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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 12:09 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:55 am
Posts: 3206
Location: Dorset
I cant decide which project to build 1st.

I have a Univega Alpina Racelite 500 which feels nice and light and is a nice looking frame/forks and an early 90's Saracen Tange frames Traverse.

But cant decide which to build first, any thoughts on which would be a better ride ?

Have a load of STX kit, some Chinook rims with LX hubs and some V brakes to build them with. Just want a simple offroad bike thats strong and simple to repair.

Anyone ridden both ?

I have ridden quite a few Saracen and like them, but you know how it is, something new staring at me from across the shed :wink:

Or should I man up and decide myself :)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 7:36 pm 
National & North West AEC
National & North West AEC
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:43 am
Posts: 8165
Location: Macclesfield Forest
Do you know what year either of these bikes are? (Photos would help identify them)

The Univega will be no older than 1994 whereas the Saracen could be as early as 1989.

STX appeared in 1994 so purely on that basis I'd be leaning towards the Univega.

Again, it would be good to see some photos of what you've got to make a more informed decision.

I have several Saracens, but only one Univega. Two of the Saracens are Traverses from 1992 and 1993. The Univega is an Alpina from 1993.
I really like all three, and there isn't much to choose between them. I've raced both the 92 Traverse and the 93 Univega at Mountain Mayhem in the past couple of years. Great fun to ride.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 8:48 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:55 am
Posts: 3206
Location: Dorset
That's a stroke of luck you owning both :P

This is the Saracen Traverse, I like the old girl she has done me proud, feels solid and bombproof. Just going to fit some v brakes and maybe a little upgrade to STX RC. Got her for Karma too 8)

But you know how it is the grass is always greener, I keep looking at the Univega frame and forks and wondering :wink:

I bought the Univega to turn into a road fitness bike but find myself riding less and less roads and more off road which got me thinking which was the best.

Image


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 8:15 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2014 10:35 am
Posts: 54
Location: Milton Keynes
I've got a 1995 Univega Alpina 504, it came as stock with STX/LX kit so the build you're talking about would suit it down to the ground. It's a really light, sweet handling frame, quite supple not too stiff so depends what you want to do with it. Not ridden a Saracen so can't help you there - good luck!

By the way the tyre clearance is really good on these frames so if you're putting knobblies on the Univega should be a good choice.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 8:28 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:55 am
Posts: 3206
Location: Dorset
Max Mudroom wrote:
I've got a 1995 Univega Alpina 504, it came as stock with STX/LX kit so the build you're talking about would suit it down to the ground. It's a really light, sweet handling frame, quite supple not too stiff so depends what you want to do with it. Not ridden a Saracen so can't help you there - good luck!

By the way the tyre clearance is really good on these frames so if you're putting knobblies on the Univega should be a good choice.


Thanks for the info :)

Sounds like the Univega's ride nice, since I am creeping up in age I am not about to go launching myself down a mountain a 50mph I just want something pretty light and forgiving that I can explore to Dorset countryside with the odd manic 5 minutes when the mood takes me.

I have some STX RC kits to build it with, keeping it pretty retro, but am going to wimp out and fit some v brakes :oops:

I shall keep the Saracen just out of sentimentality, its one of the cheapest (Free) and best bikes I have owned 8)

I get your username now :)


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:53 pm 
National & North West AEC
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:43 am
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Location: Macclesfield Forest
The Saracen is around a 1999/2000 model year. I have the catalogue scans for this period so I could check to be exact.

Unfortunately this was into the time when the quality and reputation of the Saracen bikes nose dived until the original company was dissolved in 2005. Madison bought the remnants of the Saracen brand about a year later and have done a pretty good job of reviving it since then.

I'd go with the Univega.


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:20 am 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:55 am
Posts: 3206
Location: Dorset
drystonepaul wrote:
The Saracen is around a 1999/2000 model year. I have the catalogue scans for this period so I could check to be exact.

Unfortunately this was into the time when the quality and reputation of the Saracen bikes nose dived until the original company was dissolved in 2005. Madison bought the remnants of the Saracen brand about a year later and have done a pretty good job of reviving it since then.

I'd go with the Univega.


Thanks for the info Chap 8)

I have started building the Univega and so far if feels pretty light, just got to wait for a few final bit and then I should be done.

I got the Saracen as Karma, so when the Univega's all done I shall offer the Saracen out :)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:47 am 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2014 10:35 am
Posts: 54
Location: Milton Keynes
widowmaker wrote:
Sounds like the Univega's ride nice, since I am creeping up in age I am not about to go launching myself down a mountain a 50mph I just want something pretty light and forgiving that I can explore to Dorset countryside with the odd manic 5 minutes when the mood takes me.



Should be just right for your needs, then. I picked my 504 up earlier this year and it was the first steel bike I have ridden for absolutely ages. I was struck by how whippy it felt to me at first, you could say 'compliant', compared to a stiff modern alloy frame, but it didn't feel sloppy. The top-routed brake cable goes 'ping' against the frame over bumps so you know the frame is flexing and taking the sting out. That's probably too flexy for some people but if you're not racing or running any suspension it then it should feel pretty good.


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