Shimano SAINT

When it comes to racing pedigree, few brakes can match the distinguished heritage of the Shimano Saint, a brake that has been trusted by the world’s fastest riders. Fitting a Saint to your bike is making a statement about your riding – gravity is everything. The quad-piston caliper bites hard with 16/18 mm ceramic pistons, providing powerful deceleration, time and time again. Heat management is evident everywhere in long banjos, fined pads and aluminium cored Ice-Tech rotors. The levers fit beautifully to hand, dishing out lashings of power from the lightest touch, but the free-stroke adjuster screw still does nothing at all–we wonder if it’s attached to anything at all. Even with the long pads, drag-free set-up is easy to achieve due to the large rollback of the pistons and bleeding is simple with the Shimano bleed kit. On the trail, deceleration is fierce but controllable, a light touch brings good modulation while a hard pull is like throwing a stick in the spokes, though they are grabbier than the best four-piston brakes in this test. Even after a full season of riding, we experienced no reliability issues, and the sintered metal pads wear well–a good thing as the finned pads are very expensive. When bedded in well before use, they proved silent in use, even in the filthiest weather conditions. The Shimano Saint is a heavy-weight performer, delivered with a heavy weight! If you live in the Alps or are fond of mind bending G-forces then the Saints will rock your world.

For riders looking for huge power and bombproof reliability, the Shimano Saints are still the best all-rounders on the market, but they lack modulation and are certainly no lightweights.


– The master of gravity
– Superb performance


– Too powerful for inexperienced riders
– Heavy

Price: € 273 (single)
Weight: 594 g (set, w/o rotors)