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  1. #1
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    XT V-brakes VS. BB7 Discs

    Ive been running XT V-brakes with XT levers for years and I have always been happy with them. Last weekend I went for a ride with about 10 water crossings, some of them were pretty mossy. I found myself with almost no front brake for a while until they dried out.

    This go me thinking of putting a disc on the front.

    My fork is rated for a 210mm rotor.

    I really like my XT levers.

    How will a BB7 with a 200mm rotor, with an XT brake lever compare to my XT V-brakes?

    I dont want to spend the $$$ on a new hub/wheel caliper and rotor if its not going to be a noticeable difference...
    Last edited by blown240; 04-08-2013 at 10:41 PM.

  2. #2
    cowbell
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    How will it compare? Well, compared to the last bike I rode with v-brakes my BB7's will throw you over the bars if you grab them like you did the v-brakes on that bike. Since I sold the bike 5 years ago, and bought it 12 years ago, don't ask me what they were, but they were high end, everything on the bike was XT or XTR and the fork was a SID. The BB7 will destroy your V-brakes.

  3. #3
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    Yep, you'll end up crashing OTB a LOT of times if you go for 200mm rotors.

    I'd suggest 160s both ends. That will make them within about 3 times more powerful than V's
    Rimmer - "There's an old human saying - if you talk garbage, expect pain"

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replys. I am about 230lbs, thats why I was thinking of a 200mm rotor.

  5. #5
    slow
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    I have been running BB-7 up front (160mm rotor) with Avid v-brakes on the rear of my main bike for about 5 years now and like the setup. Stopping power is sufficient for me (160 lbs) even in race conditions and the loss of braking power due to wet rims is lowered substantially with the front disc brake. Despite running an XC setup in which my bars are lower than my saddle, I have never been over the bars due to braking. When I decided to experiment with the front disc, I picked up an inexpensive disc wheel at Performance and a used BB-7 from craigslist, in case I didn't care for it. Since then I have scored more used brakes and inexpensive wheels from craigslist for use on my other bikes. I have converted 3 bikes from hydraulic brakes to BB-7 now.

  6. #6
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    Save some money and get yourself some Kool Stop salmon brake pads for your V-brakes. The Shimano V-brakes are pretty solid and those levers are nice and stiff.

    If most of your riding is in wet conditions then by all means spend your money on a rotor, new wheel, and a BB7 caliper. If you ride mostly in dry conditions, spend $15 and try the Kool Stop pads on both ends. V-brakes that are properly set up with nice housing and good pads will outperform most disc brakes in dry conditions. Seriously, try the salmon pads, they're great in wet and muddy conditions. If you still want more braking, spend $150+ on a new wheel and BB7 setup.

    If you insist on moving to the front BB7, start out with a 160mm rotor and if you need more front braking, upgrade to a 180mm. A 200mm will be really unbalanced compared to the rear v-brake.

  7. #7
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    Thanks! Thats good info!

  8. #8
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    I've been riding BB7's for the past 8 years, simple, easy to adjustment and powerful. I originally had 160/160 that was not enough. I upgraded to the 180/160 and its great.

    I'm 200 lbs and do trail riding with lots of steeps

    I do not notice a difference when I ride my friends Hydrolic brakes.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTscoob View Post
    Save some money and get yourself some Kool Stop salmon brake pads for your V-brakes. The Shimano V-brakes are pretty solid and those levers are nice and stiff.

    If most of your riding is in wet conditions then by all means spend your money on a rotor, new wheel, and a BB7 caliper. If you ride mostly in dry conditions, spend $15 and try the Kool Stop pads on both ends. V-brakes that are properly set up with nice housing and good pads will outperform most disc brakes in dry conditions. Seriously, try the salmon pads, they're great in wet and muddy conditions. If you still want more braking, spend $150+ on a new wheel and BB7 setup.

    If you insist on moving to the front BB7, start out with a 160mm rotor and if you need more front braking, upgrade to a 180mm. A 200mm will be really unbalanced compared to the rear v-brake.

    I tend to agree with this suggestion. Rim brakes are not bad at all - as long as you ride in mostly dry conditions. My last set-up had Avid Arch rival brakes with Gore tex cables and these really cheap levers (Avid FR-5) and the stopping power was unbelievable. Get new pads, and maybe even better cables, and you should be good to go.
    On MTBR, the reputation is infamous.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTscoob View Post
    Save some money and get yourself some Kool Stop salmon brake pads for your V-brakes. The Shimano V-brakes are pretty solid and those levers are nice and stiff.
    +1

    I have cheap Promax v-brakes on my MTB and put on some Koolstop pads. I almost pulled some OTBs the first few times I stopped. I put a set of stock Shimano 422 v-brakes on my wife's bike and was easily doing stoppies even with those. Wet performance is lacking, but I haven't tried the salmon-coloured Koolstops.

    I have Shimano SLX M666 hydraulics on my main bike, and they're great, but I don't understand why v-brakes get so little respect (except for wet performance). I can only imagine XT V-brakes would be excellent.

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