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  1. #1
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    My dream hardtail is now in production

    They beat Kona to it.
    The long travel 650B hardtail I've been hoping someone would produce is finally available.
    Introducing the 2013 Saracen Zen 650B
    Saracen - Zen

    It retains the nicely slack geo of the 2011, and the spec is quite good. I myself would probably change the shifters and go 1x10, and the brakes are so-so, but otherwise the rest of the parts seem like good value for money. And it comes in white!
    The specs list an X-Fusion Velvet fork, but the photo shows a Revelation

    An issue though would be availability. Is Saracen even available outside the UK?

    I hope other manufacturers follow suit soon.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My dream hardtail is now in production-saracen-zen-650b.jpg  

    Last edited by r1Gel; 09-22-2012 at 02:18 AM.
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  2. #2
    Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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    Gee and all i needed to do to have such a thing was put a rockshox psylo race tullio on a haro beasley 1*9 frame and a double ring crankset... Three years ago.
    I don't post to generate business for myself or make like I'm better than sliced bread

  3. #3
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    for a bike or to anchor a small boat?

    I don't get putting a 140mm fork on a hartail. I think the Jamis dragon with a 120 would be about as long as you'd want to go, with the benefit of the steel ride.

    I rode my SC Chameleon w/ a 140 Revelation for awhile and the front was writing checks the rear couldn't cash...

  4. #4
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    I'd rock it!

  5. #5
    The White Jeff W
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    Quote Originally Posted by reformed roadie View Post
    for a bike or to anchor a small boat?

    I don't get putting a 140mm fork on a hartail. I think the Jamis dragon with a 120 would be about as long as you'd want to go, with the benefit of the steel ride.

    I rode my SC Chameleon w/ a 140 Revelation for awhile and the front was writing checks the rear couldn't cash...

    140mm fork is brilliant on my Yelli Screamy
    No moss...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by reformed roadie View Post
    for a bike or to anchor a small boat?

    I don't get putting a 140mm fork on a hartail. I think the Jamis dragon with a 120 would be about as long as you'd want to go, with the benefit of the steel ride.

    I rode my SC Chameleon w/ a 140 Revelation for awhile and the front was writing checks the rear couldn't cash...
    Maybe it's because your a reformed roadie... I'm a reformed downhiller and love long travel hardtails! In these parts (Coastal BC) Chromag and similar bikes are very popular. 120mm is considered a short travel fork.

  7. #7
    derp
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    Nowai ! Longish travel HT's are awesome and after you know how to ride them, they can be extremely fun and agile, just ask the guy who won one of the cats on Megavalanche with an hardtail

    After getting my second FS i considered selling my HT but the darn thing is so much fun to ride that i couldn't do it ! Lightweight ( 10,5kg final build ), agile, fast and all around with the 100-140mm Talas ( 69º for XC and 67º for Trail/Light AM ), just perfecto !
    2006 Cannondale Rush 650b
    2010 Cannondale Trail SL 650b
    2013 Norco Range Killer-B

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the concern about my riding abilities...
    Before I got into road racing, I raced enduros...on dirt bikes. So I while the sediment seems that I don't know how to ride a long travel hardtail, truth be told, I simply prefer my blur LT for riding anything technical. Anything rough/technical/gnar on the hardtail, I am usually going to loft the front or manual anyway, so what good is the extra travel doing for me?

  9. #9
    derp
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    Quote Originally Posted by reformed roadie View Post
    So I while the sediment seems that I don't know how to ride a long travel hardtail, truth be told, I simply prefer my blur LT for riding anything technical. Anything rough/technical/gnar on the hardtail, I am usually going to loft the front or manual anyway, so what good is the extra travel doing for me?
    Then it comes down to where you're riding your hardtail or frame preference not whether it makes sense putting 140+mm on an hardtail.

    I know i couldn't possibly "just loft the front or manual" through my local trails because that would mean i would have to manual for hundreds of meters on end, not possible, so the extra travel does help quite a lot, this of course also excluding all the drops i pass while goin downhill.

    Sometimes i go with the FS but sometimes i prefer going with the HT, mix and spice things up, always riding the same trails on the same bike would bore me to death.
    2006 Cannondale Rush 650b
    2010 Cannondale Trail SL 650b
    2013 Norco Range Killer-B

  10. #10
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    I agree that long travel forks on a hardtail are a good thing, but only in moderation. Back in '98 when RockShox unveiled their 80mm "Long Travel" version for the XC lineup, it was huge hit and a big upgrade over the old 63mm version.

    But then the whole 100mm thing became the new standard. Personally I just don't see a need for a full 4" of travel. Maybe it makes sense for DH or Dual Slalom, but completely unnecessary for XC.

  11. #11
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    That thing is nice.

    And long travel hardtails ftw!!!

    Owned a 140mm On-One 456 Summer Season, 160mm Transition TransAM, and now a 29er Kona Honzo with 140mm.
    konahonzo

  12. #12
    Life Is Short
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob_co2 View Post
    I agree that long travel forks on a hardtail are a good thing, but only in moderation. Back in '98 when RockShox unveiled their 80mm "Long Travel" version for the XC lineup, it was huge hit and a big upgrade over the old 63mm version.

    But then the whole 100mm thing became the new standard. Personally I just don't see a need for a full 4" of travel. Maybe it makes sense for DH or Dual Slalom, but completely unnecessary for XC.
    That makes sense. 100mm max. Here's my Dirt Jump Kona (no reflectors anymore) with a 100mm DJ fork. Thats all u really need.. Also landings hurt now that I'm old.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My dream hardtail is now in production-p4pb4926639.jpg  


  13. #13
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    Long travel hardtail is a young mans bike lol.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  14. #14
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    I ride a TransAm with 140mm fork and 650B wheels. It feels pretty well balanced to me. I can stand and mash up short climbs but still have some fun headed downhill. If you pick a decent line and keep some weight forward instead of all on the pedals, then you wont overwhelm the back end. Overall its a much faster bike then my RM Slayer SXC (except on the really rough, obviously).

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by reformed roadie View Post
    So I while the sediment seems that I don't know how to ride a long travel hardtail...
    sediment, as in detritus. bottom sludge. muck. of the forum trollage? or did you mean sentiment?


  16. #16
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pothole View Post
    sediment, as in detritus. bottom sludge. muck. of the forum trollage? or did you mean sentiment?

    You really nailed how to ensure other users won't like you. But did you miss his confusion at the beginning of the sentence? Come on, if you are going to be a dick, do a good job with it.

  17. #17
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    This Saracen Zen bike is NOT available as a frame only which is to bad IMO. For some reason it really appeals to me but I would want to build it myself.
    2013 Banshee Spitfire V2 650b

  18. #18
    Baby Bear is in the house
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    Quote Originally Posted by madsedan View Post
    Long travel hardtail is a young mans bike lol.
    Haha! I'm not young by any means, but my [only] current ride is a rigid SS (650B conversion)
    So a long travel, geared hard tail would be an indulgence
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  19. #19
    Baby Bear is in the house
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    Quote Originally Posted by squads View Post
    I ride a TransAm with 140mm fork and 650B wheels. It feels pretty well balanced to me. I can stand and mash up short climbs but still have some fun headed downhill. If you pick a decent line and keep some weight forward instead of all on the pedals, then you wont overwhelm the back end. Overall its a much faster bike then my RM Slayer SXC (except on the really rough, obviously).
    Nice. What BB height did you end up with?
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  20. #20
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    I quite like the geo of the zen, but 20mm BB drop on a 650b bike? The geo seems to indicate they just used the 2012 26' bike and slammed 650b on there.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by CS645 View Post
    I quite like the geo of the zen, but 20mm BB drop on a 650b bike? The geo seems to indicate they just used the 2012 26' bike and slammed 650b on there.
    That would bring the BB height to about 12.4-12.5", which IMO is a bit high (I prefer it to be around 12-12.25"). But then again, this has 130 mm of travel up front.
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by CS645 View Post
    I quite like the geo of the zen, but .....
    Thanks for the interest and yeah, opps, it looks like all the type errors were not found on the website. The Zen was redesigned from the ground up specifically for 650b tires and 130mm travel.

    I am not sure what those numbers are at the moment listed but the correct bb drop is 30mm and the chain stay is 425mm. We'll try to fix those numbers quickly.

    Ryan
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryan303 View Post
    Thanks for the interest and yeah, opps, it looks like all the type errors were not found on the website. The Zen was redesigned from the ground up specifically for 650b tires and 130mm travel.

    I am not sure what those numbers are at the moment listed but the correct bb drop is 30mm and the chain stay is 425mm. We'll try to fix those numbers quickly.

    Ryan
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    Madison, Head of Engineering
    Make it available as frame only would be a nice option
    2013 Banshee Spitfire V2 650b

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryan303 View Post
    Thanks for the interest and yeah, opps, it looks like all the type errors were not found on the website. The Zen was redesigned from the ground up specifically for 650b tires and 130mm travel.

    I am not sure what those numbers are at the moment listed but the correct bb drop is 30mm and the chain stay is 425mm. We'll try to fix those numbers quickly.

    Ryan
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    Madison, Head of Engineering
    That's very good to hear, 30mm makes more sense. I was looking for a 130mm 650B hardtail to replace my Genesis Core in due time and this info (with the very good review of the 26' model at bikeradar) makes the 2013 one a very good candidate.

    Also 24-38T with 11-36T makes more sense than what most supply with their bikes.

  25. #25
    Baby Bear is in the house
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryan303 View Post
    Thanks for the interest and yeah, opps, it looks like all the type errors were not found on the website. The Zen was redesigned from the ground up specifically for 650b tires and 130mm travel.

    I am not sure what those numbers are at the moment listed but the correct bb drop is 30mm and the chain stay is 425mm. We'll try to fix those numbers quickly.

    Ryan
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    Madison, Head of Engineering
    Now that sounds more like it. Awesome
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  26. #26
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    @Skidad: I am in your corner on that one and still wishing for frames.

    @CS645 and r1Gel: I have been riding my 19" in mostly production spec for 3/4 this year and am really excited the Zen out for all to also get excited about. It is always great to see others interest build on something we all at Saracen have slaved on.

    Later,

    Ryan
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryan303 View Post
    @Skidad: I am in your corner on that one and still wishing for frames.

    @CS645 and r1Gel: I have been riding my 19" in mostly production spec for 3/4 this year and am really excited the Zen out for all to also get excited about. It is always great to see others interest build on something we all at Saracen have slaved on.

    Later,

    Ryan
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    Madison, Head of Engineering
    Hey Ryan. Any updates?
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  28. #28
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    yeah, And long travel hardtails ftw!!!

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by r1Gel View Post
    Hey Ryan. Any updates?
    Finally! The Zen is in the box and on its way to the UK.

    I have been at the factory with the frames from raw material though cutting and welding and here is a quick picture of the last one proped up in front of the factory on the pump track before I had to put it in a box last week.

    I love this bike. Hope all enjoy.

    Ryan
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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My dream hardtail is now in production-saracen-zen-shipping.jpg  


  30. #30
    Baby Bear is in the house
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryan303 View Post

    I love this bike. Hope all enjoy.

    Ryan
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    Thanks Ryan

    It seems the geo numbers in the website still haven't been corrected.
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  31. #31
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    Here is the production drawing dimensions(mm) for the ZEN:


    S 15" M 17" L 19"
    ST 381 432 483
    TT 575 600 625
    HT 115 115 125
    HA 67° 67° 67°
    SA 73° 73° 73°
    CS 425 425 425
    BB 30 30 30
    WB 1103 1128 1154

    I'll mention the website numbers needing updated to these.

    -

  32. #32
    Baby Bear is in the house
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryan303 View Post
    Here is the production drawing dimensions(mm) for the ZEN:


    S 15" M 17" L 19"
    ST 381 432 483
    TT 575 600 625
    HT 115 115 125
    HA 67° 67° 67°
    SA 73° 73° 73°
    CS 425 425 425
    BB 30 30 30
    WB 1103 1128 1154

    I'll mention the website numbers needing updated to these.

    -
    That's a pretty slack HA
    What fork A2C was used to get those numbers?
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  33. #33
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    Those numbers are static with a 519 AC 130mm fork. At 25% sag the HA is around 68.6

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryan303 View Post
    Those numbers are static with a 519 AC 130mm fork. At 25% sag the HA is around 68.6
    Geo numbers sound excellent. Nice steep seat tube, pretty long top tube, enabling short stem.

    Hope I can find one eventually here in the Netherlands.
    Last edited by CS645; 01-15-2013 at 02:50 PM.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryan303 View Post
    Those numbers are static with a 519 AC 130mm fork. At 25% sag the HA is around 68.6
    Nice. Thanks!
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  36. #36
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    Wonder what the weight is. Bit over 12kg with the dropper post?

  37. #37
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    Hey Ryan,

    I'm gonna be a PITA, but it's February. That's about half way through the season and still the wrong geo numbers. Not that many really get how the geometry works or that many other companies tell you at what AC distance they measured their hardtails, but still... Is not a vote of confidence for the company. Not meant as a dig at you and not a problem for me personally because you told us here, just a shame that's all.

  38. #38
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    Would love to see one with a gearbox(Pinion or Effigear), well hat's my dream anyway.

  39. #39
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    Favourable review google translated from Norwegian: Google Translate

    (Exhibition and press testing prototype).

  40. #40
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    Bikeradar review: Saracen Zen 650b - BikeRadar

    Guess components choices put it a bit more towards the burley side of the long travel hardtail spectrum.

  41. #41
    Baby Bear is in the house
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    Quote Originally Posted by CS645 View Post
    Bikeradar review: Saracen Zen 650b - BikeRadar

    Guess components choices put it a bit more towards the burley side of the long travel hardtail spectrum.
    I've been waiting for that review. Thanks for posting
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  42. #42
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    I've been on mine for a couple of months now and really like it. I had chain suck issues with the double but cured it by going 1x10. I also fitted a clutch mech. It's an awesome bike. While it does transfer a lot of vibration it's still fine on long trail rides. I did the passporte de soleil on it and it survived a week of lift assisted silliness well (OK the brakes were pretty wrecked by the end so I've put SLX on now). I think next years model should be 1x10 with a clutch mech as standard.
    Enjoy the ride.

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