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2009 Saint crankset
by Phil on 26th August 2008
It's a while since the press embargo broke and even longer since I was pedalling some of these round a carpark in the Midlands. Finally, product is almost on the shelves and I've had a chance to have a first look, which is more of a second look really...
The first thing that hits you as you unbox the cranks are the revised graphics, all fancy black and gold with some Saint logos emblazoned on the site. Then you look a bit further and realise the changes are much more than skin deep.
The new Saints are going to come in a mind boggling array of sizes and options - choose an axle to suit your bikes 73 or 83mm shell, pick a crank length from 165, 170 or 175 then spec your chainrings - single or twin and bash.
My chainset came with a 22/36 twin/bash setup, which is ideal for all mountain duties. Since these cranks are going on the DH bike, the first job was a ring transplant (not as painful as it sounds) as the twin rings and bash are destined for my Meta 55 XC bike.
There's no doubt these have been on a serious diet. To see where the weight has dropped off, check the comparison shots below. A whopping 100g has been carved off the left hand arm alone, the right saving a slightly more conservative 80g. That's still a saving of 180g off the bare arms alone. Well worth having!
Arm profile is thinner overall, without feeling like the strength has been compromised in any way at all. The steel pedal inserts are still there, which gives peace of mind, especially with low bottom brackets and big flat pedals!
The next obvious change was on the bottom bracket cups. The new set has a longer threaded section on the drive side for greater engagement. I've not had any problems with the old one but it's good to know the strength is there if you need it.
I've got these mounted on the Commencal Supreme DH right now and have had a spin. Exactly as expected, they go round when your legs go up and down! I'll be putting them through their paces at the Masters Worlds in Pra Loup this weekend and will report back on how well they are holding up and how durable the graphics are.
All up, one very decent looking upgrade with a substantial weight saving. Despite the diet, none of the legendary Saint stiffness has been forfeit. The benchmark for DH cranks looks like it's just got better.
Stock should be available in your local shop during September. Roll on those short cage rear mechs!
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