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  1. #1
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    BB7's still preferred over low end hydro's?

    The subject pretty much says it all really, I currently have BB5's on my bike, and looking to upgrade them. My budget is $120 for front and rear. Are BB7's still the better option than some low end hydraulic brakes?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    What hydros are you looking at? I'm guessing hydros for $60 each are going to be crap. You could double check on the review section.

    I have BB 7s and Avid Juicy 7s. I have a slight preference for the J7s but there's a big difference price. The BB7s are outstanding and probably impossible to beat for the price.

  3. #3
    I got the velcros
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    Short answer? - Yes.

  4. #4
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    ^^^^^^^^^
    +1

    and I run hydro's but ride my friends SS with BB7's

  5. #5
    Jamin, Applesause, No?
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    you are not going to get better stoppers then the bb7's for the price. Unless you find a great deal some where.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bank5
    What hydros are you looking at? I'm guessing hydros for $60 each are going to be crap. You could double check on the review section.

    I have BB 7s and Avid Juicy 7s. I have a slight preference for the J7s but there's a big difference price. The BB7s are outstanding and probably impossible to beat for the price.
    I had not actually looked at any hydro's in particular, just remembered reading a lot of threads comparing low end hydros to the BB7's, and the BB7's were always the preferred choice. I think the only hydro's that are even close in price would be Juicy 3's, and am fairly sure the BB7 would again be the choice if picking between the 2.

  7. #7
    bumbles bounce
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    Just slapped a pair of BB7s on a resurected KHS fs rig rebuild that formerly had rim brakes. They have way better power than my other ride with older J5s on it, which I consider low end hydros. It's gonna be tough to find a better system brand new out of the box for less than $100 a set delivered. Set & forget, field repairable & bombproof. Winner!! I'm sold.

  8. #8
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    i have a brand new set of BB7s on my F400 SS and as mechanical brakes go they're very nice. however, i also have a set of Formula Oro K18s that are as far above my BB7s as heaven is above hell. the downside with the K18s is that they were discontinued in 2009, so i have to buy pads and rotors on Ebay. the upside, though, is that i got the brakes at a fraction of the original cost, they're impeccably made, they're light, and they stop like a champ. i am budget-conscious, too, and you can pick up a NOS pair of K18s for about $170 shipped and they'll use the 160mm rotors from your BB5s (i would have the rotors you're using trued, though). additionally, they're plug-n-play if you happen to have a torque wrench with which to install the mounts, calipers, and rotors to the right Nm.

    good luck on whatever you choose to roll with (er, stop with!), man, and let us know where you land with the decision.

  9. #9
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    BB7's definitely, and they're a big improvement on the BB5, more adjustable.

  10. #10
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    Technically speaking low end hydros should be better than BB7s, as the BB7's are single piston whereas the hydros are two piston. In reality the BB7s are about as good as many low and medium range hydros. Also if you upgrade the rotors, pads, lines and levers you can make BB7s even better, plus they are constructed stronger and last longer and are easier to service. Personally looking at the Avid line-up I'd just buy Code or BB7 and forget the crap in the middle.

  11. #11
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    bb5 absolutely blow...they should be illegal!

    bb7 don't have the "buttery" feel of hydraulics, but IMO just as powerful if set up right. ifu don'tmind "fiddling" with your brakes once in a while bb7 are a cost-effective way to go. work great with Paul's levers too.
    http://www.paulcomp.com/lovelevercomp.html
    whatever...

  12. #12
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    Thanks for all the replies, I am fairly sure I will go with the BB7's. Just quickly, I was browsing on ebay and how do the Shimano M595's compare?

  13. #13
    Jamin, Applesause, No?
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    Have you thought about saving up another $80 and getting yourself a pair of Shimano SLX brakes?

  14. #14
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    Yes, definitely debating saving up a little more. Also checking out the classifieds.

  15. #15
    thecentralscrutinizer
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    I like the BB7's I had over the Formula K18's due to more adjustability, power wise the Hydros were a tad better, but the frequent service needed for the K18's drove me nuts.
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  16. #16
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    BB7's are ok but if you can find a good price for pre-owned and in good working condition hydros (i.e. Magura Louise, AVID J7's, etc.) that's what I'd go for. You just can't beat the performance and feel of hydros IMHO.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mopartodd
    I like the BB7's I had over the Formula K18's due to more adjustability, power wise the Hydros were a tad better, but the frequent service needed for the K18's drove me nuts.
    i havent had to service mine yet, so we'll see how they do. the feel measurably better, to me, than the BB7s. i still have my BB7s, though, on my F400 SS.

  18. #18
    Bike to the Bone...
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    I just got a pair of Elixir R from CRC for around $95 per wheel, so there are options to be found that are good price.

    I did like the BB7, but I just think that a good hydro has a better feel, or to try to be more objective, I prefer the feel of them better. Stopping power? They're about the same, but the Elixirs and Magura Louises have better modulation. They cost a little more (more the Louises than the elixirs).

  19. #19
    Give it a crank
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    I looked at the same options when I got tired of constantly adjusting my BB-5's as the pads wore down. They worked great and I didn't think going to BB-7's was going to be a big improvement in having to adjust them before a big downhill and every 20 miles or so, even with the extra bogus outer knob. The bigger pads might be a big improvement over the small round BB-5 pads though, that may make a big difference.

    I ended up getting a set of used hydros to replace the BB-5's and now I would never go back to mechanical brakes. I can now focus on the ride much better, ride after ride with no fuss, and no fatigue. Go hydro, sooner or later you will anyway, just like everybody else.

  20. #20
    wuss
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    Quote Originally Posted by naiku
    Thanks for all the replies, I am fairly sure I will go with the BB7's. Just quickly, I was browsing on ebay and how do the Shimano M595's compare?
    They should be heads and shoulders above.

    http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/catego...rake-10-37554/

    I think i just read a big review in some mag where those won. Something like Magura Julie can also occasionally be found on discount and is a great budget brake.

  21. #21
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    I have BB-7"s on a 2007 Caliber. They work fine and are extremely reliable, but you have to exert a fair amount of pressure on the lever to get the desired braking. I have a 2009 HiFi with Shimano M 486 hydros. They seem to be more powerful than the BB-7's and they do not require anywhere near the lever pressure that the BB-7's require. On a long technical ride that makes a difference with regard to forearm fatigue. They have also proven to be as reliable as the BB-7's.

    I'd go for hydro's.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdgang
    ^^^^^^^^^
    +1
    ^^^^^^^^
    +2
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  23. #23
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    BB7's a great brake, running hydro Magura lousise now and have to have them bled anyime I taKe the bike to elevation, over about 8,000 ft. Shop doesn't know why, I use the brake spacer and keep the bike upright but rebleed is necessary every time. They howel like a banshee also. Never had ANY problems in 4 years of running the BB7's. The hydros failed me running down Kamakazi at Mammoth, over heated not something I had happen with the BB7's. Probably the very small pad on the Magura.

  24. #24
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    BB7's a great brake, running hydro Magura lousise now and have to have them bled anyime I taKe the bike to elevation, over about 8,000 ft. Shop doesn't know why, I use the brake spacer and keep the bike upright but rebleed is necessary every time. They howel like a banshee also. Never had ANY problems in 4 years of running the BB7's. The hydros failed me running down Kamakazi at Mammoth, over heated, not something I had happen with the BB7's. Probably the very small pad on the Magura, the hydros are more powerful than the BB7's and don't have the mud in cable issues of the mech brakes.

  25. #25
    I always bleed like this.
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    At the $100 mark you get to choose. Go to ebay and look around. You can pick up a new set of k24's or some M765's right at the same price for a set of new bb7's.
    You will have to buy one wheel at a time but so what? Options abound if you are willing to do a little leg work.

  26. #26
    no, I'm not riding SS
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    BB7s are great--I have them set up with Cane Creek levers and think it's a great setup. Not to mention a great setup for $95, all in.....

    Levers here

  27. #27
    The Mud Stud
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    Long answer? Yes.

    Ive upgraded from bb7 to slx, they are on par with pretty much anything, the only real variables being weight and pad contact adjustment (from xt or avid exlir cr's, etc) and can be had for 100 each. Of course bb7's can be had for 45 each, and with some cheap low compression lines and proper setup they will stop about 70% as well as any hydro... For a bit more Ive heard even more power and control can be garnered with NO-KONS. Its really up to price but yes, if your going mechanical, there is no contest, and they will best practically anything beneath shimano deore, avid elixr 3 (including juicy) or virtually all hayes when you consider reliability.

  28. #28
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    My first disks were BB7, then I got a set of Marta SLs and didn't like them. I moved on to Juicy Ultimates and liked them better, but I couldn't see any great advantage over BB7s other than slightly better feel.

    Gone back to BB7s.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  29. #29
    Recreational Racer
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    Hmm I'm sure everyone using BB7's are not using the same levers and therefore have varying results and impressions. As we all know brake levers are not created equal.
    “Let me 'splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.”

  30. #30
    The Mud Stud
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jvan_wert
    Hmm I'm sure everyone using BB7's are not using the same levers and therefore have varying results and impressions. As we all know brake levers are not created equal.
    Very true. SD-5's or SD-7's are pretty good. So are shimano levers.

  31. #31
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jvan_wert
    Hmm I'm sure everyone using BB7's are not using the same levers and therefore have varying results and impressions. As we all know brake levers are not created equal.
    Yeah, even more important are the type of cable/housing.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  32. #32
    bike dork
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    Yeah, even more important are the type of cable/housing.
    Couldn't agree with that statement more! Nothing makes BB7s feel great like some nice housing and decent levers.
    Full disclosure; I sell and repair bikes for a living: http://blackstonebicycles.blogspot.com/

  33. #33
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    Cane Creek Direct Curve levers and Jagwire cables/housing. Good stuff.

  34. #34
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    (road) BB7 + upgraded cables and housing + bmx lever of choice = tits

  35. #35
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    If we were having this conversation 2 years ago I would say BB7's hands down but with the new budget shimano entries like the Alivio and Deore go with the budget hydros.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by pamt
    If we were having this conversation 2 years ago I would say BB7's hands down but with the new budget shimano entries like the Alivio and Deore go with the budget hydros.
    In 2 years time your BB7s will still be working properly...
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  37. #37
    Green Wrencher
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    Where do Avid Eilxir3's stand?

  38. #38
    The Mud Stud
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    Quote Originally Posted by RDTigger
    Where do Avid Eilxir3's stand?
    They are pretty damn good. My friend has them, they are quite powerful, and relatively light. Im not sure about modulation. They did decide to ingest a massive amount of air over the winter doing nothing but sitting in a bedroom so I cant say much for reliability though.

  39. #39
    Albany West Oz
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    If you do a bit of expedition touring then BB7s also have great serviceability, can replace the cable anywhere. I honestly don't know how common it is to blow a hydro line but it sure would be harder to fix in the bush!

    My only complaints with the BB7 ids the torx tool that comes with them has a small torx (10 maybe) on the long end, what is with that? Doesn't seem to fit anything and having a the larger size (25?) on that shaft would be good for adjusting the inboard dial through the spokes. Has always annoyed me!
    Don't grow up, it's a trap.

  40. #40
    Just A Mountain Biker.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Goldenberg
    Cane Creek Direct Curve levers and Jagwire cables/housing. Good stuff.
    Paul's Love Levers (the short ones) are my fave's with my BB7's...nicest parts on my $400 XXIX, they cost a quarter of what the whole bike did! But oh so worth it. +1 on the Jagwire cables too.

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