Shimano Saint M820 mountain bike transmission review
Shimano’s premium downhill groupset is versatile enough to work well in any hardcore environment.
The rear derailleur uses a heavily reinforced ‘skid plate’ inner/lower parallelogram to shrug off impact damage and stiffen up the shifting feel. It comes set to follow close-ratio race blocks, but adding the ‘mode convertor’ chip gets it working with conventional (36t top cog) 10-speed cassettes too.
The derailleur can be direct mounted to compatible frames and you can even lock it down to work with custom five-speed blocks using extra-long set screws. You can switch the clutch off for smoother shifting/easier wheel removal and clutch tension is internally adjustable too.
The rear derailleur is reinforced where it counts to help fend off damage: the rear derailleur is reinforced where it counts to help fend off damage
The rear derailleur is reinforced where it counts to help fend off damage
Both shifter levers are longer than normal to reduce shifting effort even if you wind the clutch up tight. It’s still crisp enough for accurate feel when you’re battering down all but the most mental courses though. Textured trigger tips mean no DIY is needed to cope with dirty conditions either.
Quality chain and cassette options, plus cartridge bearing jockey wheels and the wide-stance skid plate rear derailleur, mean durability is impressive. It’s surprisingly light for such an armoured and adjustable setup too.
This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.