April 20 2023
Recently, we sent an Ariel 60 Pro over to Singletrack for Benji to have a test of - and it turns out he rather enjoyed it!
It wasn't love at first sight though... Benji had his concerns when looking at the geometry on paper, but they faded once he started to ride.
I’ll be honest, the Saracen Ariel 60 Pro was the bike I was least excited to ride. Not the bike’s fault. Totally my pathetic aesthetic prejudices and geometry assumptions. I couldn’t get enough of riding the Ariel. It was a whole different type of handling to other 160 bikes that I’ve ridden over the years. A real Myst-ical combo of geometry numbers, chassis feel, speedy wheels, brilliant TRL rear suspension linkage, great Fox dampers, lovely Shimano stuff.
To be frank, personally I would like a slacker head angle, and a lower seat tube collar, but the proof is in the testing and, of all the great bikes in this test, it was the Ariel that I found every and any excuse to climb back aboard. There was something very beguiling and addictive and… unique about its riding character. It’s hard to pinpoint what it was exactly. My hunch is that it is a bike that rides high in its travel (giving an amazing bottomless feel to the suspension) but just has the sheer length and lateral give to the whole shebang that makes for an ideal combination of factors.