims? Can't remember.

I'm about to strip it down and get it either powdercoated or, if that costs too much, spray paint it. Depends on if the bloke at the local powdershop ever bothers to answer his phone.

I'll take some pics when it's done and post them.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:47 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:02 am
Posts: 53
Location: UK
Oh, admins, any chance of moving this to the <1998 board, thanks.


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