Weaknesses: Difficult to set up, shifting problems, destroyed one through too little clearance between spokes and cage.
Replaced the XT on my Stinky Primo with this (short cage), set up and tested, on these the cage is offset slightly and can catch in the spokes (which happened to me) and totally destroyed the mech. Replace it with a Shimano 105, no problems, totally reliable and hassle free. Then bought another Saint in a shop sale, adjusted hanger to suit cage, absolute nightmare nightmare to set up, cable tension has to be spot on and it doesn't seem to like shifting under load, going back to the 105, cheaper by a long way and far more reliable and you can get 3 for the price of one Saint.
Similar Products Used: Suntour X-1, Deore LX, XT, XTR, Alvio
Bike Setup: Kona Stinky Primo stock
a Cross Country Rider
from LeClaire Iowa
Date Reviewed: April 25, 2010
Strengths: Strong spring and durable. Stiffened up my rear chain stays due to 10mm axle instead of QR skewer
Weaknesses: little heavy
I was using a Shimano RD753 rapid rise derailleur with Shimano 760 shifter/brake combo. When I would try to shift to an easier gear under load it would take too long so I bought this Saint normal rise so I could pull the derailleur to the easier gear with cable. It shifts much better now to easier gears and also shifts great to harder gears due to strong return spring.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: April 25, 2010
Strengths: Very Strong and durable.Strong spring so when you release the cable it shifts immediately
I was using a Shimano RD753 rapid rise derailleur with my Shimano 760 brake/shifter combo. When I would try to shift to an easier gear under load it would take too long so I got this normal rise Saint and it shifts quickly by pulling cable and when I shift to harder gear it shifts quickly due to Saints strong spring.Great product
Weaknesses: Its a pain to tune especially with the short cage version trying to the tighten the gear cable in is annoying and very fiddley and the fact that to take the rim off you have to take the deraileur off aswell is also irritating
i have never had any real problems tuning other peoples gears however when it comes to my own everything seems to go wrong its a good component on the bike but only when its tuned really well
Bike Setup: 2006 GT set up for FR.SLX 36/22 cranks.Big Earl whls.RF Diabolous stem and bars.XTR shifters.BB7 brakes w 60mm rotors.XT 11-30 737 cassete.M545 pedals.Marz D-Off 2 RC soon to be replaced but it is a good fork for a lighter person.
a Weekend Warrior
from Cincinnati, OH
Date Reviewed: January 8, 2009
Strengths: Super strong. Shifts pretty well. Through axle is way stronger than a hanger.
Weaknesses: Just a tad on the heavy side. You need a Saint hub also which is massive.
After snapping a couple other derailleurs I decided to get this. I could tell it was strong within the first five minutes of riding. It's stiff as hell when you curb hop or log hop, where others would bang around and crap. Seems like it will last a few years.
Strengths: Utterly indestructible. It was on my 4X/DJ bike before it was stolen from me and it had the battle scars to prove it. Everything took a knock at one point or another and it still held together. Bit of a faf to set up, but nothing that bad.
Shifted as well as an LX, better than an X.7, not quite an XT or a X.9
Weaknesses: Heavy, I knew that it was strapped to my rear wheel. Also used to knock against my chain stays on really uneven ground. (On a hardtail)
Solid, the thing would not break on me, and we had a lot of tumbles on flinty hardpack to solid concrete. (Bent my bloody Cro-Mo bars) Getting the new saint rear mech to put on my lightweight SS, so expect a review on how that one holds up.
Great value, due to not needing replacements, the 10mm axle was a good idea, but I think I'll stick to hangers.
Favorite Trail: Somewhere where the grass is green and the girls are pretty.
Duration Product Used: More than 3 years
Purchased At: Buckingham Bikes
Similar Products Used: Every top end mech made by Shimano and SRAM. (XTR, XT, LX, Deore, X.0, X.9, X.7.)
Bike Setup: Orange Ms Isle frame, Zocchi DJ 1, Atom Lab Trailpmip (lolpmip) DHRs laced to saint hubs, saint brakes (was about to ditch the saint hubs and brakes), old saint cranks, DMR wingbars, XT shifter pod, DMR V12 Mags.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: April 2, 2008
Strengths: Robust, indestructible. Shifts like a dream even if shifting under load. Precise and just keeps being tuned. YOu set it once it will hold onto it. Before I had to do this finetuning routine at the start of each season. This rocks.
Weaknesses: None so far.
Through the path of Shimano derailleurs this was the first time when I felt absolute peace in me after have it installed and tuned. No noise if set properly. Takes a bit time of finetuning, but that is the case with any positioned derailleur. If you want something that lasts and takes the blasts, this one is for you. I think the price is reasonable as well.
Bike Setup: Trek 9.8, Mavic 729disc wheels, XTR levers and discs, Saint derailleurs.
from Utard, UT, USA
Date Reviewed: July 16, 2007
Strengths: Strong! Looks tough, beefy. Takes the hits. Cheap
Weaknesses: Doesn't shift great, Not great in mud. Incredibly hard to set up. Rapid Rise
This thing is tough, but has a couple weaknesses. It is great for urban stuff coz you can land on it and it won't break, or hit it from the side and it won't bend. It is hard to get set up right coz it has a breakaway feature that keeps it from bending. Plus it's rapidrise, which I just don't like. I was riding in the mud and because there is nothing to stop the derailleur body to stop from pivoting back it would pivot back and then the lower pulley would pivot above the upper pulley and get jammed in the cassette, causing the whole thing to tear up the derailleur hanger. I never thought I'd need to replace that with a Saint derailleur. I like it coz it's tough for urban stuff, and holds up well. Just don't ride in too much mud.
Similar Products Used: XT, XTR, Deore. Unfortunately no SRAM...
Bike Setup: Giant Trance w/ full Saint, fox 36
from Detroit, MI, US
Date Reviewed: May 2, 2007
Strengths: Sturdy. Takes a hit. Fashionable.
Weaknesses: Never shifted well AT ALL. Weak, slugish shifting from the outset. Frequent ghost shifting. HEAVY.
I had a terrible time with this product. It did not appear to be a lemon -- it just never worked well. Having changed to a Sram x7 rear derailer my bike has come alive. What a relief and a joy to take that anchor off my bike. Switching to the x7 (which cost 1/3 the saint) has been the second best improvement to my bike (behind switching to UST Kenda Nevegal tires).
Strengths: I have bashed it and thought it would be destroyed, but it comes back for more. Shifts precisely and smooth. Being from this area, it's kind of a freak. Oh, I obtained it for $30 at my bike shop
Weaknesses: I can't carry a torque wrench with me everywhere. Other than that, I would put one of these on my road bike.
Don't be put off by someone else saying, oh man it sucks because its a pain in the butt to take off your rear wheel and all that other stuff. The rapid rise takes a few rides to get used to, too. As long as you are going to use this derailure for what it is intended, it is a great buy and addition to a gnarly rig. Spend the money on it because Shimano and Shandro and all the others that developed this gear did it right. It loves abuse.
Bike Setup: P2, all mountain, freeride thingy. SUN Single/Double Track, TruVativ Crank, Race Face FR bb, Saint brakes, Shimano Drive train, Man. Stance flow w/20mil.
Travis von Staden
a Weekend Warrior
from Lincolnt, NC, USA
Date Reviewed: January 17, 2007
Strengths: durability, and tuning, as well as asthetics and precision
Weaknesses: none yet so far
great derailer, went through alivio and xt before i went with the saint medium cage. Diffuculty finding the right hub but shifting is precise and quick. The durability is outstanding. Slid off a 3 inch skinnny and grinded the rear derailer. It stood up no problems and no adjustments afterwards
Bike Setup: kona 06 scrap, w/syncros dh hubs and rims, sram cassette, sram chain, race face 36 th chainring, mrp system 2, thomson seatpost, titec ithycas seat, hayes hfx-9 8 front, hayes sole 6 rear, shimano saint shifter and derailer, oury grips
from Victoria, BC, Canada
Date Reviewed: January 3, 2007
Strengths: Super strong, easy to set up once you figure it out.
The bottom line is that yes, this derailleur costs more than an XT or a LX new, BUT it will save you HUGE money if you have had problems breaking standard mountain bike derailleurs. I broke three XT derailleurs during the course of one year and decided that I needed a change. I'm not a graceful rider, I mow stuff down and crash a lot, so I figured I'd try Shimano's Saint because it was reowned for it's toughness. I have not been disappointed. My first Saint has lasted through numerous direct hits, sometimes with my full body weight landing on top of it (ie, slipping the rear wheel off of a skinny directly onto the derailleur). I replaced it with another Saint after about two years, and I look forward to abusing the new one. The shifting may not be as "crisp" as other high end shifters (SRAM X-0), but that's not nearly as important to me as reliability/durability - what good is crisp shifting if you're breaking a derailleur every four months? If you don't mind the weight and ride hard and often, this is the derailleur for you.
Weaknesses: NOTHING, well, for anyone who loved SRAM, you can say goodbye to them... Shimano left them, and their rediculously expensive X.0 mech eating thier dust.
Gash's in the metal, Scraps, Rocks, nuclear missile hits... this mech has eaten up everything... and still continues to shift as smooth as a hot knife through butter, and as crisp as a pack of Walkers. Really does puzzle me as to how shimano did it... I have the 10mm axle version. I don't use Saint Hubs... Modified hub axle... If you can get anywhere near a workshop, or someone who works in one. Grab a Solid bit of Stainless Steel rod, 10mm diameter, Weld some kind of bolt on one end, and create a thread on the other, long enough to go through and into the Saint's. Get someone who knows thier stuff on threading to get a correct thread on the end. And just like magic........ It is worth it, good luck breaking this thing.