Shimano Releases New Saint and Zee Groupsets

New gravity groups provide riders with plenty of options.

Shimano, the very first component manufacturer to offer a full gravity-specific group (think way back to the Saint group’s original introduction in 2003), is turning their focus back to their gravity offerings. For 2013 Shimano has completely revamped their venerable Saint group, and is introducing the all-new Zee group—an entry-level gravity group.

Shimano’s new Zee group is targeted at a new generation of aggressive riders and racers, providing them an affordable gateway into Shimano’s gravity offerings.

Borrowing heavily from Shimano’s bag of tricks, Zee will feature a 10-speed system that features both Ice-Tech and Shadow Plus technologies.

The new derailleur will be available in two options, allowing riders to run either a close-ratio road cassette or typical mountain cassette. The system is also fully Dyna-Sys compatible.

Undergoing a full redesign, the Saint group most notably gets the ICE Technologies and Shadow Plus treatment. The group will also see improved shift ergonomics and lighter shift throws designed specifically for Shadow Plus and Vivid Indexing.

An all-new crankset features Hollowtech II construction for crankarms that are double the strength than any of Shimano’s trail offerings and a spindle that is a full 250% stronger.

For more info, check soon for a full write-up. Until then, check out Shimano’s press release on the new groups.

Source: Shimano

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.

Introducing Zee: Gravity Components for a New Generation
Shimano introduces Zee, a new line of gravity components that are an ideal starting point for aggressive riders and racers. Zee is the gateway gravity component line that allows riders to get on board with Shimano's gravity program and experience premium new component technologies at a price they can afford. Highlights in the Zee line include a 10-speed system that comes standard with new ICE Tech and Shadow Plus technologies.

• Zee Shadow Plus RD – The Zee RD-M640 features Shadow Plus technology proven to reduce chain slap, drop and impact noise and the 10-speed short cage RD's low profile tucks safely below the cassette cogs. With two spec options that enable a typical MTB cassette (11-32,11-34,11-36) or a close ratio road cassette (11-23,11-25,11-28), Zee is ready to handle the needs of enduro and DH racers. 10-speed also offers complete compatibility with Dyna-Sys MTB product and Shimano's latest chain and cassette technology.

• New gravity 10-speed shifter – The new Zee shifter uses Dyna-Sys compatible cable stroke, which means linear shift effort, easy set-up and accurate, stable gear changes. All new paddle shapes with 2-Way release and dimpled main lever allow riders to be more in control and perfectly engaged.

• Powerful 4-piston Disc Brakes with ICE Tech – New Zee hydraulic disc brake systems are gravity rated with a Servo-Wave brake lever and new 4-piston ceramic disc brake caliper. System stiffness is tuned using Shimano's high-power hose and shorter lever blade while ergonomics are perfected with a new pivot location and dimpled surface. ICE Tech brake pad and rotor options reduce heat in the system and maintain performance on the longest descents.

• Durable, reinforced crank set – The thick wall aluminum construction on the Zee two- piece cranks and reinforced steel axle translate to additional confidence on the trail. With an axle 30% stronger than comparable trail cranks and smooth running, accurately aligned chain wheels, the Zee crank will perform reliably – run after run. The crank arm features outboard bearings and steel pedal inserts. Options include single ring 34T/36T/38T; FC-M640 68/73mm BB and FC-M645 83mm BB. Pressfit compatible.

• New durable and reliable hubsets – Quick engaging, smooth running hubs are a big advantage on the mountain. The new Zee hubs include quality sealing, adjustable angular contact bearings, and rotate on extra stiff, one piece rear axles with integrated cone construction. Zee hubs are ready for any modern gravity bike with 20mm axles up front and 12mm axles in 135, 142 and 150mm configurations.

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 I- SPEC 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.