If you want to kit out your downhill or freeride sled with a bombproof set of components then there’s not a lot that can rival Shimano’s Saint.

Specifically developed with gravity riders in mind, there has definitely never been any doubting the strength of Saint, nor the performance, but the Japanese masters have stepped it up yet again with refining tweaks made throughout their Saint range. The stand-out feature is of course the ‘clutch’ system on the rear mech, something that has absolutely revolutionised bikes in what seems like an instant since Shimano began to prototype it. Goodbye chain-slap and harsh noise, less chance of dropping a chain and a much longer life expectancy for the mech as it won’t be smashing into the frame with every braking bump and big drop. The whole set-up loses a bit of weight too, mainly with the ‘Hollowtech II’ cranks, and Shimano are now clearly pitching this refined Saint at downhill racers.

It’s strong, light, stealthy looking and we’d go as far as to say that perfection has nearly been achieved right here. It’s worth noting that a Saint flat pedal is also now available if you want to fully Saint your bike.

Price: Rear Mech : £139.99, Shifter : £59.99, Dura -Ace Cassette : £189.99, Chainset : £289.99