"With the Way You Ride..."
When we completed the Fascist Killer, we did so with a bit different approach than some people might take. We built it up with a specific rider in mind, me. And if you ever followed the endurosnob blog (it's dead, don't look), you know that I am rider with a wide variety of shortcomings and a large love of aesthetics.
The Shimano Saint selections certainly aren't generally top of mind for a rigid singlespeed, but there were a few reasons for our selective madness.
When it comes to the cranks, then are certainly heavy by comparison. 200 grams heavier than XT, for example. That equates to just under one half pound. Considering I'm more Fat Jan than Michael Rasmussen, both in body type and a certainly 'pedaling squares' riding style, using one of the stiffest cranks available made a lot of sense against a half pound that could be lost many times over from my own weight. Plus, as a guy who has snapped the occasional crank, the bulletproof nature of the crank offers a bit of security and peace of mind.
Not to mention, they just look sweet.
It's a similar story with the brakes. They are 100 grams heavier than XT, so let's add another quarter pound. As a rider who has dropped out of 24 hour races due to numb hands, the hope is that the performance of the Saint brakes with help offset some of that fatigue and turn a 19 hour racer into a finisher. The same thought process applies to shorter races as well. It's simple. Racing rigid is not easy on the hands, so giving up that small bit of weight for greater performance might simply be a smart sacrifice. Time will tell.
And again, they look pretty damn cool on the bike.