Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking GearReviews and Roundups

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  1. #1
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    Saint M820 calipers & XTR Race M9000 levers! Possible?

    I want to run the Saint 820 calipers with XTR Race 9000 levers. Has anyone done this? How do they like it? Anyone know the weight difference between this setup and just running XTR 9020 Trails? I suspect the weights will be similar What do you guys think?

  2. #2
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    Trails are quite a lot lighter as the Saint caliper is heavy. I ran the m980 race levers with Saint calipers. There is a thread somewhere on here about it.

  3. #3
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    I was under the impression that the Race lever was something like 50 grams lighter than that the trail. I thought this might help offset the additional weight of the Saint caliper. I know the Saint caliper weighs 159 grams. Anyone know what the 9020 trail caliper weighs?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by artsn View Post
    I want to run the Saint 820 calipers with XTR Race 9000 levers. Has anyone done this? How do they like it? Anyone know the weight difference between this setup and just running XTR 9020 Trails? I suspect the weights will be similar What do you guys think?
    I'm not sure what people define as "so much heavier"....

    I have both 9020 Trails and Saint 820. Weight difference was about 70-80g per brake, including master, caliper, hose. Pictures below

    I like the Saint sooooo much more

    Saint M820 calipers & XTR Race M9000 levers! Possible?-img_5198.jpgSaint M820 calipers & XTR Race M9000 levers! Possible?-img_5199.jpg
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  5. #5
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    If I run xtr race levers and Saint calipers the weight difference between this setup and straight 9020 trails is actually 25 grams per wheel. Draper was nice enough to explain to me that he ran this with 980 levers and said it would have been awesome...but he had trouble getting a good bleed. Anybody have insight into why the bleed could be troublesome. Could this issue be fixed with the 9000 iteration? Thanks again guys for the input.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by artsn View Post
    If I run xtr race levers and Saint calipers the weight difference between this setup and straight 9020 trails is actually 25 grams per wheel. Draper was nice enough to explain to me that he ran this with 980 levers and said it would have been awesome...but he had trouble getting a good bleed. Anybody have insight into why the bleed could be troublesome. Could this issue be fixed with the 9000 iteration? Thanks again guys for the input.
    What you also need to ask yourself, is how much performance you sacrifice by mixing and matching. I honestly don't know, but does the XTR master move enough to fluid to displace the quad Saint pistons versus the dual XTR pistons?

    I wouldn't want to be the guinea pig. not for a few measly grams.
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  7. #7
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    I hear ya squeak but I am doing this on my cross bike (not saints)that's why I even considered it. The displacement question is super valid.

  8. #8
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    As long as the brakes are bled properly and the pads aren't an inch from the rotors, displacement should never be a problem. If one lever/master displaces less fluid via a smaller piston, you end up with more powerful brakes. Usually, manufacturers use the same size master piston over the entire line and only change the slave/caliper piston area to change up power. If Shimano increased the master piston area to match the change in slave piston area, the Saints would not be any more powerful than the XTRs.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuickGN View Post
    As long as the brakes are bled properly and the pads aren't an inch from the rotors, displacement should never be a problem. If one lever/master displaces less fluid via a smaller piston, you end up with more powerful brakes. Usually, manufacturers use the same size master piston over the entire line and only change the slave/caliper piston area to change up power. If Shimano increased the master piston area to match the change in slave piston area, the Saints would not be any more powerful than the XTRs.
    thanks for the info
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  10. #10
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    When I first set up my brakes, Shimano told me the XTR 985 lever would not work with the 810 caliper because the Saint lever pushes 25% more fluid. Also, they wouldn't bleed right with the Jagwire hose. The first few bleeds didn't work well. After I got the bleed down right, no problems at all. I now have the 9000 levers with the same 810 caliper. Had to have the carbon levers. I think the 9000 levers changed a little. Brakes felt awesome first bleed.

  11. #11
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    Awesome

    Thats great news! I plan to run the 820 Saint caliper and the xtr 9000 levers with standard Shimano brake lines! Stoked. By running the lighter levers the weight penalty between this setup and 9020 Trails complete is non existant! 24 grams per wheel. Any other advice or things I need to know to do this successfully?
    Last edited by artsn; 11-16-2015 at 09:35 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuickGN View Post
    As long as the brakes are bled properly and the pads aren't an inch from the rotors, displacement should never be a problem. If one lever/master displaces less fluid via a smaller piston, you end up with more powerful brakes. Usually, manufacturers use the same size master piston over the entire line and only change the slave/caliper piston area to change up power. If Shimano increased the master piston area to match the change in slave piston area, the Saints would not be any more powerful than the XTRs.
    The fluid displacement on the levers is different according to the Shimano tech person in the video below (starts at 2:20 in the video). The Saints and presumably the Zees have a bit more oil displacement than the XTR levers, it sounds like they tweaked the leverage ratios to do this rather than changing the master cylinder diameter. A different servo-wave curve on the levers would also explain why the 4 piston brakes have better modulation than the 2 piston ones. Shimano frowns on mixing & matching calipers & levers, but they're all close enough that they'll work.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPEMDigIGoM

  13. #13
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    I saw a pro enduro bike with that setup. It also was running Freeza rotors as well. I think it was a GMBN pro rider bike walk around.

  14. #14
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    I, m also leaning to the same set (9000lever+820calip).
    As i read there might me an issue with:

    -Amount of fluid being pushed to caliper
    -distance between pad and rotor (have heard anything)?

    From pros:
    +The modulation is better, more linear than 0:1
    +used by some pro's so assume setup is checked in hard conditions

    Would You stil recommend this hybrid or rather stay with full Saint?

  15. #15
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    I'm still waiting for more information before I pull the trigger. I talked to my local shop and they think it would be a killer setup.

  16. #16
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    I believe the main reason all the EWS pros were running the the XTR Race lever/Saint combo a few years ago was b/c that was the only way to really get better modulating brakes, b/c the then servo-wave that the XTR/XT/Saint levers had was a bit too off/on for most people's liking.

    If you look at all EWS race coverage, no one's really doing that now. They are all running Saint calipers with the new XTR m9020 trail levers. Why? Because Shimano tweaked the servo wave in the new m9020 and XT m9000 levers, and they modulate WAY better than the previous gen levers. I've got a set of m9000 XT's, and their modulation has really improved. I've had a few sts of XT m785's and XTR m988's, so it's easy for me to tell the difference.

    I tried the old XTR m985 Race lever/Saint caliper combo, twice. One set worked great but howled like a banshee on crack on my frame, no matter what I did. The second set on a different frame I just couldn't get them to feel as good as the previous set.

    Now I'm back on full Saints and happy, and couldn't give a flip about the weight difference.
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  17. #17
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    So this tweaked Servo mech rely also to Saint lever or, to have advantages of all power/modulation/setup is to take only the newest XTR trail 9020?

    And my presonal question.

    You say the EWS bikes combos are quite old but this is about 2014
    http://blog.rahoxbrakes.com/2014/10/...-2014.html?m=1

    Team mech had already new xtr 9020(redesigned as you say) and still went with 9000. Why did thay if the 'improoved servo' was just next to it??

  18. #18
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    Saint levers remain unchanged as far as I know.

    Can't comment on that article, but I know Graves and Rude weren't running Race levers last year from all the pics I saw.
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  19. #19
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  20. #20
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    That's not his 2015 race rig. That's his 2014 one he won the championship with. He didn't win the championship last year, Rude did.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Placek View Post
    I, m also leaning to the same set (9000lever+820calip).
    As i read there might me an issue with:

    -Amount of fluid being pushed to caliper
    -distance between pad and rotor (have heard anything)?

    From pros:
    +The modulation is better, more linear than 0:1
    +used by some pro's so assume setup is checked in hard conditions

    Would You stil recommend this hybrid or rather stay with full Saint?
    i think this is it... no feeling of the 'instant' bite and lock. wonder how m8000 levers will work with saint

  22. #22
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    Whenbyou mentioned lst year for both riders than thught to search for 2014.
    Anyhow you,'re the first person saying that 9020 with servo should have better modulation from 9000 (and overall perforrmance) as the servo was redesigned from last version
    Quote Originally Posted by rscecil007 View Post
    That's not his 2015 race rig. That's his 2014 one he won the championship with. He didn't win the championship last year, Rude did.

  23. #23
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    Here's a few shots from this year, best I can find without serious hunting. You can only see the levers in the pics, but if you look through the EWS coverage articles you can see they are both running Saint calipers.

    at EWS 8 2015 in Finale Ligure, Italy - photo by mattwragg - Pinkbike
    Justin Leov at EWS1 2015 in Rotorua, New Zealand - photo by mattwragg - Pinkbike

    Don't take what I say as gospel, I'm only relaying my experience. I spoke to Grave's mechanic Shawn Hughes (sp?) before I ever tried this. He said the Saint caliper/XTR race (non servo lever) were by far the best trail brake set up, due to the fact they were super strong and rock solid at the end of the pull, and didn't have that bit of give that the servo wave levers do. HOWEVER, he did say that the setup could be very finnicky, but I didn't ever hear back from him as to what exactly he meant.

    The finnicky part could be why one set I had worked great, but the other not as much.

    Like I said, I'd like to try the new 2015 XTR or XT levers with a set of Saint calipers, but I'm so happy with my stock Saints at this point, I'm not messing with anything.

    Hope this helps.
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  24. #24
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    I'm running M987 (Race) levers with M820 Saint calipers on my 30 lbs trail bike. Lots of bite with great modulation... The XTs and XTR Trails of the previous gen had too much initial bite... The XTRs Trail did have more modulation than my XTs (setup?), but nothing like the Race levers without the Servo-Wave. Oh, didn't issues with the XTR Race levers and Saint calipers. I did the full Shimano bleed procedure and can't be happier...

    On another bike, I have the M9000 a Race levers with the M9020 Trail calipers, and this setup has more power than the previous gen XT and XTRs, with dialed modulation. But now I'm curious to see how the M9020 modulation is, if in fact the new Servo-Wave does have improved modulation.

    Anyways, that's been my experience...

  25. #25
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    can servo wave be disabled?

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