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  1. #1
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    Avid BB7 verses Avid Elixir CR?

    Is there really any logical reason on why I would want to upgrade my BB&, Alligator I-Link cables and housing and Avid Ultimate brake levers to the Avid Elixir CX brakes other than less weight?

    Yes I have been very happy with the BB7 on a Misfit single 29er.

  2. #2
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    If it ain't broke.....

    etc. The only logical reason to go to the Elixirs is if you have a hankering to try out hydraulic brakes. Of course that could be done more cheaply at the cost of a few grams extra. But that would be the only reason that I could think of. There are going to be others that tout the "advantages" of hydro vs. mechanical brakes etc. and adnausium! But what it ultimately boils down to is personal preference, i.e. what works for you.

    I've been using BB's ever since I decided it was time to pull my thinking process out of the 80's and try some new stuff. I've used hydro's, good ones to, XT's J7s etc., but keep coming back to the BBs. I like em, they work, and they don't cost an arm and a leg!

    Anyway, if you in the mood to try hydraulics you could do allot worse than Elixirs. Your choice of course.

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  3. #3
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    I agree with Sqash-in fact I like the BB's levers feel better than the Juicy levers do. I have been riding a bike equipped with 04 BB7 with G1 160mm rotors and another bike equipped with 07 J5's with a front 185mm G2 rotor and a rear G2 160mm rotor back-to-back on the same trails and can say that the BB7's feel more powerful. The hydraulic circuits in the Juicy models are nowhere near as refined as the ones you find on motorcycles and automobiles and therefore require a lot of maintenance. The J5's rear caliper piston has a tendency to stick, which causes the dreaded turkey warble sound and vibration, which resonates through the frame because the rotor is not being clamped down on sufficiently. The cure is to actuate the pistons out of their cylinders and clean them with isopropyl alcohol. So the notion that hydraulics require less maintenance than mechanicals is a not true. Another factor to consider is the type of fork installed on your bike. Fox forks require that you store the bike upside-down to keep the seals, felt rings and bushings properly lubricated. Hydraulic brakes with open bath master cylinders can get air in their lines if stored upside-down, which means that you will need to bleed the brakes often. The Juicy calipers are easier to align than the BB models, however both series require alignment periodically. In summary, if you are happy with your BB7s then stick with them because if it ainít broken don't fix it.

  4. #4
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    I agree with Squash too. I have noticed slightly better modulation performance and power with my Formula Oro's than my 6+ years using BB7's, but when installed correctly the BB7's modulate very well and are more powerful than most hydros I've demoed.

  5. #5
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    I've been riding my bike that has Formula K24's on more the past few months but took out the bike w/ BB's on it today. Conditions now (snow, ice, wet leaves) require more modulation and I did notice a difference, with the BB's being harder to find the right "feel" on the trail . That said, when it comes down to it, esp. in drier conditions the BB's a very comparable in power and modulation. Plus the pad adjust on the BB's allows brake drag to be easily handled on the trail.
    "Being smart and fit is expensive, but not as expensive as being fat and dumb" - 9.8m/s/s

  6. #6
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    Yes, it's true....if the BB7 is setup correctly, it rivals most hydros. That is something Tektro, Shimano and Hayes simply cannot do.....as of yet. I love the BB7's simplicity, power, modulation, and ease of maintaining. However, I am a hopeless Weight Weenie, and ordered a set of Magura Marta SL.
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  7. #7
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    we all agree on this one.....love my bb 7,and i mean love them.With that said winter is here,I'm bored,so,I've been checking some hydros.......
    picked up a set of shimano slx,very nice feel,easy set up....
    The bb-7 are still my favs for all the reasons stated above...

  8. #8
    Always Learning
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29ERCAT
    we all agree on this one.....love my bb 7,and i mean love them.With that said winter is here,I'm bored,so,I've been checking some hydros.......
    picked up a set of shimano slx,very nice feel,easy set up....
    The bb-7 are still my favs for all the reasons stated above...
    Real world weights are important to look at and understand:

    I am in the process to tune the Avid mechanical disc brake set up to a competitive weight with a hydro disc brake system. Ti bolts. Light rotors. Light levers. Light housing. Not cheap, but I'm one of the odd ducks that is quite happy with the performance of my mechanical brakes and see how it can be done. They haven't failed me since 2002, so I figure dressing them up a bit may be worth the hassle. I have 2 sets of the type N caliper which weighs 138g compared to the BB7 later version which weighs 155g.

    Looking at real weights for a front brake [weight includes lever, lever bolts, hose, fluid, caliper, pads but no adapter, no caliper bolts, no rotor, no rotor bolts]:

    Avid Juicy 7: 266g
    Avid Elixir R: 246g
    Avid Elixir CR: 250g
    Avid Juicy Ultimate: 219g (with trimmed housing length)
    Avid BB7 (type N)/Avid Ultimate levers/PowerCordz cable/iLink housing/liner: 267g
    Avid BB7 (type N)/Paul Love levers/PowerCordz cable/iLink housing/liner: 251g
    Avid BB7 (type N)/Extralite Ultra levers/PowerCordz cable/iLink housing/liner: 225g
    Avid BB7 (type N)/KCNC levers/PowerCordz cable/iLink housing/liner: 214g

    Those four versions of the type "N" BB7 are all "in the ballpark" weight wise - and all 4 levers are successfully used with the mechanical brakes. Rotors, adapters and bolts, caliper bolts, rotor bolts will be about the same running IS mounts no matter what the brake and all can be "tuned" equally with Ti caliper bolts, adapter mounting Ti bolts, Ti bolts for the rotor and lighter weight rotors. With the right levers, cable/housing for the BB7 - the brake is very competitive weight wise.

    BB

  9. #9
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    BB7, theres no substitute.

    been ridin' 'em for years. Never had to bleed 'em, never had to dissasemble and clean 'em with isopropanol, never had to worry about cutting a line when I crash in backcountry.

    You mount it, adjust it and ride in less time than it takes for one of the above. . .

    Thankfully the big S didn't come up with the idea so it could be patented to death!

  10. #10
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    im just contributing to prevent this thread from being a bb7 circle-jerk.

    It's totally understandable why you'd want to upgrade to elixirs. They're more powerful, modulate better, always feel the same at the lever, lighter, lower maintenance, and easier to set up. After 2 years when its time to bleed them the process will take half the time that cutting up new cables and housings takes.
    .

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg
    im just contributing to prevent this thread from being a bb7 circle-jerk.

    It's totally understandable why you'd want to upgrade to elixirs. They're more powerful, modulate better, always feel the same at the lever, lighter, lower maintenance, and easier to set up. After 2 years when its time to bleed them the process will take half the time that cutting up new cables and housings takes.
    Yup, I have Juicy 5's that I have had for three years and bled them once and otherwise just replace the pads. Have HFX-9 and had to re-build a caliper because I wore the pads to metal and the piston popped out! The brake felt fine until I broke it and I have had them for 4 years and bled them three times.

    I just got Avid Elixir CR and expect nothing but top notch performance. I have only had issues with my Shimano XTR hydraulics.

    I would have to say there is no reason to not get hydraulic brakes. They can be had inexpensively and are very consistent and easy to maintain.

  12. #12
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    My BB7 bike has good brakes. My Juicy 7 bike has FANTASTIC brakes.
    Early reports are the Elixirs are even better.
    Last edited by kenja; 01-03-2009 at 08:12 AM.

  13. #13
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    The Hayes brakes that came on the used bike I bought chatter and shudder to no end. Sanding, cleaning and adjusting have had little to no effect. It's time for them to go.

    I just ordered two sets of Avid Elixir CRs from treefortbikes.com for $147 per wheel. That was the best price I found.

    That said, I'm having BB7 Road brakes put on the Redline Conquest cyclocross bike I just ordered.

  14. #14
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    I'm not sure what all of this hard to set up stuff is about the BB7s.

    As a newb when I upgraded the front brake first it took 10 minutes to set up and that was it, haven't touched them again.

    The rear more recently I set up in less than 5 minutes. I took it for a spin and it made tons of noise. I thought to myself maybe I got lucky on the front.

    Then I noticed my wheel bearings were loose. Tightened those up, loosened and readjusted the caliper (in less than 5 minutes) and I was riding again noise free.

    After a short riding distance I pulled the pads to look at how they were wearing and wear was even over the entire pad.

    I don't have the long break-ins before they start grabbing right like some talk about. Mine have full power in the first 10 stops or less. I believe this is due to a proper setup.

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