Lengths: 165, 170, 175, 180mm / BB: Hollowtech II 68/73mm, 83mm / Rings: single ring £160 34, 38, 42, 46T- double and bash 22/32 / Total weight: 1,154g / Contact: www.ultimatepursuits.co.uk
From an engineering standpoint, the hollow forged alloy arms on the Saint crank make it the ultimate design. The usable axle length on the 68/73mm Saint is the same as XT — Saint just has a longer splined section to accommodate the fatter left-hand crank arm. This doesn’t leave much space if you want to fit a chain device or counter a dodgy chain line. With a double and bash combo it is not an issue but we’d like to see a longer axle with spacers to improve chain device compatibility.
Shimano doesn’t have the best reputation for bottom bracket longevity but we’re still running the same unit we received with the original groupset in 2004 — it has even been swapped from one bike to another and the facing tool didn’t leave the tool box.
If it’s ultimate quality and the highest stiffness to weight ratio you’re after, the Saint cranks are the winner, but the gear ratios are outdated, axle spacing is tight and when you remove the pedals the washers fall out. Superb cranks but not quite perfect.