New Shimano Saint groupset launched

Hardcore kit is lighter, stronger and more rigid

The new Shimano Saint group (M810) has just been launched and it promises to be stronger, lighter and more rigid than its predecessor, the M800.

The Saint groupset is aimed at the more hardcore end of the riding spectrum – all mountain, freeride and downhill riding. It includes a new 4-Pot caliper, Shadow short cage rear derailleur, Rapidfire Plus shifters, a lighter crankset and new hub and freehub models.

Without further ado, here’s all the information and pictures of the new components.

Return of the 4-Pot Caliper

Four piston calipers are making a return and they provide 50% more stopping power than the current BR-M800 calipers. The two part caliper (joined by x4 Torx bolts) is 9% stiffer than than current mono-bodied M775 XT caliper. The calipers also have an increased oil flow which should make bleeding easier.

The brake levers feature Servo Wave technology that contributes to the brake power and offers excellent controllability and extra pad clearance as well. The levers feature tool-free reach adjust and a beefy lever blade for optimal control and strength.

Shadow Short Cage (SS) Rear Derailleur

The new Saint Shadow rear derailleur uses a universal traditional dropout mount, which replaces the axle mount/interface of the M800. There’s a super wide inner link on the derailleur that offers additional stiffness, providing crisp shifts and engagement. The lower part of the cage also incorporates a skid plate into the design – helping to deflect debris and obstacles. Shimano have combined this additional rigidity with a weight saving of 100 grams compared to the current M800 version.

The Saint rear derailleur has an increased spring tension compared to the XT and XTR Shimano Shadow derailleurs. However, the exclusive feature of the Saint Shadow rear derailleur is the mode convertor used to adjust the rear derailleur’s profile to work optimally with either close or wide ratio cassettes. Close ratio cassettes (23-28T lowest gear) are recommended for downhill useage, wide ratio (32-34T lowest gear) for freeride and all mountain use. The Saint Shadow derailleur is available in a short (SS) and a medium (GS) cage version, (top-normal shifting only), which should appeal to all riders with single or double chainring setups.

Rapidfire Plus Shifters

The Rapidfire Plus shifters have been designed to combine a crisp shift feeling with one-finger braking. They feature a short release lever stroke and Instant Release technology for a fast and direct response. They feature 2-Way Release technology that allows the release lever to be operated in two directions. The new Saint shifters have been developed with an adjustable bracket to allow inboard and outboard mounting for optimum cockpit setup. Their low profile design allows for ample space between shifter and brake lever, meaning mud should no longer collect here.

Cranksets

The Saint cranksets have gone on a major diet, they’re lighter and stiffer (double ring – 100g / single ring - 90g) than the current M800 versions. Both single and double chainrings have been developed with Hollowtech II technology and feature a heavy duty redesigned spider arm and spindle.

The new crank arm design allows more ankle clearance and the “honeycomb” designed bash guard has great impact resistance. It has a steel pedal thread insert for added stifness and security. Single chainring options include 34/36/38/40/42T. Double: 36 x 22T compact drive crankset for all mountain usage offers a wide gear ratio and a narrower Q-factor.

Front Derailleur

Following on from the recently announced double-specific SLX front derailleur, the new Saint groupset will offer a double-specific front derailleur too. Designed to perform with a 36x22T compact drive crankset the cage radius is matched to a 36T chainring radius, resulting in improved shifting. It has a very compact size with increased plate stiffness and improved clearance of the chain, chain stay and rear tyre for an optimal compatibility with most types of full suspension frames currently on the market. A wider and lower positioned inner plate reduces the chance of chain drop. There will be top-swing and down-swing (conventional) versions for both 68/73mm and 83mm BB’s.

Hub and Freehub

The new Saint hub and freehub are an impressive 100grams lighter than the current version and they feature a standard size centre lock mount which saves weight while maintaining strength. The Saint hubs are now compatible with the full range of Shimano center lock rotors.The hub comes with Shimano’s tried and tested fully adjustable and easy serviceable cup and cone bearings, which are proven to be more durable under side loads. Over Locknut Dimension (OLD) is 110mm and they feature a 20mm through axle for an ultra stiff fork/hub combination.

The bearings of the freehub have been positioned wider apart for increased stiffness and durability. The freehub body has been developed with Shimano’s quick engagement technology that results in increased performance especially in technical terrain. The Saint freehub will be available in two versions. 135mm OLD in combination with a 10mm or 12mm through axle and 150mm OLD with a 12mm through axle. Sealings have been further improved for 400% better durability, reuslting in longer service intervals.

Early stock is expected in September 2008.

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