Saracen brings back the back-to-front named Levarg gravel bike and it looks great value
Best known for it's mountain bikes, British-brand Saracen has brought back Its Levarg range of budget friendly aluminium gravel bikes. If you hadn't spotted it already, Levarg spells the word 'gravel' backwards.
In a direct challenge to some of the best gravel bikes on the market, the team at Saracen has made it clear that the Levarg range of bikes come firmly from an off-road background. Hardly surprising considering the British brand was behind the one of the first 'mullet' downhill bikes, and is currently title sponsor of Madison Saracen Factory race team.
It's the second coming for this range of gravel bikes, with the Levarg last being seen in 2020. After this short hiatus, a smaller range of just three bikes has landed, which aim to keep it's roots firmly in the dirt, with all still featuring 650b wheels, keeping the question of 650b or 700c, which is better for you gravel bike wide open.
The brand has been dabbling in the gravel market for a while now, with it's original attempt dating back to 2015 with the Saracen Hack, a do-it-all adventure bike that we caught sight of when looking then at the new bikes on show at Sportline's (the parent company of Saracen) house show.
This latest collection of bikes, the Levarg, Levarg SL and Levarg FB come with competitive builds and price points.
All three models share the same Series 2 6061 alloy frame and UD carbon fork, with 12mm thru axles front and rear. The Jalco wheels are shod in 47c Maxxis Rambler tubeless-ready tyres, both coming as standard across the builds.
The brand say the pairing of the tyres and 650b wheels is a direct nod to the style of riding Saracen has built the bike for: fast and loose.
The geometry stays the same across the range, which at first glance seems to be on the larger size. For example a small comes with a 560mm top tube (extra large goes up to 635mm) but it's worth checking in with the brand's own sizing system as the wheel base for the same size small is a reasonable 1044mm, which highlights the design requiring a short 70mm stem, inline with most mountain bike focused builds.
The range starts with the base model Levarg, which features a 2x largely Shimano set-up, featuring 10 -speed Tiagra shifters, teamed with GRX400 mechs and mechanical TRP Spyre disc brakes for a fairly priced £1,299.
Next in line is the Levarg SL, which comes equipped with Shimano's 11-speed GRX600 complete with hydraulic disc brakes. The double 49/30 chainset and 11-34t cassette aims to give a decent spread of gears to tackle most terrains. It all comes at a competitively priced £1,699.99
The third offering in the gravel range is the Saracen Levarg FB (which surely should be named the Levarg BF?) , a flat bar model which is closer to the brand's mountain biking roots, and mixed with a wallet friendly Shimano 10-speed 1x Deore set up (using a Prowheel chainset) that sees a 42t chainring paired with a 11-42 cassette - and all for a £999.99 price tag.
All models come with multiple mounting points for bottles, mudguards and bike luggage.
Andy Ayers, Sportline Senior Product Manager who are behind the brand said: “We wanted to make sure that the Levarg was a gravel bike that fitted in with the whole Saracen ethos."
"With the gear range for adventure and the tyres for shredding we’re really excited about a gravel bike that can offer trail riders a way to push the boundaries in a different medium.”
All three models are available to buy directly from www.saracen.co.uk or www.freewheel.co.uk from today.