Just bought one of these (Saint), and fitted it. It came with a cable but no end-cap supplied, so silly me installed it without and it's already frayed. But never mind, will replace it at some point
The shifter was £25 here (in Indonesia), and replaced a perfectly functioning SL-M610 (Deore) shifter.
It's old generation, the new ones apparently have some fancy 'optislick' coating on the cable. A single snake-oil coated gear cable apparently costs £10, which is money for old rope, so to speak.
Obviously paying more money you get less, so to speak, and it's lighter and there's no gear indicator, which makes the handle bar a little cleaner. Compared with Deore you can shift 4 gears at once, rather than 3, and it's instant shift and there's pull/push to release 1 or 2 gears.
The levers are longer on Saint than XT or indeed Dore, which doesn't seem to have any downsides as you obviously get more mechanical advantage and it's a slightly more comfortable position.
Overall the feel of the shifter is noticeably much better than the Deore. Shimano's specs say that XTR & Saint have 4 bearings, XT 2, and SLX and others presumably 1. But I'm not really sure the difference between XTR & Saint other than 5 grams or something, and a large chunk of money.
The only issue now is the left shifter has shorter levers, but I suppose you don't use them very often so I won't bother replacing them, even if the difference is now very obvious. But perhaps I will buy a box of the M820-r's, as they are rather nice.
I'm currently waiting for a M786 shifter (the M820 may be better, but it's only short cage, so not much use for me).
Please be fair and thoughtful in your opinions. No rants please.
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