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The patron saint of speed scrubbing.
The Saint M820 Disc Brakes may be the unsung heroes of the Shimano's pro-proven DH groupset, having enjoyed success on the world stage with Gwin since the prototype stage. In fact, Shimano's initial unveiling of the group was delayed slightly so the Japanese company could continue refining it according to the feedback from elite racers like Gwin, and the result is a shorter Servo Wave arm that modulates better than it's punchier predecessor, feeling more like XTR and allowing for more finesse while tempering speed to ensure you carry precisely as much momentum into techy corners and rock gardens as you want.
The changes between model years include a reshaped brake lever, which is designed to meet the new Saint brakes' goal of single-finger operation, and a bit of texturing helps keep your powerful little digit firmly grounded. The brake caliper itself still rocks four ceramic pistons, which net the same full-halt stopping power as their predecessors that's nevertheless keen to modulate courtesy of the Servo Wave actuation.
Servo Wave gives you more lever travel off the top, allowing the pads to sit farther away from the rotor and reducing rubbing. When you get deeper into the stroke, and the pads engage, Servo Wave acts like a cam, developing an incredible amount of power despite the lever’s even stubbier profile, and is responsible for Saint's unrivaled lock-out capabilities.
For some, the Saint brake's key difference with the less expensive Zee — tool-free lever adjustment — is an unnecessary luxury; however, for everyone from pros like Gwin to aggressive freeriders the world over, the ability to quickly dial stopping power is priceless. The brakes are finished with one-way bleeding for ease of servicing and ship with a reinforced brake hose that resists deforming to keep brake feel consistent throughout the run. The included brake levers are I-Spec B compatible.
- Item #SHI00B6
- Q & A
Not the best modulation, but its tough to beat the sheer power of Saint brakes. If you want to go fast, you've gotta have confidence that you can eventually slow down and these will give you exactly that. Easy to bleed, strong, and reliable performance makes these my recommendation for your DH bike.
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Easy to bleed and work well in all conditions. I have these on my all mtn as well as my dh bike.
Shimano Saint Brakes
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Recently upgraded from XT brakes to Saints on my Sworks Demo 8. My XT's were getting a little underpowered with what i'm doing so I felt like it was time for a change. There is a huge performance gain with these brakes! I don't get brake fade any more on the steep downhill sections, and I love the on/off feel that these saints have. They are a little on heavy side compared to the XT's but with the quad pistons, you'll stop a lot better. I will be look at getting another set for one of my other bikes that I have. Overall these brakes are awesome and would recommend them to any downhiller/freerider.