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Thread: Tektro Novela

  1. #1
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    Tektro Novela

    Hi
    Anyone familiar with the: Tektro Novela Mechanical Disc?
    The are on the Marin Iron Springs. Should I ban it?
    Or upgrade to Avid Mechanical BB series?

  2. #2
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    they came with my specialized hardrock..not bad brakes...ive had my bike for about 3 weeks and i had to adjust the brakes 3-4 times already and ive only been one 2 small trails...can't really compare them to anything since i dont hvae much expeirnce with other brakes but i doubt they are amogst the really good brakes.

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    I have had my Hardrock for over a month and also have had to adjust them multiple times. Just now the "arm" on the caliper has started to not return to the default position, so I need to go and fix that... Otherwise they work well, and under hard braking they feel great.

    My GF has an F7 with BB5s and those brakes are much better imho. Enough to where I want a set for my bike.

    Edit: Today I ordered a set of BB7s...
    Last edited by Failsauce; 10-16-2009 at 09:43 PM.

  4. #4
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    these are pretty much the low end of the low... i suggest at the minimum BB5's, or if u have $90 and love good brakes, the BB7's
    RH SL Pro

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    That's hard........

    Damn! I am waiting for the Iron springs [Marin] to arrive about 10 to 15 days].
    So I guess I'll have to settle for the V brakes edition, or upgrade it to Avid, immediately on "buying day".
    Thanks for your replies.

  6. #6
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    The Tektro Novela brakes are horrible, i would recommend to get Avid bb7 mechanical disc brakes

  7. #7
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    i would skip the avid bb5 unless you like crooked pads and rotor rubbing. the novela is ok and easy to set up but it is an entry level brake

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    Quote Originally Posted by reptilezs View Post
    i would skip the avid bb5 unless you like crooked pads and rotor rubbing. the novela is ok and easy to set up but it is an entry level brake
    don't know about the Tektro's, but spot on with the bb5's, they are quiet though, and have decent power if you have the wrist strength!

  9. #9
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    It was a long time ago....

    I have mooved on.
    I have now bikes with Avid Juicy hyd'
    Thanks.

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    I am new to this changing of components and just got a Trek Marlin 2011. I moved from a 2006 Haro V5 with avid BB5. I am looking to upgrade to the BB7 brakes, can i just swap out the rotors and calipers? Are the mounts all the same?

  11. #11
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    omg the tektro's are utter garbage! i just took them off my GT avalanche and replaced them with avid bb7's 160mm f&r for $100 i got online. All i can say is oh my god what a difference. I didnt even change my levers, decided to hold off on the speed levers and i can lock up my tires so fast its not even funny. no noise (got organic pads)

  12. #12
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    IMHO Tektro Novela are about as good as Avid BB5, both are OK if they come stock. Seems many people don't have their brakes set-up properly if they think BB5s are better.

    Avid BB7s are much better than both Tektro Novela and BB5, and would be a real upgrade. A clever idea would be to set up the Tektro properly on the back and put a Shimano SLX on the front!

  13. #13
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    My front are fine, however the rear Novela is nothing but a hassle. One of the pads isnt being held by the magnet so Its now just flopping around. I was just going to replace the pads, but I cant find replacements anywhere? I'm not too surprised LOL!

  14. #14
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    Hi, I currently have Tektro Novela brakes on my bike with Tektro 160mm wave designed rotors ... can I use Avid BB7 calipers with these rotors? or do I need to replace the rotors as well when I plug in the new calipers?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mk7718 View Post
    Hi, I currently have Tektro Novela brakes on my bike with Tektro 160mm wave designed rotors ... can I use Avid BB7 calipers with these rotors? or do I need to replace the rotors as well when I plug in the new calipers?
    You can use the same rotors with Avid calipers. You can also use the same cables, levers and adapters if you want to.

  16. #16
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    Swap out Tektro Novelas?

    Hi guys,

    I’m looking at getting a second bike which would be more for road work -but with a few hills. And a bike that I quite like (and am able to afford) happens to be fitted with Tektro Novela disc brakes.

    I’ve heard that the Novela’s are not a terribly good type of brake; and also that they can be prone to squealing a fair bit –which is a pet hate of mine. (I was also a little surprised to see that this particular model fails to get a mention on the Tektro website –maybe the Novela is superceded now?)

    Given that disc brakes are attached to special mountings on the bike’s frame; is the position, and also the spacing between the two mounting holes, a fixed standard between all the disc brake manufacturers?

    And if the mounting arrangements are the same, would there be anything to prevent me from ditching the Novela’s -and changing over to something like Avid BB7 for example?

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me on this.
    Regards

  17. #17
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    Greetings;
    Frame mounts are the same for all equipped with discs, however forks have two types of mounts and you may need an adapter which usually comes with aftermarket calipers. I see many bikes in the shop with Tektro brakes and the Novella is solid, has plenty of power and modulation IF( with caps) they are properly set-up and adjusted. I suggest you leave them on the bike until the pads are almost gone and then get a set of Avid BB-7's.
    Regards

  18. #18
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    Hi skoda,

    Thanks for your advice. Much appreciated.

    Cheers

  19. #19
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    I've got them and like them better than the old v-brake on my dept store bike. They stop more demanding and more in control. I've adjusted them a couple times but it takes maybe 5 min at the most. I will hopefully purchase some BB7's as they are on the shopping list after some other things.

  20. #20
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    There will always be people who say something is junk or terrible
    or this or that is better.
    For the type of trail riding I do these brakes are working perfectly.
    I suppose if one is riding under severe conditions or lots of steep downhill then a more
    expensive set of brakes might be warranted. For my situation
    and I'm sure many others, these brakes work great and adjusting
    is quick and easy. All I'm saying is, I wouldn't believe everything
    you read on the internet. Lot of people will have you believe a
    $500 bike is a piece of shyte too which is totally not true at all.

  21. #21
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    While I agree that the Novelas will be OK for most, they take a heck of allot of tweaking/adjusting to keep them that way. I've mentioned in several other posts how I have to do something with them either before or after every ride. Last thing I did that worked to eliminate front brake rub, was to lift the front of the bike off the ground and lightly hold the brake lever while spinning/dragging the wheel.

    I'm not doing any type of hardcore riding here either. There's no reason why after hitting a couple of trails (singletrack and some paved) that I should have to touch my brakes after. I have a couple of longer rides planned for this weekend. If the Novelas give me any problems they are getting replaced.

  22. #22
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    My 2011 trek Marlin had the Novelas and they stopped fine, but would make lots of noise. Finally got to me, and I went with BB5's. Not seeing much difference in brake power, but the noise is gone.

    I'm happy
    2011 Trek Marlin
    Shimano SLK Crank set
    Nashbar Pedals
    Avid BB5 brakes

  23. #23
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    The tektros came on my bike as well. They didn't have a lot of power but they worked. Not to loud. So I bought a pair of BB7s and now I have all the stopping power I could ever need and then some, but they squeal like a stuck pig. One of these days I'll remember when I'm at the LBS and pick up a set of organic pads and see if that helps. Cleaning with rubbing alcohol only solves the problem for the first mile or so then it's back worse than before...I've also tried scuffing the pads with sandpaper and even beveled the edges of the pads with said sandpaper. Still hellacious squeal. It's gotta be the pads...if not I'll just live with it. To much other stuff to upgrade to switch to hydros right now. Anyway, aside from the noise, they are great brakes!
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  24. #24
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    Well the brakes stop me great but the fronts were squealing after about 20 minutes into every ride so I got some organic pads on Amazon and they're fantastic. No problem with the rear so left the stock pads in them. If you want to try them look on amazon for tektro pads that fit IOX and Lyra. Good move for a new bike that came with Novela discs. Glad I gave these pads a shot. Here's a pic of the organics on the left stock pads on the right.
    Last edited by Keto; 06-27-2012 at 06:02 AM.

  25. #25
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    Well, mine are gone. Replaced by 2012 BB7s. A much needed improvement. Need another ride to fully tweak them with my Speed Dial 7 levers. Unfortunately, I cut my hand and am down for the count for a few days until stitches come out.

  26. #26
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    Sorry t hear about your injury, hope it heals quickly! Stinks you had to drop $ so soon on brakes but glad you got it sorted. The organic pads are working great in my novelas. $15 shipped. Don't mind if they wear out sooner than stock pads. No noise and I can lock em up if I need to and haven't had to adjust them more than twice over the last five rides. Double thumbs up.


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  27. #27
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    ^^^Thanks, Keto. Good timing on your post, as I just had the stitches removed today. Unfortunately, I can't ride for another week (docs orders) as there is a chance the wound can re-open. The cut was on my left hand, in the webbing between my thumb and index finger. Essentially, gripping the handlebar (even with gloves) may rip the wound open.

    Anyway, back on topic. The new brakes work perfectly. I'm happy to hear that you got yours sorted with the new pads. And, even better to hear you have good luck not having to adjust your Novelas over and over.

  28. #28
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    I've got those brakes on my Trek and somehow seemed to have gotten them adjusted and set up right after numerous attempts. I guess I probably messed up the original set up on the first attempt though I know they also got messed up a bit in a course at the bike shop when the LBS mechanic/instructor misidentified a couple of things.
    Anyway, they ain't the best I know but they stop the bike fine. What's annoying is the noise, seems like I'm always cleaning them at the 20 to 25 mile point regardless of whether the riding is dusty trail riding or just around town to Starbuck's.
    I guess when the time comes for new pads that will make my decision for me. Can't find replacements definitely means eBay here I come. Extra money laying around and maybe they get replaced.
    In any case they ain't the best but when you finally get things straightened they work, just buy stock in a company that sells the alcohol and clean rags to keep the noise down.

  29. #29
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    Hi everybody,
    I've had the Novelas for some time now, and since quite a few people have been bashing 'em, I'd like to clear things up a bit. Please add to my rep if you find this helpful. it costs you a few seconds and nothing more.

    First off, the Novelas are not top of the line. There are definitely better mech disk brakes out there, but I wouldn't know. The V-brakes on my last bike worked for 3 years using the same, stock pads and rims. They stopped me with equal or greater power than the Tektros.

    That said, you have to remember that disk brakes are at an extreme disadvantage. If you had 622mm(the diameter of a 700c rim) disc rotors on your bike, you would go flying every time you touched the levers(exaggeration).
    Sadly, the Tektro discs have only 160mm to deal with. This is true with any disk brake (Though most will put larger rotors to get better power and other bonuses).
    If you are not going to be racing, these brakes will suffice for most. (Gasp, shock, horror!)

    Just as it is with any other brake, these will be crud IF NOT PROPERLY ADJUSTED. And, truth be told, it is a pain in the butt to adjust these. The caliper has to be held firmly in place while tightening and you cannot use the "compress then tighten" method which is the most popular method for adjusting brakes. This is where the BB7 has most every brake beat. Ease of adjusting. This is one reason why people have such good results with them. (Also bigger pads help)

    This brake is on most (if not all) low end MTBs, and beginners are usually the people who buy these. Beginners want to save money and some don't do their homework. They won't get the brakes adjusted professionally, and the rotors will be out of true, the caliper will be oblique to the rotors, etc. This causes bad power and squeaking. So does touching the rotors or (how would you do this) pads. Don't get any grease or even WD-40 on the pads or rotors. This will cause squeaking, low power, etc.

    I spent a lot of time getting the rotors true and adjusting the calipers, so these have been great for me. I can EASILY lock up the rear wheel. However, the front brake is rather weak, I don't know why. Going 10-15 mph and using only the front brake, I can stop in 4-5 feet. However, with proper moderation, and use of both brakes, I can stop the bike very quickly.

    NOISE: This seems to be the biggest complaint. As I said, these brakes oft end up in the hands of beginners who don't do their HW. They either don't break in the brakes, or worse, go down a slope to break 'em in. This causes glazing of the pads or warping of the rotors. Bad stuff. There are a few ways to screw up while breaking in brakes, and you should check multiple sources before actually doing it. If you think you ruined your pads, try sanding 'em first. If that doesn't work, you may have a warped rotor or need new pads. Consult an LBS.
    I have had ZERO dry noise on these bikes (other than a very quiet, low rubbing sound when I apply the brakes, obviously). HOWEVER, I have gotten these wet and they howl like dying animals. Yikes. I have gone riding in some light drizzles(a little more than that) and the rain hasn't hit the rotors, and it probably won't unless you're riding in a flooded street during a downpour or are riding through mud. So it's not so bad.
    Feel: I have some bad cables+housing, so I have bad feel on my brakes, but if you use a fully sealed system with quality cables + housing, I'm sure you'll get a solid feel. There's not much that adds to a mech's feel other than levers and cables. (I've heard good stuff about SD7 and Jagwire)
    Heat: This shouldn't be a problem, because if you have these brakes, your bike or even you may not be ready for rides that will heat up the brakes excessively. However, I decided to check brake fade by finding about a mile long slope and pumping it in 3x8. Then, every now and then I applied one brake. I never felt any fade in power. But the solidity of feel did reduce quite a bit. It could have been that my wrists were aching.

    Overall, great brake if it comes stock, but if you are getting a new one, get a BB7, it's not much more expensive than the rest. The Lyra + lox pads should be compatible with these, if you ever need them. And finally, get better rotors if you ever change 'em out. If you are a recreational rider (or maybe even beginner XC), then these are plenty IF YOU ADJUST THEM RIGHT AND BURNISH THEM PROPERLY!!!
    Disagree? PM me or post here.

    Thanks for the rep,
    sauprankul

  30. #30
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    Duplicate, sorry
    Last edited by sauprankul; 11-15-2012 at 04:39 PM.
    It's pronounced "so pro and cool."
    It was an impulse decision.

  31. #31
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    I know I am reviving an old thread here, but it does pertain to some of my questions and even raises a few for me. I live on top of a hill above several bike trails. One route down is a quarter mile@ 20% grade (short, steep, very precarious and quick) another route is .7 mile and varies from 9-20% grade and the last is just over a mile of 3-20% grade. The second route being my most commonly used. I weigh 175lbs. I have had my bike (Specialized Myka SE disc 26") for less than two weeks and have rode it 25 miles with 4 trips off the hill. My last trip, I noticed my back brake was less responsive and it seemed that I could smell the brakes by the time I got to the bottom of the hill, unless there was some other source in that area for the odd odor. There was some infrequent squeal from the back brake later in my trek over flat, to low rolling slopes.
    Now to my questions: My LBS said they were very familiar with my hill and use it for training, but they said nothing about "breaking in" my brakes. They just said i would have no problems with this model and to just bring it in as necessary and they were vague on their answers to my detailed questions. Given the fact that the first thing I did when I drove my bike home (on the very top of the hill) was to hop on and RIDE THE BRAKES (newbie/fear of careening through gravels and ditches) down the 1.07 mile side of the hill to the trail head, do you think I "broke them in" wrong?
    Is it too soon for adjustment/cleaning? Is there anything I should be aware of for adjustments, cleaning and pad replacement?

  32. #32
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    "Bedding in" your brakes is a matter of making several hard stops and gradually increasing your braking pull on your levers. You need some brake material to be deposited on the discs.

    But I'd avoid using those brakes very hard on very steep descents until you are confident in them. Get 30 miles on them.

    I have the Novela's on my Cannondale Bad Boy urban/commuter bike and they will squeal here and there.

    Squeal Out is great to quiet them down. (rubbing compound for discs)

    Just don't smoke them too much more as you can warp the discs and you''' then need one of these:

    Cannondale Bad Boy Urban
    Specialized Hardrock Disc
    1225 miles

  33. #33
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    Thanks! I will take it easy for a bit. I am having them checked in a few days just to be sure. It is still nice to have clear answers to my questions. Really liking all the helpful info on this forum!

  34. #34
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    They are heavy, low-tech, finicky, but WORK repeatedly!

    I agree 99%, I have the same issues, minus adjusting them, once I found my own method: aligning the flush/flat with disc...

    1) Tighten inner hex pad adjust till it's all the way in.
    2) Loosen brake caliper mounting bolts on shock just enough so when you squeeze the brake lever taunt, the caliper lines up with rotor.
    3) Keep lever clamped tight, while tightening the 2 mount bolts; alternate tightening each bolt slowly until both are tightened properly. Now the pad and calipers are "flat" as much as they can be.
    4) Release lever, now spin wheel and proceed to look through the little gaps on each side of the rotor. True the rotor as needed so that it spins as straight as possible between the pads.
    5) Now that the rotor is trued/aligned; repeat step 3, but skip retruing the rotor, unless it doesn't suit your personal tolerance levels for rub/gab/lever travel.
    6) Proceed to adjusting your cable tension to your preference.
    7) Now adjust the pad to rotor distance as you like to avoid rubbing etc.

    That should do it IIRC, these brakes are finicky and need some precise adjustment to get them dialed in and LOCK THOSE BOLTS with loctite 242 (or 3 for series power tool torque).

    ***8) OMG now ya gotta PRACTICE this over and over EVERY TIME you take your 9mm QR drop off! WTF?! Yes EVERY time I have to travel with wheels off = recalibrate brakes. PITA, but you get used to it, it's quick ~10-15min (okay not quick(er) but you'll become race pit-crew efficient after a few attempts once you learn it...

    Cannot wait to get BB7s!!! Hydros, eh the cost/performance ratio is no where near the ~$75 BB7 deal & quality. Plus, if you wreck and them oil tubes SNAP with ease vs ss-cables+hosing, you are SCREWED unless you've got rags, time, patience and some complex fix'em up kit AND solvent to clean up all the leaking oil lol. SURE quality hydros are the BEST = so is a $6000 titanium FS frame, but folks will flame you to h3ll for buying one over a $1600 Aluminum frame. The performance to price ratio doesn't logically equate UNLESS you NEED them>.<

    I routinely hit ~28-31mph speeds and these brakes have stopped me EVERY TIME without fail, or worry, or becoming loose post run inspection. They make noises, squeal of death in rain up front (only IDKWhy?) sometimes, but never in winter cold/snow. These brakes WORK WELL enough for me until BB7. You try going 28mph then stopping hard in the dark = serious fear/danger; these brakes have held up to said situations many times. They are heavy, low-tech, finicky, but WORK.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by TitaniumV12 View Post
    ...... OMG now ya gotta PRACTICE this over and over EVERY TIME you take your 9mm QR drop off! WTF?! Yes EVERY time I have to travel with wheels off = recalibrate brakes. PITA, but you get used to it, it's quick ~10-15min (okay not quick(er) but you'll become race pit-crew efficient after a few attempts once you learn it...
    No you dont. Just place a mark on the hub lock nuts and a put them in the same place (rotationally wise) on the fork dropout every time you put the wheel back.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by abelfonseca View Post
    No you dont. Just place a mark on the hub lock nuts and a put them in the same place (rotationally wise) on the fork dropout every time you put the wheel back.
    Agreed, I have tried this, but for some reason (user error?) it just doesn't want to stay "true," hahaa...crap! I'm upgrading to a QR15mm shock, this should alleviate the issue; at least until I upgrade to BB7; alleged to not suffer these issues (alleged). Thanks 4 the tip.

  37. #37
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    I have an GT avalanche... I whant to change them... I will to pay 200 $ to change to hidraulik .. Shimano or magura!??

  38. #38
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    $200 to install yourself or is that with labor for a LBS to install?

    I never tried Marura but Shimano brakes are excellent. $200 will easily get you a set of Shimano XT brakes on sale at chainreactioncycles.com

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