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  1. #1
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    Quasi official info: Avid BB5 vs BB7 discs...

    Following up on sinned_1's thread from yesterday, I gave SRAM a call today in hopes of getting a scoop. Unfortunately the SRAM guys aren't as in tune with Avid product as well as past Avid employees were (and who all had the benefit of being just a few steps away from the product designer/engineer/guru Mike M.

    Anyhow, it's absolutely nothing to get excited about. A different Mike from SRAM laid it out like this:

    The BB7 will be the same Avid Ball Bearing Disc Brake we all know and love. No design change.

    The BB5 is focused at the OE market, but will be available aftermarket. The only difference Mike knew of is the outer pad adjuster goes away. Hmmm...!?! He hasn't seen any weights on the product. It will continue to use CPS washers.

    That doesn't make a whole ton of sense to me, but what is, is. Three-quarters of me expects the BB5 to be a heavier component; the rest of me is thinking, hey, with one pad adjuster missing, why not shave a few grams? But whatever...

    So now we just have to wait and see of a "BBSL" -- or whatever lightweight designation they come up with -- makes an appearance this year. Both the old and new guard have acknowledged it exists in theory: A "lighter weight" version of the mechanical disc, perhaps in part accomplished by the elimination of the CPS system. So far, nothing.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedüb Nate
    The only difference Mike knew of is the outer pad adjuster goes away. Hmmm...!?!
    So that begs the question, how do adjust for pad wear? More cable pull via the lever barrel adjuster?
    Long Live Long Rides

  3. #3
    Roy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew
    So that begs the question, how do adjust for pad wear? More cable pull via the lever barrel adjuster?
    Loosening of the CPS washers and realigning the caliper. Any other way ends up increasing the flex of the rotor into the inside pad over time (which reduces power and results in uneven pad wear).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roy
    Any other way ends up increasing the flex of the rotor into the inside pad over time
    Not quite, this is the outer pad adjustment that's gone. The inner adjustment is supposedly still there, so rotor flex (i.e. inner pad spacing) can be accounted for.

    I don't know what they're up to. My guess, as Homebrew suggests, is adjustment through the barrel adjustment. That's always been a no-no, but maybe there is a caliper or lever arm design change that addresses the issue?!?

    I half expect that Mike didn't know what the heck he was talking about and gave me bad info. He did put me on hold to get the info though, so I don't think he was pulling this stuff out of his butt.

  5. #5
    Roy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedüb Nate
    Not quite, this is the outer pad adjustment that's gone. The inner adjustment is supposedly still there, so rotor flex (i.e. inner pad spacing) can be accounted for.
    Whoops, in my haste I got the pads backwards; my bad. If so, than you'll have to take the slack out of the cable either at the caliper (ala the V-brake adjustment method) or via a barrel adjuster as HB suggested.

  6. #6
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    Aaaarrgggghhhh!!!

    Blasphemy!!! Remove the outer adjuster???? Are they nuts?? That's what happens when you have a nearly perfect product and then some moron wants to start cutting corners.

    Bad Idea. I'll keep away from a bike loaded with those brakes. There will be a bunch of those crappy things on ebay from people who is upgrading to other discs... and if you dump the BB5's you're obviously not to buy a set of BB7's (just because you're so pissed at Avid that you'll prefer some other brake and Avid does not have an affordable hydro).

    Bad move... I hope I´ll be wrong.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warp2003
    Blasphemy!!! Remove the outer adjuster???? Are they nuts?? That's what happens when you have a nearly perfect product and then some moron wants to start cutting corners.
    It could also be that some moron came up with a good way to do the adjustment at the lever instead, as pointed out in a previous message. Those adjusters are more difficult to reach and turn than the conveniently located brake lever barrel adjuster is. Are they are in fact cutting corners, or is this a more evolved version of the product? Have to wait and see.

  8. #8
    "El Whatever"
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    Quote Originally Posted by frank n. beans
    It could also be that some moron came up with a good way to do the adjustment at the lever instead, as pointed out in a previous message. Those adjusters are more difficult to reach and turn than the conveniently located brake lever barrel adjuster is. Are they are in fact cutting corners, or is this a more evolved version of the product? Have to wait and see.

    If it would be evolved that wouldn't be the lower range OE product.... but we'll see, as you say.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warp2003
    If it would be evolved that wouldn't be the lower range OE product.... but we'll see, as you say.
    Good point. Short term memory problem on my end I guess.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warp2003
    If it would be evolved that wouldn't be the lower range OE product.... but we'll see, as you say.
    Yeah, and in past conversations with them, they have mentioned in passing that something like this (a dumbed down OE version) may be in the works -- but it always sounded like more of an afterthought, as if we would see an 'SL' version first. Go figure.

    I was like, "OE version? What are you going to do, add weight to it?" I never really considered the pad adjusters to be an "optional" feature, and thought maybe they'd take the CPS washers away on this version, too.

    You bring up a good point, Warp. This can't be a positive move for Avid's shining image. I don't imagine many folks are going to distinguish between "BB5" and "BB7" when discussing Avid mechs, or mechs vs. hydros. Avid is the only shining star in the mechanical field, and now they're going to put an asterisk next to their name.

    Well, at least a young new rider will stand a bleeding chance if they forget to adjust their pads and find themselves screaming down their most favoritist, steepest hill and suddenly find they have no brakes: "Turn the barrel adjuster! Turn the barrel adjuster!"

  11. #11
    "El Whatever"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedüb Nate
    You bring up a good point, Warp. This can't be a positive move for Avid's shining image. I don't imagine many folks are going to distinguish between "BB5" and "BB7" when discussing Avid mechs, or mechs vs. hydros. Avid is the only shining star in the mechanical field, and now they're going to put an asterisk next to their name.
    I always wanted to work at a R&D ....

    Maybe the guy with whom you talked was misinformed and frank is right and Avid found a better way for their mex.

    If I would be at Avid (that would be a freaking mess)... I would try to sell the BBDB's cheaper and push a cheaper hydro to be in between the Jucys and the Mex. Look at the picture now... You can have an avid mech for 100 bux OR a good hydro (Magura Julie) for the same price. For a hydro, the Juicy is kind of good... but on a price tag too high. There's a huge leap of 70 buck (per brake) between a mech and the juicys. And there are a lot of medium quality brakes in the middle of 100 and 170 bux. And I would dare to say those are the most sold brakes (between 100 and 170).

    Now Avid has two produtcs only regarding discs. Not bad considering those are benchmarks on each segment but.... there's laking at least a product between the mech and the juicy... maybe a cheap hydro to compete against the Shitmano's Deore and Hayez. That would be a sweet OE product. A cheap hydro with the Avid name on it stock on bikes like a Giant VT, for example and SRAM would be closer to completely equip bikes in the range of the 1600-2000 bikes.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warp2003
    If I would be at Avid (that would be a freaking mess)... I would try to sell the BBDB's cheaper and push a cheaper hydro to be in between the Jucys and the Mex...
    Looks like they will be offering 2 versions of both:
    New avids...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dyg2001
    Looks like they will be offering 2 versions of both:
    New avids...

    Ah, and so it is...


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speed?e
    Ah, and so it is...
    Just like it's Shitmano and Hayez rivals. Nice move. I can live with that if the price drop some bux.

    Fran'N Beans was totally right. Some moron found out a way to use the barrel adjuster!

    But in such a way... I was right too... Two cheaper models which will close the gaps between the old stuff.

    Isn't it outstanding how Aví¤*worked its way from the sky down the earth??? Their first brakes are still the brand's (and arguably the segment) benchmarks. Cool company.

    Kudos to SCRAP!! (Obviously misspelled to avoid the auto link)

    Is it just me or the new BB5's will use a different pad and will require some tools to take the pads out???
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warp2003
    Fran'N Beans was totally right. Some moron found out a way to use the barrel adjuster!
    Take a close look at the photo: that's a barrel adjuster they've stuck right there at the cable stop on the caliper. I don't know why we would need two, seems like the one at the lever should be enough.

    Product description says the inboard pad adjust is still in place.

    Also says tool-free pad adjustment is still there. I don't know what those tabs are sticking out the back side of the caliper, but I can't imagine they would introduce a new pad system for this one brake (especially since Mech & Juicy share pads).

    No service or setup instructions yet on SRAM's site. We'll see...

  16. #16
    "El Whatever"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedüb Nate
    Take a close look at the photo: that's a barrel adjuster they've stuck right there at the cable stop on the caliper. I don't know why we would need two, seems like the one at the lever should be enough.
    In my experience, the barrel at the lever get rid of the cable slack and the barrel at the caliper actually moves the lever arm (this is from the old side pull brakes, same principle)


    Quote Originally Posted by Speedüb Nate
    Also says tool-free pad adjustment is still there. I don't know what those tabs are sticking out the back side of the caliper, but I can't imagine they would introduce a new pad system for this one brake (especially since Mech & Juicy share pads).
    Visit the page for "Brake Pads" in SCRAP's site and you'll see they state the current B3's fit all Disc Brakes except the BB5's. There's another pad in there, it can even be a semi-metallic or organic pad. The "performance level indicator" avíd uses on its page shows the performance is regular (three out of five bars) so I assume there is less power there. That can be a serious drawback. I would use at least semi-metallic pads, organic should be a deal breaker for me (okay, they gotta downgrade the brake so people still buy the BB7, at a lower price you can forget about the outer pad adjuster and live with it, so they gotta make a difference between them both so each one gets a sector of market)

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedüb Nate
    No service or setup instructions yet on SRAM's site. We'll see...
    SAD.
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  17. #17
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    There are other factors, too... That rotor doesn't exactly look like a shining example of equipment. Looks more like the deore rotor, with a few holes drilled in as an afterthought. I seem to remember a thread on teh deores a year or more ago, and someone said that the rotors made a huge difference when he swapped to soemthing else.

  18. #18
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    Adjusting the Avid BB5 via barrel adjuster and inboard pad adjuster???

    OK, have any BB5 owners got this thing dialed in yet?? I've got a new bike that now has about 150 miles on it with Avid BB5 disc brakes and speed dial 5 levers. Braking has been awesome, a big upgrade over V's. I have adjusted the inboard knob a click or two on 2 or 3 occasions as the pads have worn and all has been well. But on my last few rides I've felt like there has been some dragging. Nothing really audible, but I've just felt held back. A close look at the rotor spacing revealed that my outboard pad had some gap and the inboard pad was basically touching the rotor on both the front and rear. The only manual I have is from the internet and it is for 2002 brakes so it doesn't cover the BB5 (I just noticed this little detail). The manual says 1/3 - 2/3 gap for outboard - inboard spacing, using the corresponding outboard and inboard knobs. Of course I have no outboard knob. The only direction I have (besides this thread!!) is from the website BB Five Key Features - "New design allows pad adjustment via barrel adjuster on brake." Well I did what I had to do in order to get back to the recommended 1/3 - 2/3 spacing. It involved a large adjustment of the barrel adjuster, from being tightened all the way in to now exposing about 4-5 mm of threads. That just seems like such a drastic change if I was still using V's. The inboard knob I believe didn't need much adjustment, sort of loosened it a couple clicks then tightened it back up a couple clicks...

    So, there's my story. Any comments or suggestions? I have tinkered with the speed dial levers and I don't think that they are of concern. My bike is a bit overdue for its 25-hr new bike tune up, so I'll bring this up when I finally get it in for that. Thanks.
    Ed

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    1/3 / 2/3 rotor spacing is in reference to the "gap" in the caliper body, not the pads. The 2/3 gap on the inboard side provides room for the rotor to flex in without contacting the caliper body.

    Once the rotor is aligned properly within the caliper body, the pads should be spaced as close as practical, to obtain the braking feel to your liking.

    Continue to use the barrel adjuster to obtain the perferred pad engagement point. Adjust the inner red knob to affect the "grab" -- closer in makes for a grabby brake, a few clicks out gives a more progressive engagement.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewarnerusa
    "New design allows pad adjustment via barrel adjuster on brake." Well I did what I had to do in order to get back to the recommended 1/3 - 2/3 spacing. It involved a large adjustment of the barrel adjuster, from being tightened all the way in to now exposing about 4-5 mm of threads. That just seems like such a drastic change if I was still using V's. The inboard knob I believe didn't need much adjustment, sort of loosened it a couple clicks then tightened it back up a couple clicks...

    So, there's my story. Any comments or suggestions? I have tinkered with the speed dial levers and I don't think that they are of concern. My bike is a bit overdue for its 25-hr new bike tune up, so I'll bring this up when I finally get it in for that. Thanks.
    Ed
    Simple... Loosen the fixing cable at the lever arm and move it to your desired position and at the same time move your barrel all the way in (maybe leave one or two turns for loosening). Now tighten your cable fixing bolt. You're done.

    Better yet, loosen the cable fixing bolt and move your caliper arm all the way until the pad touches the rotor. Now move your barrel adjuster to halfway position anf fix the cable. Now just move the barrel until you get the distance you want.

    It's a pain but it works. I haven't done that actually to a set of BB5's (actually I'm on Julie hydros now) but I did it on my Deores 515-LA and in some degree to my Avids and to some drum brakes an old motorcycle my Dad had too. It works.

    Just a note if you didn't know. The pads position is what determinates modulation in this kind of brakes. Modulation comes from the braking force produced as the rotor bends. It'll give you little power until the rotor is pushed completely against the inner pad. So, play a bit with these distances until you get the brake where you want it regarding power/modulation.
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  21. #21
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    Thanks for replies. Speedup.nate, I get what you're saying about the caliper "gap" and I believe that we're talking about the same thing. I'm just not quite fluent in bike-talk yet! Basically it sounds like the large adjustment at the barrel was nothing to be concerned about. That is what I was worried about. It looks like I'll just do what Warp suggests if I have to adjust the outboard much more.

  22. #22
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    actually, i think i see now....

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    1/3 / 2/3 rotor spacing is in reference to the "gap" in the caliper body, not the pads. The 2/3 gap on the inboard side provides room for the rotor to flex in without contacting the caliper body....
    OK, I think I might be learning something here. pad gap is not the issue, caliper gap is! I have been misreading the picture. Thanks.
    Last edited by ewarnerusa; 05-04-2005 at 09:36 PM.

  23. #23
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    $$$$

    Quote Originally Posted by Warp2003
    Blasphemy!!! Remove the outer adjuster???? Are they nuts?? That's what happens when you have a nearly perfect product and then some moron wants to start cutting corners.

    Bad Idea. I'll keep away from a bike loaded with those brakes. There will be a bunch of those crappy things on ebay from people who is upgrading to other discs... and if you dump the BB5's you're obviously not to buy a set of BB7's (just because you're so pissed at Avid that you'll prefer some other brake and Avid does not have an affordable hydro).

    Bad move... I hope I´ll be wrong.
    They need a product to put into the low-end market to ship on entry level bikes. It's better to get this business than let Hayes ship as many MX-1s.

    Thats the way business works.

  24. #24
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    Nick Martin at SRAM was kind enough to reply to my email and request for a manual for the BB Five. Just incase anyone in the same situation as myself stumbles across this thread of quasi official info, the manual reads:
    PAD WEAR ADJUSTMENT
    Over time, you will need to compensate for brake pad wear.
    You can do so with two very simple adjustments:
    1. Unscrew (counter-clockwise) the barrel adjuster on the caliper.
    2. Turn the inboard pad adjustment knob clockwise.
    Both of these adjustments move the brake pads closer to the rotor.
    Try different settings until the brake feels just the way you’d like.
    NOTE: While you can perform a similar adjustment on the barrel
    of your brake lever, we suggest that you adjust for pad wear at the
    caliper. That way you leave the brake lever for on-the-fly adjustments.

  25. #25
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    I just bought a bike that came spec'ed with BB5s. Initially I was impressed by the raw stopping power of these brakes. However as time and riding miles log on my new bike (and first bike with disc brakes) I'm finding the BB5s more and more annoying. Their penchant for going from little stopping power to "throw mamma from the train" deathgrip on the rotor has been a real hinderance in my riding. This fact is multiplied by the fact that I can't seem to get the front brake dialled in, which is the brake that matters when you're actually trying to slow down.

    I have had limited luck using the gnurled inboard pad adjuster. For about a ride the brakes seemed good to go, with modulation and a healthy amount of lever travel before they started to lock onto the rotors. However, after a second or third hard ride (with lots of steep technical brake-oriented trail riding) the pads must have worn enough that the rear disc started to squeal and braking went to crap.

    I don't have enough experience with discs of differing brands and technology to know if this is how they all behave. My old cantilevers, though not the strongest, had nicely linear progression of braking power that I grew to love over 10 years of riding. I'm hoping some combination of pad, caliper adjustment, and pad adjustment, can get these BB5s setup in such a way that they don't seem so digital in their on/off.
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