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  1. #1
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    Shimano Saint 4-pot 1st Impressions

    OK, I finally got some Saint 4-pots. I've been wanting them ever since the first photos were released on the webernets. When I built up my Pivot Firebird, I put it together with my old trusty Hayes Mags. The Mags (were) awesome for their time. I've been running them on XT centerlock rotors (203mm). The old Mags don't really have the power of today's brakes and they certainly don't modulate as well as the new stuff. My other bike has Strokers on them which are pretty much flawless with the newer black pads.

    I didn't really want to deal with cutting down the lines so I just ziptied or zapstrapped them together so they wouldn't flail all over the place and get caught on anything. I'll cut them down after a few rides.

    They are really easy to set up. I don't have Shimano adaptors so I just threw them on the ones that were on my bike - the front is an Avid and the rear is a Hayes and that worked great. The pads sit really far from the disc so even though both mine are a little warped, they don't rub at all. This is pretty cool because we have a lot of rain and mud where I live and that'll be very useful in a month or two.

    Some people have complained about noise. Let me just say that these brakes are some of the quietest brakes I've ever ridden. There were a couple of near squawks... but they never acutally did. Maybe it's because I ran them on fully broken in rotors.

    The pads bedded in extremely fast.. just a few good stops and they were already getting some good friction. Another nice thing about them is how smooth they are. I don't know if it's the lever or how the pads interact with the disc.... OR the quad pistons but wow do they feel smooth.

    The brakes are super powerful. I'm probably 235+ with shoes, gear, water etc and I can really tax brakes. I don't think I've ever felt this kind of mega-power before. There was certainly more modulation then the Mags, but there isn't as much as with the Strokers. You can just barely pull with 1 finger and scrub speed, or pull just the right amount to do a jump to rolling endo landing coming up to corners you know well, etc. The only difficult thing was when in really rough stuff and accidentally pulling a little more brake than needed and skidding here and there and since they have so much power, I ended up going a little slower into some corners then I normally do. But I think that'll go away with a little more than 1.5 hours of familiarity with them....

    Oh, I almost forgot... the gold lever adjustment knob works really well - you can make both brakes feel the same very easily. I'm not quite sure what the free stroke adjustment does because I couldn't tell the difference when I screwed them in or out, but maybe I'll figure that out later.

    I really hope they don't turn into squawkers later. That happened with the Strokers after a few rides, but the new black pads solved that with them. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
    "It looks flexy"

  2. #2
    cup
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    i always like your review gticlay. from the nomad to saints, firebird and etc. btw, how do you feel the saints brake when compared to hope tech m4, better or on par ?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by cup
    i always like your review gticlay. from the nomad to saints, firebird and etc. btw, how do you feel the saints brake when compared to hope tech m4, better or on par ?
    wish i knew... have a set for me to try?
    "It looks flexy"

  4. #4
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    The new saints are way more powerful than Hope MonoM4's and the old saint....all used with Hope floating rotors.

  5. #5
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    Well, I've put another 3-4 rides on the Saints. They have worn in nicely and continue to be very, very quiet. I went on a quick ride this morning in a little rain and there weren't any squeeks or noise. The rear lever tends to move around a little in the amount of pull... I find myself wanting to fiddle with the gold pull adjuster so I think it probably needs a bleed. I still haven't cut down the hoses so I'll just cut and bleed at the same time. I want to put a longer fork on the bike though so I hate to chop them down without having that fork first.

    I'll tell you what - the power is amazing out of these things.
    "It looks flexy"

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