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Shimano Saint Groupset - 2013 Update
by Phil on 19th April 2012
Pedals, RD+ clutch short cage mech and crazy ice tech rotors with a vented aluminium core. The eagle eyed out there will recongise some of these from the Gwin feature in Dirt #122. What you probably didn't know is that the Saint groupset had a massive overhaul for 2013 and you can get your hands on it soon!
The New SAINT is Pure Gravity!
The New SAINT focuses entirely on the gravity segment of mountain biking and that’s something you can clearly see in the new features. By providing increased rigidity, braking power, durability and ergonomics, SAINT allows Downhill racers and Freeriders to concentrate entirely on their line in gravity situations.
To make sure that new SAINT group set excelled in the extreme riding environment of downhill racing, the group set was developed in close collaboration with pro racers like Aaron Gwin and Gee Atherton.
These riders provided Shimano engineers and designers with valuable input that was critical to improving SAINT on the race course. The result? An unprecedented 5 World Cup wins, the World Cup Overall title and a Saint group set that consumers will discover is more compact, stronger, lighter and more silent than previous generations!
Winner of the 2011 World Cup, Aaron Gwin: “New SAINT rocks! It is powerful, reliable and strong. It’s the best I’ve ever ridden!”
No distraction, at least not from your drive train!
Multiple Downhill World Cup winner and World Champion of 2010, Gee Atherton about the SAINT drive train: “The new SAINT group set is incredibly good. The SHADOW RD+ is a big advantage for DH riders
because the chain is so stable and the crank is so stiff that every push is put into power!”
Because gravity riders need more stability in critical situations, SHIMANO has developed the new SAINT 10 speed rear derailleur with a SHADOW+ RD. This technology, adopted from Shimano’s XTR rear derailleurs, offers a very quiet drive train for gravity riding. The derailleur has a switch at the pully cage (see right image) to activate a stabilizer that counteracts the forces of up and down chain momentum in rough terrain. To change the rear wheel the switch needs to be in turned ‘off’ position.
The SHADOW+ RD offers better control, reduces chain dropping dramatically and provides a more silent drive train. It lets you focus on what’s most important... your line.
SHIMANO also added a bump stopper to the rear derailleur to reduce hitting noise (see left image). A super wide inner link offers maximum stiffness that is so important in gravity riding.
To make sure that your SAINT group set is also ready for Freeriding, SHIMANO has added a mode converter. This mode converter is at the mounting position of the rear derailleur and offers you the opportunity to switch between a Downhill ratio (11-28) or a wider ratio for Freeride (11-32).
Shimano engineers understand the enormous amount of pressure that is exerted on the crank in gravity situations and have used a steel axle and steel pedal inserts to counteract this. SHIMANO was still able to drop the weight of the already reliable Saint crank by using HOLLOWTECH II technology and a lighter 4 arm spider. Chainrings are available in a 34T, a 36T and a 38T and the new crank is compatible with different varying bottom bracket sizes (68/73/83mm and pressfit BB’s).
Light shifting performance
For more control on the demanding downhill tracks SHIMANO created longer Rapidfire Plus shift levers (the main lever is 6% longer and the release lever is 10% longer than the current M810) in close cooperation with our pro downhill racers. Next to that SHIMANO improved rider ergonomics and performance of the SAINT shifting system.
The operating force needed to shift through the gears is very light and extremely consistent. Even in the low gear numbers! (Maximum 37% lighter compared to the M810). These shifters also feature 2-Way Release technology that allows the release lever to be operated in two directions; Multi-Release to shift multiple gears in one stroke and Instant Release to shift gears as soon the lever is activated.
The Stopping Power of a Pine Tree!
Top DH pro rider Brendan Fairclough says: “The brakes are amazing! They do exactly what you want and I trust them with my life.”
The new SAINT offers you unbeatable stopping power and brake control with “Ice Tech” disc brakes. A high power one way bleeding 4-ceramic piston caliper construction in combination with the 1-finger brake lever does the rest. Especially for extreme gravity conditions, SHIMANO has developed the ultimate 203mm rotor with a radiator fin (see right image). This rotor is very effective in heat management.
On top of the Ice tech sandwich construction the radiation effect cools the rotor an extra 50 degrees Celsius. The result is 20% more stopping power than the Ice technologies rotor without a fin. As we like to say, “The new SAINT brakes have the stopping power of a pine tree without the lengthy stay in the hospital”.
Concave shaped flat pedal
For even more control and pedaling efficiency, SHIMANO has developed a new concave shaped flat pedal. The SAINT pedal is 3mm wider and has a lower profile (-8.5mm) than the previous pedal. The pedal possesses an excellent mud shedding design featuring new style replaceable pins while maintaining the proven axle durability of its predecessors.
Availability in the market: July 2012
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