The Saracen Levarg is “gravel” backwards and we are triggered by this

New rough-roader has a dropper too

Saracen has launched an all new gravel bike with the option for front suspension and a dropper post. It’s called the Levarg and if you’re wondering about the etymology of this strange name, it’s “gravel” backwards. Naorg.

Don’t call it a mountain bike

Do dropper and suspension a great gravel bike make?
Do dropper and suspension a great gravel bike make?

The top spec Levarg OR follows a familiar formula with its chunky tyres, big clearances, and practical, boss-laden alloy frame.

It goes go somewhat radically off-piste however with the addition of Fox’s AX Step Cast fork with a tiny 40mm of travel, which wouldn’t look out of place on a 20 year-old mountain bike.

40mm of travel looks quite odd when you're used to modern MTB forks
40mm of travel looks quite odd when you're used to modern MTB forks

The sight of a fully-fledged suspension fork will doubtless raise some eyebrows and elicit rude remarks from some quarters about gravel machines slowly morphing into XC bikes, but we’re not going to pass judgment until we’ve ridden this specific setup.

Our man Thomas McDaniel liked the AX when he took on the Hairy Hundred on a Fox-equipped Niner, and our testers are fans of Lauf’s gravel-specific leaf spring fork design.

A non-remote dropper post might come in handy if you get too rad
A non-remote dropper post might come in handy if you get too rad

The Levarg OR also sports a dropper post, operated by an under-saddle lever rather than a remote. Droppers seem to be popping up (ha!) all over the gravel scene, and we can certainly see the logic.

Otherwise, the bike is built up with SRAM Apex 1x and matching hydraulic brakes. Wheels are 650b WTBs and they come wearing matching, balloon-like 42mm Resolute tyres. They’re anchored with thru-axles, and claimed weight for a complete bike is 11.15kg.

Flared drops should help with technical riding
Flared drops should help with technical riding

The Levarg OR will retail at £2,299.99 / €2,575 and precise availability is still to be confirmed.

The Levarg; a gravel bike or is it closer to an MTB?

Builds for all

The Levarg is also going to be sold in two cheaper builds, minus suspension and dropper.

The Levarg SL has a rigid carbon fork in place of suspension
The Levarg SL has a rigid carbon fork in place of suspension

The SL sticks with SRAM Apex but swaps in TRP Hy/Rd mechanically actuated hydraulic brakes. It weighs a claimed 10.74kg and will retail at £1,349.99 / €1,510.

The Levarg has a Shimano 2x9 drivetrain
The Levarg has a Shimano 2x9 drivetrain

The entry-level and rather eye-catching Levarg (with no letters after its name) is specced with Shimano Sora 9-speed components and TRP Spyre mechanical discs for an 11.29kg claimed weight. It’s priced at £1,099.99 / €1,230.

Matthew Allen

Senior Technical Writer, UK
Former bike mechanic, builder of wheels, hub fetishist and lover of shiny things. Likes climbing a lot, but not as good at it as he looks.
  • Discipline: Road, with occasional MTB dalliances
  • Preferred Terrain: Long mountain climbs followed by high-speed descents (that he doesn't get to do nearly often enough), plus scaring himself off-road when he outruns his skill set.
  • Current Bikes: Scott Addict R3 2014, Focus Cayo Disc 2015, Niner RLT 9
  • Dream Bike: Something hideously expensive and custom with external cables and a threaded bottom bracket because screw you bike industry.
  • Beer of Choice: Cider, please. Thistly Cross from Scotland
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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