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  1. #1
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    BB7's......don't even bother to ask.

    Just go get some.

    I'm guessing that mine are officially broken in, and all I can say is wow!! I had 100% full control on one of the fastest descents I have in my area. Speeds can easily see 33-35 mph. with runoff ditches and small holes.

    I had Formula hydros on my last bike, and could never control the speeds like I did today.

    When it came time to slow down for real (approaching hikers) they grabbed like nobody's business.

    My experience today makes me wonder, has anyone ever done stop tests with various brakes? I am sure my BB7's stop me in way shorter a distance than my old Formula hydros.

    I'd be interested in any REAL data.
    2012 Trek Marlin BB7's / SD-7's, G3's, and Kenda Nevegals


    My website: www.n2ovette.com

  2. #2
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    Agreed. Once dialed in they are incredible brakes!! I always am looking at other brake kits but damn if I can't fault the ones I have. Always stop me, good modulation, everything. Only gripe I have is my back one, the piston likes to stick a lot so sometimes it take a good whack to get it back to normal but other than that they are incredible brakes.

  3. #3
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    must admit i really love my bb7s. pair them u with the SD7 levers and you're golden.

  4. #4
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    Im curious for a review of the sd 7 levers? What makes them any better than a traditional cheapo cable lever?

  5. #5
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    there are tons of reviews of the speed dial levers. I think the biggest thing is the extra lever feel knob. i don't know how necessary it is though since I use regular avid levers and they work perfectly.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Limey Johnson View Post
    Just go get some.

    I'm guessing that mine are officially broken in, and all I can say is wow!! I had 100% full control on one of the fastest descents I have in my area. Speeds can easily see 33-35 mph. with runoff ditches and small holes.

    I had Formula hydros on my last bike, and could never control the speeds like I did today.

    When it came time to slow down for real (approaching hikers) they grabbed like nobody's business.

    My experience today makes me wonder, has anyone ever done stop tests with various brakes? I am sure my BB7's stop me in way shorter a distance than my old Formula hydros.

    I'd be interested in any REAL data.
    OK, I'm curious.... As a relative newb, contemplating a brake upgrade over the winter, I've been reading as much as I can. I've seen lots and lots of enthusiastic recommendations on the BB7's. It seems the big points are that they are a very easy to adjust and maintain and do a superlative job of stopping bicycles and they are the best bang for the buck, period.

    I have been looking for/at the 2012 Shimano XT M785 as the replacements for the M 575's that came on the bike, but I keep wondering whether these BB7's might be fine.

    As I said, I've done a fair amount of searching and reading on this forum, but aside from finding a lot of people happy with BB7's, I still am unclear about the advantages they have over a good hydraulic system. I'm assuming that hydraulics must be better in some ways since I've never heard of a top-level bike using anything other than hydraulics. Ditto for racing bikes.

    I have seen a few posts that claim that BB7's are equal to or better than hydraulic setups up to a certain quality level, and someone mentioned that being a $400 set of brakes, but offered no more data than his opinion.

    I'm not trying to start an argument but trying to get a clear idea of where BB7's stand in relation to hydraulic alternatives, specifically the Shimano XT and XTR setups.

    TIA for any enlightenment.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you'll crash. ~Julie Furtado

  7. #7
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    I like them on my old hardtail. They are good.

    But I do like my Elixir 5 hydros even better.

    Just one man's opinion.

  8. #8
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    My BB7s have to be the best upgrade Ive done to my bike. The stock Tetkro brakes just flat out sucked. There was no adjustability and the pads would easily glaze over requiring a good cleaning and some sandpaper to get some feel back.

    With the sales on the BB7s, it was a no brainer in my mind. The ability to actually stop is a huge plus.

    As for why I went with BB7s, its all cost. A good hydro set would of run around $200. I got the BB7s for about $105 shipped to my door. Im sure I will upgrade to hydro in a few years but the mechs work good for me for now.

  9. #9
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    I've rode both BB7's and Hayes MX-4's.... And I prefer the MX-4's.
    They took less effort to pull the lever... Other than that they were similar.

    I'm currently riding Avid Juicy 3's... The lever pull is much easier but they are a pain to adjust and require attention to keep them from squeaking!
    I just upgraded to a 180mm rotor up front to combat some fade I had at 25mph+ as well... Never had those problems with the MX-4's...
    Quote Originally Posted by William Blake
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  10. #10
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    BB7's are easily the best upgrade I've made to my bike. Can't really argue with $100 bucks shipped for the set either.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey47 View Post
    must admit i really love my bb7s. pair them u with the SD7 levers and you're golden.
    found a set of SD7's at a lbs for $28 set. Just did the install.

    not sure on performance difference yet over the FR-5's that came with my brakes, but they at least stopped me on my test ride.

    the adjustability will be a plus.
    2012 Trek Marlin BB7's / SD-7's, G3's, and Kenda Nevegals


    My website: www.n2ovette.com

  12. #12
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    Wait until you really break them in.

    I also have the 185s so I not only got a bigger rotor to combat the brake fade but also still have excellent modulation to go with it. With the Tetkros it was either full or nothing. Very scary.

    Speed dials are pretty sweet. They do make a good difference as well. Change the feel while on a bike ride? Heck yes!

  13. #13
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    Modulation is the only difference IMHO. The BB7's can be a bit touchy. I have both BB7's and XT's, both are easy to set up and both work well but the XT's just feel better. In the end, the hydro's offer a slight incremental improvement. That being said, I would be perfectly happy if all my bikes had bb7's. Not so sure I'd recommend some of the non Shimano hydro's for a noob though, can be a ***** to set up and maintain (gf has hayes -- which I work on, they suck and always have a bit of rub). I also don't think you need to get the xt or xtr's, slx or lx or even deore work well in the trailbike application. YMMV
    Drink beer all day

  14. #14
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    The only real data I can provide is that the BB7's paid for themselves.

    I upgraded from BB5's which was eating my lunch on replacement pads. My BB7's with metallic pads typically go 2 to 3 seasons where I was going through 2-3 sets a season with the BB5's.

    Overall, the metallic pads may not grab as well as organics in really hard stops but it does extend their life -and- provides much better modulation control by not being quite so grabby. They will still put you over the handlebars if needed.

  15. #15
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    Good job!

    I have a few bikes that have really nice, high end hydraulic brakes that work really well. I have a set of BB7's on my Quiring that work just as well, and in some cases better. The hydro's require a lot of bleeding and fiddlefukking to keep them working well. My BB7's just require me to occasionally crank a knob to account for pad wear. BB7's are still, IMHO, one of the best brake systems on the market.
    Pisgah Area SORBA

    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    ... your idea of technical may be much different than other peoples idea of technical.

  16. #16
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    Russians say - dont compare a finger with a penis.

  17. #17
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    Love my BB7s. Just picked up a Felt 29er that was a demo bike (great deal on it!) and it was 100% SLX stuff. I swapped out the brakes with 7s and a set of speed dial levers and it's perfect. More power by far than the hyd. SLX brakes, and better control.

    I still don't know why they make the BB5s. . . Sticking your foot into traffic to stop works better than those things.

  18. #18
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    Really with the BB7s your main items are cost savings (comparable pair of hydros will end up costing at least $200 and really end up being more unless you are into bleeding them yourself. Then you have the simplicity of adjustment, turn the barrel adjuster to increase some tension, turn your inboard/outboard pad adjustment knobs for more or less brake grab and you are pretty much done. The only problem that I have had with my 2006 pair is that one of the cylinders sticks and so every once in a while I have to smack the housing to get it to release. Overall, considering you can get a new 2011 pair with XT cables and SD7 levers for $120 from Blueskycycling you really can't go wrong.

  19. #19
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    A big thanks to everyone here that recommended BB7's in one of my earlier threads.

    Had I not asked here, I fear I would have ended up with the BB5's, or maybe even something from another mfg.

    I'm back from my adjustment ride with my new SD-7's

    After I learned what the magic red knobs on the levers do, I have my brakes fine tuned to my particular riding style.

    It's truly amazing what a couple "clicks" can do!! I may never own a different set of brakes.
    2012 Trek Marlin BB7's / SD-7's, G3's, and Kenda Nevegals


    My website: www.n2ovette.com

  20. #20
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    I have a pair of BB7s and the speed dial levers on my monocog, but I can't seem to get them set up just right. The inside pad is nearly impossible to move, but I have it in pretty much the right spot now. I can't get good braking with out a little bit of rub though. And they are awfully squeeky.

    Any advice?

  21. #21
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    honestly, the only advice I could give, is to take your time, and follow the install/adjustment procedures 100%.

    I watched a good vid on youtube.

    google "avid bb7 setup" and check out the vid from SRAMtech.

    Follow his steps to the tee. Unfortunately, these are very sensitive brakes, so patience is key, but when they are finally properly adjusted, you'll actually know it. I thought I was done, but had a slight rub, and went back and readjusted.

    I had the FR-5 levers for the install, and they worked well...until....the SD 7's.

    For the SD 7 levers, I did no further adjustments at the calipers. I followed the install sheet step for step.

    The "red knob" adjustment is not a "my brakes are better than yours" type of adjustment. It's purely a personal feel to the brakes. What I like, may not work well for you, and vice versa.

    As for squealing...I'd give the rotors a good cleaning with some alcohol. I have even experienced squealing with my setup. Weather has alot to with the squealing...early morning rides, and predusk rides can cause noise. heat of the day, mine seem to be okay, but you WILL occasionally experience squealing.
    2012 Trek Marlin BB7's / SD-7's, G3's, and Kenda Nevegals


    My website: www.n2ovette.com

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Porschefan View Post
    OK, I'm curious.... As a relative newb, contemplating a brake upgrade over the winter, I've been reading as much as I can. I've seen lots and lots of enthusiastic recommendations on the BB7's. It seems the big points are that they are a very easy to adjust and maintain and do a superlative job of stopping bicycles and they are the best bang for the buck, period.

    I have been looking for/at the 2012 Shimano XT M785 as the replacements for the M 575's that came on the bike, but I keep wondering whether these BB7's might be fine.

    As I said, I've done a fair amount of searching and reading on this forum, but aside from finding a lot of people happy with BB7's, I still am unclear about the advantages they have over a good hydraulic system. I'm assuming that hydraulics must be better in some ways since I've never heard of a top-level bike using anything other than hydraulics. Ditto for racing bikes.

    I have seen a few posts that claim that BB7's are equal to or better than hydraulic setups up to a certain quality level, and someone mentioned that being a $400 set of brakes, but offered no more data than his opinion.

    I'm not trying to start an argument but trying to get a clear idea of where BB7's stand in relation to hydraulic alternatives, specifically the Shimano XT and XTR setups.

    TIA for any enlightenment.
    I'm looking at the XT hydraulic brakes too, except I'm looking to build up my first mtb. The XT brakes I see at Jensen are the XT M775's hydraulic, and they are hella expensive: $370 without rotors. I see the 2012 XT M785's at Universal for $292 without rotors. After watching this video on how to bleed the XT brakes:

    Shimano XT M775 Hydraulic Disc Brake Kit at JensonUSA.com

    I really don't want anything to do with hydraulic brakes. If the Avid BB7's can be had for $121 at Blue Sky(160mm rotor front and rear), that seems like the way to go to me. I weigh 230 lbs., though, so I think I might need a 180mm rotor in the front.

    I've demo'ed a few of mtbs over the last two years: Ibis Mojo, SC Blur LT1, Carbon Nomad + XT kit. Would those have been equipped with hydraulic brakes or mechanical brakes? Alternatively, if you buy, say a Santa Cruz Blur LT2 with a kit today, will those be hydraulic or mechanical brakes?
    Last edited by happyriding; 09-18-2011 at 04:30 PM.

  23. #23
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    And that $120 includes $40 in pads; I'm just sayin'

  24. #24
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    The other ones come with pads too....I did make a mistake though, the M775's at Jensen are $370 w/o rotors!

    resin v. metallic pads???

  25. #25
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    I still don't know why they make the BB5s. . . Sticking your foot into traffic to stop works better than those things.

    That's just dumb, BB7s are better than BB5s but the BB5s stop just fine. The 5s more difficult to adjust than the 7s but I've had no problem with stopping - once they're adjusted properly.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post

    I've demo'ed a few of mtbs over the last two years: Ibis Mojo, SC Blur LT1, Carbon Nomad + XT kit. Would those have been equipped with hydraulic brakes or mechanical brakes? Alternatively, if you buy, say a Santa Cruz Blur LT2 with a kit today, will those be hydraulic or mechanical brakes?
    Hydros, I doubt you will find any of those bikes with mechanical brakes, not saying for or against, just saying

    Most hydros work exceptionally well, and set up right are mostly maintenance free. All brakes will require periodic cleaning of the rotors and pads, more often if you ride in wet/muddy/dusty conditions.
    Ride On!

  27. #27
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    BB7 are great. King of the mech. King of the brake, maybe not, but you are looking at maybe 4x the price of the BB7 to get that level of performance in hydro that BB7 are to mech.

    And to answer that question why does really high end bike are equipped with hydro ? to sell them more expensive. Because I know a lot of people who had their LBS change the high end hydro for BB7 when they bought their high end bike, such as Giant, Santa Cruz, Intense, etc...

    It's not because it cost more that it work better, and BB7 only required a 5mm hex key (and cable cutter). Hydro require bleed kit, many hex size, special hose cutter, fitting, etc...

    And most of the time, bad experience with either hydro or BB7 is user related to bad wrenching or abuse... or something simply manufacturing default... I have a BB5 road, a BB7 MTB and a Hayes MX-2. BB7 and MX-2 are both super stopper, BB5 is less powerful. BB7 can be adjusted super fine and easy, BB5 and MX-2 are harder to adjust and even harder to perfectly align without any rub. BB7 cost $50, BB5 and MX-2 cost $30... all on 203mm rotors.

    Pic yours.

    And yes, $20 pads provided with the BB7 (or BB5) for the price is really nice. I've bought a BB7 MTB 203mm kit this summer, $47. Rotor only (G2) sell for $40, pads $20, adaptors, bolts, etc...

    Value for everyone who can appreciate it.

    I've never tried hydro, I have to admit it. When I was looking to purchase my first MTB, hydro were a nice feature, but I ended up with one with MX-2 and BB5. Gotta say I would had mess hydro bad if I had them on my first MTB, with all the new wrenching, etc... Mech are really cheap to run, and for weekend warrior, really cheap to maintain and will work after 2 months not touching the bike...

    Hydro are great, dual side movement of the pads, reducing warp development in the rotor, super firm feeling, not friction, etc. Costly and expensive to maintain, but if you are ok with the wrenching, they also last very long. But problem are more likely to be a PITA with hydro then mech.

    Personal choice from budget and experience.

    David
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  28. #28
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    I have a question about the BB7's. I swapped out Tektro discs on a Novara Bonanza with the BB7's and they really aren't that strong. (I used a 185mm rotor up front, too.) I left the Tektro levers and stock cables; was that a mistake? I was also wondering if the stock pads are good or should I change those out?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian-B View Post
    I have a question about the BB7's. I swapped out Tektro discs on a Novara Bonanza with the BB7's and they really aren't that strong. (I used a 185mm rotor up front, too.) I left the Tektro levers and stock cables; was that a mistake? I was also wondering if the stock pads are good or should I change those out?
    BB7 stock pads are good.

    Levers and cables are ok too, unless your cables have a lot of friction but its not braking-power related.

    Are you using the Avid rotors ? Which model ? G1, G2, Roundagon, etc ?

    And finally, it would take up to 20 to 40 complete braking, so hitting at least 15 mph (at least) and make a full stop. Then start again. Urban riding will get you that break-in quick. And 20-40 stops for each brake, so 40 back, then 40 front.

    In the BB7 user manual, they say about 20 stop, maybe 40, well, me it took about 40 (BB7 MTB, rear, 203mm G2 rotor).

    And when they are break-in, clean the pads and rotors with alcohol. And also before starting the break-in session if you ever touch the rotors/pads with your fingers or anything greasy/oily, such as a rag.

    David
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  30. #30
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    BB7's are such winners because they are easily the best value. They offer solid performance at a price most folks can stomach.

    I do prefer hydraulics for lever feel, but it costs a good bit more to get that improvement.

    My wife's bike got a set of BB7's a couple years ago, and she loves 'em. I'm about to build a road commuter with a set of BB7's mated to some Tektro long pull road levers on moustache bars. That is not something you can do with hydros currently, so BB7's also get the nod for flexibility (the road BB7's can be used with any road lever, even, but I wanted flexibility with this bike).

  31. #31
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    Give 'em some time to brake in and fiddle with the adjustments a bit. They are plenty strong when setup right. Stock pads are fine but I would install new cables/housing cheap and doesn't hurt. I used a $10 Shimano mountain brake cable set, full length and works great. I only have the 160 up front right now and it's still beastly.

  32. #32
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    Just wanted to post that the XT M785 hydro's are on sale at BlueSky for $250 -- but the sale ends tonight(9/18). The brake package includes either a 160mm or 180mm XT RT75 rotor up front and a 160mm rotor in back, and comes with resin pads and adapters.

    Bike Radar says the XT M785's are five star brakes:

    Shimano XT M785 Disc Brake ? First Ride Review - BikeRadar

    I'm thoroughly confused now.


    (In the comments it says that when the new Ice Tech rotors were tested in Germany, the aluminum core melted. Yikes!)
    Last edited by happyriding; 09-18-2011 at 11:13 PM.

  33. #33
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    I passed on the XT M785's because there seems to be a manufacturing defect:

    Love the new 2012 XT brakes

  34. #34
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    I'm running BB7s (185mm F/R) and SD7 levers, and I love them. They're smooth when paired with good cables, modulate well, have plenty of stopping power, etc. I've contemplated swapping to a nice set of hydros a few times, but have yet to find an actual reason to do so.

  35. #35
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    As a Noob, I found the BB7's very easy to setup and adjust. I like the fact that I could swap the F&R brake on the trail, if needed. I like the minimal service requirement that a cable offers. Once the pads broke into the rotors properly, everything was very good. The hard part is properly breaking them in.

    Proper coaching is key for this, telling me to find a hill and go up and down a few times, isn't helpful. I need to know specifics, IE - 40kph-5kph in 5 second bursts, 15 times over. Some heat, or Lotsa heat? Heavy pressure or just moderate pressure...?

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Todd- View Post
    Proper coaching is key for this, telling me to find a hill and go up and down a few times, isn't helpful. I need to know specifics, IE - 40kph-5kph in 5 second bursts, 15 times over. Some heat, or Lotsa heat? Heavy pressure or just moderate pressure...?
    The more heat the better, hope you don't need a coach for that...
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  37. #37
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    just ride them I never did anything specific.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by dundundata View Post
    just ride them I never did anything specific.
    Ditto. Just be careful the first few stops and before you know it they'll be fine.
    Chasing bears through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet is strongly not advised

  39. #39
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    so riddle me this.

    my front and rears were identically set up. My fronts seem to squeeze easier (maybe the shorter cable?) that would make sense.

    what does not seem to make sense is that the front lever comes considerably closer to the bar before stopping.

    what gives?
    2012 Trek Marlin BB7's / SD-7's, G3's, and Kenda Nevegals


    My website: www.n2ovette.com

  40. #40
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    If the cables are the right length and don't have sharp bends then that's normal for the rear. The front should be able to bite quickly if the pads are close. Try giving the outboard pad another click in, sometimes you can get another click even when the pad is close and it doesn't seem to move the pad but the bite of the lever comes quicker.

    You might need to mess with that other dial on the speed dial's can't say though I don't have them.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhix01 View Post
    I still don't know why they make the BB5s. . . Sticking your foot into traffic to stop works better than those things.

    That's just dumb, BB7s are better than BB5s but the BB5s stop just fine. The 5s more difficult to adjust than the 7s but I've had no problem with stopping - once they're adjusted properly.
    I've owned both, and I know how to set them up. The biggest visible difference between the 5s and the 7s is the 7s have an adjustment knob for the outside (moving) pad. The 5s make due with cable length adjustments only.

    There are some otheer, less obvious differences, though. The pads are different, which shouldn't matter that much. With the change in pads, though, there is a difference in mechanics beyond the adjuster knob. I swapped 5s for 7s on a couple of bikes. In each case, the 5s were set up correctly. With no other components changed - including cables - the 7s have far superior stopping power.

    By the way, thanks for calling names! Really appreciate it!

  42. #42
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    I will be upgrading to BB7's .. sooner than later due to the feedback here, very good to see constructive feedback in these forums.

    BB5's on my Hardrock SD are actually not that bad, however i do notice that on a rad decent the BB5's need that extra bit (two instead of one fingering it) to get them to slow you down.. personally, setting up the BB5's is easy but the inside adjustment knob can be a pain..

  43. #43
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    I have BB7s on my commuter and '11 Elixir 5s on my mtb (just replaced some ancient but lovely Hope Enduros) - the BB7s are fine, but even with new cables and SD7 levers, they never feel as nice as the hydros I've had or used. The front caliper also needs periodic fiddling with as one of the pads (or pistons, never quite sure) stops retracting completely and the pad "ting tings" on the disk. I do ride all year round though, so road salt probably doesn't help, and there's no guarantee a hydro would fare any better (mtb gets ridden all year round too, but not on the road). A strip down and blast out with carb cleaner usually sorts it out.

    Either way, I think they're plenty fine for my commuter, but I wouldn't stick a set on my mtb.

  44. #44
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    I have had a couple of decent hydro setups in the past and always seem to end up back on my BB7's. This is largely due to the fact that I get tired of dicking with the hydro's. My XT's developed a squishy rear that myself, 2 shops, three different lines and hours or frustration for all parties could not fix. I also had a set of Hayes and as mentioned, it was a constant battle with them rubbing and having to recenter. Total PITA. Don't get me wrong, I love the feel of hydraulics but I have yet to get a set that has been a set it and forget it sort of thing.

    Now for the BB7's, well I have technically had two different sets. I bought the first set when I was upgrading my first SS. It was a huge upgrade. But even out of the box, there is alot that can be done to improve them. This includes better rotors, titanium bolts, some high end cables, better pads (mine squealed all the time).

    I ran the Speed Dial levers and did not like them much at all. I actually had two different sets and both of them rattled and simply put, they just looked big w/ a large blade. However, they do not flex much which is critical when it comes to cable driven brakes. I say that because I jumped on the weight weenie wagon at one point and have been riding a set of CNC's levers for the past 6 months. My brakes still work but I know for a fact that the flexing of the lever has taken away from the over all performance of the brakes. Having a spring return in the lever also helps the feel as well (mine don't have that either-that would just add more weight). I think that if I do anything, I will pick up an older set of XTR levers as I love the ergonomics of them and they are definitely stiff.

    Cables make all the difference in the world. I have run Gore cables-work great but on the heavier side of things. I have also run Alligator i-link cables. Super light but since they are aluminum, the frickn rattled on my frame and drove me up the wall. Now running Jag Wire braided lines. They work great but I still think that the lever would make a large improvement.

    Rotors. The stock rotors work pretty well actually. But they were a little heavy (WW talking again) and I wanted something that looked more trick. I have been on a set of KCNC Razors for the past 8 months or so. They work well but I can tell you that while they are light as hell, they lack surface material which aids in braking. So it is really a bit of a trade off. I think I will give some Ashima rotors a try next. They are fairly cheap and still lighter than the stock rotors.

    My current BB7's are an older version. They supposedly weigh a little less than the current model but work the same. I picked them up used last year and they are still rolling!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails BB7's......don't even bother to ask.-brake-bolts.jpg  


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    By the way, thanks for calling names! Really appreciate it!

    I didn't call names dude, I said that saying "Sticking your foot into traffic to stop works better than those things." in reference to BB5s was dumb - which it is. I didn't say (and have no way of knowing) that BB5s were as good as BB7s - I doubt they are, but that doesn't mean BB5s don't work - they do (and way better than sticking your foot into traffic). When the pads on my 5s wear out I'll probably replace the whole shebang with BB7s - just for the ease of adjust-ability if nothing else. If I get better stopping then great but the BB5s stop me just fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Porschefan View Post
    OK, I'm curious.... As a relative newb, contemplating a brake upgrade over the winter, I've been reading as much as I can. I've seen lots and lots of enthusiastic recommendations on the BB7's. It seems the big points are that they are a very easy to adjust and maintain and do a superlative job of stopping bicycles and they are the best bang for the buck, period.

    I have been looking for/at the 2012 Shimano XT M785 as the replacements for the M 575's that came on the bike, but I keep wondering whether these BB7's might be fine.

    As I said, I've done a fair amount of searching and reading on this forum, but aside from finding a lot of people happy with BB7's, I still am unclear about the advantages they have over a good hydraulic system. I'm assuming that hydraulics must be better in some ways since I've never heard of a top-level bike using anything other than hydraulics. Ditto for racing bikes.

    I have seen a few posts that claim that BB7's are equal to or better than hydraulic setups up to a certain quality level, and someone mentioned that being a $400 set of brakes, but offered no more data than his opinion.

    I'm not trying to start an argument but trying to get a clear idea of where BB7's stand in relation to hydraulic alternatives, specifically the Shimano XT and XTR setups.

    TIA for any enlightenment.
    XT m785's without a doubt....can't even compare them to any mechanical.

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    I hear you but those too appear to have their problems. Just read something this morning on here about issues folks are having with them leaking oil. One guy posted up that Shimano is sending him via his LBS a new lever/caliper as a replacement. He has only had one good ride on them before this problem occured.

    don't get me wrong, I like them, I really do and have seriously been looking at the XTR's actually. But I have become quite picky at this point and found that the BB7's have simply been a set it and forget it sort of thing. Sorta spoils you really.

    I mean, I'm not racing and I'm not sponsored so dropping $600 on a set of R1's just isn't worth it at this point. Espcially when the brakes will out price my frame! (not that my seatpost doesn't do that already mind you).

  48. #48
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    My 785's had a rear hose leak and shimano had a new brake to my door in 3 days (just in time for my race too). They've been flawless ever since (3 months).

    If cable brakes fit and work for your style of riding go for it. Nothing beats the feel of a good hydro brake though.

  49. #49
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    I totally agree with your last statement! I think that has been the only reason I have been searching for brakes again.

    I am also glad to hear that Shimano took care of you. That is always awesome to hear. Personally, I am dealing with some tire issues right now and the seller (ebay go figure) has yet to respond to me. Yet I have to mail the thing back to them within a certain period of time. Funny how that works...

  50. #50
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    Shimano sent me the brake first and then I returned the defective one. Great customer service for sure.

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