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 Post subject: Saracen Kili 1997/8
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:06 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:24 pm
Posts: 34
So here is my latest acquisition, a Saracen Kili frame from either 1997 or 1998!

I bought this as an unknown frame from eBay, but suspected it was a Saracen from a bit of Google research.

There were some generic frames around the time that were very similar, but I'm 99% sure this is the genuine article - Saracen used the marketing phrase 'the proper bike company' at some point I'm sure, though I can't pinpoint when now I'm trying to find out. Also, now that it's here I can see the Easton logos on the top, down and seat tubes with the word 'Elan' on the down tube - I've been sanding it to polish, and I've both made them appear and nearly sanded them out during the process! They're quite faint anyway, and interestingly on the non-drive side which contradicts the other one I've seen.

From what I can tell from the catalogues, this was more or less the same frame used for Pro and Flyer models in both 1997 & 98, so I thought lumping it in with the '97 period seemed appropriate.

It's nice to think that this frame started life with the better part of an XTR groupset hanging off it!

It's not feather light at 1856g for the 15.5" frame, but not too shabby either.

The plan as mentioned is to sand down and polish before building up, though it's intended as a winter bike not a thing of beauty. I'm usually a steel guy, but I'm interested to see what the ride quality is like for aluminium of this calibre. Also, it won't rust and I'm thinking it will be great for shorter blats in the mud.

I've never seen another one of these and even online only one frame sale, so it's a rare animal for sure. I suspect this might have something to do with the price - these retailed for between £1,300 & £2,000; up to £4,000 in today's money! Aluminium back then was still seen as an exotic wonder metal, so these were hardly accessible to the average pocket - much less mine, as I had a Hardtrax as my first proper MTB being 12 at the time.

I've therefore got a certain nostalgia for Saracens, even if this isn't Tange Prestige or titanium.

The decals were pants after '96 though, so I think this will stay plain even if it does turn out nice..


Attachments:
File comment: Proper bike
_20171011_151100.JPG
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File comment: Easton Elan
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_20171011_145336.JPG [ 59.21 KiB | Viewed 633 times ]
File comment: Tipping the scales
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_20171011_145302.JPG [ 132.8 KiB | Viewed 633 times ]
File comment: Potentially shiny
_20171011_145230.JPG
_20171011_145230.JPG [ 87.58 KiB | Viewed 633 times ]


Last edited by tjs129 on Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Saracen Kili 1997/8
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:17 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:18 pm
Posts: 1539
Location: South Yorkshire
I didn't think the Kili was aluminium in either of those years but was the style frame in this pic. I have the 853 version as an ongoing project.


Attachments:
Kili-Team-03.jpg
Kili-Team-03.jpg [ 240.37 KiB | Viewed 627 times ]
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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:35 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:24 pm
Posts: 34
Here it is in 1997 Kili Pro regalia from the catalogue.

I'd much rather have the 853 version though, did you want to swap?

Nothing has changed since 1997 I promise, steel is old hat and everyone wants the stiffest aluminium frame available.. :P


Attachments:
_20171011_153124.JPG
_20171011_153124.JPG [ 128.75 KiB | Viewed 621 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Saracen Kili 1997/8
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:43 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:18 pm
Posts: 1539
Location: South Yorkshire
Just seen that, I never was one for alu bikes back then or now.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:48 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:24 pm
Posts: 34
I suppose I probably would have liked one back then, but now I know better!

Still, I've got loads of lovely heat treated steel already and the price was right.

The 853 Kilis look great, always fancied one myself!


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 Post subject: Re: Saracen Kili 1997/8
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:10 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:52 pm
Posts: 207
Location: manchester uk
Been outbid on this twice. The guy you got it from is on here. First time I saw it it was running xt 750 kit and some manitous with an early hope disc front brake


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:18 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:24 pm
Posts: 34
You mean on separate listings? Sorry to spoil your fun then!

I think it was a bargain since the guy wasn't 100% sure what it was. Oddly he mentioned to me it might be a Saracen but didn't put it in the listing.

I got quite lucky identifying it myself; I wasn't aware there was an aluminium Kili either. I'm taking a bit of a punt on this one - I've heard a lot of early aluminium frames cost the earth but didn't necessarily ride well and things got better as the material became more common.

I've been doing more sanding and polishing tonight - still looks rough, but it's getting better. Luckily the lacquer was pretty crap, so easy to take off with paint remover. A bit of a surprise really, the powder coats on Saracen frames were top drawer. I suspect these were bought in from elsewhere by Saracen, which would explain the similarities with other manufacturer's frames..


Attachments:
File comment: Shinier
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_20171011_222838.JPG [ 106.03 KiB | Viewed 565 times ]


Last edited by tjs129 on Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Saracen Kili 1997/8
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:27 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:52 pm
Posts: 207
Location: manchester uk
It was me who told him I think it's a kili. I never spoke to him in person but when I saw his post on here I recognised it straight away. He outbid me the first auction then you outbid me when he sold it. It's all good though there's only so many interesting bikes about and you can't win them all. Still like the frame though it looks like a decent project. Good luck with it


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:44 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:09 am
Posts: 9443
Location: Devon
100% a kili I just trawled back through photobucket to get my old pictures.

They are silly light.

I bought and sold my frame for twenty quid in the retrobike boom years. Great frames just not a lot of love when Saracen did such good steel frames you can pick up cheap.

Still hanker after a steel 1997 wishbone kili


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:46 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:24 pm
Posts: 34
He said he'd been on here to identify it, but I couldn't find anything..

I had a feeling someone here would recognise it!

It's touch and go as to whether it's going to fit - I'm 5'10" - so if it's not for me I know where to find you.


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