So a short while ago I got the great and awesome opportunity to upgrade my old Trek... to something NEW!! And so the research began, alongside the hunt for components. Having the major decision making done of what style I wanted, I started staring down the vast amount of choices available. And then, out of a dark corner of the internet, I noticed the new kid on the block. The Shimano Zee was originally designed for 1 by 10 downhill riders, and being a MTB rider this didn't intrigue me in the slightest. Weight is obviously a factor when choosing MTB products, and downhillers have strength over weight in their list of priorities. The top of mine was durability. So I decided to give it a go. My choices out of this range of products where: Zee crankset, with a 36t chainring, Zee wide ratio derailleur, and a Saint 10 speed shifter. When it arrived the first thing I noticed, beside my ecstatic excitement, was that it was really pretty!! I mean it, like, looked cool.. and whatever. Just look at it! (yes, picture was from internet) The crankset features a really nice somewhat sparkly paint job, and some nice curves. I prepared myself to lift what I thought would be a lump of solid lead out of its box, but its weight really surprised me! weighing in at 815 grams including the chainring I was pleasantly surprised! A XT crankset weighs in at about 810 grams. The difference is literally how strong your coffee was this morning. The position of the chainring when fitted properly I saw, caused a lot less cross chain across my 11-36t XT cassette than for example, my dad's SLX 3 speed converted to 1 by 10 crankset. The entire crankset cost a mere R1300 Where as a SLX crankset can hit your wallet a wopping R1700! So very chuffed with myself and my brilliant purchase I moved on to my next Item, The derailleur. There was two options, the close ratio sliding through with a maximum cog size of 28t and the wide ratio bragging a bigger 36t compatibility. Also another pretty piece of gear! this mech is very neat and tidy, with a very nice paint job and a short cage, it's definitely a looker! And... it weights even LESS than a XT SGS shadow derailleur, and this mech boasts a clutch. Having saved so much on my missing left shifter and front derailleur, not to mention cables time and effort of fitting these annoying things, I decided to treat myself to a slightly better shifter, the Zee's big brother Saint. The Saint is just the more expensive and supposedly better version of the Zee. The Saint has a very nice 10 speed shifter for a mere R700... actually its not a mere 700... nothing is cheap. anyhow, the shifter performs wonderfully and very smoothly. After quite a while of riding, and falling, there is no play in the levers and still performs like new. After the pure joy of opening my packages and fitting it all to my bike, I took it out for a few test drives. And man, I loved it! The crankset is built like a tank! I mean, its nuke proof (brand pun)! The position of the chainring is at optimal position for minimizing cross chain. The 36t is slightly large, but I'm upgrading soon to a oval NW chainring... VEERRYY excited. The shifter is crisp and smooth and never faults, but then again, its a shifter. Most shifters... Shift. But this one does it quite well! Feels very nice. Now the rear mech. This whole clutch and very short cage story had me confused at the beginning, but I think I got this. The very short cage in combination with the activation of the clutch minimizes to virtually neutralizes chain slap. Absolutely no filthy chain marks were ever left on my beautiful frames chain stays. The clutch gives a slight resistance when shifting up, but this is not a problem and it is barely noticeable when riding. The 36t capacity of the mech hasn't been a problem for me, but I have heard of people using a 40t sprocket with this mech. Also fitted my dad's sram XO short cage or GS version with a 40t sproket, So it is possible! In my opinion, the Zee is an absolutely wonderful component, in almost every way. With very few drawbacks and adding a smooth working drivetrain to upgrade your ride, I really don't have anything bad to say about the Zee. I absolutely love my components, and I'm not thinking of changing them anytime soon! And with this build quality, I won't have to. Happy MTB'ing and any other form of cycling, even to my unicycling friends out there, and don't be afraid to give the Zee and 1x10 or 1x11 a go!