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  1. #1
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    Pairing BB7 calipers with Alfine Hub w/Center Lock?

    I have BB7 calipers and 160mm rotors on my 2008 El Mariachi. I'm converting the rear wheel to an Alfine 8 hub which has Center Lock. I have no experience with Center Lock and am wondering if I can attach my BB7 rotor directly to this and all will work fine with my caliper? I've found some info on potential adapters but am unsure if required for my particular set-up. Any ideas appreciated. Thank you.

  2. #2
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    You will need new rotors that use the Shimano center lock, the caliper will mount the same as long as the new rotors are the same size.

  3. #3
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    Just get the DT Swiss center lock - to - 6 bolt adapters and you're good to go. Or, really just one if you're only changing the rear.

  4. #4
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    Thank you both. In either solution I can avoid remounting caliper, correct?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Western View Post
    Thank you both. In either solution I can avoid remounting caliper, correct?
    Pretty much, but you may have to adjust the caliper a bit. Good chance that the new hub (and hence, rotor) will not sit in the exact same plane as the old one. May have to move caliper a smidge inboard or outboard to account for the difference.

  6. #6
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    Hi there,

    Thanks for starting this thread. I have actually just done this (on a 2011 Surly Karate Monkey, replacing Surly single speed disk hub with Alfine + centerlock rotors), and it all feels fine.

    However, I have noticed that despite replacing the Avid 160mm rotors with 160mm Shimano center-lock rotors, the 160mm Shimano rotors seem to be slightly larger

    Before (Surly hub + 160mm Avid rotor)


    2011 Surly Karate Monkey + Surly single speed hub + BB7 calipers + 160mm Avid rotors (Sapporo, Japan) by Robert Thomson

    After (Shimano Alfine + 160mm center lock rotors)


    Avid BB7 mechanical disk brakes + Shimano Alfine hub + 160mm center lock rotors on Surly Karate Monkey (Sapporo, Japan) by Robert Thomson.

    If you look closely at marks on the "arms" of the rotors, you can see in the top photo the calipers are perfectly aligned with the rotor, whereas in the photo below, without touching the caliper position, the calipers seem to be too low, 'under-lapping' the rotor face.

    Is there any way of adjusting the calipers up or out-wards in order to fix this problem?

    Or does the position of the hub in the horizontal dropouts affect the positioning of the rotors in relation to the calipers/pads? That is to say, originally the back wheel sat more or less at the very end of the dropouts, but now, with a different chainring/cog configuration, the hub sits right in the middle of the dropouts.
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  7. #7
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    Sorry, I just had a quick look through the sticky thread "Using Shimano Centerlock (or any other) rotors with another brand caliper" and seem to have found the answer: Shimano Centerlock rotor tracks are narrower than the Avid equivalents, hence the grabbing of the rotor lower down on the rotor spider. User AK47 has the same issue as me:

    Quote Originally Posted by AK47 View Post
    I've recently been running Avid BB7's with Shimano Centerlock rotors. The braking power is better, no alignment issues, and no dreaded turkey warbling sounds.



    I did recently notice the pads are grabbing down lower on the rotor arms. Is this a problem at all in terms of pad wear or stress on the rotor?
    (Using Shimano Centerlock (or any other) rotors with another brand caliper)

    However another user mentioned that this did not affect him:

    Quote Originally Posted by Spanky_88007 View Post
    I decided to drag out a Centerlock rotor that was sitting on my old rear hub for the last couple of years(also used in an Avid BB7 caliper). It looks exactly like the one in your picture, and I've never had any trouble with it. It should be noted that I'm still using the same brake pads, as well. They've probably got between 1500 and 2000 miles on them. For what ever it's worth, I'm a clyde, and I don't go easy on my stuff.
    (Using Shimano Centerlock (or any other) rotors with another brand caliper)

    Any other comments would be appreciated.

    Cheers.
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  8. #8
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    You can get a little bit better alignment out of the caliper by shimming. Simply measure the "clean spot" at the outside edge of the rotor with a dial or digital caliper, then shim the brake caliper out by that much. Doesn't have to be precise, but as close as you can get. Any shims that you use should go under the bottom CPS washer stack. That still won't get you off of the rotor spokes completely, if you look carefully at the rotor you likely have a thicker area of contact on the spokes than the non-contact area around the edge of the rotor. And you don't want to shim out past the outside edge of the rotor obviously.

    However, the above is only if it bothers you. I've had a three of setups that displayed the same tendencies to various degrees. None of them caused any problems either in performance or brake pad durability. One setup did tend to buzz lightly at moderate to high speeds when the brakes were applied. Not anything really annoying, but it did set me to searching for the cause. Since then I do my initial burn in with my disc brakes then check the braking track and will adjust or shim as needed. But I tend to be a bit anal like that. Anyway, your call, if it isn't giving problems you'll likely be fine, the wear pattern on the rotor will be off, but that's about all.

    Good Dirt
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  9. #9
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    +1 on what squash said.
    Jollynut, from your last picture it
    looks like the pads aren't contacting the out edge of the
    rotor. If that's true, then using a couple of shims under
    the CPS next to the brake adaptor to lift the
    caliper out would be advisable.

  10. #10
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    Good job!

    Squash, blcman, thank you for the feedback. Indeed, there is quite a lot of space between the outside edge of the rotor and where the pads contact (perhaps about 5mm). With the Avid rotors, there was only about 2mm max.

    When I get some free time I'll get some shims and adjust. At the moment there doesn't seem to be any performance issues (aside from the center lock rotors being much quieter than the Avids!).
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  11. #11
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    Jollynut, I use the same caliper/rotor combination on my commuter.

    On-One Pompetamine Commuter

    There are a couple things going on with your setup. 1. Yes, the Shimano rotor braking track is slightly different than the Avid one. It hasn't been a big problem for me as long as I keep my caliper properly aligned. My frame has longer mounting slots than yours, allowing for more caliper adjustment. I have also improved fitment by using a different caliper adapter (a FRONT 160mm adapter).

    On-One Pompetamine

    My frame/fork (One-One Pompetamine) has some fitment issues with the chunky BB7 calipers, though. I have no options when it comes to rotors - I absolutely MUST use Centerlock.

    On-One Pompetamine Commuter

    When a compact hydraulic disc brake with hydraulic road levers comes on the market, I might consider an upgrade simply for better fit on this frame. For now, I've achieved satisfactory results by using shims to fine tune things (and a dremel to grind a little off of the caliper mounting area). The same fitment problems I have with the calipers make it tough to adjust the CPS bolts on the rear end of this bike, so I wound up setting up the CSP washers with the caliper off the bike and then using shims to get it right.

    The other issue you have is that yes, the position of the rear wheel fore-aft DOES affect the alignment of the caliper to the rotor. When you adjust the position of your wheel, you also need to adjust the position of your caliper to take that into account. Your frame doesn't give you much room, so you'll need to use shims if you need to raise the caliper a little.

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