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  1. #1
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    Help me select value brake replacement

    I have an entry-level 29er that I am swapping out most trash components on a budget. It came with the dreaded Tektro Novela mechanical disc brakes and they are next on the chopping block. With a budget of $100, what would you reccommend and why? I am looking at these as options:

    - Avid BB5 calipers only or calipers and rotors
    - Avid BB7 calipers only or calipers and rotors
    - Avid Elixir 1 Hyrdo set (caliper, hose, levers, 160 rotors)
    - Tektro Auriga Hydro set (caliper, hose, levers, 160 mm rotors)
    - Bengal Helix 3 set (caliper, hose, levers, 160 mm rotors)
    - Or your suggestions?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    BB7s. For sure. Also, get the Avid levers (extra $20 for 5 or the adjustable 7s)

    For $100, I wouldn't for that cheap of hydraulics.

  3. #3
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    Budget and brake should not be in the same sentence. Buy the best you can with the money you have. In which case, to save the most trouble switching stuff around, I would go with BB7s if you can spring it, or BB5s if you can't. Both come with rotors standard. Both have good reliability, and both are well reviewed. Between the two, adjusting the BB7 will be easier, but both brakes have good stopping power, if money is a concern.

  4. #4
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    What advantage do the Avid levers offer? Is it a weight thing or do they have better respone? Also, is it worth buying the set with calipers or am I good with the factory 160 mm rotors I have on?

  5. #5
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    The avid levers have a few advantages (the SD-7s, specifically). They have an enormous adjustment barrel, at least 1/3 larger than most others (helps you get the right tension and keep it on the cable) a barrel for adjusting cable pull, and a reach adjustment nut. Between the three, you get unparalleled control over your lever feel and cable pull.

    You should be fine with the rotors you have, though having a pair of backups would be nice.

  6. #6
    rebmem rbtm
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    $2 over your budget: http://www.jensonusa.com/Avid-BB7-Mechanical-Disc-Brake-2011

    BB7's bought from bike shops will come with rotors whether you want them or not.
    If you want BB7's without rotors you'll probably find some on ebay, the brakes will be OEM version and they'll be located somewhere in Asia.

    Are your current brake levers and shifters combined ?
    If they are and you buy new brake levers you'll also need to get new shifters too.

  7. #7
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    I got a pair of BB5 calipers for $45. I also found a pair of the Spped 7 levers for $22 and I will keep my rotors and the cables I have. I think for $67 that should get the job done, no?

    I have separate shifters and brake levers.

  8. #8
    rebmem rbtm
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    Quote Originally Posted by coling View Post
    I got a pair of BB5 calipers for $45.
    They won't be much better then what you've got.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by wschruba View Post
    Budget and brake should not be in the same sentence. Buy the best you can with the money you have. In which case, to save the most trouble switching stuff around, I would go with BB7s if you can spring it, or BB5s if you can't. Both come with rotors standard. Both have good reliability, and both are well reviewed. Between the two, adjusting the BB7 will be easier, but both brakes have good stopping power, if money is a concern.

    The Novelas almost feel like nothing at all..

  10. #10
    rebmem rbtm
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    Quote Originally Posted by coling View Post
    The Novelas almost feel like nothing at all..
    I could make BB5's and BB7's feel like that too.

    A properly set-up Novela should perform similar to a BB5, they both have similar pad size and adjustments.

    The larger pad size and the outer pad adjuster dial on the BB7 make it a much better brake then the BB5.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by coling View Post
    The Novelas almost feel like nothing at all..
    I'm referring to the BB5 and the BB7.

  12. #12
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    Of the options you have listed in your first post, get the BB7's - even if you can't get the SD-7 levers, get the BB7's. They will work fine with other levers if you set them up right to start with. If you keep the inner and outer pad adjustments right, and your initial setup is correct, you'll never need the barrel adjuster at all, never mind a longer barrel adjuster. Don't get me wrong, the SD-7's are nice levers, but you need focus on the calipers for now it sounds like.

  13. #13
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    Deore 596. Best budget brake by far.

  14. #14
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    from your list, BB7 hands down

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goran_injo View Post
    Deore 596. Best budget brake by far.
    super stopping power and less strain on your fingers. mech brakes tend to get "sticky" at the lever over time, which makes braking a chore. If you can spend extra, go for hydraulics.

  16. #16
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    I appreciate the input from everyone, very well received. After reviewing the technology of each kit and the prices I went the cheapest route.

    I got BB5's and they pull very tight. I have not yet got the levers because I installed the calipers well enough. My bike is also brand new so it has been in for a cable tightening and after that it is excellent. I got the pair of calipers, a 2012 set unused, for $45 shipped so I feel like I made the right decision. Throughout the upcoming season if things go differently I will definitely review your input and look at those above as possible replacements.

    Cheers

  17. #17
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    For people still reading, Magura MT2s very good $100 per line brake.

  18. #18
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    LOVING my Deore 596's great power sweet adjustable levers ,great looks and nice modulation, especially while using pentosin hcf 7.1 fluid insteand of the gold plated shimano mineral oil.

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