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  1. #1
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    What are Avid 3r's??

    I'm trying to decide on a bike & the LBS offered to upgrade to Avid mechanicals. There is a review on this site where a guy says he has disc brakes on th bike but complains about the Avid 3r's. When I google it looks like he means Avid SD-3R which are cantilever??? Which are they?

    Are basic Avid mechanicals ok? Don't know which model yet if there are different ones.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTDirtGirl
    I'm trying to decide on a bike & the LBS offered to upgrade to Avid mechanicals. There is a review on this site where a guy says he has disc brakes on th bike but complains about the Avid 3r's. When I google it looks like he means Avid SD-3R which are cantilever??? Which are they?

    Are basic Avid mechanicals ok? Don't know which model yet if there are different ones.
    I don't know about the 3R's, but yes the mech's are a very good brake. Does the bike you are getting already have disc hubs? What kind of riding will you be doing? Only reason I ask is if you plan to hit stuff like Whistler or steep decents in the rockies it might be worth while to go with a 180mm front rotor, if just pure XC then 160/160mm rotors would be just fine.
    Pat T.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat T.
    I don't know about the 3R's, but yes the mech's are a very good brake. Does the bike you are getting already have disc hubs? What kind of riding will you be doing? Only reason I ask is if you plan to hit stuff like Whistler or steep decents in the rockies it might be worth while to go with a 180mm front rotor, if just pure XC then 160/160mm rotors would be just fine.
    I don't know, it's a Specialized FSR XC Pro and the LBS said it wasn't a big deal to upgrade. I will be doing cross-country but I am thinking I may get into some steep downhill situations this season, with mud.

    When I think of disc in front I think ENDO! Is this a problem for a newbie?

  4. #4
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    The Avid mech Discs are great. I would stay awya from the Avid BB5 disc, though.
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  5. #5
    Phil from San Diego
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTDirtGirl
    I don't know, it's a Specialized FSR XC Pro and the LBS said it wasn't a big deal to upgrade. I will be doing cross-country but I am thinking I may get into some steep downhill situations this season, with mud.

    When I think of disc in front I think ENDO! Is this a problem for a newbie?
    Speaking of newbie, I've only been riding for 2 months on a Giant Yukon that came with Hayes GX2 disc brakes. On my 30day adjustment, the LBS replaced my rear brakes with Avid BB7 mechanicals for free because the GX2 rear brakes were having problems. The new Avid rear brake is ALOT more powerful and I have no problems locking up my rear wheels. But I still have the Hayes GX2 on the front.. and no matter how hard I pull the front brakes, I can't get it to lock at all even when I'm trying to do an endo. *shrug* I stop pretty fast with no risk of endo and it feels like I have anti-lock brakes... =p but is it by design that disc brakes don't lock or just that I have cheap/weak brakes?

    I imagin if I had Avids on the front, it would be alot more powerful and I should be able to lock the front wheel if I want to do a front wheel wheelie or endo?


    Phil.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTDirtGirl
    When I think of disc in front I think ENDO! Is this a problem for a newbie?
    No absolutely not, my riding improved so much after switching to disc brakes. You have more control, especially in mud, and for a newbie it is just one less thing to worry about on a ride. Make sure the shop shows you how to properly adjust them once they are installed, you may find on a ride that your brakes are fading, just a simple click and your back in business.
    Pat T.

  7. #7
    CAN YOU DIG IT??!!??!!!??
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    Not sure what the 3r's are, but I've ridden Avid mech's for a few yrs & other than some squealin' on damp rides the mech's are a worthwhile upgrade. I ride the Juicys now & they don't squeal @ all. I would go for it, BUT, you knew this was coming....as Pat T. alluded to, make sure your LBS doesn't "hook you w/the avid mech's" & then "reel you in w/ the cost of disc hubs & buildin' a wheel-set". It can get "pricey". Cost of disc brakes aren't the problem for most folks, it's the added $200-$400 for a set o'wheels. Avids are great....ask him what he meant about th' "3r's"....never heard that one before. Let us know how it goes.

    Good Luck.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    The Avid mech Discs are great. I would stay awya from the Avid BB5 disc, though.
    Please enlighten me why the BB5 is a bad brake? A friend of mine has been using them for years with no problems at all.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    Please enlighten me why the BB5 is a bad brake? A friend of mine has been using them for years with no problems at all.
    He can not have been using the BB5 "for years." It was new for the 2004 season. The version 2 brake (BBDB) was renamed the BB7 at the same time.

    The BB5 uses different, harder to find, pads than the BB7 and Juicy 7. It also does not have an outer pad adjuster knob making it more difficult to tune to your liking. It is not a "bad" brake, just not as good as the BB7 and not worth the price difference IMO.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    He can not have been using the BB5 "for years." It was new for the 2004 season. The version 2 brake (BBDB) was renamed the BB7 at the same time.

    The BB5 uses different, harder to find, pads than the BB7 and Juicy 7. It also does not have an outer pad adjuster knob making it more difficult to tune to your liking. It is not a "bad" brake, just not as good as the BB7 and not worth the price difference IMO.
    The BBDB5 was created more with the OEM customer in mind. Similar function to the BBDB7 (basically the original Avid mech), but with fewer features than the 7 model and a lower cost so you'll see more BBDB5 brakes on new complete bikes.

    But, yeah, for after-market, go with the BBDB7. It's a great brake.

    The same correlation can apply to their hydraulic brakes Juicy 5 and Juicy 7.

  11. #11
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    Avid 3R's?

    If Specialized website of catalog list the brakes as Avid 3R's, they are the SD 3 brakes, which are very similar to the SD 7 Rim Brakes. I believe the only difference is the arm material, finish and are suposidly harder to adjust as well as they don't have Rim Wrangler Pads and their the heaviest..

    They came stock on my 04 Epic, and were later replaced by the SD 5 & 7 series. They were basically Avids lowest end rim brake model but the difference area very minimal largest one in weight. If you don't mind rim brakes they have decent power just swap the pad inserts out for a set of kool stop salamon compound..

    Good luck...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssmike
    The BBDB5 was created more with the OEM customer in mind. Similar function to the BBDB7 (basically the original Avid mech), but with fewer features than the 7 model and a lower cost so you'll see more BBDB5 brakes on new complete bikes.

    But, yeah, for after-market, go with the BBDB7. It's a great brake.

    The same correlation can apply to their hydraulic brakes Juicy 5 and Juicy 7.
    Except that the internals and functionality of the Juicy 5 and 7 are essentially the same (sparing the superduperspecial dial on the 7) and they use the same pads, whereas there are significant design differences between the BB7 and BB5.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prexus2005
    Speaking of newbie, I've only been riding for 2 months on a Giant Yukon that came with Hayes GX2 disc brakes. On my 30day adjustment, the LBS replaced my rear brakes with Avid BB7 mechanicals for free because the GX2 rear brakes were having problems. The new Avid rear brake is ALOT more powerful and I have no problems locking up my rear wheels. But I still have the Hayes GX2 on the front.. and no matter how hard I pull the front brakes, I can't get it to lock at all even when I'm trying to do an endo. *shrug* I stop pretty fast with no risk of endo and it feels like I have anti-lock brakes... =p but is it by design that disc brakes don't lock or just that I have cheap/weak brakes?

    I imagin if I had Avids on the front, it would be alot more powerful and I should be able to lock the front wheel if I want to do a front wheel wheelie or endo?


    Phil.

    Eeeek! I don't to do any endos, but you've got me intrigued. What if I put one BB7 on the
    back and left the 3rs up front? I know the front wheel's brakes are really important but I don't want to even think about the front locking up! I'm concerned mainly about long steep downhills. On my current, a '97 GF hardtail, downhill is pretty iffy and I'm never really sure the cantis (or whatever they are) will stop me.

  14. #14
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    Sorry Shiggy - I took a good look at his Avids. They were made around 2003. thats all they say on them.
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  15. #15
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    The Avid 3R is an OE V-brake. I had these on my 2001 Specialied FSRxc.

    The are similar in design to all the Avid vees, but have heavier hardware and bits. Like New2Mountain6 said, they are good brakes. I've been riding my 3r set for 4 years now.

    If you do go for the Avid mechs, go for the BB7 all the way. And follow the 6 step install instructions. Most complaints about Avid disc stem from improper setup. I was at the LBS and was locking at some showroom bikes with Avids and the calipers were all improperly aligned. So even LBS don't follow the instructions.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTDirtGirl
    Eeeek! I don't to do any endos, but you've got me intrigued. What if I put one BB7 on the
    back and left the 3rs up front? I know the front wheel's brakes are really important but I don't want to even think about the front locking up! I'm concerned mainly about long steep downhills. On my current, a '97 GF hardtail, downhill is pretty iffy and I'm never really sure the cantis (or whatever they are) will stop me.
    If you are adding just one disc brake it should go on the front.
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  17. #17
    willtsmith_nwi
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    Don't lockup your back wheel ...

    Quote Originally Posted by MTDirtGirl
    Eeeek! I don't to do any endos, but you've got me intrigued. What if I put one BB7 on the
    back and left the 3rs up front? I know the front wheel's brakes are really important but I don't want to even think about the front locking up! I'm concerned mainly about long steep downhills. On my current, a '97 GF hardtail, downhill is pretty iffy and I'm never really sure the cantis (or whatever they are) will stop me.
    Locking up the back causes poor handling and trail damage. I agree, the rear MX-2 brake SUCKS!!!! You should be able to lock up BOTH brakes so you won't lock up the rear while holding the front in a death clench to get it grabbing.

    A Hayes MX-2 disc brake well adjusted is perfectly capable of locking the front wheel.

  18. #18
    There's no app for this.
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    yep it's a Vbrake...

    from an 04 special-ed Epic spec sheet...

    FRONT BRAKE Avid SD-3R cantilevers, cartridge pads, lightweight compressionless housing

    REAR BRAKE Avid SD-3R cantilevers, cartridge pads, lightweight compressionless ho

  19. #19
    AKA Frank N. Bike!!
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    I never understood why people call linear pull V-brakes "cantilever" brakes. every time I hear the word "cantilever" I think about the old school center pull brakes.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    I never understood why people call linear pull V-brakes "cantilever" brakes. every time I hear the word "cantilever" I think about the old school center pull brakes.
    Because technically linear pull/v-brakes are cantilevers. They just have a different cable setup.
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  21. #21
    AKA Frank N. Bike!!
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    Yes I knew that Shiggy.
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  22. #22
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    [QUOTE=MTDirtGirl]
    When I think of disc in front I think ENDO! Is this a problem for a newbie?[/QUOTE
    Don't be afraid of your front brake,use it use it a lot.

    I would go with the mechanicals without hesitation.
    I've been inside too long.

  23. #23
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    Yes I knew that Shiggy.
    You asked.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTDirtGirl
    Eeeek! I don't to do any endos, but you've got me intrigued. What if I put one BB7 on the
    back and left the 3rs up front? I know the front wheel's brakes are really important but I don't want to even think about the front locking up! I'm concerned mainly about long steep downhills. On my current, a '97 GF hardtail, downhill is pretty iffy and I'm never really sure the cantis (or whatever they are) will stop me.
    Go disc's all the way around, it'll take you about half your ride to bed in the pads and rotors, then the rest of your ride to get used to the feel of the brakes. You will like the discs, you will only stop as fast and hard as you pull the lever. If you are worried just use one finger on the front brake lever, but no worries in no time you will be stopping later into the corners and going much faster with confidence.
    Pat T.

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