Shimano 2013 Gravity Components – Sea Otter 2012

Components Sea Otter Classic

Shimano has been busy lately, and the bleeding edge technology that came out on their XTR wonder child, has been slowly morphing itself into their other groups. The XT group was the initial candidate, then SLX recently got it for 2013, and now the downhill and freeride oriented Saint receives some tidbits of that engineering knowledge. The Saint gets the ICE Technologies for their brakes and the Shadow Plus clutch derailer. Pile on brand new pedals, upgraded hubs, shifters and cranks and you get a highly evolved, light and robust set of components. They have also added the all-new budget minded Zee group, which has the ICE brakes, Shadow derailer, hubs, shifters and cranks.

Shimano Continues Legacy, Leadership in Gravity Components with Two New Groups for 2013

IRVINE, Calif. (April 19, 2012) – Shimano, the gravity component pioneer, reinforces its leadership in the segment with the introduction of two new gravity component groups for 2013:
Saint and Zee. Sharing a similar commitment to speed, these component groups serve aggressive riders and DH racers a full dose of Shimano’s latest mountain bike component technology that has changed the trail riding market and is now poised to define the benchmark for gravity riding performance.

Shimano systems engineering means that the latest technologies and features are seamlessly integrated in braking and drivetrain systems that provide riders with enhanced control, focus and speed. Shimano Shadow Plus rear derailleurs improve chain control and reduce noise with new silencing technologies that let riders focus more on the trail with less distraction. By reducing heat in the disc brake system, Shimano ICE Technologies increase braking power and benefit riders with a controllable and confidence-boosting brake system. For increased focus, and predictable and confident control, Saint and Zee offer riders two new keys to unlock the secret of speed.

Totally Re-Designed New Saint Group is Pure Gravity
The original dedicated gravity component line is more focused, more advanced and more dedicated to speed than ever with the new M820 group for 2013. The now 10-speed Saint M820 group embraces Shimano’s latest technology and debuts all-new advancements in both heat control and drivetrain stability. With new ICE Technologies and Saint’s take on the Shadow Plus rear derailleur, the M820 group promises riders a pure riding experience and the gift of focus through seamless and stable bike control.

  • The new standard in DH rear derailleurs – New chain control and silencing technologies in the new RD-M820 are a game changer for gravity riding. In addition to the proven Shadow Plus RD design, a Saint specific, high durometer urethane bump stopper (between the RD and the dropout) was added to reduce impact noise. Now 10- speed, the new RD-M820 features a durable super wide link that serves as the backbone of the DH parallelogram. Ready for track and trail, the mode converter easily adapts between two settings for MTB cassette gear ratios (11-32, 11-34, 11-36) and road (11-23, 11-25, 11-28).

  • ICE Technologies even more advanced – The new Saint disc brake embraces Shimano ICE Technology and advances it, reducing heat and improving performance through multiple combined features. In addition to finned brake pads, self insulating ceramic pistons and three layer rotor construction, new M820 disc brake systems will also see the introduction of a 30mm aluminum banjo fitting and an innovative finned rotor, that reduce operating temperatures by increasing the convective surface area. The new SM-RT99 Ultimate Clad rotor is a significant performance enhancement reducing heat by 50 degrees, creating 20% more stopping power, eliminating brake fade and increasing pad life. A new, longer 30mm banjo fitting extending from the caliper further reduces heat at a critical location where oil transitions from hose to caliper. Saint shares the excellent ergonomics and system stiffness found on Zee brake systems and is also ISPEC compatible.

  • Improved shifter ergonomics, easier shifts – Advanced DH ergonomics including longer levers (+5mm) and textured paddles combine with low friction ball bearings to reduce shifting effort on this gravity specific shifter. Designed specifically for Shadow Plus and Vivid indexing, these shifting enhancements reduce base shifting effort by up to 37%, so that on-trail shift effort is as light as ever. Instant, effortless shifts create a whole new paradigm for the most durable, gravity-ready drivetrain on the market. Premium functions include instant release, multi release and 2-Way release. An I-SPEC bracket option will be available to reduce weight and handlebar clutter.

  • Reliable DH race cranks – New Saint Hollowtech II cranks are hollow forged Duraluminum, creating a lighter weight crank set with an axle that is 250% stronger than trail options and an arm that is double strength. The single-only setup looks great with custom aluminum hardware and is available in three lightweight chainring options (34T/36T/38T) and in two crank sets: FC-M820 (68/73mm BB) and FC-M825 (83mm BB) that both offer Presfit BB compatibility. A steel pedal insert adds durability at the pedal interface. Note: MTB Press fit BB: SM-BB71-41A (50mm chainline; 89.5×41 BB shell), DH Press fit BB: SM-BB71-41C (58mm chainline; 104.5×41 BB shell)

  • New Saint hubsets – New Saint hubs are lighter and easier to adjust. All weather rated with top quality sealing, adjustable angular contact bearings, and precision ground, integrated cone construction, these hubs track straight and roll true. Centerlock mounting for alignment and braking efficiency, Saint hubs are available with 20mm axles up front and 12mm axles in 135, 142 and 150mm configurations.

  • New wider, lower profile Saint flat pedals – After years of success, the crowd favorite DX flat pedals are succeeded by new PD-MX80 Saint-branded pedals that feature a wider (+3mm), lower profile (-8.5mm) platform with an easy replacement pin system. Adapted to modern riding, the PD-MX80 retains the durable, smooth rotating axle and concave ergonomic platform that made the MX30 a legend.


About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on the trail.

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