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. 1988 Saracen Blizzard - complete with colour matched reflector bracketsProper late eighties graphics and colour schemeTange MTB Double Butted tubingColour matched Saracen bottle cageExage Mountain M450 front mechExage Mountain Biopace chainringsBattered Shimano 18 speed SIS chainstay decalExage Mountain M450 rear mechShimano rear mech guard and solid axle Exage Mountain rear hubSix speed Uniglide cassetteExage Mountain M450 front hubAraya rims"He'll grow into it" seatpost markings. The head of the post is also colour matched in whiteExage Trail M350 pedalsExage Mountain M450 combined shifters and brake leversExage Trail M350 front cantilever brake - fitted with modern pads - rear brake is an Exage Mountain U-brake under the chainstayColour matched goose neck stem and steel barsFront brake stem rollerFitted 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.
Original spec taken from MBUK Volume One - Issue One.