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 Post subject: 1988 Saracen Blizzard
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:05 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
In the absence of the 1988 Saracen catalogue, I only found out about the Blizzard a few weeks ago when one appeared on ebay. Then a second one was posted up in the Early Saracen Lovers Anonymous thread by Antstark. He said that he'd only bought it for the front brake so I sent him a PM to see what he was doing with the rest of the bike.

So a couple of weeks later, with help from Jonnyboy666, I picked up a 'rolling chassis' ie everything minus the crank-set, rear mech, brake levers, shifters, tyres and saddle.

I had intended to build it up with some a nice period correct Deore MT-60 six speed groupset which I had already gathered together over the past few years.
Then Antstark sent me a scan from MBUK showing the original spec. I checked my parts collection and it turned out I had most of an Exage Mountain groupset, which for some reason included two U-brakes and two front mechs.
They weren't even required though as frameset I'd bought already had the U-brake and front mech fitted. I seem to have unwittingly accumulated a surplus of M450 parts...

Anyway, suffice to say the MT-60 can wait for another bike and I've gone with Exage Mountain for this 1988 Blizzard. The headset and non cartridge bottom bracket are original and still in good condition. Surprisingly, the BB cups weren't even seized into the BB shell, so it's all been cleaned and regreased.

So here are some photos from a little test ride this afternoon.

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1988 Saracen Blizzard - complete with colour matched reflector brackets

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Proper late eighties graphics and colour scheme

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Tange MTB Double Butted tubing

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Colour matched Saracen bottle cage

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Exage Mountain M450 front mech

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Exage Mountain Biopace chainrings

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Battered Shimano 18 speed SIS chainstay decal

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Exage Mountain M450 rear mech

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Shimano rear mech guard and solid axle Exage Mountain rear hub

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Six speed Uniglide cassette

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Exage Mountain M450 front hub

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Araya rims

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"He'll grow into it" seatpost markings. The head of the post is also colour matched in white

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Exage Trail M350 pedals

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Exage Mountain M450 combined shifters and brake levers

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Exage Trail M350 front cantilever brake - fitted with modern pads - rear brake is an Exage Mountain U-brake under the chainstay

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Colour matched goose neck stem and steel bars

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Front brake stem roller

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Fitted with Tioga Farmer John's Nephew tyres and a re-covered Turbo saddle

I finished building this up today and took it out for a ride this afternoon. The first thing that I liked was how much this bike looks like my old 1988 Peugeot Ranger, my first mountain bike way back in 1988. The goose neck stem, long wheel base and ride position felt very familiar and comfortable.

It certainly has patina and I will sort out some of the worst areas of rust, but I doubt it will get a full restoration.

In short, I really like it.

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Original spec taken from MBUK Volume One - Issue One.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:17 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 1:26 pm
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Very nice Paul, I likey , There was one in Bristol recently but was huger than huge, yours looks spot on 8)

Not to be confused with an Apollo Blizzard remember :)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:32 pm 
National & North West AEC
National & North West AEC
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Location: Macclesfield Forest
Gravy Monster wrote:
Very nice Paul, I likey , There was one in Bristol recently but was huger than huge, yours looks spot on 8)


Oh good grief, the Apollo Blizzard, I'd forgotten about that horror.

The nice thing about this one is that, at 20 inches, the frame fits me perfectly unlike the huge 1987 Tufftrax that I will probably never get built up.
Next in line for completion should be that 1991 Trekker Hydrotech I picked up from you James quite some time ago.

I'm determined to get some more build threads finished and linked up to my signature.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:05 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 1:31 am
Posts: 3373
Location: Stockport ..
Wow i'd forgotten about the Saracen Blizzard and yours looks great so what you gonna do about the rust as id be tempted to use either some kurust or Hammerite smooth and tbh i've still never seen a Blizzard in the metal as i use to own a yellow 87 Trekker which was a fun bike to chuck around as that was 17" if i remember rightly and a 19" would of been the proper size for me lol .


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:09 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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drystonepaul wrote:

Next in line for completion should be that 1991 Trekker Hydrotech I picked up from you James quite some time ago.


Ahhhhhh which reminds me ..... I found the other black LX crank arm, you must have the lot for the bike now ;)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:37 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
Muddy paw wrote:
Wow i'd forgotten about the Saracen Blizzard and yours looks great so what you gonna do about the rust as id be tempted to use either some kurust or Hammerite smooth and tbh i've still never seen a Blizzard in the metal as i use to own a yellow 87 Trekker which was a fun bike to chuck around as that was 17" if i remember rightly and a 19" would of been the proper size for me lol .


I was thinking of Kurust on a larger section of bare and rusty metal under the downtube. For everything else it'll probably be a rub down and touch up with something like Hammerite.

Gravy Monster wrote:
Ahhhhhh which reminds me ..... I found the other black LX crank arm, you must have the lot for the bike now ;)

James that would be great. Just need a crankset and BB to finish it.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:20 pm 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider

Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:05 pm
Posts: 5656
Location: Aberdeen
That looks nice, some interesting touches.
I dig the 80's decals, and the front brake cable roller is 8)


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:38 am 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:09 am
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Location: Devon
I'm no Saracen expert, but it's weird that up until a month ago I hadn't even heard of the Blizzard and then there were two on eBay in the space of a month!

Anyway, I really like the look, it seems in pretty good nick too. The decals are brilliant as they were for all in that era, the colour with the pink bottle cage as well is ace.

The upright stem looks great with the roller too, imagine the front end is eager to pop up.

Really nice addition to the fleet.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:09 am 
BoTM Winner / retrobike rider
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 8:24 pm
Posts: 5669
Location: Dorset
I like! :D


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:19 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:34 pm
Posts: 1398
Location: worthing
Very nice, looks a nice comfy riding position too , and that roller on the stem is sooo good :D
Paul


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