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 Post subject: 1996 Saracen Powertrax
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 11:56 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:48 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Derbyshire
I've had this Saracen for about 3 or 4 years now and I thought it deserved it's place in the spotlight here before I moved it on. It came up on ebay quite close to me with little interest being shown. A mate of mine had a similar bike previously which he raved about before it got nicked, so after a few cheeky bids I picked this one up for a very reasonable sum.

It needed a bit of TLC before I could ride it - the chain was woefully worn and the cassette had teeth missing altogether on a couple of sprockets but they were all easily replaced. The frame is nice and straight although the epoxy powdercoat is showing some battle scars and the decals are peeling in many places. The rest of the bike was bang-on, just a quick clean and adjustments to the gears and brakes was all it needed. The Alivio rapidfire shifters are nice and slick. They don't have indicators which can be a pain remembering what gear you're in, but that's a minor niggle, they're much more preferable than the equivalent twisty gripshifters!

I have to say that out of all the rigid MTB's I've ridden, this has to be the most comfortable. There's a springiness in the frame from the chromoly steel that seems to isolate you from the worst of the terrain without sapping energy from your momentum. And that stem... well, talk about upright! You certainly have no reach problems and your arms never complain especially with the bar-ends to play with. Granted, it doesn't encourage racy behaviour, but since this bike was high enough up the line to get an aheadset, changing the stem out is simplicity itself. I just kept it as I found it because I liked the position it gave you.

Spec: So this is what £400 in 1996 bought you...

Frame: 18" Tange MTB - Chromoly butted custom main frame tubes in dark green epoxy powder-coat

Fork: Saracen Max-Drive rigid - Tange Chromoly superlight tapered fork

Headset: Tioga "Alchemy" aheadset
Stem: Acor one piece "high rise" replacement alloy stem - original would have been chromoly
Handlebar: Saracen light alloy
Grips: black rubber "ribbed" (may be original?)
Barends: Kalin silver alloy

Brakes: Shimano Alivio cantilever
Brake Pads: Fibrax
Brake Cables: Shimano original outers - standard inners
Cantilever cable hangers: Shimano "one leg" style
Brake Levers: Tektro

Shifters: Shimano Alivio rapidfire 3x7 speed
Front Derailleur: Alivio MTB triple top pull clamp-on (28.6mm?)
Rear Derailleur: Alivio RD-MC14
Derailleur Cables: Shimano original outers - standard inners
Cassette: Replacement Shimano HG 11-28T
Chain: Replacement 7/8 speed KMC or Shimano HG (can't remember!)
Cranks: Shimano Alivio alloy 170mm
Chainrings: Shimano IG-compatible triple 42/34/24 steel
Pedals: Cheapy alloy ebay specials, the original Tiogas are doing duty on my other steed after a rebuild.

Hub Skewers: Shimano original
Rims: Alesa 32H alloy 26"
Hubs: Shimano Alivio HB-MC12 front & FH-R050 "silent clutch" rear with 7 speed freehub
Spokes: Rustless....
Tyres: GEAX Saguaro 26 x 2.00 replacements
Tubes: yes, with patches!

Saddle: Non original Saracen
Seatpost: Alloy 26.6mm
Seatpost Binder: QR non original gold thingy

And here's what she looks like 8)

ImageSaracen Powertrax 01 by stevehales88, on Flickr

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