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  1. #1
    Old & slow
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    Opinions of Avid BB7

    My bike currently has Hayes MX1 mech. disc brakes. The adjuster knob on the front brake has froze up so I can no longer adjust my front brakes. I am looking at replacing my brakes with Avid BB7. Both systems weigh about the same but the BB7 are more expensive. Will I notice a big improvement in my braking with the BB7? Are they worth the extra money? I like the MX1s but if I can get something better (at a reasonable price) now is the time to do it.

    Thanks in advance,
    Jim

  2. #2
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    I have a set of 08 BB7s' and really like em! I swapped them out for some Hayes stroker carbons and don't really notice a difference for what I use them for anyway. If you are looking for a set I might be able to hook a brother up with some like new ones.

  3. #3
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    The BB7 is the FINEST mechanical disc brake ever made. Not much modulation, but the power is all there...you just have to pull the lever bit harder. Avid set the standard which all other mech. disc brakes are modeled after. One of the nicest upgrades you can make to your bike.
    "The ONLY person who needs to race.....is the entrant"

  4. #4
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    I actually did this same upgrade about 1.5 months ago. I was not sure I wanted to drop as much cash on hydos so I went with BB7's for cost and reliability. I never really had a whole lot of complaints about my MX-1 but I did not notice a huge improvement in braking over V brakes. After I installed my BB7's and bedded them in I was pretty amazed at the stopping power. I actually almost endo'd because of it. I feel that I have a ton more confidence with the BB7's over my old MX1. If you decide you would like to just replace the front caliper on your MX1-'s PM me and we can figure something out.

  5. #5
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    I've seen in the latest MBA magazine that you can pick up a set of hydraulic Hayes disk brakes for around $60 bucks per axle - about $10 dollars more than the BB7 setups. BB7 can not compare to the power of a hydraulic setup.

    By the way I had a set of MX Ones at some point. I thought the adjustment was stuck but all it took was a new allen wrench and liquid wrench and it moved.
    My Bike: '15 Trek FX 7.2
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  6. #6
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    I do not buy that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    I've seen in the latest MBA magazine that you can pick up a set of hydraulic Hayes disk brakes for around $60 bucks per axle - about $10 dollars more than the BB7 setups. BB7 can not compare to the power of a hydraulic setup.

    By the way I had a set of MX Ones at some point. I thought the adjustment was stuck but all it took was a new allen wrench and liquid wrench and it moved.
    I ran a set of BB7s and as far as power, they were as good, if not better, than the Hayes HFX 9 and Shimano 535 hydros I have used. Use a good set of levers that allow for adjusting the amount of cable pull and they are also highly adjustable for pad clearance and modulation. Something neither hydro I mentioned was capable of. Of course, all these adjustments are also a downside for those that do not figure it out.

    I recently got a good deal on a set of Shimano 775 XTs and these are the first brakes I have used that I feel are really an improvement over the BB7s.

    Brian

  7. #7
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    Did you run metallic pads in your Hayes setup? It makes the difference.
    My Bike: '15 Trek FX 7.2
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    BB7 can not compare to the power of a hydraulic setup.
    I'm not convinced. I used to use Hayes 9s and Hayes Mags. I switched to BB7s, but have not noticed much change, if any, in stopping power.

  9. #9
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    OK let's stop comparing BB7 to Hayes 9 or Mags. I said in my post "hydraulic" not just Hayes stuff. BB7 can not compare to Strokers nor Juicys or Shimano XT just to name a few.
    My Bike: '15 Trek FX 7.2
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    OK let's stop comparing BB7 to Hayes 9 or Mags. I said in my post "hydraulic" not just Hayes stuff. BB7 can not compare to Strokers nor Juicys or Shimano XT just to name a few.
    Why not?
    roccowt.
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  11. #11
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    Your suggesting a cable based system is more powerful than a hydro system? Why do they no use cable systems on cars then?
    My Bike: '15 Trek FX 7.2
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    Did you run metallic pads in your Hayes setup? It makes the difference.
    I never really had a problem with my HFX 9s not having enough power. Mine had a very on/off feel and I did not like the lack of adjustability when compared to the XTR lever/BB7 setup I used. I used metalic pads on both brakes sets and did not notice any difference in stopping power between them.

    The ad you mentioned is definately a good deal for anyone looking to get into a set of disc brakes.

    Brian

  13. #13
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    I must admit I really hate that my Hayes setup has less adjustability compared to my old BB5 setup. I have plenty of power as well. Thanks.
    My Bike: '15 Trek FX 7.2
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  14. #14
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    The BB7 is the best deal in disc brakes. Period.
    roccowt.
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  15. #15
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    You cant beat the features of the BB7 with your $60 hydraulic set up, you have to step up to a nicer model of hydraulic to match the BB7 and even then you dont get the ease of trailside repair. I run BB7 and Elixrs from Avid, both have their place in my bike stable.

  16. #16
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    I'm sure there *are* plenty of hydro systems that have more maximum power than mechanical brakes, but keep in mind that there are also plenty of people who don't need the ultimate in stopping power. In those cases it's harder to justify the extra complexity. If I get good performance from a simpler, lower maintenance component I'll tend to choose it over the latest engineering marvel. If nothing else, it pays off in peace of mind when I'm miles from anywhere.

  17. #17
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    BB7 has the power to stop a semi truck.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camshaft213
    BB7 has the power to stop a semi truck.
    lol....then that means my Magura Marta SL can stop a fighter jet.
    "The ONLY person who needs to race.....is the entrant"

  19. #19
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    Thanks for all of the replys. I really only want a comparison of the MX1 to the BB7. I am not interested in hydraulics. I basically ride cross-country and really don't need the extra power of hydraulics. Frankly, I am intimidated by the install of hydraulics and want to stick with mech, something I know. Based on the discussion, it sounds like BB7 are worth the extra $$. Now I must sell it to SWMBO. We are going for a ride tomorrow. Maybe I will have a "brake failure" during our ride to help seal the deal. lol

    Jim

  20. #20
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    You are from Oregon? So am I! We should get a group ride going sometime.
    My Bike: '15 Trek FX 7.2
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah
    lol....then that means my Magura Marta SL can stop a fighter jet.

    well, I weigh 240, and my BB7 will lock up with mouse click effort

    but yes I love the modulation of hydros

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    Your suggesting a cable based system is more powerful than a hydro system? Why do they no use cable systems on cars then?
    They do. It's called a Parking Brake or others call it an Emergency Brake. Cable and powerful.

    I'm running BB7's (or whatever they called them back in 2002) with 160/140 Alligator Windcutter rotors, Avid Ultimate Levers and cables. I've been running these brakes since 2002, but the Avid Ultimate Levers and rotors are new this year and IMO - they totally change the performance by adding a vast amount of modulation, ease of pull at the lever where it is about as good as it gets. 800 grams for the entire kit (housing, levers, cables, rotors, bolts, adapters, calipers, etc...). Here's to 8 more seasons on these brakes.

    BB

  23. #23
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    Yes, we should do that. I live in Sherwood, a burb of Portland. Where are you at?

  24. #24
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    Albany. I usually ride over in Corvallis when I can. Probably will be riding there this week.
    My Bike: '15 Trek FX 7.2
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah
    The BB7 is the FINEST mechanical disc brake ever made. Not much modulation, but the power is all there...you just have to pull the lever bit harder. Avid set the standard which all other mech. disc brakes are modeled after. One of the nicest upgrades you can make to your bike.
    Modulation should be more in the lever not the caliper. Better levers better modulation.

    I'd still be running BBDBs if my bike wasn't stolen years ago.

  26. #26
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    The power issue always seems strange to me. If anyone needs more stopping power than a mechanical disc offers (or a nice v-brake, for that matter), they must be doing 70 mph and weigh 600 lbs, right?

  27. #27
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    Well I dress out around 240 (or more - it's been a bit since I have been on a scale myself...) and I ride a 35 pound monster so go figure...
    My Bike: '15 Trek FX 7.2
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by kayakerjim
    My bike currently has Hayes MX1 mech. disc brakes. The adjuster knob on the front brake has froze up so I can no longer adjust my front brakes.
    They can easily be fixed with some WD40, a flat head screwdriver, an allen key, a pair of pliers and a few drops of oil.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    Well I dress out around 240 (or more - it's been a bit since I have been on a scale myself...) and I ride a 35 pound monster so go figure...
    I hear ya. I have a serious question; promise I'm not trolling here nor trying to offend or incite: have you ever been in a situation on your bike when you couldn't grab a handful of lever and lock up either wheel, if that's what you wanted to do?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    OK let's stop comparing BB7 to Hayes 9 or Mags. I said in my post "hydraulic" not just Hayes stuff. BB7 can not compare to Strokers nor Juicys or Shimano XT just to name a few.
    The BB7 uses the same brake pad as the Juicys, therefore a BB7 has just as much power as a Juicy when using the same rotor. BB7s will require more lever effort, esp if you dial in more modulation, but the same power is still available. I switched from BB7s to Shimano Hones last fall and found no magic increase in power but my hands aren't aching after 1000ft descents with a death grip on the lever

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velokid1
    I hear ya. I have a serious question; promise I'm not trolling here nor trying to offend or incite: have you ever been in a situation on your bike when you couldn't grab a handful of lever and lock up either wheel, if that's what you wanted to do?

    Oh yeah. I can't lock the wheels with either BB5 or Hayes at speed. However I could with the old V Brakes.
    My Bike: '15 Trek FX 7.2
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  32. #32
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    To upgrade my rear BB5 to BB7, would I need to replace the lever or cable?

    I've had to have my rear brake adjusted once & I think I'm going to have to do it again soon. If I'm reading everything correctly, the BB7 is much easier to adjust?

    $50-60 to upgrade my rear brake seems worth it since I'm using it so much as a beginner. Front is fine since I'm very lite on it.

    Thanks!

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitewerks
    To upgrade my rear BB5 to BB7, would I need to replace the lever or cable?

    I've had to have my rear brake adjusted once & I think I'm going to have to do it again soon. If I'm reading everything correctly, the BB7 is much easier to adjust?

    $50-60 to upgrade my rear brake seems worth it since I'm using it so much as a beginner. Front is fine since I'm very lite on it.

    Thanks!
    Nope, don't need to replace the lever or cable

    Yep, you can adjust both pads on the BB7.

    But, here's the preaching you weren't asking for: I know it might feel like you are going to flip your bike whenever you use the front brake, but if you can learn to modulate the brake better and get a feel for how much brake you can use you will find much more power in the front brake in different situations. I can't emphasize that enough. There is a reason front rotors are usually larger. Your weight transfers forwards even when braking on flat ground and your rear brake is only capable of something like 30% of the total braking power. Learn it and you will ride faster but with more control. Everyone has to go through it at some point

  34. #34
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    Thanks for the answers!

    I have learned to use the front in some situations but mostly it's the back on descents & feathering the front- sometimes I get it just right, other times not. Got lots of roots & rocks so I'm slowly learning to keep off the brakes & ride faster.

    Thanks again.

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