1997 Saracen Kili Team - upgrading a mid range bike

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  • I first got to know Saracen bikes back in the mid-nineties when I was a newby mountainbike competitor. I was competing the Belgian National series and one of the guys that often beated up our local heros was Peter Stevenson, a British former road pro. Stevenson (who settled down in Flanders and opened a bike shop near Ghent) was riding this fabulous Saracen Kili XTR and the Saracen team jersey was one of the coolest on the mountainbike scene. I felt instant love for both the bikes and the clothing.


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  • A couple of years ago, a 1997 Saracen Kili Team frame popped up on Retrobike and I didn't hesitate. The frame stayed on my attic for some years so last summer I decide to sell it. My nephew said he wanted it so I was glad it stayed in the family. But some weeks ago my nephew told me he decided to go for a more modern bike so this one came back to me.

    After some thinking I decided to go semi-modern on it and do some upgrading. Back in 1997 this was a mid-range bike (STX-LX equipped) but as I had some older XT stuff in the spares box, I went for an early 2000's setup. Searched the parts bin for some useful stuff and found a decent stem and seatpost (Ritchey WCS "wet black").


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  • When looking for some good but budget parts, on German Bike Discount I found a gold coloured KCNC headset for cheap. I ordered and the gold colour worked out very well.


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  • When talking to my brother about my newest project he told me he had some unused parts for me.


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  • ordered a set of these for it.


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  • This will be great. What fork will you use?

  • Thanks. Right now I have a disc brake segmented one but a similar (carbon) one for rim brakes is on it's way from.

  • More parts from the spares box: SLX 3x10 speed shifters and rear derailleur and an XT front one.


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  • Wheels. I know, this project is going fast. ;-)


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  • This is gonna be good!

  • Thanks.

    Now it gets tricky. Shall I use classic black outer cable or go for gold. Thinking of using black in the front and gold on the rear. Gold cables in the front could be overkill as I have gold barends and headset.


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  • Black for everything. Unless the golds all match. Lovely frame.

  • I tried the gold and it turned out OK.

    Sorry for the bad photo, will take a better one in daylight once the other parts have arrived.


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  • We are on parallel tracks I think. Permit me to recommend the Canyon VSLC seatpost which smoothes out road shock a lot esp with >250 mm extension. Cutting all those cable outers and striking the ends square is a bore isn't it?

  • Cutting all those cable outers and striking the ends square is a bore isn't it?

    I think it's soothing, @HarmanMogul ;)

  • Plainly you are more zen than I. By the way the Canyon seatpost is VCLS

  • Gonna be bling! Can't wait to see it finished!

  • Thanks, @vp1337 , I hope the last parts arrive before the weekend so I can finish it.

  • very awesome!
    i'm always on the lookout for a kili frame to swap out for my lower grade saracen commuter.
    what width tyres did you go for?

  • 2.2 so I don't need suspension forks. ;)

  • Postman didn't even have to ring one single time!


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  • And more stuff from the spares. Onçe I was a weightweenie too...


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  • resulting in this. Almost there...


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  • That is very nice!

  • Thanks. I have to say I like it myself. ;-) Now I hope the carbon forks that take V Brakes arrive soon...

    But on the other hand: the weather here is too bad to take this bike out for a ride.


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1997 Saracen Kili Team - upgrading a mid range bike

Posted by Avatar for WimVDD @WimVDD

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