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Gonna go with the new M820 calipers, but what levers should I buy?

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by blindboxx2334, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. blindboxx2334

    blindboxx2334 Turbo Monkey

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    Let me explain a little before you tell me 'just buy the saint lever'..

    I have seen lots of people rolling around on the new m820 saints, but ive also noticed that some people pair xtr/xt/slx/zee levers with their new saint calipers, and they like it better than the saint lever.. now that confuses the hell outta me because you would think saint and zee are optimized specifically for 4 pot brakes (total fluid volume, displacement coming out of the lever, etc etc), and all the other 2 pot levers wouldn't suffice for the saint/zee caliper.

    So, if theres anyone out there running the new m820 calipers, but with a different lever, please let me know why you did it!

    It also seems logical to try this since i can get the saint caliper for a decent price, and all the levers are super affordable (with the exception of the xtr lever).. i did the math and it would be pretty much the same money wise for me to buy zee/slx/xt levers with the m820 caliper and bling out on jagwire line, where as i can just buy the saint brake set and not be blingin, and not know what the other levers feel like on the saint..

    seems like a win/win right??? :D
     

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  2. Beef Supreme

    Beef Supreme Turbo Monkey

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    Saint levers are nice. Some go to XTR for weight reasons but anything else is a downgrade.
     
  3. Nick

    Nick My name is Nick

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  4. blindboxx2334

    blindboxx2334 Turbo Monkey

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    hmmm okay.. im just trying to get everyones thoughts on this here..

    i actually just found this thread, if you read the second to last post.. the guy is using a zee caliper in the front with a slx lever and likes it.. aside from some hose fitting issues. ill have to see what the xt is lacking that the xtr has.

    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/zee-brakes/page/2

    ill be making the switch from avid, so some of this stuff is still new to me. but if i remember correctly the zee lever is just missing one adjustment that the saint has.. so maybe xtr and xt are like that...
     
  5. blindboxx2334

    blindboxx2334 Turbo Monkey

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    well im using the last of my monies to bid on some saint cranks i found a good deal on.. if those fall through ill hit your buddy up. :D

    i just thought id make this thread as im getting paid next week and brakes are next on the list.
     
    #5 -   Jul 10, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013
  6. Oldranger

    Oldranger Chimp

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    The XT is quite different in design from the XTR. All performance, compatibility and adjustability differences aside - i think there is one important consideration for XT levers on a DH bike: the material on the XT 2-piece master cylinder 'cap' is not going to withstand crashes as well as the Zee. I know this from my son's first crash at Whistler braking a piece off the XT cap near the bleed port.

    The Saint m820 may be the most durable of all recent Shimano levers. I have Saint m810, Zee, and XT on bikes in my garage. The Saint and XTR share design elements, but seem to have different materials

    I have run the m810 lever with the m820 calipers btw.
     
  7. blindboxx2334

    blindboxx2334 Turbo Monkey

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    hmm thanks for that info.. ill have to look into the differences, just so i know.

    im also surprised at how much cheaper the zee lever is than the saint lever. its half the price..

    just confirming this, but the zee lever only lacks the free stroke adjustment? i also read you can retrofit it in, as the free stroke hole is there, just no screw. anyone here running saint brakes swear by the freestroke adjustment? i use the one i have on my code all the time, so maybe i should be springing for XTR or saint levers..? (im assuming xtr has free stroke too)
     
    #7 -   Jul 10, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013
  8. Tomasz

    Tomasz Monkey

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    Some think that the freestyle adjustment on the M820s leads to the inconsistent bite point problem. They recommend Zee or SLX levers over the 820s because of this.
     
  9. blindboxx2334

    blindboxx2334 Turbo Monkey

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    hmmmm very interesting.. i will have to look into that too.
     
  10. Nick

    Nick My name is Nick

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    fwiw, I ditched my M810s for M785 XTs w/8" rotors and couldn't be happier.
     
  11. blindboxx2334

    blindboxx2334 Turbo Monkey

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    do you ride fast/aggressive/steep stuff? i know i should be able to get away with 2 pot brakes, but i dont want to buy 2 pots and have to upgrade later..

    although it would be atleast 6-8 mos before i even thought about upgrading, so i think id get some decent useage outta em
     
    #11 -   Jul 10, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013
  12. dublindh

    dublindh Chimp

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    best recommendation is to pair up the saint m820 calipers with a pair of late saint m810 levers.
    I upgraded from the m810s last year over to the m820 complete set. Now through the UK distributor I managed to get a pair of couple weeks early so I had begun to ride them just befor they dropped onto the market.

    Now with college/work the DH bike has seen trails less than 10 times since last Sept. Prior to building the bike up for the alps I intended on giving them a thorough bleed, however things did not go too smoothly.
    the LH lever (M820) was leaking from the mastercylinder and the RH lever had lost all life and the spring was tension-less.Neither brake reacted to bleeding, following Shimano's specific recommendations.

    Luckily managed to sort out a pair of Saint M810 levers which I transferred across and I can honestly say this set-up feels alot better than either complete Brakesets. Spoke briefly to on of the technicians at 'Shimano-UK'(Madison) and he said send them back soon as, where they currently are.


    I'm currently in Morzine riding a huge variety of trails from more bike parks stuff to 5mins plus steep technical trails and have zero issues with the brakes. Even running a 185 ice tech disc on the back and only notice tiny tiny fade towards the end of the secret tracks.

    Recommendation- Later pair of Saint M810 levers onto Saint M820 calipers,stay away from jagwire hose go for Shimano factory or Goodridge
     
  13. Sandwich

    Sandwich Pig my fish!
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    I thought most of the problems were coming from the two piston calipers, not levers? The levers across the line are all really pretty similar, I'd be surprised if you see any return on investment for switching levers. I think Zees might give up the knob reach adjust. BPA is largely considered useless.

    So far, I'm pretty happy with my 785 XTs. They have great feel (duh) but they do heat up a little. I'd say power is slightly less than 810 saints, and heat resistance is also slightly less. Saints were just unfadeable, these do tend to heat up, but it's not problematic, especially as compared to some of the more treacherous brakes out there. I would totally still suggest them for DH, but if you're over 220 and ride scary steep stuff with your brakes on all the time, I'm starting to think you'd be better off with a four pot caliper.
     
  14. HardtailHack

    HardtailHack used an iron once

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    Do the Saint levers have a nicer feel than the Zee levers? I found the two pairs of Zee brakes that I have use to be some of the most horrid feeling brakes I have ever used, lever shape is crap, levers didn't pull in smoothly and returned too slow for my liking, just felt doughy and crap.
     
  15. Sandwich

    Sandwich Pig my fish!
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    Did you try them on trail? My xts have a notchy, sticky feel when grippin em in the lift line. As soon as you're actually riding them, I can't tell the difference.
     
  16. blindboxx2334

    blindboxx2334 Turbo Monkey

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    thanks for the info sandwich and dub! any reason why you dont like the jag line? ive herd a couple of bad things here and there about them, but nothing bad enough to steer me away from them. so steer me! ;)

    I dont know, as ive only tried out XT brakes. But i would assume so as the zee is a result of trickle down technology.. that must have been the first time ive read that someone didnt like the zees. ive only read good things about em.