So I’ve been intending on building up a geared commuter-esque/gravel/touring build from an old mountain bike for a while but the right incentive to start was never really there. Enter stage Left: 199(5?) Saracen Hardtrax in around my size! A good friend I rode with in Manchester was giving it away and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
The paint is a bit rough and ready but I feel like that’s perfect for what it’ll be built up as. If it’s already battle-scarred, I can’t be too upset when I inevitably dink it with a D lock. I also feel like it adds to the charm a little bit. I also knew absolutely nothing about the frame when I first got it but it seems perfect for a modern update.
Next job was to find a fork. I wanted v brake mounts to keep it simple and really wanted mudguard mounts, but I found this trials fork for cheap on Ebay and couldn’t pass it up. I love the look of the segmented rigid forks. The disc brake mount is an added bonus as future-proofing(??) I guess.
Got some crankarms and a chainring (that is far too nice for this build) stashed away until I have the money for a BB. Hopefully it won’t be too long before it looks like I’ve got some progress.
Nice forks. I think the higher end Saracens of that era came with segmented forks so they fit nicely.
Yeah I’m super happy with them! I looked at some of the ones on Planet X but they were way too long for what I really wanted. I think they suit the frame really well
Love the forks and always good to see another Saracen
Cheers!! Your Saracen is wicked! Basically the model of what I’m going for. I have some nice DMR Wingbars so I’m gonna run a bmx stem and keep it Stridsland-esque
Stridsland chainring stashed away?
Frame geometry looks great and the fork really suits. Will make a great mtb/bmx build.
;))) think the turquoise will really suit the frame colour. Forks are quite reminiscent of the higher end Saracens of the time, which was what I was going for.
Yeah will be a killer build once done!
Got myself a purple one for my rockhopper build in doing at the minute, they’re so bling!
Following this build with interest
Yeah I hope so! Just want to get it running and then work in nicer parts after that. (He says just having spent £150 on parts..)
I’ve just dropped a follow on your rockhopper build as well. Seemingly similar intentions for the builds
It’s so easy to start with the idea of building up a bit of a rat bike but once you get the big for nicer components it’s a slippery slope.
I’ve been quite responsible so far and also have a few bits from the parts bin, but I know I’m gonna betray my non-budget for some nice wheels. I can feel it in my bones lol
That being said, I’m actually really struggling to find my wheels that don’t just look janky on Ebay.. might just have to deep dive into my endless bank account and get some built up at my LBS
I’ve made a little bit of progress over the past few days. My impatience is really hindering me because I want it all to be done now but money and delivery time is not complying lol.
I’ve got no real experience installing headsets or bottom brackets cause I’ve always just gotten LBS to help me out, but I want to both save money and DIYFS. I took a bit of a shot into the dark about which axle length I’d need for my bottom bracket but I got it absolutely spot on!
One lesson learned this time was to not trust cheap expander plugs. I’ve had good experiences using them instead of star nuts in past, however I’ve always spent a little bit more on them. Got headset and everything installed for the top cap bolt to then not be short enough. When trying to take it out again, the whole expander fell apart. You live and learn though. Just bought a star nut tool to cut the hassle.
Really pleased so far though. That Stridsland chainring absolutely pops against the darker blue! The riding position looks great so far as well! Nice and tall.
More to come on coming weeks
What are the bars?
Looking so great, that fork matches the frame pretty spot on geo wise by the looks of things!
You’re right on the chainring as well looks proper good.
So with you on the impatience side of things haha, especially at the minute with the post being slow.
Going to be a mean machine
They’re Mk1 DMR Wingbars! Used to run them on my fixed gear but they’re definitely more suited to this
Cheers, Sub'd, looking forward to seeing the finished bike
Thanks a lot man! Got some wheels on the way so we’ll see what the stance is like. Trying to find a big dinner plate cassette as well.
I don’t think it would be as difficult with the post if I was at work at the minute as well lol.
I appreciate it man!
looking good! the fork really makes this
You going to run it 7x1? Managed to get a 32t 7 speed cassette for my build which is about as big as they get for that speed. Do love the look of a crazy wide range 46t on a 26” wheel it’s almost like an aero disc!
Thanks man! Tried my best to get that Kili Ultra sorta vibe with it. Fake it til ya make it
1x10! I had a SRAM X9 derailleur in the parts bin from one of my old cx bikes so just needed to pick up a shifter for it. I wanna pick up a 46t but just waiting to find those good eBay deals
Oh even better 1x10, could go slightly Rivendell and slap a friction thumbie on it ;)
If I did that, I’d have to go full ham and get some cotton bar tap for my riser bars lmao!
I love the idea of friction shifters but I love the lever action on SRAM mtb shifters. Feels somewhat nostalgic now
Never actually used Sram shifters! Always been on the Shimano side of things. Definitely think they will fit the more aggressive style on this one
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