Shimano Saint Write-up and Review- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Shimano Saint Write-up and Review

    Since childhood we have known that there are two ways to build something: the half-effort way, and the right way. From deciding to take out the trash rather than leave beer bottles on the sofa, to taking apart and lubing your bike rather than just giving it a quick spray with the hose: this is a lesson we (try to) keep for life. Shimano kept this message close to heart when designing their all new, "super heavy duty" FR/DH group: SAINT. We are here to find out if it worked.
    (click on images for full size photo)
    <a href="http://gallery.mtbr.com/showphoto.php?photo=11891&size=big&password=&sort= 1&cat=514" target="new"><img src="http:/gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr514/234962/saintryan2.jpg" width="700" height="422" border="0" alt="Close-up"></a>

    In designing the Saint group, Shimano decided to go all-out. While some of the design concepts are taken from the upscale XTR line, SAINT has a different type of rider in mind. The cranks, using the Hollowtech II design, are claimed to be twice as stiff as the XTR arms. This is in part due to the use of outboard bearings on the bottom bracket shell.

    <a href="http://gallery.mtbr.com/showphoto.php?photo=11886&size=big&password=&sort= 1&cat=516" target="new"><img src="http:/gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr516/234962/Saintcrankrear.jpg" width="632" height="419" border="0" alt="Saint Crank Close-up"></a>

    The brakes are one-piece, two piston with 160 or 203 mm rotors, while the hubs have a front 20 mm thru-axle and rear 10 mm thru-axle with cup-and-cone style bearings.

    <a href="http://gallery.mtbr.com/showphoto.php?photo=11889&size=big&password=&sort= 1&cat=516" target="new"><img src="http:/gallery.mtbr.com/data/medium/mtbr516/234962/saintrotorandbolt.jpg" width="600" height="574" border="0" alt="Saint Rotor Close-up"></a>

    Most unique of all is the rear derailleur. It is a rapid-rise unit that connects directly to the rear axle ? no derailleur hanger, all meant to transfer impact to the stronger axle.

    <a href="http://gallery.mtbr.com/showphoto.php?photo=11888&size=big&password=&sort= 1&cat=516" target="new"><img src="http:/gallery.mtbr.com/data/medium/mtbr516/234962/Saintrear.jpg" width="600" height="467" border="0" alt="Saint Rear Derailleur Close-up"></a>

    So what does all this designing translate to? Hopefully, an indestructible group set that is more than a blessing to downhillers and freeriders that are tired of breaking parts.

    The first words Shimano throws at us are ?super heavy duty.? And, that is the first thing we see when taking a look at the new rear derailleur, cranks, hubs, disk brakes and rotors that come under the Saint name. While the styling is love-it-or-leave-it, any rider will have to admit they certainly look ?super heavy duty?. Dark, flat grays and blacks. Metal shaping that looks like part of a Nighthawk stealth plane. Styling that would simply look ludicrous bolted to a shiney, thin tubed cross country bike, but seems to fit the part on today?s FR/DH rigs.

    As usual, Shimano has created a good quality, well thought out group. Japanese construction, good engineering, and a burly design give results on the trail. Shimano created a combination of effective design and beefy parts that hardcore downhillers and freeriders will enjoy.

    The crank arms feel stiff, strong, and heavier than the XTR line ? what an abusive rider is looking for. Shimano included steel inserts for the pedals on the crank arms. The crankset?s outward bearing creates less flex, a stiffer spindle, longer life, and better quality seals, all attributes hardcore riders value.

    <a href="http://gallery.mtbr.com/showphoto.php?photo=11885&size=big&password=&sort= 1&cat=516" target="new"><img src="http:/gallery.mtbr.com/data/medium/mtbr516/234962/saintcranknondrive1.jpg" width="531" height="600" border="0" alt="Saint Cranks and Outboard Bearings Close-up"></a>

    We used Shimano?s XT levers, which have great ergonomics and a one-finger feel, they matched the Saint calipers well. The braking was solid and consistent with good modulation. Shimano made the calipers adjustable and without spacers, trailside adjustments are possible.

    <a href="http://gallery.mtbr.com/showphoto.php?photo=11884&password=&sort=1&cat=516 &page=1" target="new"><img src="http:/gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr516/234962/saintcaliper2.jpg" width="600" height="566" border="0" alt="Saint Brake Caliper Close-up"></a>

    Also, the calipers have an adjustable banjo for optimum cable routing to the levers, and the central locking system for the rotors saves weight.

    <a href="http://gallery.mtbr.com/showphoto.php?photo=11883&size=big&password=&sort= 1&cat=516" target="new"><img src="http:/gallery.mtbr.com/data/medium/mtbr516/234962/Saintcaliper1x.jpg" width="600" height="536" border="0" alt="Saint Brake Caliper Close-up"></a>

    Unlike sealed hubs you can adjust the cones on the bearings of SAINT. They engage quickly when pedaling, and are built for the rigors of FR or DH racing.

    <a href="http://gallery.mtbr.com/showphoto.php?photo=11887&size=big&password=&sort= 1&cat=516" target="new"><img src="http:/gallery.mtbr.com/data/medium/mtbr516/234962/SaintHub.jpg" width="600" height="400" border="0" alt="Saint Hub"></a>

    The rear derailleur is awesome, it shifts smooth and fast. It feels just as smooth as the XTR line but in a beefed up version. For all you old Shimano fans out there, keep in mind this is a rapid rise design derailleur, so shifts will be the opposite of what you?re used to. In our application, we had a 135mm bolt through the axle assembly that stiffened up the rear end considerably. With the bolt through axle, there was less flex and better handling qualities on rough sections.

    <a href="http://gallery.mtbr.com/showphoto.php?photo=11892&size=big&password=&sort= 1&cat=516" target="new"><img src="http:/gallery.mtbr.com/data/medium/mtbr516/234962/saintrearder.jpg" width="600" height="547" border="0" alt="Saint Rear Derailleur"></a>

    As we guessed, Shimano has delivered a well-thought out group. Riders looking for better shifting, durability, strength, and longevity will most likely be impressed with what Shimano has to offer in their Saint group. Weight weenies need not apply ? downhillers and freeriders, check it out.

    For more information, check out the Official RideSaint Website:
    http://www.ridesaint.com/


    Reviewed and tested by:


    Devlin Koehler
    Ryan Condrashoff
    Greg Olson
    Forrest Arakawa
    Chris Carscadden
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by gregg; 04-29-2005 at 01:25 PM.

  2. #2
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    One question...
    If you want to take off your rear wheel, do you need to take off the derailer first?

  3. #3
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    Good review.
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  4. #4
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    ya, i'd have to say thats the one weakness about my saint group. Taking off the rear wheel. You do have to take the deraileur off, and it' s really hard to get back on,especially with a scream, it' sbecause you have to hold the derailer in place, put the axle in, and hold the derailer in the dropouts little nich for it. IT's a 2 person job for me at least. But i have to say thats one of saints weaknesse's. Otherwise i have to agree with that review, i love my saint!
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  5. #5
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    Thanks for the response. yes, you have to remove the rear derailuer to remove the rear wheel. The derailuer is actually the nut to the axle, which leaves the traditional derailuer hanger unused. This is a neat feature because it allows single speed frames to run a derailuer with out a derailuer hanger.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BansheeHucker
    ya, i'd have to say thats the one weakness about my saint group. Taking off the rear wheel. You do have to take the deraileur off, and it' s really hard to get back on,especially with a scream, it' sbecause you have to hold the derailer in place, put the axle in, and hold the derailer in the dropouts little nich for it. IT's a 2 person job for me at least. But i have to say thats one of saints weaknesse's. Otherwise i have to agree with that review, i love my saint!
    i wouldnt consider that a weakness, less broken derailer hangers

    good review
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  7. #7
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    ya, but it's just the worse party about it, very vexing
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  8. #8
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    Right on...

    Thanks again for the props on the review!


    Forrest

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slayer77
    Thanks again for the props on the review!


    Forrest
    would you take saint cranks over diablous?

    i am thinking of buying saint brakes, too.

  10. #10
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    JBsox, I have not tried the diablous...

    So I can't really say... I can tell you that the Saint cranks were easy to install and stiff as anything I've ever ridden.


    Thanks dude.



    Quote Originally Posted by JBsoxB
    would you take saint cranks over diablous?

    i am thinking of buying saint brakes, too.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBsoxB
    would you take saint cranks over diablous?

    i am thinking of buying saint brakes, too.
    I'd take Saints. Diablous' ano wear off and looks purple after awhile. Oh, and i just think Saints look cooler and thats all that matters.
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  12. #12
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    Nice review

    Things I hate

    still the big cable loop
    why do they have to make it opposite shifting (lame)
    Last edited by SHIVER ME TIMBERS; 04-28-2005 at 08:56 PM.
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  13. #13
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    Thats a great review, thanks for posting it.

    I just wonder if shimano really thought the rear derailleur/axel combo all the way through. I know generally the group is built for DH/FR but no matter what its gotta be a pain removing the rear mech each time you need to get the rear wheel out, particularly on the trails etc.
    Trev!

  14. #14
    SamIAm
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    if there is no derailer hanger then if your derailer gets hit does the derailer take the damage rather than the hanger? that seems that if you do hit it hard instead of bending derailer hanger your gona bend the rear derailer...or am i missing something here?
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamL3227
    if there is no derailer hanger then if your derailer gets hit does the derailer take the damage rather than the hanger? that seems that if you do hit it hard instead of bending derailer hanger your gona bend the rear derailer...or am i missing something here?
    the derailleur is invincible...

  16. #16
    dh mike
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    I got the brales

    i have saint brakes 8"

    theyre great i have the xt levers also, they work great
    awsome feel
    great modulation

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBsoxB
    the derailleur is invincible...
    nothing is invincible....granny busted his (he is on his second saint derailler)
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS
    nothing is invincible....granny busted his (he is on his second saint derailler)
    notice the " "



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBsoxB
    notice the " "


    si senore
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  20. #20
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    Nice pics and all but to me this reads more like an ad than a review.
    You are sponsored by Shimano right?

    Plus i don't get why this has to be a sticky.


    My 2 cents worth.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BansheeHucker
    ya, i'd have to say thats the one weakness about my saint group. Taking off the rear wheel. You do have to take the deraileur off, and it' s really hard to get back on,especially with a scream, it' sbecause you have to hold the derailer in place, put the axle in, and hold the derailer in the dropouts little nich for it. IT's a 2 person job for me at least. But i have to say thats one of saints weaknesse's. Otherwise i have to agree with that review, i love my saint!
    i wouldnt be complaining, my DEMO with its built in derailuer guard, makes it a 2 man job to get it on and off anyways, so i wouldnt mind, but hey i guess if youve got one of those derailuer guards then you dont need Saint...

    maby people should sell them...


    Quote Originally Posted by SMT
    why do they have to make it opposite shifting (lame)
    the idea was too eliminate the ghost shifting/grinding you get when your cranking hard on the pedals and shifting, so they reversed it and it was supposed to do soemthing, although i cant remember the technical mumbo jumbo behind it...

    my mates new XT Derailuer/Lever combo with rapid rise works pretty well, i tryed to test out the theory the other day but got bored and did some DH runs on his new bike instead...

    maby someone could chime in and tell us the actual reason behind it, and why it works or doesnt work, as my memory is a little hazy...
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  22. #22
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    Because its a good piece...well thougth out and written.

    I give my props...plus it makes me second guess all the Saint Stuff I'm selling in the classifieds. (Shameless Plug)

    Great photos. One problem in the writing though...
    You mentioned that the Saint "cranks, using the Hollowtech II design, are claimed to be twice as stiff as the XTR arms. This is in part due to the use of outboard bearings on the bottom bracket shell." How is this true if the XTR also uses the same Hollowtech II design as well as the same type of outboard bearings???
    I'm not doubting you...just want a new reason why it's "twice as stiff"??

    I am keeping my Saint Crankset and rear derailleur, rather than selling them with everything else(another shamless plug),because they did feel stiffer and I like the finish way better.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS
    nothing is invincible....granny busted his (he is on his second saint derailler)
    i just looked on the site and it said "The FH-M805 fixes the rear derailleur directly to the rear hub. This technology seperates the derailleur from the vulnerable rear derailleur hanger giving you perfect derailleur alignment no matter the severity of the trail."

    so i'm guessing it's to prevent ghost shifting.... by keeping the derailleur straight...

    unless the axle bent

  24. #24
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    Components look cool and strong. The "review," however, reads as though it were written by Shimano's marketing department. Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just a bit misleading.
    d

  25. #25
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    Dude, Helmet?

    Great review..great pic but no helmet? Be a good influence! Put a bucket on your head!

    Uzzi

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Plow
    Nice pics and all but to me this reads more like an ad than a review.
    You are sponsored by Shimano right?

    Plus i don't get why this has to be a sticky.


    My 2 cents worth.
    he gets payed to do it, or something...
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  27. #27
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    I've been using the Shimano Saint cranks and they are real strong, couldn't be happier with them. I also just recently started using the Shimano Saint Hydraulic brakes as well, this brakes feel so much better than my Hayes HFX Hydraulic Disc Brakes, more power and more modulation, it feels like the perfect power/modulation ratio.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamL3227
    if there is no derailer hanger then if your derailer gets hit does the derailer take the damage rather than the hanger? that seems that if you do hit it hard instead of bending derailer hanger your gona bend the rear derailer...or am i missing something here?
    exactly. leave it to Shimano to solve the problem of breaking a $15 der hanger by letting you break a $100 derailleur.

    phoque Shimano. stupid predatory defensive business.

    but nice writeup Forrest, even if you do like the Devil's Own Company.

  29. #29
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    Opposite shifting has it's pros

    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS
    Nice review

    Things I hate

    still the big cable loop
    why do they have to make it opposite shifting (lame)
    I've been running saint for a while now. I like the opposite shifting. When you're riding down hill fast you can shift to a harder gear to keep pedalling without taking your figure off the break. You use you're thumb to get to the higher gear, so you don't have to worrie about taking your index figure off the break.

  30. #30
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    Gonzo...

    Hey dude... I didn't really do any of the writing, that was Greg O. and Dev. I just take the photos...

    Thanks man...

    Forrest


    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    exactly. leave it to Shimano to solve the problem of breaking a $15 der hanger by letting you break a $100 derailleur.

    phoque Shimano. stupid predatory defensive business.

    but nice writeup Forrest, even if you do like the Devil's Own Company.
    Last edited by gregg; 05-13-2005 at 04:31 PM.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregz12
    I've been running saint for a while now. I like the opposite shifting. When you're riding down hill fast you can shift to a harder gear to keep pedalling without taking your figure off the break. You use you're thumb to get to the higher gear, so you don't have to worrie about taking your index figure off the break.
    Or you could buy SRAM and shift both ways with your thumb.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSherpa
    Or you could buy SRAM and shift both ways with your thumb.
    Word.
    JackNugz

    Quote Originally Posted by zedro
    no, but they are shinier....it's like the fututre, where everything is really really shiny.....but still really just the same ol'crap

  33. #33
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    Ask Forrest, I am usually the one riding XC in a full face. I am sorry I neglected to wear one for the photo... KIDS! WHERE YOUR HELMETS!

  34. #34
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    Saint stuff is really nice, I like the rear Der. but after over a year of running the cranks I stepped down to the new XT's because they feel just as stiff and weight about 1/2lb less. I think the hubs are kinda heavy for the price range also (competition is much lighter ie; King, Hadley etc). I run the '05 Deemax which have a Saint compatible rear axle and that setup is really sweet. It's nice that there is finaly a Saint front der. and also seperate brake levers making the groups truly complete. Saint=good stuff!

  35. #35
    SamIAm
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    exactly. leave it to Shimano to solve the problem of breaking a $15 der hanger by letting you break a $100 derailleur.

    phoque Shimano. stupid predatory defensive business.

    but nice writeup Forrest, even if you do like the Devil's Own Company.
    but would that really be a problem or am i just overthinking it...cuz to me it looks like a way for shimanno to make way more money.
    <(*-*<) Go Ride (>*-*)>

  36. #36
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    krankage

    How much would the saint krankset cost? (i know that krank is spelled with a c but my computer is a **** and blocks it out for some reason)
    TUCK AND ROLL FATTY!!!!!!

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    phoque Shimano. stupid predatory defensive business.

    but nice writeup Forrest, even if you do like the Devil's Own Company.
    Sounds suspiciously like another bully company....
    Attached Images Attached Images

  38. #38
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    That's an advertisement, not a review..
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by special(ed)ized rider
    How much would the saint krankset cost? (i know that krank is spelled with a c but my computer is a **** and blocks it out for some reason)
    then how'd you do it there

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Locoman
    That's an advertisement, not a review..
    This website is a business not just a forum.

    Welcome to reality!
    Last edited by like_the_wheel; 05-01-2005 at 08:02 PM.

  41. #41
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    for DH/FR...I would go with a Sram X9 or X0
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  42. #42
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    Man, you really have to say something about EVERYTHING.. ..its pretty funny :-)
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  43. #43
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    [QUOTE=gonzostrike]exactly. leave it to Shimano to solve the problem of breaking a $15 der hanger by letting you break a $100 derailleur.

    phoque Shimano. stupid predatory defensive business. QUOTE]

    Dead on.....it's like Shimano hasn't changed at all over the years....
    If I get lost, don't go too fast!

  44. #44
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    In the review it says that the calipers are adjustable and without spacers, how is that possible?
    Anything worth doing is worth overdoing...

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  45. #45
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    ...so nobody has an answer/opinion on whether the no derailer hanger accually works or is just a way for shimanno to make more money
    <(*-*<) Go Ride (>*-*)>

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamL3227
    ...so nobody has an answer/opinion on whether the no derailer hanger accually works or is just a way for shimanno to make more money
    geez you guys and your evil-empire fantacies. Before Saint was developped, Shimano had no clue to the real carnage that was going on....unless something goes through their warranty department, they wont know the number of trashed deraillers people go through. Apperently a field trip to the freeride scene suddenly woke them up and this was their solution: make a burly derailler and get rid of those weak XC inspired derailler hangers. What you guys are all pissy about is that the laws of physics still apply and its possible to still break stuff.

    And think of this, if breakaway hangers are so great, why are people trashing deraillers in the first place? because a trashed hanger can also put the derailler in harms way, ontop of it not being all that useful in protection anyways (they were designed to protect frames, not deraillers remember?). Shimano decided to eliminate as many weak links with the system, and last i checked, no one is forcing you to buy them over XT or Deores. The whole conspiracy theory gets as tiring as it is childish.

    edit: to add, the deraillers are supposidly designed to twist or rotate to avoid damage. Axle mounts provide a secure way to implement something like that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslingger
    no doubt you must have majored in english or something rad!!!

  47. #47
    Just Ride
    Reputation: zerossix's Avatar
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    Jul 2004
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    1,015
    Quote Originally Posted by BJ-
    the idea was too eliminate the ghost shifting/grinding you get when your cranking hard on the pedals and shifting, so they reversed it and it was supposed to do soemthing, although i cant remember the technical mumbo jumbo behind it...

    my mates new XT Derailuer/Lever combo with rapid rise works pretty well, i tryed to test out the theory the other day but got bored and did some DH runs on his new bike instead...

    maby someone could chime in and tell us the actual reason behind it, and why it works or doesnt work, as my memory is a little hazy...
    in my oppion the rapid rise actually does feel better...i hate to admit it but it does. its a little bit weird getting used to it but yeah once you get the hang of it its pretty nice. i think it sorta makes more sense for DH rather then like XC though. cause usually when you shift the more crisper shift is when you pull more able in (shifting to an easier gear on a normal derallieur) so in a downhill situation when your primarily going to be shifting into more difficult gears if your derallieur is working better going the oppisite direction(pulling cable in makes it harder to pedal,again on a non-RR derailleur) so your more precise shifting will be while making it harder to pedal. i dunno i might just be pulling stuff otu of my ass. i dont remember the exactly technical reasons for it being "better" but i dunno i like it.

    as far as the saint stuff goes, its sick. quit hating on shimano cause its the new cool thing to do. make your bike work and go ride.

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