Our team are a pretty cool bunch, and they ride some pretty cool bikes to match! We’ve taken a look at their commuter bikes over on our blog here, but one bike is never enough – in this series, we’ll be taking a closer look at the other bikes in their collections. First up is Mariusz with his old skool Saracen MTB restoration build, in Brixton Cycles colours no less!
What is it?
This is my 1998 Saracen Rush, a full-suspension XC bike that would’ve been top of the range in its day. Originally geared for the trails, I decided to dial it back a bit and turn it into a city cruiser for that comfy, laid-back vibe.
When did you get the bike/how did you come across it?
I stumbled upon this gem on eBay. I’ve always got my eye out for intriguing bikes – I love reviving forgotten retro MTBs, and this Saracen fit the bill perfectly. This one belonged to a guy who ran a bike shop and was letting go of his collection, who also happened to be the first owner!
What drew you to it?
Honestly, it was the '90s quirkiness that got me hooked. This era of bikes is known for having some pretty unique designs, and this Saracen Rush stood out. Plus, have you seen it? A fully original paint job in Brixton Cycles colours – I couldn’t resist.
What did you do to restore it?
I went all out with a complete overhaul. Unfortunately, it didn’t come with the original forks, but I’ve since swapped out the missing original forks with Manitou short-travel suspension forks and added a handy front rack. The aluminium frame needed a bit of love, so I repolished it and fixed up the paint job with a fresh coat of wax and some scratch remover. I’ve also replaced the handlebars, saddle, and bottom bracket, as well as installing some rather snazzy XT cranks to match the OG XT groupset. The wheels got a revamp too, with Mavic 521 hubs and Alexrims for a modern touch. I have got some original XT wheels hiding somewhere, so maybe one day I’ll kit it out in full XT.
Favourite ride on it?
I’ve actually only taken it out for a test ride since restoring it, but it’s in need of some repairs before I can do anything too ambitious on it. There’s a small aluminium crack near the bottom bracket which I’ll need to get welded, but it's nothing that can't be fixed.
What are you planning to do with it?
Once it's patched up, this Saracen Rush will definitely be hitting the streets once again. I’m also thinking of starting an Instagram page dedicated to 26er builds, giving these classics the spotlight they deserve. I’ll actually be exhibiting this bike and a few others at an event run by a friend of mine back home in Poland, which should be a lot of fun. This certainly won’t be the last build I do – I’ve already got a 90s GT Ricochet build in the works, complete with a pizza rack!
Keep an eye out for future editions of 'Bikes Of Brixton' on our blog!