Results 1 to 35 of 35
  1. #1
    Clueless Bastard
    Reputation: WA-CO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    684

    Hope AVID BB7s - I love you, but I'm not IN love with you.

    I've had BB7s, on a SS road bike (I guess they were actually
    BB5s) and a Bianchi SS MTN bike. In both cases they we pretty decent brakes. Decent, not amazing.

    The Greasy has 'em and I'm not impressed. On several instances, rolling down well packed, swoopy snow covered trail, I feel like I just don't have enough brake. Not sure why, exactly. I suspect its the moisture of snow on the rotor with just the stiffness of the cables in the cold weather?

    So, I spent some time in the garage tonight, pulled the XOs off my Niner and mounted them up on Greasy as a trial run. Damn weight difference was amazing. BB7's 378 grams XOs 208.

    I'm betting a pair of 2 year old XOs will be perform better. Observations welcome....

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2,250
    Compressionless housing and proper setup, and the BB7s can be tuned to be incredible brakes. Don't give up on them quite yet.

    Avid BB7 Disc Brake set up and tuning. | Two Wheel Blogs
    Jason
    Disclaimer: www.paramountsports.net

  3. #3
    The White Jeff W
    Reputation: jeffw-13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    5,398

    Re: AVID BB7s - I love you, but I'm not IN love with you.

    Agreed. Once i figured out how to set them up mine are as good as any high end hydros I've used. I'm 200 lbs and can lock up either wheel with 1 finger. I don't, but I can
    No moss...

  4. #4
    Location: SouthPole of MN
    Reputation: duggus's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,712
    I love my hydros. I ditched cable last year. They seem to do a good job.

    <img src="https://24.media.tumblr.com/b6cc0d33dd05095773ef13c9979f57f6/tumblr_mzz5a7tHht1ssabj4o1_500.gif" width="700">

    (sorry, I already posted this in another thread... but seems fitting )
    ...Be careful what you're looking at because it might be looking back...

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,595
    I'm not fast enough on my fat bike to ever need more power than a BB5 provides.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    5,091
    Bb5 is a different brake than the bb7, so you should maybe change the title? Make sure you set them ul.with good cables and housings, center the calipers correctly. Also make sure you have decent pads for cold/wet conditions, and that your pads are bedded in properly.

    I am guessing there is something you are missing, as I always get my bb7 to perform under my 255 lbs of fat.

  7. #7
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
    Reputation: MendonCycleSmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    15,282
    Choosing between airplane food or hospital food.

    Yep, no clear winner, whatsoever.

    Proper set up, better cables/housing, and perhaps a larger rotor in front, will make those very solid performers. BB5 vs 7, big difference between the two.

    But XO vs BB7? Other than the weight drop? See above.

    Now if you were to toss on a set of XT's? You'd get some tangible improvements....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Velobike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    6,513
    I've got shelves of fancy now obsolete expensive hydraulics, and that's where they're staying.

    My first disks were BB7s and I thought going to hydraulics would be a step up. In some cases it was temporarily, but the amount of faff involved in keeping them functioning put me off, so a few years back I standardised on BB7s. About the only hydraulic disk I'd consider now is an XT, but they are basically disposable brakes.

    With good quality levers, and compressionless outers, BB7s are as good as I'll ever need on a fatbike. With 30 seconds of instruction you can learn all you need to setup BB7s to be their best, and best of all you need no special tools, and it's not a workshop job.

    There's an awful lot of components fitted to mountainbikes which are really lightweight racing parts. Designed to do the job well for a short time and then get replaced. That's ok for the wealthy or sponsored rider, but it's a limitation on a bike that can take you into the depths of somewhereinthewilderness. Racing is not improving the breed for us.

    So I love BB7s too.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: TRAIL CRANKER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    331
    HI! Velobike,, what levers do you recommend ?? I have Avid Speed Dial 5.. Thanks
    13 On One Fatty
    08 YETI 575 BLK. C.King Hubs/Hadley
    96 Specialized Stump Jumper FS Tweaked

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: letitsnow's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    198
    I'm still using an old set of BBDB's. That (BB7) brake set is tough to beat dollar for dollar.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Velobike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    6,513
    Quote Originally Posted by TRAIL CRANKER View Post
    HI! Velobike,, what levers do you recommend ?? I have Avid Speed Dial 5.. Thanks
    I think any of the Avid levers is good enough. Basically I want a lack of flex when I haul on the lever hard.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: TRAIL CRANKER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    331
    Thanks Velobike , avid speed dial 5's do a good job and are reasonably priced.
    13 On One Fatty
    08 YETI 575 BLK. C.King Hubs/Hadley
    96 Specialized Stump Jumper FS Tweaked

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: vikb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    9,915
    I still have my BB7s on my Pugsley and to their credit they are going strong despite a lot of abuse, but they are not the most powerful brakes you can get. The braking force you lose by compressing the cable housing is one major problem. You can buy compression-less housing that will help, but it can be quite expensive.

    It would probably be just as easy to swap in some Shimano SLX hydros.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Velobike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    6,513
    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    ...You can buy compression-less housing that will help, but it can be quite expensive...
    You can make your own compressionless outer. I buy alloy tube from my local hardware store and use light gauge teflon tubing as a liner (from local airline supplier).

    Here's a pic of it used on one of my bikes. Flexible outer is only used for the places where you need it to bend.

    The alloy tubing can be bent by hand and is cheap enough to make mistakes.

    The improvement in the braking is dramatic - much better modulation.

    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: vikb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    9,915
    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post

    The improvement in the braking is dramatic - much better modulation.
    Looks good...
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  16. #16
    NMBP
    Reputation: crashtestdummy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    2,183
    I never really liked the BB7's that came on my Moonlander. I never tried them with larger rotors though. I also hated the thumb shifters, so Dual Control, XT hydros, and 200 mm rotors and I'm a happy camper.

    I could lock the tires on my first mountain bike that had cantilevers and a U brake, it doesn't mean the brakes were good though.
    Riding Fat and still just as fast as I never was.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Testmule's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    126
    Have just order the latest BB7s from my LBS.

    Hope I have better luck than the cheap Avid 1s that have gone south on me. They hold a firm feel in my garage and as soon as I get out in the cold the levers go to the bar. My LBS has already gone through the whole bleeding procedure twice. A really irritating $200. spent badly.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: marathon marke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    307
    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post

    With good quality levers, and compressionless outers, BB7s are as good as I'll ever need on a fatbike. With 30 seconds of instruction you can learn all you need to setup BB7s to be their best, and best of all you need no special tools, and it's not a workshop job.
    This ^

    For the life of me, I can't understand why anyone would need anything more. I have BB7s on my Moonlander, and I've always had more than enough braking power.
    - Mark Ehlers
    The Prodigal Cyclist

  19. #19
    because GIANT
    Reputation: 127.0.0.1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    2,337
    Quote Originally Posted by marathon marke View Post
    This ^

    For the life of me, I can't understand why anyone would need anything more. I have BB7s on my Moonlander, and I've always had more than enough braking power.
    ^ditto

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: vikb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    9,915
    Quote Originally Posted by marathon marke View Post
    This ^

    For the life of me, I can't understand why anyone would need anything more. I have BB7s on my Moonlander, and I've always had more than enough braking power.
    And some people can't understand why anyone would need a bike with gears or suspension. People are different, terrain varies and folks ride at different speeds.

    So not surprisingly what satisfies one rider might be considered unsuitable to another.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  21. #21
    Clueless Bastard
    Reputation: WA-CO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    684
    Thanks for the impressions and feedback.

    To recap, today's trial run with my used XOs was the same route I've taken on previous days. A slow climb up a multi use packed trail probably 1000-1200 feet total, bleed off some tire pressure, then off into the trees to follow mixed condition snowy single track.

    Upper sections are kinda rough and postholed, but as the trail moves down the mountain, it becomes fast and firm. The end section swoops down a shallow ravine all the way back into town. In the summer, it's kinda rock chunky. In the winter with snow pack, its fast and fun.

    So, the XOs braking power felt more substantial, and my ability to feather the brake and scrub speed to the turns was better. When talking pure braking power, I won't say the XOs were BETTER at stopping the bike, but clearly at the lever, it took much less effort. No duh.

    The cable housing is jagwire, but at a stock build, I doubt they are anything but entry level quality. The levers are Avid SD7s, just as Salsa speced the bike. So new ripcord housing and maybe doing 180/160 would make a worthwhile difference.

    Thanks for your help....

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    20
    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    I still have my BB7s on my Pugsley and to their credit they are going strong despite a lot of abuse, but they are not the most powerful brakes you can get. The braking force you lose by compressing the cable housing is one major problem. You can buy compression-less housing that will help, but it can be quite expensive.

    It would probably be just as easy to swap in some Shimano SLX hydros.
    The issue here isn't the brake, it's the housing, the caliper itself has nothing to do with it. Compressionless, which can be found with minimal effort, and comparatively low cost to a hydraulic setup, is worth the money. I can (and have) gone over the bars with bb7's running the right rotors/pads for the conditions using 1 finger (came in to a corner a little hotter than I should've on a new trail) It's just a matter of getting things set up right the first time.

    Ultimately, I think it's a preference as to what kind of "feel" you want from your brakes. I can't stand the XT stuff, not because it's cheap/faulty/bad in any way, they are excellent brakes, I just don't like the way they ride.
    do it right, or do it twice....

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    20
    Quote Originally Posted by WA-CO View Post
    So new ripcord housing and maybe doing 180/160 would make a worthwhile difference.
    housing, yes. If you are going to upgrade to 180 rotors, I'd suggest the HS1's, and the Organic pads... they'll help with the power/modulation issue.
    do it right, or do it twice....

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    115
    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    I still have my BB7s on my Pugsley and to their credit they are going strong despite a lot of abuse, but they are not the most powerful brakes you can get. The braking force you lose by compressing the cable housing is one major problem. You can buy compression-less housing that will help, but it can be quite expensive.

    It would probably be just as easy to swap in some Shimano SLX hydros.
    This was exactly what I did on my Mukluk 2... What a great set of brakes, for the money.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    20
    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    You can make your own compressionless outer. I buy alloy tube from my local hardware store and use light gauge teflon tubing as a liner (from local airline supplier).

    Here's a pic of it used on one of my bikes. Flexible outer is only used for the places where you need it to bend.

    The alloy tubing can be bent by hand and is cheap enough to make mistakes.
    I think that is one of the classiest mods I've ever heard of/seen... Nicely done sir!
    do it right, or do it twice....

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Velobike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    6,513
    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    And some people can't understand why anyone would need a bike with gears or suspension..
    You're right, some people are old and frail and really need those things.

    On a serious note, the BB7 brake is an example of how a little bit of knowledge applied to the part can result in a disproportionate improvement without spending megabucks.

    A bit like how the biggest improvement you can make to a fatbike is reducing the wheel weight, and this can be done as simply as using a lighter rim strip and inner tube, going tubeless, or an attack of the hole drill.

    Some people can throw money at a project and simply buy their way to the best. Others have to nurse their pennies and have to consider where their money is best spent.

    Being able to make major improvements in function by simple modifications means money can be spent elsewhere on the bike.

    EG rather than a deluxe brake set on basic hubs, properly setup BB7s and nicer hubs would give a better running bike IMO.



    Quote Originally Posted by masta_panda View Post
    I think that is one of the classiest mods I've ever heard of/seen... Nicely done sir!
    Thanks
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    463
    My 1/50th dollar:

    I run both BB7's and Shimano hydros and find that both will stop you just fine. The major difference is modulation. With the BB7's the braking seems to be on-or-off (nothing, nothing, ***GRAB***) whereas the hydros allow you to feather your speed significantly better. So I use hydros on the bikes I ride on the gnarly stuff and save my BB7's for the bikes that see less taxing duty.

    All that said, I've read that most hydro brakes get wonky when the temperature starts approaching 0 degrees F so if you ride in those conditions you're probably better off with mechanical brakes like the BB7's.

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    808
    I use Hope on all my bikes and maggy rim brakes on my trials bike, I love hydro brakes.
    Giant XTC 2 29er
    KHS Flagstaff 29er FS
    Neon Bow Trials Bike
    Norco Fluid 9.2 29er FS
    Norco BIGFOOT FATTY

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    6
    If your bb7s feel like "nothing nothing GRAB" that means something is set up seriously wrong.

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation: marathon marke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    307
    Quote Originally Posted by MonoFlog View Post
    If your bb7s feel like "nothing nothing GRAB" that means something is set up seriously wrong.
    This ^
    - Mark Ehlers
    The Prodigal Cyclist

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    6
    It ain't neurosurgery to set up bb7s optimally. When set up right you should have about the same modulation and power as a mid range hydro. If you aren't getting this, I would suggest studying the park tools disc brake page or finding a good mechanic to give you a walk thru.

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    20
    Quote Originally Posted by marathon marke View Post
    This ^
    ^Second that... and if you want help/tips, I'd be happy to walk through it with you... It could be as simple as swapping pads, or dialing in the adjustments.
    do it right, or do it twice....

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Velobike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    6,513
    Quote Originally Posted by jnroyal View Post
    ...With the BB7's the braking seems to be on-or-off (nothing, nothing, ***GRAB***)...
    Not normal BB7 behaviour IMO.

    Assuming you have the adjustment procedure right, there's 2 things worth checking, both applicable to any disk, not just BB7s.

    Contaminated pads - clean the rotor and swap in a clean set. I know one friend who was continually having puzzling problems with his rear disk no matter how often it got adjusted, then one day I saw how he was enthusiastically lubing his chain with an aerosol spray...

    A warped disk can give this behaviour. Probably the most important thing with a disk brake, not just the BB7. is to make sure the disk isn't warped. Warped disks can be trued, there's a tool for the job, or you can use an adjustable wrench (carefully ). If the disk is warped then your setup means the pads have to be set with wider clearances which translates into less usable lever travel.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Vespasianus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    4,697
    Like many others here, I run both BB7 and Shimano XT's. Both with 180 (or 185) rotors up front and 160mm in the rear. Honestly, for most ridding, they are very similar in power and feel. At the end of the spectrum, when you have way too much speed and need to slow down fast, the XT's are just nicer. A better overall feel with more control. For both brakes, set-up is key.
    On MTBR, the reputation is infamous.

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    159
    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    You can make your own compressionless outer. I buy alloy tube from my local hardware store and use light gauge teflon tubing as a liner (from local airline supplier).

    Here's a pic of it used on one of my bikes. Flexible outer is only used for the places where you need it to bend.

    The alloy tubing can be bent by hand and is cheap enough to make mistakes.

    The improvement in the braking is dramatic - much better modulation.

    Velobike,

    I have seen this pic before and I have to say your solution is really smart. Can you give some more details of the tubing/liner size and how you dealt with the flexible to rigid tubes? Of course more pics would be very much appreciated!!!

    I used to ride trials with v-brakes and setup was key with those as well. If you stick with traditional housing, one thing you can do is file the end of the housing so it is perfectly flush. Wire cutters usually leave little spurs of metal that would compress during braking and affect the braking performance.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 35
    Last Post: 11-25-2014, 07:32 AM
  2. Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-15-2013, 05:22 PM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-01-2013, 08:06 PM
  4. Do you love your Pivot 5.7? Do you love your Turner 5.Spot?
    By nando in forum Bike and Frame discussion
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 10-03-2012, 08:23 AM
  5. CHAIN LOVE-AVID BB7's right now!!
    By wu501 in forum Where are the Best Deals?
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 01-05-2011, 07:16 PM

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •