Japanese component giant Shimano has today unveiled its new Saint mountain bike groupset, aimed at the freeride and downhill market.

Saint components first hit the shops at the end of 2003, when Shimano realised that there was a gap in the market for a more hardcore, beefed-up version of existing mountain bike component line. Up until that point, riders had been augmenting standard Shimano MTB components with after-market bash guards, disc brake systems, over-size axle hubs and the like.

The Saint range has been expanded considerably, and some of the components have been redesigned from the ground up, including the four piston disc brake calipers. These have been designed to take after-market disc systems head-on, as this is one area of the market that Shimano have yet to dominate. As a whole, the groupset is now lighter, yet – Shimano claim – rigidity has been stepped up.

New Saint components should be in the shops by August 2008.

Shimano SaintThe complete new Saint groupset. An aggressive, over-size look and shiny black and gold detailing sets the group apart from Shimano’s standard MTB line-up

Shimano SaintRear mech: Saint Shadow model has lost 100grams over the previous version. The whole unit has been designed to withstand heavy knocks out on the trail

Shimano SaintShimano SaintDisc brakes: Redesigned from scratch, Shimano have utilised a dual-diameter, four piston arrangement coupled with new ‘Servo Wave’ levers. Pad clearance against the disc rotor has been increased, and the levers now offer tool-free adjustment

Shimano SaintCrankset: Here Shimano claim to have increased rigidity over an already rigid design, yet shed some valuable grams. Cranks will be availble in single and double chainring formats, and includes bash guard

Shimano SaintGear shifters: Rapidfire Plus shifters can be mounted either side of the brake lever, for maximum cockpit set-up flexibility

Shimano SaintHubs: bearings are now wider apart to increase rigidity, weight has been decreased. Cup and cone bearings make home servicing easy

EXTERNAL LINKS

Watch a video of the new Saint groupset in action

Shimano: www.shimano.com.