Technical editor Ed H heads out to Whistler to test the all new Shimano Saint groupset. Here are his initial impressions…
From Dirt Issue 126 – August 2012
Words by Ed H. Photos by Sterling Lorence.
It seemed like an eternity since I first got to see the latest third generation Shimano Saint groupset, but the time had finally come, the wait was over, testing time had eventually arrived. Shimano rather kindly didn’t just send us a box of bits to test out on our local tracks, instead they packed a load of us off to arguably the greatest testing ground on Earth…Whistler. It might have only been for a couple of days, but with a massive range of tracks on offer, a mix of pouring rain and blue skies, it provided plenty enough opportunity to get a feel for what the latest incarnation has to offer.
Before I get onto what I thought of all the new stuff I reckon it’s worth pointing out a noticeable change in direction for Saint. When the original Saint was launched it was just as much about the huckers as it was the racers, if not more so the huckers, and as a result it was hefty to say the least. The next version then saw the groupset shedding some weight, but there were still things like front mechs and double chainsets on offer. Now though there’s none of that and the guys from Shimano were keen to point out that the new Saint is very much designed for racers, which I suppose has been reinforced by all the development work with the likes of Aaron Gwin and Gee Atherton. Of course huckers should still be happy with Saint, as who doesn’t want something lighter if it’s still just as strong?>>