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  1. #1
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    Those of you considering Avid BB7 setups...

    As I said in other threads for just a bit more cash you can go hydraulic. As seen here:

    By the way of a simple google search I found this:

    The cheapest BB7 setup: http://greenfishsports.com/product/3...rake-2009.html

    And for only 15 bucks more: http://wheelworld.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=3864

    Why mess with mechanical setups? Get the power of hydraulics. I see these Hayes brakes offered at this price every time I read my MBA Magazine from at least one advertiser.
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  2. #2
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    I can't speak for everyone, but I didn't go with BB7s to save money. They have more than enough power for my needs (XC), and are ridiculously easy to adjust for feel and elimination of rotor rub. This is coming from somebody who had hydros, went to mechanicals, and just built a 29er with little expenses spared.

  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    As I said in other threads for just a bit more cash you can go hydraulic. As seen here:

    By the way of a simple google search I found this:

    The cheapest BB7 setup: http://greenfishsports.com/product/3...rake-2009.html

    And for only 15 bucks more: http://wheelworld.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=3864

    Why mess with mechanical setups? Get the power of hydraulics. I see these Hayes brakes offered at this price every time I read my MBA Magazine from at least one advertiser.
    Your point being....?

    Fill us in.

  5. #5
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    My point is simple. Hydraulics can be had just as cheap as BB7s and are a bit more powerful in my experience. Just my opinion.
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  6. #6
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    I am really considering taking off my stroker carbons and putting my bb7s' back on my xc race bike. To each their own but I wouldn't trade my bb7s' for nines. The op is right on one account you can get hydros for the same price. I don't know where I'm going with this, but this is a silly thread.

    I've said too much......going to bed

  7. #7
    Big Gulps, Alright!
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    BB7 cable replacement = easy, DIY, cheap

    bleeding hydraulic brakes = not easy, not DIY, not cheap
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  8. #8
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    I disagree. Bleeding kits are cheap. Bleeding is easy. Not as easy as replacing cables you got me there.
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  9. #9
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    Hayes 9s are terrible. Mine frequently drag a pad and dont grab any where near as hard as my BB7. Of course I also find the juicy 3 and hayes sol to be inferior to the BB7. The shimano deore also fails to perform as well. Every time i use my BB7s I am amazed they work so well. All the other cable pull discs seem to be complete rubbish some are worse that v-brakes.

  10. #10
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    I break levers often... then BB7s with Avid speed dial levers are powerful as Elixir R...

  11. #11
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    Personally, I don't have any difficulty bleeding my hydraulic brakes, but after having to cut three rides short in the last 6 weeks because of other problems with the hydros, my BB7s are back on my bike. I've had *very* few problems with BB7s and nothing that couldn't be corrected in a few seconds on the trails. In my case they were significantly cheaper and the difference in weight wouldn't be a realistic issue unless I was competing at high performance levels, which I can absolutely guarantee will *never* be the case.

  12. #12
    LDH
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    I got bb7's and juicy ultimates on two of my rides and i like the bb7's just as much.

  13. #13
    bhc
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    As ric426 said, you can adjust anything on the trail that might go wrong the BB7. Simplicity is worth something.

  14. #14
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    well i am considering bb7's actually. having had a set of shimano's mech disc for a couple years now they have always been great. easy to adjust and all that. i'm just not sold on the hydro's at this point (took me awhile to get a cell phone). maybe i'll see if I can try them out at the lbs and compare before i decide. I just love the simplicity as bhc said.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    My point is simple. Hydraulics can be had just as cheap as BB7s and are a bit more powerful in my experience. Just my opinion.
    We are glad you are happy.

    Those of us running BB7's are just as happy and are just as entitled to let others know. BB7's are not an inferior product and price is actually not the issue for many.

    BB

  16. #16
    TNC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    My point is simple. Hydraulics can be had just as cheap as BB7s and are a bit more powerful in my experience. Just my opinion.
    Well, sure hydros are more powerful and most of the time lighter, and I'd never go back to cable operated brakes personally...but...people are different and either from expense, simplicity, or both, many feel more comfortable staying with cable discs. No need to bash your head on the wall, it's just a personal choice that some make. Choices are good. I think most people who are leary of hydros eventually come around to them after riding with friends and others who have excellent service from hydros. And if they don't, it's still one's right to stay with decently operating cable discs if they so choose.

    The only time I get a little ticked is when I hear someone crowing about how their BB7's or whatever are kicking the tail out of everyone's hydros in stopping performance. One guy even came on here and claimed that his BB7's were stronger than his Code 5's. Yeah right...Code 5's without any brake fluid in them maybe. BB7's are the best cable operated brakes around IMO, but there's a measurable performance difference compared to quality hydros unless something is wrong with the hydros. But...they work well enough to be better than rim brakes...until the guy comes around here saying that his rim brakes are better than disc brakes in general in stopping performance.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley
    not easy
    Yes
    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley
    not DIY
    NO
    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley
    not cheap
    NO
    What I used to bleed my hayes:
    - Dot3 = $4
    - Syringe + needle = $1.50
    - Rubber tubing = $0.50
    - Small crescent wrench = $5
    - Small Phillips driver = $3.50
    Grand total = $14.50

    To replace cables:
    - Cable = $4
    - Allen wrench = $3
    - Cable cutter = $17
    Grand total = $24

    If you throw all the tools out the window, a cable replacement still costs $4/wheel. A bleed costs $4 for.... well I've bleed 4 times on the same bottle.

    Also, don't forget that for your $45, BB7 doesn't come w/ levers or cables. For your $60, the HFX9 comes w/ everything. So the Hayes are really cheaper as well.

  18. #18
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    so if you want the cheapest solution go with Hayes... I want something more reputable so either BB7 or Elixir - have them both

  19. #19
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    My experience with Hydro's vs. Mechanicals, you need to pay closer attention to the maintenance on the Hydros because you can't really fix them if something goes wrong on the trail. With the BB7's, you can adjust them out on the trail very easily.

    On my XC bike with 4 inch travel, BB7's were excellent brakes. On my AM bike (5 1'2 inch travel, the BB7's were not slowing me down, so went with Hydros.

  20. #20
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    Don't understand the bashing 9's. I have them on my Heckler and they work great. They have yet to fail me in any situation after about 3 years. Bleeding them is cake.

  21. #21
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    I have a set of magura Julies from 02 or somesuch on my bike. They've been brilliant, even though there are lighter, more powerful options now. I've never bled them, never had to change the pads, and only occasionally have had a small rotor warp (easily fixable with a rag/rubber mallet and a flat surface). They're even an inexpensive option...got 'em for $125 for front and rear (used) back in the day. I've been using them since 03, so 6 years. Quality hydros are wonderful.

    That said, I put BB7's on the wife's bike. Why? BB7's have been better (in my experience) than comparably priced hydro brakes. My wife's bike is pretty entry level, but she really wanted improved braking. The BB7 did the job best for a reasonable price. I would NEVER use a comparably priced hydro. Though I am surprised to see Hayes 9's in that price category. Those are not a bad option, but to be fair that's a closeout price, not regular retail. They'd be a bargain, true.

  22. #22
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    I've seen Strokers at 79 dollars an axle as well...
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  23. #23
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    I've got BB7's with Avid Ultimate levers on the Racer-X and Juicy 7's on the Leviathan. Very disappointed in the J7's, rear brake drags slightly, both ends squeal badly, stopping power isn't any better than the BB7's, and I like the Ultimate levers way better. Don't know about bleeding, but if the J7's were better than the BB7's then I'd gladly learn how to bleed them.

    Bottom line for me, I'm going to put '09 BB7's on my 1st line bike, the Leviathan.

  24. #24
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    I run BB7's on my Kona as well, and I love them. Whenever new riders ask my opinion, I tell them hydros may have a better feel, but for ease of use and maintenance mechanicals are the way to go. Sure there are bensfits to both, but price is not as close as you are making it seem. BB7's are about the best mechanical brake out there, and for 15 bucks more you are getting entry level hydros- not top of the line. Everyone has a preference, and I prefer simple. I've tried hydros, and for me they are not enough of an improvement to justify the cost and added work. To each his (or her) own.

  25. #25
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    But you forget - you still have to buy levers for the BB7 setup so in the end as I heard someone say hydros can be and are cheaper.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    But you forget - you still have to buy levers for the BB7 setup so in the end as I heard someone say hydros can be and are cheaper.
    Avid FR-5s are ~$15. Speed Dial 7s are around $20. Both are excellent levers. After cables and housing, BB7s and low-end hydros probably cost about the same.
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  27. #27
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    And that was one of my points. Thanks. The other point was that those hydros at the same price are more powerful. Seems some say they are and some say they are not.

    As for me I haven't really made up my mind. My BB5 setup was very powerful. I haven't ridden my Hayes setup long enough to gather any opinions.

    I have ridden other more powerful setups..
    Last edited by Kona0197; 06-08-2009 at 05:33 PM.
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  28. #28
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    Yeah, ummm...

    You are not going to win this debate. People who like the BB7 cable discs for whatever reason are adamant that they are more than capable brakes. While I do agree that they are a functional brake the negatives outweigh the positives IME. However for the simple caveman the cable actuated brakes seem simpler If you don't mind fiddling with pad position and adjusting for wear as you ride along then you are unlikely to find fault in cable disk systems.

    Good luck in your campaign to enlighten the disk brake community
    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine
    that's the stupidest idea this side of pinkbike.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by AL29er
    However for the simple caveman the cable actuated brakes seem simpler
    So to summarize:
    Hydraulic disc brake users = enlightened, intellectually superior, sophisticated.

    While:
    Mechanical disc brake users = unenlightened, ignorant simpletons.

    Got it. Thanks for clearing that up.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by ric426
    So to summarize:
    Hydraulic disc brake users = enlightened, intellectually superior, sophisticated.

    While:
    Mechanical disc brake users = unenlightened, ignorant simpletons.

    Got it. Thanks for clearing that up.
    yep

    Quote Originally Posted by Econoline
    Don't know about bleeding, but if the J7's were better than the BB7's then I'd gladly learn how to bleed them.

    Bottom line for me, I'm going to put '09 BB7's on my 1st line bike
    careful, everything you say (state) can and will be used against you

  31. #31
    err, 27.5+
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    Quote Originally Posted by ric426
    So to summarize:
    Hydraulic disc brake users = enlightened, intellectually superior, sophisticated.

    While:
    Mechanical disc brake users = unenlightened, ignorant simpletons.

    Got it. Thanks for clearing that up.
    I don't know that I would go that far. Just throwing a little levity at the discussion (google Phil Hartman's "simple caveman"). At this point I have ridden most major manufacturers brakes, spent over a decade behind the counter at a bike shop, and have seen many sides of the argument for mechanical vs. hydraulic. Some think mechanicals are simpler. Others think they less prone to failure. There is really only one constant that everyone agrees on, avid makes the best mechanical disk system. Everything else is just a never ending debate.
    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine
    that's the stupidest idea this side of pinkbike.

  32. #32
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    Had Hayes 9'. Switched to BB7s.
    On a whim, I tried Hayes Strokers. Went back to BB7s.
    On yet another whim, I tried Avid Elixirs. Went back to BB7s.
    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by AL29er
    I don't know that I would go that far. Just throwing a little levity at the discussion (google Phil Hartman's "simple caveman").
    I know, I was just attempting to throw in some more. This whole thing is getting too serious.

  34. #34
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    Bleeding is DIY, easy, and cheap. I ride DJs and street with hydros and have yet to tear out a hose either. Yes, hydros do require some special care (bleeding, cleaning pistons, maybe a rebuild down the line). But BB7s will require fresh cables and housing just as if not more often than a hydro will need to be bled. The BB7s do offer more adjustability as you can set where you want the pads to be, but they can not self adjust and compensate for padwear like hydros.

    But BB7 > Hayes HFX9

    BB7s are great breaks, but they have nothing on higher end hydraulic setups.

  35. #35
    it's....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    I haven't ridden my Hates setup long enough to gather any opinions.
    paging Dr. Freud....

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197

    Why mess with mechanical setups? Get the power of hydraulics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    My point is simple. Hydraulics can be had just as cheap as BB7s and are a bit more powerful in my experience. Just my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197

    As for me I haven't really made up my mind. My BB5 setup was very powerful. I haven't ridden my Hates setup long enough to gather any opinions.
    these threads are always such entertainment

  37. #37
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    Looks like you need to reread my post. I have ridden other more powerful setups.
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  38. #38
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    By the way if those of you who think BB7 is more powerful than hydros than answer nme this:

    Name one Pro Downhill rider that uses BB7...
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    By the way if those of you who think BB7 is more powerful than hydros than answer nme this:

    Name one Pro Downhill rider that uses BB7...

    Dude, you gotta let it go. Some of us are gonna use BB7s, others will use hydros. That's the way it is. Get over it.
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley
    Dude, you gotta let it go. Some of us are gonna use BB7s, others will use hydros. That's the way it is. Get over it.
    So you don't have an answer to his question. Don't act all high and mighty when you can't get your facts straight.

  41. #41
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    Im sorry to tell you this but bb7's are no weaker than hydraulics, especially those failed sets you posted. I know because Ive ridden them all. My bb7's (and many others Ive read of) blew away avid juicy 3's and a set of good shimanos (lx or deore's). They fell just under a set of avid juicy 7's (yes the 7's) and the difference wasnt extreme, though notable. They are considerably more powerfull than the average hydros on the trail, easier to adjust (seriously, alot easier) and the modulation is almost as good, and as good if you use avid sd7 levers. Yes, very good hydros are better than bb7's. Yes, very good hydros cost 2x as much as bb7's. No, the average hydro on the mid level bike (hfx9, juicy 3/4, tektro aguira) are not more powerfull by any length. They are weaker though.

  42. #42
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    No, the average hydro on the mid level bike (hfx9, juicy 3/4, tektro aguira) are not more powerfull by any length. They are weaker though.
    Wrong.
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  43. #43
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    Haha...actually right. Ive read. Ive tested. Cant beat that. Maybe the mechs youve tried were never set up to their best. If not set up right mechs suck, it requires some skill to set up right, but afterwards they require less maintenance and stop like a dream.

  44. #44
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    Require less maintenance? Whatever. You guys change your cables every year right? And you all lube your levers with triflow every now and then? My friend has been running his Hayes 9s for years without bleeding or adjusting them and they still offer superb stopping power on his Santa Cruz Bullit.

    Hydro's cost less in the long run to keep up and use. And yes Hydro's are more powerful.

    (By the way my BB7 were setup just fine. Even used the Avid Jagwire housing and high end cables. Avid levers.)
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  45. #45
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    See therein lies your mistake. GOOD hydros are more powerfull. I wont argue that. The average hydro is not. Or maybe my brakes are just endowed with a godly force?
    The fact that we change cables and you bleed them makes them more or less similar in that fact. They are however much simpler to adjust (the avids) when necessary and also easier to repair on the trail if something should happen. On races and epic rides that does matter. I cant say much about your avids as I havent seen them of course, Ill take your word on the adjustment. One thing though that I noticed is that low flex cables dont really help the avid brakes that much, however, good rotors (hayes v6 (yea those rotors are awesome) or similar), with correct lever placement can easily effect single finger braking on the avids. I do it with mine, thats why I say so, but it takes some experimentation before you get to that point.

  46. #46
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    yes hydros are more powerful but the maintenance of mech disc is a lot lower
    mech discs dont really fade because you dont start off with a lot of power in the first place

  47. #47
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    This thread is hella entertaining. Avid's BB7 is 10 years old this year.

    10 years!

    It's persisted this long (as had this whole silly hydro vs. BB7 debate) because they're <i>that good</i>. If the BB7 were inferior as many claim, they'd be long gone.

    Power? Puleeze... brakes are a balance between power and modulation. More of one results in less of the other.

    With Hydros, you're pretty much stuck with how they were designed. If you want more power, switch to a bigger rotor.

    With the BB7s, they're much more tunable. And that's the key to why I've stuck with them. I can make them bite exactly in the lever stroke where I want. I can adjust pad spacing to make them more or less grippy. I can fiddle with spring tension to get the feel I want at the lever. They're tunable in ways a hydro will never be.

    And if you think BB7s lack power, come ride our tandem. We've bombed some pretty long, steep sh&#105;t on that heavy-ass rig, and I've got the same 1-finger, perfectly-in-control braking from my Avid mechs that I've come to expect on my solo bikes. No BS -- I wouldn't risk my or my wife's neck with an inferior brake.
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  48. #48
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    Good points. Good to see you Nate.
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  49. #49
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    Juicy 3s $59.98 @ blueskycycling.com or BB7s & SD7 levers. What's the better deal?
    roccowt.
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  50. #50
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    You all that say BB7 has the advantage of being more tunable. Well Most hydros have reach adjustment. Pad contact adjustment. Mine have inner and outer pad contact via a 5mm allen wrench.

    Easy as pie to adjust. So your points are moot.
    My Bike: '15 Trek FX 7.2
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