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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Mechanical Disc Recommendations

    First let me note that I am firm believer in simplicity so I will not moving over to hydraulic even though I know they will offer more modulation.

    That being said, I just picked up a set of new to me XTR wheels that are able to run both vbrakes and disc. I will be sticking with my XTR vbrake levers for commonality across my other bikes and wheel choices.

    Where I need some advice is in the selection of the rotors and calipers. Here are my goals out of the setup in ranked order, if I can hit all the criteria sweet, if not then they are stack ranked by importance.

    1. Sheer stopping ability, what size rotors should I be going for? Are there any particular unique pad compounds put there? Are there certain calipers that are able to exert more force?
    2. Heat control. Are there specific rotors that offer superior heat control while maintaining longevity? I am a huge fan of xtr as it has never failed me so that is the route I am leaning for the rotors but let me know if there are superior products to them.
    3. Weight. This is on a cross country bike so I would like to have these as light as possible while maintaining the goals above. Obviously with mountain bikes in general decreased weight on components like this require increased cost and I am fine with that. My wanting to stay mechanical disc is more of a simplicity consideration than cost.

    Thanks in advance for thoughts you may have. Open as well to any other decision criteria that I did not include above. Enjoy your weekends.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Well I have no experience with the brake systems I am about to list but I think it's pretty much a standard among bikers to recommend:

    1. Avid BB7
    2. Avid BB5
    3. Everything else (Hayes MX4, MX5, Tektro, Shimano, Promax etc.), some of which might actually work OK but nobody tried them yet so nobody can tell for sure.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2008

    As far rotor size, how do you weigh?

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    I have had Gator Brakes, Avid BB5 and Avid BB7 brakes.

    BB7 is a much better mech disc brake.
    There is a company called Gusset that makes a newer style Mech disc brake, however I have never seen one is person.
    I run BB7 front and rear with Jagwire cables and housing and Avid Speed Dial Levers.
    160mm is usually fine for XC. 185 front with a 160 rear is a good combo too.
    Unless youre and really big guy 203 is a bit overkill for xc.

  5. #5
    B A N N E D
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by Mattcz View Post
    There is a company called Gusset that makes a newer style Mech disc brake, however I have never seen one is person.
    If you mean the Gusset Chute, it's exactly the same as the IRD (Interlock Racing Design) Dual Banger and the Winzip Max, these brakes have been around for about 10 years.

    The reviews on this type of brake vary a lot.
    Interloc Dual Banger Mechanical Disc Brake Disc Brake System Reviews

    The BB7 would be the #1 choice for mechanical disc brakes.

  6. #6
    Vitamin Bike Added
    Reputation: MTBCanuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    I have many bikes, of which 3 have all of BB5, BB7 and hayes MX2. All three work mint when tuned correctly. The Hayes bite harder than both the Avids and I would say are the strongest but hardest to adjust and require tools. I love the avid bb7 with speed dial levers, you can do a full brake adjustment on the fly without tools. Just steer clear of promax and tektro mechs as they are generally useless. (yes, I've had those on bikes before as well).
    Keep the rubber side down

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: tucoramirez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    BB7s are what I have been using since 2004, I have hydras on two bikes and BB7s on the third bike.You are not providing much info on what bike you have or level of skill? That said I run 180mm up front and 160 in back on a hardtail trailbike.Mech calipers are heavy, you may save a bit of weight by buying uber expensive lightweight rotors.I find that resin pads have better modulation,however most consider metallic pads to have more power?This link may help Tech FAQ: Finding Pad Perfection SRAM suggest their brake levers, I agree. BB | Avid | SRAM

  8. #8
    I like turtles
    Reputation: TiGeo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Ran BB7s on my SS for a few years, loved them. I think they stopped every bit as well as my Elixir 7 hyrdos. The trick is anal-retentive setup. I ran a 180 in the front/160 in the rear; this seems pretty standard to give you a little more power where you need it.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2018 Niner RKT 9 RDO - enduro are #@$%

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: boxedrn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    BB7's for my AM and HT 29er. Was going thru the forums and said the bigger the better? So I upgraded to 203mm in front and 18o in the rear on both of my bikes.

    I may be a sucker for believing what I read but I guess I need it Bec I'm on the heavy side 210lbs.

    As what others have recommended. BB7 all the way!

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: phoenixnr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Bump for BB7's

    Sent from my cm_tenderloin using Tapatalk 2

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Dead Thread Revival

    ... I have good reason.

    Why is single piston mechanical brakes more popular than dual piston mechanical brakes?

    Gusset:Chute dual piston mechanical brakes are from the UK and are a licensed clone of the IRD's Dual Banger mechanical disc brake that have supposedly been around for a decade and are made in beautiful Northern California.

    Some years ago a friend of mine had some disc brakes that came on a bike. Both pads on the caliper moved together. This being the first time ever seeing disk brakes on a bike and seeing how they functioned was really exciting. He was not very mechanically inclined and didn't really own any tools of his own; after about a month I remember him complaining how the brakes did not work right. So I took a look, had him pulling the lever while I looked and saw that one pad was not moving as far as the other. There was a hex screw on the side of the caliper, so I turned that in until the pad that was stuck further back was moving and making contact with the rotor as close to the same actuation time as the other piston.

    Looking back at that brake design--from what I remember of it--the tuning does not seem to user friendly(for the not so mechanically inclined) and getting the pads tuned properly seemed time consuming.

    A little over a month ago some staff at the LBS talked about their experience with the Gusset:Chute with me. They said they like their power and handle modulation better than BB7's. The only complaint I heard was from the tech who installed them,
    paraphrasing-"these calipers[Gusset: Chute] work great, specially now that you're able to use conical washers and have more positive alignment. The down side of this type of brake system is knowing how to properly align the caliper to rotor for the dual pistons extension, so both pistons are moving as close as possible at the same speed and distance to close on the rotor. --After other words not related to the calipers--After so many adjustments the loctite on the piston adjustment screw will start to thin and crush, allowing the piston adjustment screw to move".
    That's kind of concerning!

    I've looked around this forum and some others regarding conversations on Dual Bangers and Chute dual piston disk brakes and have not had the best of luck finding anything too detailed, though I'm going to keep looking. If any of you have any information on the Gusset Chute & IRD Dual Banger disk brake systems please leave it here. If any of you know any specifics as to why[outside advertising campaign] dual piston mech brakes would be less popular than single piston mech brakes, post up!

    See, I'm really tempted to pick up a set of Gusset:Chute and test them myself. Not been able to find a price on the IRD Dual Bangers.
    Goodbye '95 ZJ. Just so you know, transfering box of left behind womens panties to next truck. Thank you ZJ!

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    New question here. Will BB-7s work with Shimano ICE XT-785 w. Centerlock rotors?

    Thanks in advance for thoughts you may have. Open as well to any other decision criteria that I did not include above. Enjoy your weekends.[/QUOTE]
    I love my BB-7s and am now considering new wheelset (XT with Centerlock) and was wondering if, in your inquiries, discovered if the ICE 785 rotors will play well with the 7's. I have only used the Avid rotors so far.

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