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  1. #1
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    Saint M810s - Too grabby / difficult to modulate

    Been using my new M810s, love the power but hate the modulation, especially when they are cold.

    During a downhill run the modulation improves quite a bit, but still isn't great. When they cool off they go right back to being crazy grabby.

    It makes it really difficult to balance the bike when manual-ing or wheelie-ing. The lightest touch to the lever = the front tire SLAMS right back to the ground.

    Likewise when on the brakes hard it is difficult to keep the rear from locking.

    Reducing the rotor diameter helped somewhat but doesn't actually solve the problem.


    Has anyone experimented with alternate pads? I've heard the Hope XC4 pads will work if they are ground down slightly. Organic or Metallic?

    http://www.discobrakes.com/?s=0&t=0&c=14&p=698& are dirt cheap (4 sets for $25 delivered for their "medium" compound (http://www.discobrakes.com/?s=0&t=8&q=compounds&). Has anyone tried these on the M810s?

    Also found these guys:
    http://superstar.tibolts.co.uk/index.php?cPath=21

    Hopefully someone else has already experimented so I don't have to be the guinea pig on this one.

    Later!
    -MitchB

  2. #2
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    If the brakes act differently when warm, it sounds like they need a bleed to get rid of trapped air bubbles. You can also try some resin pads for the old Shimano 755 brakes. Or I heard Kool Stop is making organic pads. Or try switching the rear hose from the Saint BH-80 to the standard Shimano BH-59 or BH-63 - the Saint hose is a bit stiffer, giving more power but less modulation. Or you can do what I do, run a Saint caliper on the front and an XT caliper on the back.

    I've heard the new Saints called grabby, but mine have the same excellent modulation as my XTs and a LOT more power. I installed/bled them myself, and they definitely took more time and effort to get the bubbles out than the XTs.

  3. #3
    Meh.
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    Many pad compounds work well in a particular temperature range. For instance... friend has race pads on a Evo. They work fantastic when he's on a road course and can be heavy on the brakes. But... driving around town or autocrossing, he can't build enough heat into them to make them stop well.

    If it needed a bleed, the lever would feel different when hot vs cold. It would not affect how the pad is performing.

    I do not think the m810 uses the same pad as the m755. BTI lists two different parts for the m810 and the m755 pads. The m810 pads are available in both metal (D02S) and resin (D01S).

  4. #4
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    I can say from first-hand experience that the Saint metallic pads do not change their feel based on temperature. This is after a full season on them at Whistler, on two different bikes, doing all the double-blacks and many of the pro lines, and I weigh 225 lbs. Occasionally they get a bit squealy when warm. So, as I wrote before, if they feel different based on temperature, it's time to bleed them.

    The 755 pads work, but you have to grind off the little pointy tabs. And they are actually available to buy, unlike the Shimano Saint organic pads. Looks like BTI has the Kool Stop organic pads for the Saints in stock as well.

  5. #5
    Meh.
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    Go ahead and run the brakes at -40F and again at 600F. Let me know if they perform differently then. Simply put, it is not possible for the coefficient of friction of the pad to be constant across ALL temperature ranges.

    Bleeding would more affect lever feel... If the lever stays firms and the free stroke does not change, it likely does not need to be bled. Again... it would not affect how the pad itself performs. If the lever feel changes... it needs to be bled.

    It could simply be the OPs perception of how grabby the brakes are. Obviously it takes more force at the lever to slow down the bike at high speeds. Less input is needed at slower relative speeds.

  6. #6
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    I should have been clearer.

    I use the same bike for downhill and freeriding.

    When DH'ing (hot brakes 99% of the time) the brakes work well: massive power and good (but not excellent) modulation. No fade issues. Solid and consistent lever feel all of the time.

    When freeriding (cold brakes 99% of the time) I find the brakes to be very very grabby. Same lever feel, but a ton of initial torque = "grabby".

    I am very picky regarding brake performance. Prior experience (7 years of motorcycle roadracing) leads me to believe that this is a pad compound issue. I may be wrong, so I will try to bleed them again.

    I have no issue swapping pads back and forth for DH days vs FR days. Its easier than swapping brake systems back and forth, which is what I'm doing now.

    I'd like to hear peoples experiences with different manufacturers and pad compounds on their Saint 810s. Thanks.
    -MitchB

  7. #7
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    Results:

    http://www.discobrakes.com/?s=0&t=0&c=14&p=698& seem to work pretty well for trail/freeride usage and are extraordinarily cheap too.

    I tried them as a set and as a mix (1 disco brake pad with 1 OEM shimano pad per caliper).

    Even as a mix the 810s were too grabby for me, but when I used the disco brake pads by themselves they worked pretty well. I did a 22 mile ride (Porcupine Rim) with the mix then I swapped to the 100% disco pads for the remainder of the Moab trip. So far I have done 7 rides on them and they are maintaining a good consistent feel.

    I have not tried the Disco Pads for real downhilling. I ran the Red Bull Burner on the OEM Saint pads and they worked well the whole time. Next downhill day I will play with mixing pads again.

    Hope this helps other Saint users.
    -MitchB

  8. #8
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    bump. back from the dead.

    what are you guys using to improve Saint modulation?

    how do those disco pads work in DH riding? reviews seem to be mixed and Id hate to hit the mountain with them if they fade bad downhilling.
    The mountains are calling and I must go

  9. #9
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    They work fantastic when he's on a road course

  10. #10
    NWS
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    I took a friend's Sainted bike for a spin and was simultaneously impressed at the braking power and dismayed at the lack of modulation. So I addressed the modulation issue by getting a Hope V2 for my own bike. Problem solved!












    Neener neener.

  11. #11
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    2nd Update:

    I no longer use the 810s on my Freeride bike. I bought a real DH bike and moved the brakes over to that bike. Modulation problem (mostly) solved by using the brakes for the intended purpose. They are still grabby when cold and when wet though.

    Disco 810 Brake Pads: They work, but they don’t work as well as the OEM Shimanos. The Disco’s get a slightly “wooden” feel when they get really hot, while the OEM still bite well (but start to squeal a bit). Currently I have the OEM pads on the rear and the Disco pads on the front. I’m mostly happy.


    For my freeride bike I have the new Saint 810 levers with the old Saint single piston calipers. Modulation is 100% absolutely perfect, they feel phenomenal....

    BUT they seem to require a higher lever force than the newer XT brakes to get the same braking effect– I’m guessing that the master cylinder diameter of the Saint 810 levers is larger than the M775 XT levers.

    Hindsight being 20/20 I think I should have gotten the XT levers instead of the Saint levers (I found the Saint 810 levers cheap).

    As far as I can tell the M775 XT and old saint are the same calipers but with different hose connections.
    -MitchB

  12. #12
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    superstar kevlar feels better then stock

    i have been running them for 2 week now excellent not grabby and modulation is excellent they are fitted on my nomad which is my all rounder mini DH setup and i am a Clyde 245lb
    now superstar will be my first choice

  13. #13
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    afaik, the saint and xt levers (775) are the same, they just have different aesthetics.

    imo, servo wave lever + 4pot caliper = More power than the average rider needs.

    I run a 7" saint setup on my am rig except I've got it hooked up to a non servo wave xtr lever, it modulates MUCH better than the saint setup on my friends dh rig and I still just need 1 finger to haul my 200 pounds to a halt.

    So there, get a non servo wave lever. Problem solved.
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