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  1. #1
    Tree Dodger
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    BB7's are hard to beat

    Tonight was my first ride on the newly installed BB7's and I am in love!! For the money, ease of install, and adjustability I can't imagine a better brake system for my 2011 Trek Marlin! This forum should be BB7's vs. those who spend too much time on MTBR researching brakes and less time riding their rig.

  2. #2
    Big Gulps, Alright!
    Reputation: Berkley's Avatar
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    They are awesome brakes. Still hoping for SRAM to come out with a lighter model, which I've affectionately named "BB9" in my head.

    What levers do you have?

  3. #3
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    Yes they work for mech brakes. Hydro work better and are fit and forget. If you are worried about cost the Deore SLX cost about the same as the BB7's (~$60) and if you want bling the XT's are ~$109 a side. I too started out on mech brakes and was happy, but when I got my finned XT's I was much happier.

    Mark
    2012 XXL Carve Expert

  4. #4
    Trail Tire TV on blogger
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    Quote Originally Posted by millertm View Post
    Yes they work for mech brakes. Hydro work better and are fit and forget. If you are worried about cost the Deore SLX cost about the same as the BB7's (~$60) and if you want bling the XT's are ~$109 a side. I too started out on mech brakes and was happy, but when I got my finned XT's I was much happier.

    Mark
    I have to say hydro's aren't "set it forget it" but they do need a lot less regular maintenance than the BB7's. Cost isn't equal as they also don't come with a rotor, yes you can use an old one, but rotors do wear and need to be replaced more than most people do if you want optimum brake power.

    power is about equal depending on you're braking style and grip strength.. All I hear is "modulation" with Hydros but honestly I find the BB7's have more.. Hydro's are VERY powerful, too powerful actually for me,.. I find them all to be very on or off with little in between. I do have a stronger than normal grip I'd say (30+ yrs in construction helped) and have a hard time bleeding speed when using hydros where the BB7's I can sorta use like anti lock brakes, if that makes sense. Yes you'll need to apply more power/grip to get them to lock up, but the in-between is a lot more also.

    The one other thing I dislike about hydros is repair/replacement. getting parts (esp the grips/levers) is hard if not impossible and usually more costly than just replacing the whole unit after getting the part, bleeding, installing resetting everything. where the BB7's the levers start at like 5 buck and it's a 10 min job. and yes I've broke both. Then add after a crash or even a minor bump to a tree if the line get hit you have no brake. BB7's you can almost always bend/flex/rig something to get you home at least.

    I can see where weight weenies and racer types want the hydros. but honestly, for the average everyday rider, the BB7's are more than enough... anything is better than rim brakes LOLOLOL
    Going to try and bring Trail Tire TV back. go take a look... http://trailtiretv.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
    MTB B'dos
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    Uh, WTF are you finding an SLX hydro brake for $60?? Please let us all know, because that'd be about 1/2 what they normally go for and NO, hydros aren't set it and forget it, not all at least. Some work damn fine, but you still need to do maintenance on them to keep them working properly and if a hose was to brake out on the trail, unless you're seriously OCD and carry spare hose and parts, you're screwed, mech brakes, yeah, carrying a spare cable isn't a big deal and easy to fix/adjust on the trail with dust etc flying.

    All that being said, yes BB7s are by far the best mech brakes out there, but since switching to the new XT 785s, not even a comparison.

    Quote Originally Posted by millertm View Post
    Yes they work for mech brakes. Hydro work better and are fit and forget. If you are worried about cost the Deore SLX cost about the same as the BB7's (~$60) and if you want bling the XT's are ~$109 a side. I too started out on mech brakes and was happy, but when I got my finned XT's I was much happier.

    Mark
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
    MTB Barbados
    My Phantom pics

  6. #6
    Tree Dodger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley View Post
    They are awesome brakes. Still hoping for SRAM to come out with a lighter model, which I've affectionately named "BB9" in my head.

    What levers do you have?
    The kit I bought came with a pair of Speed Dial 7 levers. Entire kit was only $145 with freight. That included (2) calipers, (2) levers, (2) g2 clean sweep rotars and cables! Like I said, hard to beat!

  7. #7
    Bikeaholic
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    Agreed, Avid BB7s are pretty awesome. I have BB7s on three different bikes. Each bike is set-up with 185 front/160 rear roundagon rotors. After four years of year round mountain, road and daily commuting I have only one complaint, the stock brake pads are noticeably inconsistent.

    My recommended set-up for great power and modulation:
    185 Front/160 Rear Rotor
    Jagwire (or equivalent) full length cables
    EBC Gold brake pads

    NOTE:You may want to stay with 160 front rotor if your under 180lbs.

  8. #8
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    I am about to buy some SpeedDial SL levers for my Monocog. I have been stuck using Tekros levers with my BB7s for a few years now. I thought long and hard about spending four times as much on a set of new SLX M666 brakes instead of just the new levers. But the BB7s are just too good. I would hate to take them off the bike only to forget about them as they sat in the random draw in my garage. They are great brakes. The 203mm rotor I have up front makes my 29er look like a 26er. I found the rear Avid 160 rotor a little grabby but since I swapped it out for a thicker Shimano 160 rotor that problem has dropped away.
    Specialized Enduro Expert 09
    Redline Monocog 29er 09
    Trek 6700 05

  9. #9
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    I think the lever/ cabling has a lot to do with the performance of them. I've got the speed dial levers and full length jagwire ripcord housing on my Niner with BB7's and I notice better modulation (albeit adjustable with those levers) and a little more grab than I do with the cheesy Avid standard levers and whatever housing the bike shop threw on my Pugsley.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley View Post
    They are awesome brakes. Still hoping for SRAM to come out with a lighter model, which I've affectionately named "BB9" in my head.

    What levers do you have?
    for Road they have BB7 SL that has reduced the weight a little bit. It's high polished and has some titanium screws and lighter pads/ rotors. The cost is about 100 each wheel over the cost of your standard BB7 to upgrade.

    IMO---not worth it

  11. #11
    Always Learning
    Reputation: BruceBrown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjduct View Post
    for Road they have BB7 SL that has reduced the weight a little bit. It's high polished and has some titanium screws and lighter pads/ rotors. The cost is about 100 each wheel over the cost of your standard BB7 to upgrade.

    IMO---not worth it
    Much easier to simply "tune" your BB7 with Ti bolts, light rotors (like the Alligator Serrated/Windcutter), light cable/housing and levers. Avid now offers 4 versions of the BB mechanical brake for road, and only 2 for mountain.

    It wouldn't hurt for them to offer an "Ultimate BB7" [like the SL for Road] for mountain with the Ti bolts, lighter rotors, kit, etc... . I'm sure it would sell even though one can easily do the tune on their own as I mention.

    Jagwire Ripcord housing, Jagwire black teflon coated cables, Alligator Windcutter rotors (I use 160 front/140 rear on all of my bikes for perfect modulation), with Avid Ultimate Levers is still the most amazing braking system I can get out of the mechanical BB7's. Been using them since 2002 - Wow! That's quite a bit of time.

    BB

  12. #12
    mtbr member
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    just installed BB7's and took off Juicy 3's and won't look back...EVER!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Uh, WTF are you finding an SLX hydro brake for $60?? Please let us all know, because that'd be about 1/2 what they normally go for and NO, hydros aren't set it and forget it, not all at least. Some work damn fine, but you still need to do maintenance on them to keep them working properly and if a hose was to brake out on the trail, unless you're seriously OCD and carry spare hose and parts, you're screwed, mech brakes, yeah, carrying a spare cable isn't a big deal and easy to fix/adjust on the trail with dust etc flying.

    All that being said, yes BB7s are by far the best mech brakes out there, but since switching to the new XT 785s, not even a comparison.

    Bluesky $69 for SLX....in case you were wondering
    '12 Trek Marlin Signature Green
    '13 Santa Cruz Tallboy LT Gulf Blue/Orange

  14. #14
    rebmem rbtm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simpledesign View Post
    Bluesky $69 for SLX....in case you were wondering
    The sale has finished.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobba View Post
    The sale has finished.

    BlueSkyCycling.com - Shimano SLX M665 Disc Brake w/ Adapter

    shows good through the 11th
    '12 Trek Marlin Signature Green
    '13 Santa Cruz Tallboy LT Gulf Blue/Orange

  16. #16
    rebmem rbtm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simpledesign View Post
    OK, I didn't look everywhere

    It's not listed in the Hydraulic Brakes: http://www.blueskycycling.com/cat-brake-disc/group-8/1/n

    It's not listed in the Special Offers: http://www.blueskycycling.com/cat-SPECIAL.htm

    It's not listed in the Hot Items: http://www.blueskycycling.com/cat-HOT_ITEM.htm

    I didn't notice it but...

    It is listed in the SHOW ALL for Disc Brakes: http://www.blueskycycling.com/cat-brake-disc.htm

    and

    It is listed in the Rotors which is strange as you don't get any rotors with this brake:
    http://www.blueskycycling.com/cat-brake-disc/group-10/1/n

  17. #17
    mtbr member
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    For how well they work and their simplicity, they are indeed very hard to beat. Like BB above, I have a set of BB7's from around 2004 or so, and other than pad changes, they have been problem free. Can't say that about any of the hydro's I've owned over the years...

  18. #18
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    Have had mine on since' '03....just do not like the feel of hydros

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

  19. #19
    MTB B'dos
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    Was talking the new design, not that old one. Cobba found them, damn good price, hadn't seen any that low in looking, but guess I was mainly looking at XTs. Wonder if it's only the piston/caliper design that differs between the 675 and 666 I like my bite point control, so I'll stick to XTs. Oh and FYI, although not stated, those are OEM brakes Bluesky is selling, not retail, in case you're expecting to get the whole packaging thing. Also note the 666 on sale are only front, no rear.
    Quote Originally Posted by Simpledesign View Post
    Bluesky $69 for SLX....in case you were wondering
    Quote Originally Posted by Simpledesign View Post
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
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  20. #20
    mtbr member
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    I know they are the 665 but decent hydros for $70 still

    Saint M820s for $199 too.....if you really want some stoppers on a bike

    (about $60 less than everyone else)
    '12 Trek Marlin Signature Green
    '13 Santa Cruz Tallboy LT Gulf Blue/Orange

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