Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 58
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jgusta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    2,521

    Shimano Saint cranks overkill for trail/AM riding?

    Coming off a pretty worn out pair of SLX (M660's) after +2yrs of use/abuse and can't decide to replace with a pair of SLX M665 (thicker axle, spider than M660 and steel inserts) for cheap ($110) or a pair of Saint M810 double crankarms ($225) for my Yeti SB-66 that I primarily use as my "one bike" for a lot of stuff with long, big climbs to mixed terrain bomber trail descents. Are Saints total overill for this application? I am currently running Saint brakes (7"/6"), shifters, RD that I love and don't feel the bit of extra weight hinders on big climbs and having the cranks would be nice to complete the set, but they look pretty massive and don't want them to drag me down too much on all the uphill and climbing I do on a regular basis to get to what I live for, the descents.

    Any thoughts on this?
    Thx,
    Jon
    Ride On!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    202
    I run saints on my AM bike, the saints are probably over kill, and you could save some weight by not using them over SLX or XT, but I know their not going to break.

    I'm 230 and like to jump, so i figured the extra strength was worth the cost and weight penalty.

    In the end for me garanteed reliability is more important, I don't want to have a replace a bent or broken crank any time soon. But who knows maybe SLX would be plenty strong? its certainly the best performance vs value crank out there.

  3. #3
    MTB B'dos
    Reputation: LyNx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    17,225
    I don't think they're overkill,I've got an XT crank that's over 5 years old and still going strong, with lots of miles and abuse, would love to see your SLX that you feel the need to replace after only 2 years. Maybe replace the worn rings, if they are indeed worn with some nice ones like the Blackspire Super Pros.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
    MTB Barbados
    My MTB vids

  4. #4
    Five is right out
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    3,168
    Do cranks even break or wear out? I was more under the impression that they lasted forever or the BB might seize up, wasn't aware that durability was really an issue for mortals.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    202
    Yeah they break, but it depends on your mass and riding style and terrain.

    I've broken older style XT's and SLX + some other after market brands. Shimano do make great cranks and bottom brackets.

  6. #6
    MTB B'dos
    Reputation: LyNx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    17,225
    Yup, definitely can, depends on how hard you ride and your terrain, if you smash them into lots of rocks or if maybe you pedal with your heal in and rub the cranks. Personally I've got 2 sets of M760 XT cranks, ones over 5 years old as I said and I did hit a very big rock with them, bent the crap out of the big ring, so now one arm is slightlybent, but running it as a double crank not an issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by womble View Post
    Do cranks even break or wear out? I was more under the impression that they lasted forever or the BB might seize up, wasn't aware that durability was really an issue for mortals.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
    MTB Barbados
    My MTB vids

  7. #7
    Neg reppers r my biatches
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    17,128
    no, they are badass and i wouldnt hesitate. the "older" ones, yeah...they were pigs, but even as recent as a few years ago they become VERY tolerably light (enough) to not have a single regret.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2,472
    Quote Originally Posted by womble View Post
    Do cranks even break or wear out? I was more under the impression that they lasted forever or the BB might seize up, wasn't aware that durability was really an issue for mortals.
    Check out this XT crankarm from an older thread here. They got killed by shoe rub of all things.

    2012 On One Whippet 650b
    2012 Santa Cruz TRc 650b
    2014 On One Dirty Disco
    2010 Soma Groove
    1987 Haro RS1

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jgusta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    2,521
    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    I don't think they're overkill,I've got an XT crank that's over 5 years old and still going strong, with lots of miles and abuse, would love to see your SLX that you feel the need to replace after only 2 years. Maybe replace the worn rings, if they are indeed worn with some nice ones like the Blackspire Super Pros.
    Stripped out axle spline that causes preload ring on non-drive side to come loose periodically even with max torque on pinch bolts, thus causes perceived flex at arm and cranks creaks like a 2$ ho' when mashing on the pedals (with new BB). Drive side arm has severely gauged crank arm as well and is more likely bent a bit from when I knacked a rock pretty darn hard that I didn't see with the pedal while jamming thru a tight off camber mixed trail/rocky section last fall. Hit the pedal so hard that it popped it off the crank and bent the crap of the pedal axle (Mallet) that had to be replaced immediately.

    Overall, my SLX 660 cranks look and feel like they been through the ringer after the past 2+years. With that said they are the last remaining component after a complete bike purchase 2.5yrs ago whereas everything else has been long replaced since then. So, I definitely got my money's worth out of them and why I am just thinking about getting another pair, but the slightly stronger 665 set instead, but the Saints looks so much better to me aesthetically (vain) and of course cost twice as much.

    Yes, I gave up on Shimano rings a long time ago since I typically only get a few months out of them at best, unless running all steel, which are pretty heavy. Been on Blackspire Superpro's for a couple of years now and can get about 8 months out of a set with frequent chain replacement before they are toast.
    Ride On!

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    114
    Hey I have used both the slx and the saint, and I have to say the slx is definitely a beefy crank for its intended purpose. Personally if I were you I would spend the cash and get the saint cranks, they will probably outlast your frame and they are definitely a top quality product. Despite the afore mentioned beefiness of the slx cranks I have never felt they perform on par with other cranks. I feel that the xt and race face atlas are much much better. As for the saints I have some on one of my bikes and they are the most worry free constant performer I have ever seen. They have zero flex and feel very similar to the slx in terms of weight. The best way to think about this then is that xt and xtr are the two tiers of light weight shimano cranks for everything from xc to am but tend to cater more to weight concerned riders. On the other side slx and saint are the two tiers of more beefy cranks that tend to cater more to fr/dh riders less concerned with weight.

    Basically I am saying I think in upgrading to the saint you will not notice the weight while maintaining the heavy duty integrity of the slx. Additionally like upgrading from xt to xtr you are improving your kit in terms of performance.

    Especially since you are willing to run the saint brakes and rear mech already I would go with the saint as you seem to care about performance over weight. One to thing to consider however depending on your set up (sorry I didn't look carefully) is that saint cranks are not always friendly with other front mechs (i.e. saint crank and xt/slx front mech), especially if they are the models with the long rear metal piece that rounds the back of the crank.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jgusta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    2,521
    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle View Post
    no, they are badass and i wouldnt hesitate. the "older" ones, yeah...they were pigs, but even as recent as a few years ago they become VERY tolerably light (enough) to not have a single regret.
    Thanks Fo'. What bike you running them on and what's your main squeeze these days since you've been off the Turner, Nicolai Helius, I can't remember?
    Ride On!

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jgusta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    2,521
    Quote Originally Posted by focotacoma View Post
    Hey I have used both the slx and the saint, and I have to say the slx is definitely a beefy crank for its intended purpose. Personally if I were you I would spend the cash and get the saint cranks, they will probably outlast your frame and they are definitely a top quality product. Despite the afore mentioned beefiness of the slx cranks I have never felt they perform on par with other cranks. I feel that the xt and race face atlas are much much better. As for the saints I have some on one of my bikes and they are the most worry free constant performer I have ever seen. They have zero flex and feel very similar to the slx in terms of weight. The best way to think about this then is that xt and xtr are the two tiers of light weight shimano cranks for everything from xc to am but tend to cater more to weight concerned riders. On the other side slx and saint are the two tiers of more beefy cranks that tend to cater more to fr/dh riders less concerned with weight.

    Basically I am saying I think in upgrading to the saint you will not notice the weight while maintaining the heavy duty integrity of the slx. Additionally like upgrading from xt to xtr you are improving your kit in terms of performance.

    Especially since you are willing to run the saint brakes and rear mech already I would go with the saint as you seem to care about performance over weight. One to thing to consider however depending on your set up (sorry I didn't look carefully) is that saint cranks are not always friendly with other front mechs (i.e. saint crank and xt/slx front mech), especially if they are the models with the long rear metal piece that rounds the back of the crank.
    Thanks FC! Great user feedback and appreciate taking the time to share your experience with the two. Rep at ya' bro!
    JG
    Ride On!

  13. #13
    El Pollo Diablo
    Reputation: SnowMongoose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,479
    I'm running saints on my Summer Season, don't mind a little weight penalty in exchange for being bombproof
    bonus points for buying them barely used, and not having to worry about them...
    I'll break before they do, I've no doubt of that.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Drth Vadr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    780
    Here are some very good looking used cranks that will not break the pocket. If you keep a eye out on eBay, every few weeks someone is selling a new set for $150-200. I just bought new m815 w/38t ring for $200. Matter of fact they should be here today.

    saint 175 68/73 crankset | eBay

    Saint 170mm 68/73mm Crankset - Pinkbike.com

    shimano saint cranks and shimano 68/73mm euro bottom bracket - Pinkbike.com

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    19
    Quote Originally Posted by ljsmith View Post
    Check out this XT crankarm from an older thread here. They got killed by shoe rub of all things.
    Wow, that's the first time in my life I see something like this. I didn't know that walls in hollowtech cranks are that thin.
    I have seen bent/twisted spline on the axle of some higly abused HT2 cranks, also XT FC-M770 cranks with bent spider arms.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    1,142
    if i rubbed my heals on my cranks enough to do that^ i would definitely make or have someone make some washers to space the pedals out a bit.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jgusta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    2,521
    Quote Originally Posted by Drth Vadr View Post
    Here are some very good looking used cranks that will not break the pocket. If you keep a eye out on eBay, every few weeks someone is selling a new set for $150-200. I just bought new m815 w/38t ring for $200. Matter of fact they should be here today.

    saint 175 68/73 crankset | eBay

    Saint 170mm 68/73mm Crankset - Pinkbike.com

    shimano saint cranks and shimano 68/73mm euro bottom bracket - Pinkbike.com
    Good finds, especially the first one. Thanks!
    Ride On!

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jgusta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    2,521
    Quote Originally Posted by focotacoma View Post
    Hey I have used both the slx and the saint, and I have to say the slx is definitely a beefy crank for its intended purpose. Personally if I were you I would spend the cash and get the saint cranks, they will probably outlast your frame and they are definitely a top quality product. Despite the afore mentioned beefiness of the slx cranks I have never felt they perform on par with other cranks. I feel that the xt and race face atlas are much much better. As for the saints I have some on one of my bikes and they are the most worry free constant performer I have ever seen. They have zero flex and feel very similar to the slx in terms of weight. The best way to think about this then is that xt and xtr are the two tiers of light weight shimano cranks for everything from xc to am but tend to cater more to weight concerned riders. On the other side slx and saint are the two tiers of more beefy cranks that tend to cater more to fr/dh riders less concerned with weight.

    Basically I am saying I think in upgrading to the saint you will not notice the weight while maintaining the heavy duty integrity of the slx. Additionally like upgrading from xt to xtr you are improving your kit in terms of performance.

    Especially since you are willing to run the saint brakes and rear mech already I would go with the saint as you seem to care about performance over weight. One to thing to consider however depending on your set up (sorry I didn't look carefully) is that saint cranks are not always friendly with other front mechs (i.e. saint crank and xt/slx front mech), especially if they are the models with the long rear metal piece that rounds the back of the crank.
    BTW, are you comparing the SLX 660's (triple all ALU) vs. Saints or the 665 (double steel axle/inserts, thicker spider)? I am coming off the 660 SLX (converted to double 36/24t) and did me fine for past couple of years, but thinking I would benefit from the steel/thicker parts of the 665 while retaining similar feel and FD compatibility. Also why do you feel XT's are so much better than SLX, besides weight?
    Thx.
    Ride On!

  19. #19
    Ride, Jump, Pray, Land
    Reputation: siyross's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    140
    Yes saint cranks are overkill on an AM rig. XT are great but are slightly more on the delicate side but if you treat them right you should be fine. SLX are great rugged and strong.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    114
    Quote Originally Posted by jgusta View Post
    BTW, are you comparing the SLX 660's (triple all ALU) vs. Saints or the 665 (double steel axle/inserts, thicker spider)? I am coming off the 660 SLX (converted to double 36/24t) and did me fine for past couple of years, but thinking I would benefit from the steel/thicker parts of the 665 while retaining similar feel and FD compatibility. Also why do you feel XT's are so much better than SLX, besides weight?
    Thx.
    I have ridden both slx versions (660 and 665) and I would say that the difference between the two i quite marginal. The double 665 is slightly beefier but not a huge amount. The Saint is obviously noticeably more beefy than either slx but in terms of strength I the 665 and 660 are negligible. The Saint is very much stiffer than either slx.

    In terms of the xt I think the strength to weight ratio is much higher than that seen in the slx which is something to consider. I had xt (last model 2011 can't remember the model) cranks on my 'shore' bike before I had saints and they very light and strong but the saints are noticeably stiffer. Slx feels slightly shaky to me but a lot of people ride them.

    In short both slx models are less stiff and smooth than the xt (but are more beefy and probably less delicate) the saint trumps both by a wide margin (more comparable to solid cranks like the race face atlas).

    xt's are easily strong enough to hold up to big hits (i.e. 10ft drops) on a regular basis but will not last like saints. Slx on the other hand is a crank that can hold up but is a little more 'floppy' they also tend to not stay as tight and consistent as xt and saint. If i were you I would the saint if you want better performance and stiffness, otherwise compromise strength with weight for the xt (which will be stronger more and consistent than the slx and feels a bit smoother in terms of rotation and firmness under foot (all characteristics of the saint) while also bringing heightened shifting performance).

  21. #21
    MTB B'dos
    Reputation: LyNx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    17,225
    OK, sounds like you've beaten on them pretty good. Curious how much you weigh and what sort of drops/jumps you do? I personally pretty much keep my wheel son the ground and only weigh about 175-180lbs geared to ride, so could be part of why my XTs lasted, although I do think I did give them some rough treatment over the years.

    On the BS rings, have to ask, how much riding are you doing to wear out a set in 8 months? I've had rings for years from them and short of bashing them on big rocks, really hard they seem to last forever for me - got I think about 2.5 years out my last middle and the granny and big ring are still going strong.

    Quote Originally Posted by jgusta View Post
    ....the short version..Beat the crap out of them

    Yes, I gave up on Shimano rings a long time ago since I typically only get a few months out of them at best, unless running all steel, which are pretty heavy. Been on Blackspire Superpro's for a couple of years now and can get about 8 months out of a set with frequent chain replacement before they are toast.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
    MTB Barbados
    My MTB vids

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jgusta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    2,521
    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    OK, sounds like you've beaten on them pretty good. Curious how much you weigh and what sort of drops/jumps you do? I personally pretty much keep my wheel son the ground and only weigh about 175-180lbs geared to ride, so could be part of why my XTs lasted, although I do think I did give them some rough treatment over the years.

    On the BS rings, have to ask, how much riding are you doing to wear out a set in 8 months? I've had rings for years from them and short of bashing them on big rocks, really hard they seem to last forever for me - got I think about 2.5 years out my last middle and the granny and big ring are still going strong.
    No big drops, just some table jumps and maybe a drop jump (3-5') to smooth transition here and there at most. Mostly aggro trail/light DH/FR'ing the most with typically no gaps, big drops or big manmade features and ride frequent backcountry XC/trail grinds to bomber descents in NW Oregon/SW WA (mostly buffed trail with roots and hits here and there, nothing too rocky at all) ridden 3-4x/wk tops due to family/career. Weigh about 215lbs geared, not a total hack, but hard on things to some degree (broke my last two frames in about 1.5 yrs time, one totally failed at BB weld/ST/DT junction while riding in 7months, the second cracked at same location 9 months later - largely due to manufacture defect though).

    I think I could of got about 10-12 months max out of my last set set of BS rings but changed them before a ride trip this winter since they looked pretty haggered and was gradually losing shifting performance and wanting my bike dialed while on trip. I usually change rings when most of teeth looks worn and haggered and doesn't shift as well. That's me
    Ride On!

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bubba13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    649
    I ended up with Saint's after bending an XT arm with a pedal strike up at Post Canyon. I noticed an increase in stiffness with the Saints and did not notice the extra half pound on the bike. The weight is at the best possible spot on the bike and would rather be running them with flat pedals. I would rather bend a pedal spindle than a crank arm.

    BTW, Shimano did honor the 2 year warranty on the XT's with out any issues. They sent me a new set of cranks that I just installed on my new Chilcotin. However, if I had a second pair of Saints, I would not hesitate to use them on the new bike.
    Last edited by bubba13; 04-30-2012 at 12:38 AM.
    Portland Off Road Navagators

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: crank1979's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,480
    Saints are great for AM. I noticed an increase in stiffness coming from RF Atlas cranks. The newer, even lighter versions should be better again.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rscecil007's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,983
    I've had a few sets of the SLX M665 cranks and/or crank arms (the beefed up axle with steel pedal inserts). Nice cranks.

    I put a set of Saints on my Chilcotin, and love them. They are stiff as hell. Stiffer than SLX? Can't really fairly say, since I didn't have SLX on the Chili.

    FWIW, comparing the Saint crank arms to the M665 crank arms, and including the axle end adjustment cap, but no bolts, no rings, etc, the Saints were right at 1/4 pound heavier. SLX were 637g, Saints were 753. For 116 grams, unless I'm building a weight weenie bike, I'll take the Saints any day of the week.
    If jackasses could fly this place would be an airport.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •