Shimano's very first hydraulic disc brake offering was a four-piston system, but everything since those first Deore XT brakes has been two-piston. For 2009, though, Saint has gone back to a four-pot setup. Like the venerable XTs, the Saint calipers feature dual-diameter pistons resulting in one pair contacting the rotor slightly before the others to improve modulation. The brake levers feature the same Servo Wave design found on the existing XT group, packaged into a really quite funky-looking black and gold design. Tool-free reach adjust, bite-point adjustment and a sturdy lever blade all feature.
The new brakes promise a remarkable 50% more stopping power than the current Saint brakes (already no slouch in the coming-to-a-halt stakes). We've only had a chance to do a couple of laps of a car park on them, but they're certainly eye-popping performers - the same amount of finger exertion that would bring you to a brisk halt on XT is the fast route to Endo City on Saint. They'll take a bit of getting used to, but once you do you should be able to look forward to endless stop-ability.
*Please note: Rotor not included