Hi everybody. This is my first post -- hope you don't mind me just bursting in here and flashing my photos around!
Back in 1993, my 21st b'day present was a Saracen Sahara Elite. During the summers of my early twenties, I was never off the thing; I would take it up to my local range of hills (the South Downs) at every opportunity. Then in my mid- to late-twenties, I stopped riding so much and started going to the gym instead. Seven years ago, I moved to the north-east of England (Teesside) and during which, my poor old Saracen was put into a big polythene bag and kept in the attic.
It was only when I moved back to Sussex at the end of last year, that I pulled my old hill-climbing companion out of its polythene bag and took a good look at it...
I think the word I'm looking for here is "neglect".
Once the shock had subsided, I resolved to restore my trusty Sahara back to the best condition I could. First thing to do, strip the bike of everything that my tools would permit me to remove/replace:
Looking much better after a bucket of soapy warm water and some 'Brasso' -- especially around the crankcase and the top of the forks...
Since these were taken, I've cleaned up the wheels and tyres, the 7-speed cassette and the chainset. The freehub has been blitzed with some WD-40 and when rotated, now 'ticks' like it did on the day it was bought.
I'll have to take some more pictures of the cleaned up components and post them here.
The remaining "to-do" list for this bike isn't too long. I do have to decide whether to replace the wires within the gear and brake cables and whether to clean up the existing chain or replace it. Even if I do replace the chain and the inner-cables, the only other thing that won't be original is the longer seat-post that I bought within a few days of being given the bike (quite a necessity with a 16.5" frame).
Anyway, I hope that Saracen fans are pleased to know that a '93 Sahara Elite will shortly be back on the trails...