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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:28 pm
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Location: Bexley
After recently completing the restoration of my Trek Y3.........

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I started looking around for something cheap to do as my next 'project' I thought about Muddy Fox, Haro & Saracen. However after reading most of the Early Saracen Lovers Anonymous thread (all 64 pages) I decided I would like to restore a Saracen. Typically no sooner had I decided on the bike they all disappear from ebay & any left seem to all move North of Manchester. Not helpfull if like me you live in Kent! Anyway I finally stumble upon this 'Rufftrax' with the emphasis deffinatly on 'Ruff'

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As you can tell my bid was the winning bid & I picked it up last Saturday.

Dismantled & cleaned (most of it) on Sunday

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Anyway, I was thinking of just cleaning it up new cables etc & putting her back together, but now I'm thinking of powdercoating her, providing I can get a colour match (the green is a loverly colour in the flesh). But is this a waste of money? As the bike is nothing special (only £199.99 when new in 1996) I am seeking the collectives view on this?

I also would like to know did they have black or silver rims when new?
Quick release or bolt on?

Can anyone identify the make (logo) on the bars.....

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Although I must say, the previous owner probably never did any work on this bike yet it came apart with relative easy & appears extreamly well put together.

Anyone know what seat & seatpost they used when they were new as I will definatly require a new seat & the seat post does not look great either.
Along with new hand grips, any particular type? The grip shift grears are going back on.

New stickers will be applied, its just whether or not I go for the powder coat really.........

One final question were the quill stems branded Saracen or were they Kalin? Answers on a postcard please :D


Last edited by 1997BlackC5 on Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:12 pm 
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1997BlackC5 wrote:
...but now I'm thinking of powdercoating her, providing I can get a colour match (the green is a loverly colour in the flesh). But is this a waste of money?

Not everybody has good words to say about Saracens, but most people agree that they were sprayed with good quality paint which could take a fair bit of punishment before it would chip. So keeping the original paint does have its advantages...
1997BlackC5 wrote:
As the bike is nothing special (only £199.99 when new in 1996) I am seeking the collectives view on this?

It might have been "nothing special" in 1996 -- but after that year, they got considerably worse... ;) :lol:

1997BlackC5 wrote:
I also would like to know did they have black or silver rims when new?
Quick release or bolt on?

Silver, quick release.

1997BlackC5 wrote:
Can anyone identify the make (logo) on the bars.....

I haven't seen that before. The bars on my 1993 Saracen were Ritchey.

1997BlackC5 wrote:
Although I must say, the previous owner probably never did any work on this bike yet it came apart with relative easy & appears extreamly well put together.

Saracens are solid bikes and IMHO under-rated.

1997BlackC5 wrote:
Anyone know what seat & seatpost they used when they were new as I will definatly require a new seat & the seat post does not look great either.

My original seatpost was Kalloy, seat was Saracen own brand (see photo).

1997BlackC5 wrote:
One final question were the quill stems branded Saracen or were they Kalin? Answers on a postcard please :D

The quill stem on mine wasn't branded at all, although I seem to remember that earlier Saracens used Ritchey stems... :?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:01 pm 
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Thankyou JohnH, some interesting info in your reply. Maybe I could get myself some period Ritchey parts if I'm unable to source Saracen bits. At least it will still be in keeping with the brand.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 4:58 pm 
National & North West AEC
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Location: Macclesfield Forest
Saracen generally sourced many of their parts from a variety of mostly Far Eastern manufacturers .
Seatposts, stems and bars varied from Kalloy, Kalin and Zoom. They also had saddles from Velo and Vetta amongst others.
The stem on yours looks very much like a Zoom and it's probably original.

Like many manufacturers Saracen also had components branded as their own, but they didn't actually manufacture them.
It's possible to get most of the finishing kit with Saracen branding, particularly during the earlier part of the 90's.
As mentioned some of the mid to higher range bikes had Ritchey branded kit too.

Anyway, your bike may already be powdercoated, (most Saracens were) so I'd hesitate about re-doing it as it still wears it's original decals too. Just clean up any exposed rusting metal and touch it up perhaps

I'd look to modestly upgrade the components though.
That one looks like a prime candidate for an STX build.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:44 pm 
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1997BlackC5 wrote:
Thankyou JohnH, some interesting info in your reply. Maybe I could get myself some period Ritchey parts if I'm unable to source Saracen bits. At least it will still be in keeping with the brand.

No problem, fella! :) Drystonepaul has a greater knowledge of Saracens than me, so his advice is always worth taking onboard.

Oh, and I've found you some replacement grips... ;)
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Bicycle-Team-Sara ... 0626119668


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:24 am 
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Thanks for the replies guys, JohnH, I saw those grips on ebay & was tempted but they have been cut down & after the comments made by drtstonepaul re a possible STX build, I many now go for some Ritchey grips possibly the lock-on ones as it won't be origional but Ritchey parts were used by Saracen in the past.

My origional thinking was to strip clean up & re-assemble........but now looks like I might be spending some STX cash :D

Just a thought though, are the quick fire gear shifters much better than the grip shift type? I've always swapped out any bike I've had with grip shift to take the quick fire style shifters so was thinking maybe I'd run with the grip shift on this one for a change?

I take the point re-powder coating, so new thought would be to take the frame to a local paint shop & see if he could mix up a match for me to do some touching up.

PS am I correct in saying the Rufftrax was on Duro tyres when new?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:56 am 
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If you want an objective answer, you're asking the wrong guy -- I can't stand gripshifts and would go for trigger shifters every time! :)

As for the original spec of the '96 Rufftrax, scroll down to the 11th post on this page... ;)
http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=77620


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:10 am 
Retro Guru

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Location: Bexley
Great spot JohnH, thanks for that very interesting, good to see I was on the money with Duro tyres!!! (That makes a change) :D

Can anyone tell me, is there a significant difference between Shimano 21 gears Tourney rear mech & derailer vs the SLX versions?

If there is much of a difference is it a weight saving thing or a smoother shift or a combination of both?

Thanks once again guys


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:12 am 
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Location: Bexley
Sorry I ment STX version.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:10 pm 
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Well, Tourney was in the 1990s what Acera is today -- Shimano's cheapest range of components. STX should be a major step up in terms of build quality and the amount of hammer that they'll take before clapping out on you.

My Sahara shipped with Altus (modern equivalent: Alivio), and they worked fine for many years until I upgraded them. In fact I've kept those components, and they will be going back onto the Saracen when I move all of the upgraded kit to the modern frame that I keep promising myself.

The Tourney components may be cheap and cheerful, but they're already paid for -- so maybe it's worth finding out whether they do the job and deciding from that how desperately they need changing... :?


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