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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
    Always Learning
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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
    Big Gulps, Alright!
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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
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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?
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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.
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  51. #51
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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...
    Name one Pro Downhill rider who doesn't use top of the line hydros (and is still alive).
    Comparing their brakes to BB7s is apples and oranges. There's a lot more to a person's choice of brakes than simple stopping power. You have to consider the application when you're talking about the benefits of one thing over another.
    I think it's a safe bet that anyone who's using BB7s and is happy with them doesn't *need* the level of stopping power that a pro downhiller needs. I'm just glad that there are a lot of choices out there and that we're free to choose for ourselves whatever works best for us in whatever we're doing. I like my bike. You might not. I don't need to be "saved" from it.

  52. #52
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    Did 3 brake bleads today!

    I am much happier to see mechanicals come into the shop than the old tore up hayes I have to work on.

    Quote Originally Posted by zarr
    Juicy 3s $59.98 @ blueskycycling.com or BB7s & SD7 levers. What's the better deal?
    If you are a weight weenie or have good mechanical abilitys try the hydros. But Juicy 3's are not the easiest to adjust and I have replaced 2 sets this year for customers who cooked them on long DH runs with BB7's. If you are a brake drag er do not get hydros and stick with the mechs.
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  53. #53
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    In the end, it all comes down to personal choices.
    I could argue all day about how stick shift is more efficient and entertaining, but 90 % of car drivers will still pick automatic tranny.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by ric426
    Name one Pro Downhill rider who doesn't use top of the line hydros (and is still alive).
    Something else to consider: Pros usually don't buy their own stuff. If you were given carte blanche to put whatever you want on your bike for free what would you put on it? $50 mechanical disc brakes, even though they are the best mechanical brakes made? Or would you go for the $300 set? You wouldn't need to ask me twice. Not only that but they usually have a mechanic that will install, tune, and maintain their stuff for them so their only concern is that it works when they pull the levers.

    Kona0197, I used to be like you: I had a set of BB7s on my Cannondale Prophet that came with the bike. When I upgraded to hydros ('06 Hope Mono-Minis) I couldn't believe the difference and I couldn't understand why people would run mechanical discs. I sold them then bought a new set for my son's bike two years later. You know what? They're about as powerful as my hydros and they just plain work. The problem with my first setup were the crappy factory brake levers. My son's bike has Speed Dial 7 levers on it and they work great. Had I known that the levers would make that much of a difference I would have kept my old brakes and just upgraded the levers and I would probably have been just as happy with them but I would have spent a whole lot less money on that bike than I have.

    My buddy just upgraded his bike from Tektro Auriga hydraulic disc brakes to Shimano Deore XT hydraulics. The difference is huge! With the Aurigas he could barely lock up the rear wheel with 185mm rotors on dirt. With the Shimanos the rear brake is like a light switch right now, off or on. I was locking up the rear tire on asphalt with one finger but the pads are still breaking in so the true braking power won't be known for a while. That's what happened with my Hope MM's: the pads were breaking in and they became really grabby and I equated that with superior braking performance. After they truly broke in the overall power reduced so that the brakes have great modulation and not a crazy amount of power.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    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.
    So.... because the BB7 has all the same adjustments our point about the BB7's having the same adjustments is moot? And the point about the BB7 doing all these things while being cheaper and easier to work on is moot to?

    Come back when you have a real argument.

  56. #56
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    I DO have a real argument. Consider yourself ignored.

    I thought of something else last night. The BB7 uses ball bearings and has a lever that goes back and forth when the brake is used. It has moving parts. I bet they wear out quicker than any parts inside a hydro caliper.

    (I love a good debate!)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    I DO have a real argument. Consider yourself ignored.
    Wow, by ignoring a contradicting opinion you've really demonstrated the validity of your argument. Bra-vo sir, bra-vo.

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    It's not your opinion I am ignoring. It was that insult you added at the end. I respect your opinion.
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  59. #59
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    Nate brought some very valid points to the table. I have to agree with him, that for a particular setup the mechanicals are easier to setup for free stroke and engagement. If you want to get that picky with hydros you need to be very familiar with bleeding them to get the desired result. That said, I am a fairly picky one finger braker and I have yet to come across hydros that couldn't be tweaked in to my setup requirements.

    Pros shmoes. The BB7 is not pro caliber equipment. Nothing wrong with that. Heck most racing sports place pro equipment well out of the reach of a hobbyist racer. No shame in running enthusiast level components if that works for you.
    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine
    that's the stupidest idea this side of pinkbike.

  60. #60
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    Seriously, how can you compare BB7's with Hayes 9's? With good levers, BB7's have way better modulation that 9's, same if not better power and are way easier to setup.

    Now don't get me wrong, I used to love my 9's and I'm now extremely happy with my Formula Mega's. That said, I would use BB7's over 9's anytime because at least with BB7's I can get 1 finger braking which was absolutely impossible with 9's. It has nothing to do with lacking power but it's simply that they have no adjustment whatsoever (ok they have reach but whatever...). The only way to get 1 finger braking with 9's is to overfill the system and that is such a guessing game that it's hard to have both levers to feel the same.

    So for the ease of use and adjustment + the price I prefer BB7's over 9's anyday. I still prefer other high-end hydros over my BB7's but when price is a concern, BB7's are the way to go.
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  61. #61
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    Well in all honesty I said BB7 versus hydros - not just the low end stuff. Thank you though. I see your point.
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  62. #62
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    No wait a minute you compared BB7's versus 9's saying they're basically the same price...

    and maybe you should add BB7's in your list of evils, just after

    29ers
    Single Speeds

    which you should also consider. They might make you a better rider, right?
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    Yes in my first statement I was just comparing price. Later on I moved to say hydros are more powerful. They are for me.

    BB7 is not evil...

    You will never see me wasting money or time riding a 29er or SS. They are nothing but bad ideas and fads that need to die.
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  64. #64
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    Ok this thread just became insane.

  65. #65
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    I thank you! I do insane very well.
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  66. #66
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    Just thought of another reason hydros are better. Most of them weigh less. Admit it the BB7 caliper weighs a ton.
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  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    You will never see me wasting money or time riding a 29er or SS. They are nothing but bad ideas and fads that need to die.
    Now I *know* you're just pulling our chains. I remember people saying the same things about bike helmets, bar ends, suspension forks, rear suspension, clipless pedals, tubeless tires, carbon bars, carbon seatposts, carbon frames, aluminum frames, indexed shifters, trigger shifters, 6 speed drivetrains, 7 speed drivetrains, 8 speed drivetrains, 9 speed drivetrains, all mountain, free ride, downhill, bike parks, disc brakes, and pretty much anything else new that's come along since mountain biking got started. They all are, have been or will be a significant part of mountain biking.
    Not liking something does not make it a bad idea.

  68. #68
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    I'm not pulling any chains. 29ers and SS bikes are a bad idea. If you want bigger wheels go ride a motorcycle or something. If you want to ride SS then go back to riding BMX were that stuff belongs.
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  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    Just thought of another reason hydros are better. Most of them weigh less. Admit it the BB7 caliper weighs a ton.
    Ok, let's say that each BB7 caliper is 150 grams heavier than a hydro caliper (it's generally less but for the sake of my question I'll go on the high side). That comes to 300 grams or about 10.5 ounces. Assuming the average bike is 27.5 pounds or 440 ounces (I think that's on the low side especially for the average FS bike), are you telling me that you can feel a 2.3% difference in the weight of a bike? Using more realistic numbers the difference is even less. Unless you're a pro racer where an extra second could actually cost you something, that's not much of an argument in favor of hydros.

  70. #70
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    Every ounce counts. I'm no weight weenie but I don't like pedaling a 30 pound bike.
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  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    I'm not pulling any chains. 29ers and SS bikes are a bad idea. If you want bigger wheels go ride a motorcycle or something. If you want to ride SS then go back to riding BMX were that stuff belongs.
    That's just bluster and opinion. Do you have any facts to back up those assertions? How much personal experience do you have with either 29ers or SS bikes? I don't ride either 29ers or SS, so I'm not about to say they're bad ideas, especially without a lot of first hand knowledge.

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  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobba
    Hah! That's great and you're right. This isn't even marginally entertaining any more.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by ric426
    That's just bluster and opinion. Do you have any facts to back up those assertions? How much personal experience do you have with either 29ers or SS bikes? I don't ride either 29ers or SS, so I'm not about to say they're bad ideas, especially without a lot of first hand knowledge.
    I don't need first hand experience to spot bad ideas. Do you buy every new product that comes out just to see if it was a bad idea? I didn't think so.

    Bigger hoops mean slower rolling out speeds and more weight. Not to mention wheelsets being more prone to becoming untrue quicker and breaking easier from drivetrain stress. Bad idea.

    SS are a bad idea all around. The whole point of the MTB was a geared bike. I guess some people want to relive their childhood by turning a MTB into a stupid BMX bike.
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    No offense, Kona, but you seem like one of those people that's probably better about arguing about bikes on the internet than actually riding them, and that's why your statements have no credibility, at least to me.

  76. #76
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    Well so be it. I do ride. And I ride often. But I ride what I like.

    Perhaps in time your opinion of my credibility will change...
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  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by ric426
    Ok, let's say that each BB7 caliper is 150 grams heavier than a hydro caliper (it's generally less but for the sake of my question I'll go on the high side). That comes to 300 grams or about 10.5 ounces. Assuming the average bike is 27.5 pounds or 440 ounces (I think that's on the low side especially for the average FS bike), are you telling me that you can feel a 2.3% difference in the weight of a bike?
    That's a pretty flawed argument. Of course you realize a 160mm hayes setup which is on the heavy side weighs ~450g. 150g is 33.3% of that. If you were to gain 30% in body weight, you'd flip.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    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 **** 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.
    Precisely.

  79. #79
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    OK I thought up another side to the debate. If BB7 is so good why do the big bike manufactures but hydros on most of the trailbikes around the 1200 or 1500 dollar mark?

    It seems only entry level bikes get the BB5 or BB7 treatment. That speaks volumes...
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  81. #81
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    No one forces you to read my arguments Cobba. Sorry.
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  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee
    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
    Hfx works fine, but the levers tend to get closer to the handle requiring that they be separated. At least, that was the way mine worked, until I put some loctite on them. Also, they're powerfull, but work more like an on - off switch.

    Nothing's perfect.

  83. #83
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    What part did you put the loctite on? I'm confused...
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  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    What part did you put the loctite on? I'm confused...
    Jockingly I would say the rotor.

    But on the screw that's on the inside of the lever which you turn to move the lever closer or further than you.

  85. #85
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    OK. I've heard of problems with that.
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  86. #86
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    Ok well I have bb7's and my bike weighs 26lbs. So yea, every ounce, whatever. Ill take the reliability of them any day over 100 little grams. I think kona just hates everything non conformist. Maybe he just believes all the hype and propaganda the bike companies spew out for us to buy their 6 inch travel xc monstrosities? Am I right kona? no offense really dude just playin with you. But 29'ers, single speeders, and mech disc brakes all have a place in the modern bike industry because some like them, and something tells me they have a fairly good reason to drop their hard earned cash on these unusual machines...

  87. #87
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    Maybe he just believes all the hype and propaganda the bike companies spew out for us to buy their 6 inch travel xc monstrosities? Am I right kona?
    Nope you are not. I ride a 2 year old hardtail with barely 100mm fork that has broken preload adjusters. All my parts are hand me downs or from craigslist. Heck my rear wheel is on borrowed time.

    So no I do not try to keep up with the latest and greatest.
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  88. #88
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    Well I was teasing you to start with. But then again you dont have to ride the latest and greatest to keep up with it. Actually I try to just to see how much of it is really good stuff and how much is hype. Im starting to get sick of it...its mostly hype.

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    what the hell hype are you talking about towelie?

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    you're a towel!

  91. #91
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    Gotta say kona197 you're persistent but like so many before have come to no clear conclusion on the definitive say on what's better between the best mechs vs the world of hydraulics.

    I'm a big fan of the BBDB/BB7 brakes, have three sets, two BBDBs for 9 years, and a BB7 for about a year and a half. They're highly adjustable, simple to maintain (like as in just a cable/housing change occasionally, no rebuilds needed yet). I've used Shimano XT combo rapidfire shifter/levers for the most part for a long time, and they work well with the calipers.

    While I've tried hydraulics here and there over the years, the lack of adjustability, good lever feel, expense, changing shifters and other reasons made it easy to stay with the BBDB/BB7s.

    Recently I thought heck, I'll give hydraulics a shot again, would like a new toy and it's about time I at least learned to service them, so bought a set of Avid Elixir CRs. I do like them a lot, the different lever feel is a bit strange, but easy to adapt to after a few rides. The modulation is better than other hydraulics I've used. Power's easier to apply but that's expected from a hydraulic system. As far as setup they're a bit fussier due to the non-adjustable pad position, but at the lever at least I can get some symmetry between the two levers with the contact point adjusters (which I like, it drives me nuts to have them with non-adjustable different bite points as was very common with hydraulics I'd tried before). My cantilever and v-brake levers have had reach adjustment, so consider that a bare basic in any case as I don't have huge hands and like to bring them in a bit. I'll see how they do in the long run before I'm sold on the maintenance side....
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
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    You wanna get hi?

    Im talking about suspension hype, transmission system hype, brand hype, cmon, you guys see it too! Unless your hi.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by dundundata
    you're a towel!
    No your a towel!

  94. #94
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    Let's see:
    -suspension hype? the airmatic equippeds550 beat the 750li in both skidpad and slalom while being more comfortable
    - transmission hype? CVT and dual-clutch systems work very well
    -brand hype? have you heard of the guy who bought non-branded pads which took off some of his brake piston?

    I'm not hi, these things that have a reputation to be good is indeed good. It's just sometimes people expect too much and are let down.

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley
    BB7 cable replacement = easy, DIY, cheap

    bleeding hydraulic brakes = not easy, not DIY, not cheap
    It can be if you know how
    Good luck with that, mister 300-Mile Turn Radius.

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    Just thought of another reason hydros are better. Most of them weigh less. Admit it the BB7 caliper weighs a ton.
    A ton?

    Mine weigh 138g per caliper.

    Well, here are the #'s listed below. Total set is just under 800g which is not too shabby for a ton. And your earlier post about them wearing out. Nope. I've got the tool to open them up and do maintenance. Since I was swapping these brakes over to a new frame this year, I decided to buy that tool and open them up to do maintenance. They were good to go and I didn't have to do anything to them. I guess I wasted $10 on the tool and about 30 minutes of my time. Not bad for a brake going almost daily since 2002.

    138g caliper (2002 Type N)
    24g pad
    21g CPS bolts/washers
    10g IS bolts
    14g 160/140mm adapter
    62g lever
    92g 160mm rotor
    12g rotor bolts
    28g front housing/cable/ferrules

    401g front side

    138g caliper (2002 Type N)
    24g pad
    21g CPS bolts/washers
    10g IS bolts
    14g 160/140mm adapter
    62g lever
    60g 140mm rotor
    12g rotor bolts
    54g rear housing/cable/ferrules

    395g rear side

    That compares pretty well to what I almost bought for the bike - Avid Juicy Ultimates: 371 front and 388 rear

    So I'm 37g heavier with my set. Big ton that is....
    Last edited by BruceBrown; 06-10-2009 at 05:48 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vk45de
    That's a pretty flawed argument. Of course you realize a 160mm hayes setup which is on the heavy side weighs ~450g. 150g is 33.3% of that. If you were to gain 30% in body weight, you'd flip.
    I don't know why, but I'll give this one more shot.
    Actually, I think your analysis of my statement is flawed.
    Ok, let's use the real world numbers in BruceBrown's post in this same thread. His complete BB7 setup weighs only 37 grams more than a Juicy Ultimate complete setup. That's 37 real world grams. Let's say he's got a 25 lb bike. By using BB7s his bike weighs 37 grams more with BB7s than it would with Juicy Ultimates. That's an extra 1.3 ounces (same as 37 grams) added to the weight of the entire 25lb. ( or 400 ounces) bike. Increasing 400oz. by 1.3 oz is a .325% increase. So by using BB7s, he's increased the weight of the entire bike by a whopping .325%! That's the same as adding a shot glass full of water to your Camelbak.

    To be completely accurate, we should factor in the weight of the rider, because when you're pedaling a bike you're moving the weight of the bike *and* the rider. Let's say he weighs 150lbs. That means the 25lb. bike and the 150lb. rider weigh a total of 175lbs or 2800oz. Now add that 1.3oz (37gram) increase for the extra weight of the BB7s to the total 2800oz and the percentage of change drops to .04%! Make the weight of the bike and/or rider higher and the percentage of change drops even lower.

    Do you see my point? No one can honestly say that they could feel the difference in weight between a BB7 setup and *any* hydro setup while pedaling the bike. Still don't believe me? Tape a Power Bar (~ 50grams) to your bike and then ride the bike. Can you honestly say your bike feels heavier?

  98. #98
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    Awesome! Yep, this thread gets the seal

    Seriously, I have ridden Nines and I have ridden BB7 brakes. They both work fine. Sitting around flinging poo calling one better than the other is absurd. They both have some issues. Take your pick of issues.

    And then there is calling out not only 29er, but single speed riders as well If nothing else that should bunch a few panties and of course that will keep this train wreck rolling. BTW both 29ers and SS have already been inducted into the hall of awesomeness, so any attempt to insult them is futile
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    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine
    that's the stupidest idea this side of pinkbike.

  99. #99
    Always Learning
    Reputation: BruceBrown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AL29er
    Awesome! Yep, this thread gets the seal

    Seriously, I have ridden Nines and I have ridden BB7 brakes. They both work fine. Sitting around flinging poo calling one better than the other is absurd. They both have some issues. Take your pick of issues.

    And then there is calling out not only 29er, but single speed riders as well If nothing else that should bunch a few panties and of course that will keep this train wreck rolling. BTW both 29ers and SS have already been inducted into the hall of awesomeness, so any attempt to insult them is futile
    Kona makes a nice 29"er SS frame that that they hang a pair of BB5's on which would satisfy Kona0197's fears and needs all at once.

    <a href='http://www.thescubasite.com/Scuba-Diving-in-Fiji/scuba-diving-in-fiji' title='scuba diving in Fiji'><img src='http://www.mysmiley.net/imgs/smile/fighting/fighting0040.gif' alt='scuba diving in Fiji' border='0'></a>

    It would be AWESOME to require him to ride one for a season before he's allowed to post again.<a href='http://www.e-cigarettestar.co.uk/' title='e cigarette'><img src='http://www.mysmiley.net/imgs/smile/cool/cool0012.gif' alt='e cigarette' border='0'></a>

  100. #100
    it's....
    Reputation: Strafer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AL29er
    Awesome! Yep, this thread gets the seal

    Seriously, I have ridden Nines and I have ridden BB7 brakes. They both work fine. Sitting around flinging poo calling one better than the other is absurd. They both have some issues. Take your pick of issues.

    And then there is calling out not only 29er, but single speed riders as well If nothing else that should bunch a few panties and of course that will keep this train wreck rolling. BTW both 29ers and SS have already been inducted into the hall of awesomeness, so any attempt to insult them is futile
    Now you just ruined this thread with a sensible post.

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