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  1. #1
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    Nov 2012
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    Swapping Avid BB5 for BB7 - calipers only?

    Background: I have a set of Avid BB5s on a 2010 Gary Fisher Cobia 29er. These are stock with the bike, although the previous owner upgraded the front rotor from a 160mm to a 185mm and added the appropriate spacer to the caliper. The rotors are Avid Roundagons.

    While adjusting these, I noticed that the rear rotor is slightly warped, so I picked up a set of G2 Cleansweeps to replace the Roundagons. However, before putting these on the bike, I got to thinking...

    Reading threads on this forum, I know the BB5s are regarded as being finicky, due to the caliper being fixed on one side instead of having a pad adjustment on each side like the BB7; I also know that the BB7 has a larger pad size, which I suspect would improve braking performance. I'd like to stay with a mechanical brake for now, and the general MTBR consensus seems to be that this is a worthy upgrade.

    My question: can I just swap out the BB5 calipers for BB7 calipers? I already have the correct rotors and brake levers. I'm assuming the spacer for the BB5 to run a 185 in front can be transferred to the BB7 caliper.

    Is this simply a matter of dropping the old calipers off the bike frame while I'm swapping out the rotors anyway, attaching the BB7 calipers with the cables attached in the same locations and adjusting everything correctly?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
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    Jun 2006
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    1,099
    Yeah, its just a matter of swapping them out. While you're doing it, you might as well replace the cables and housing too though. They are wear items and new cables work wonders for the BB7's.

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