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Thread: Brake Upgrade

  1. #1
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    Brake Upgrade

    I know there's a million threads about this already, and I've been reading a lot but I still have a few question

    I have been riding for about a year off and on. I started with a Mongoose XR200 and realized I need to upgrade.
    I bought a used Giant Rincon and have been very happy with it except for the brakes.
    It has front and rear TekTro disc brakes. I have cleaned, adjusted, and done all that I know of to do and they still are horrible.
    So my question is what would be the best way for me to increase my braking power? I'm thinking of upgrading to ether Avid BB5 or Avid BB7. I do not want to dump very much money into this bike because I plan on upgrading within a year to something nicer.

    Also is there anything that maybe I should just replace and see if it helps like my brake cables, rotors, or pads?


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  2. #2
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    well whats the problem, why are the horrible? do they not have stopping power, does the power fade? bb7s would be an upgrade, but you may want to even just try a new set of pads. my friend was complaining that his brakes were horrible, and after i adjusted them, he was like damn what did you do? and i was like, they were just really out of alignment. his nonmoving pad was nearly all the way inside, and no matter how tight he tightened the cable it wasn't gripping enough.

  3. #3
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    If you are going to go mechanical, BB7's are the way to go. You could just replace the front brake since that is where most of the stoping force is going to come from anyways. And it would only mean shelling out half the money. then if you cannot live without it, upgrade the back.
    Living in Houston makes me more of a Ditch Bike Rider

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  4. #4
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    BB7 FTW. Best mechanical for the money and they rival the lower or mid grade hydros. great modulation and easy adjustability!
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  5. #5
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    They just do not stop good at all.
    The front disk brake on my old mongoose had a lot more stopping power then these tektros do.

    When I go into a turn I can squeeze as hard as I want and they will never even think about locking up even the back.

    I may see how much new pads are and try that and I'll check that non moving one and see.

    And yes I have also thought about just upgrading the front to a BB7.


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  6. #6
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    Also I'm a bigger guy 6' 240lb. If I do upgrade should I look into a bigger rotor then a 160mm?


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    you could do a 180 in the front.. are you sure they're setup right? i ask because i just got my friend into mtbing and he got a bike off bikes direct with a pretty crappy disc brake setup, and he's like 6'4 and almost 300lbs... i set them up and he stops pretty good considering. i thought we'd have to upgrade the brakes but they seem fine for now.

  8. #8
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    Make sure the pads aren't worn out, and that the stationary pad is far enough into the caliper to engage the rotor when you brake.

    If you're planning on a new bike this year, don't throw money at this one. You won't be able to get it back.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
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    it sounds like something is just not right with your brakes. im also 240 and my cheap hayes comp hyrdos on 160mm's stop me plenty fast so its not a question of rotor size.

    i might be wrong but i dont see much need to go past 160mm unless your doing serious downhill where you need better braking leverage or better heat dissipation. increasing rotor size also means you have to be more precise with your levers.

    either something is seriously out of adjustment or broken with your tektro's.

    bb7's are nice brakes or you can gert some elixer 1's for roughly the same price ( for new brakes)

  10. #10
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    Ive had this problem before. What happend was, It had been so long since I serviced anything. All the grimy nasty grease worked its way outa the bearings and onto the rotor, transferd to the pads. I just took every thing apart and did what I shoulda done months before. Cleaned,serviced, and replace. In my case I was unable to slavage the pads. You might consider just takin everything apart see whats goin on. I know on my commuter I pick up a bunch of oil and what ever other slickness.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the replies!!
    I may just order a new set of pads and then check my adjustments again maybe I missed something.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Stucksucks View Post
    Thanks for the replies!!
    I may just order a new set of pads and then check my adjustments again maybe I missed something.
    when replacing the pads give the rotors a good wipe down with alcohol. this will prevent re contamination of the pads.

  13. #13
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    if your pads are really greasy you could try spraying them with wd40, and then washing them with dish soap to get the wd40 off.. there's probably better ways to degrease them but thats what i do.. definitely check the inner pad make sure its sticking out enough to be grabbed.

  14. #14
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    Pick up a 2011 BB7 from Pricepoint with a 185mm rotor. They are $57+S&H and you get the caliper with pads, rotor and adapter. Considering that pads are ~$20, may not fix the issue and would still not perform as well as the BB7s I would personally take this route. Follow the setup instructions that come with it or find a video on YouTube. BB7s are easier to setup than most IMHO. You might consider getting a set of SD7 levers as well.

    Avid BB7 Mech Disc Brake Grey Fnt/Rer 2011 at Price Point

    Avid Speed Dial 7 Brake Levers 2011 at Price Point

  15. #15
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    are your tektro's hydros?

    If so, with any hydro, did you check for contaminated pads (do a burn off) (free), sand rotors (free). How is the pull, weigh the cost of rebleeding them (bleed kits can be outrageous $$).

    Hydros are finicky, and $150 brakes will perform like crap compared to $10 mechanical rim brakes if they are not babied at setup. Once they are set up, they do perform nice.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Make sure the pads aren't worn out, and that the stationary pad is far enough into the caliper to engage the rotor when you brake.

    If you're planning on a new bike this year, don't throw money at this one. You won't be able to get it back.
    +1 on this.

    Also, regardless of whether upgrade this bike, or get a new bike all together, the BB7's are incredibly good...best mechanical brakes out there. LBS guy said they'll out-perform many "low end" hydro's. A bigger (180 mm) disc up front would keep the heat down some, but the 160 mm is pretty good.

    BlueSky is running a sale on BB7's...$48 each (so $96 front and back, with discs and hardware), if you are bent on upgrading, but you could always just scavenge them off of the frame you have if you decide to upgrade later on (again, they out perform low end hydros).

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