Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: 5spotfirefighter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    37

    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Avid BB7 Mechanical vs. Shimano Saint Hydraulic for the new 5 spot

    Hey guys,

    Finally have my large 5 spot on order!! I'm setting up the bike for a more XCish feel ie. getting the Revelation U-Turn instead of the Pike.

    Now I'm deciding on the brakes. It seems both the Avid BB7s and the Shinano Saint's are great brakes. I know the Hydraulics are powerful but the mechincals seem to save quite a bit of weight. From my research it also seems the mechincals may be less of a hassle to setup and maintain. My problem is I have not used mechincal discs and have only ridden hydrualics. Anyone have experience with either????

    Thanks for the help

    Here is the setup so far:
    Front Shock: 07 Revelation 426 Air U-Turn 100-130mm White
    Cranks/BB: TV 06 Stylo Team GXP 175 22-32-44 Black w/ BB
    Rear Derailleur: SRAM 07 X.9 Rear medium cage derailleur
    Front Derailleur: XT M761A Trad Dual-pull Multi-clamp Front Der.
    Cassette: SRAM PG990 9spd cassette 11-32
    Chain: SRAM PC991 Hollow Pin 9spd chain
    Front Brake: Avid 06 BB7 frt Mtn disc 185mm rotor 51mm mount
    Rear Brake: Avid 06 BB7 rr Mtn disc 160mm rotor 51mm mount
    Brake Levers: Avid Speed Dial SL levers Silver 2006
    Shifters: SRAM 07 X.9 9spd Trigger shifter set
    Front Wheel: DT Classic 340 Mtn Disc Front CenterLock XR4.1d
    Rear Wheel: Rr DT 240s 6-bolt, 32h, DT XR 4.1disc, Black
    Headset: King NoThreadSet 1 1/8" headset, Black
    Seatpost: Thomson 27.2 x 330mm setback Black

  2. #2
    Natl. Champ DH Poser/Hack
    Reputation: cactuscorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    12,971
    bb7's. better than ya think! great budget wise too.
    No, I'm NOT back!

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    1,002

    Avid BB7's vs. Hope hydros

    I can't compare the BB7's to Shimano hydros, but I can to Hope's.

    I recently put a set of BB7's on a bike that had Mono Mini's. I've only used hydro brakes on mountain bikes (Mono M4's on a 5-Pack, Magura rim brakes on an old Cannondale), but with the cut-rate prices of the BB7 and SL levers, I thought I'd give mechanicals a try.

    + The BB7's were unbelievably easy to get setup
    + Modulation of the BB7's isn't as good as the hydraulics, but much better than I expected [I was expecting them to be on/off vs. the very fine, but probably unnecessary control, of the hydros]
    + Stopping power feels the same, with the same amount of lever effort (160mm rotors).
    + They both squeal after getting hot
    + Weight (according to weightweenies) is comparable

  4. #4
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
    Reputation: crisillo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    20,761
    One detail when considering the weight of the BB7s is that you should consider housing and cables (and fluid and hoses on the hydros) to make the comparison.

    I run XT hydros (practically the same as Saints) on my FS and bb7s on my SS and like the performance of both.. I agree with anotherbrian's description of each...
    Last edited by crisillo; 11-07-2006 at 12:11 PM.

  5. #5
    Bite Me.
    Reputation: cutthroat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    4,546
    I've run both Hayes hydros and BB7s - I like the BB7s better. Inexpensive, powerful, easy to adjust modulation with the right levers (XTR or Avid), very powerful, superb adjustment options on the calipers, low tech means easy install and trailside repairs if needed.
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  6. #6
    Team Blindspot
    Reputation: S-Works's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    2,947

    Another vote for BB 7

    Very easy to setup and adjust. I noticed a big improvement in lever feel with Avid Ultimate levers vs. std. Speed Dial levers. Pretty pricey, but if you do some looking, you can find a good deal on them. I'm also running 185mm rotor up front and 160 rear.
    Astigmatic Visionary

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    490
    My vote goes to the Saints. Very powerful and have great modulation. And they use mineral oil which is a plus. The BB7s are great in a lot of ways (easily adjustable, CPS mounting (which you can use with the saints as well)), but they're boat anchors.

    I have BB7s on my 29er and Saints on my previous pack and now my Nomad.

  8. #8
    Neg reppers r my biatches
    Reputation: FoShizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    17,260
    my avid mechs were excellent brakes. i simply prefer Hope brakes cause you can get pretty little colored bits

  9. #9
    %$#$*!
    Reputation: beefmagic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    637
    I run XT hydros but used to run BB7's, both brakes with 160mm rotors. The XT's have a better lever feel IMO and the modulation is better. The BB7's weren't bad in the modulation dept., it's just that hydros in general have a smoother feel to me. I didn't find the bb7's to be grabby at all though. Power is very similiar, with the BB7's barely edging out the xt's ( I may need to experiment with different pads for the xt's). The BB7's are very easy to set up and adjust (so were the xt's) and as long as the cables were kept clean and lubed, they felt great.

    Both brakes are great, but if you really like the feel of hydro's you may want to stick with the saints.

  10. #10
    Now with flavor!!
    Reputation: kidwoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    4,968
    I've got sets of both. The bb7s go on my dirtjump bike and the various shimano hyrdos on my xc, freeride (yo), dh bikes.

    There's a reason for that.

    If you need to light or cheap, the bb7s will work fine. I prefer the shimano hydros to anything involving long descents though. The avids really do feel pretty impressive for a cable brake though......just not the low effort power you get from good hydraulic lines.
    STRAVA: Enabling dorks everywhere to get trails shut down........ all for the sake of a race on the internet.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jncarpenter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    6,758
    ...I must admit, I am quite confused by the enamored BB7 fans. I have spent years on nearly every brand of hydro stopper. Recently, I won an Inbred 29er on Ebay that came with a new set of BB7 brakes (185mm front & 160mm rear) & Avid levers. Of course they are stupid easy to setup (so are many hydros IMHO) & the fact that they use a cable to actuate clearly eases the minds of many supporters (as can be clearly seen)....however, in spite of the huge amounts of raw stopping power (which I am not crazy about FWIW....too grabby), they are horrible for sustained descents. Forearm pump/ hand cramping is nearly unbearable. I could see Kidwoo's preference for a DJ rig....but if you see yourself doing longer descents, the hydro is the clear favorite IMHO. I ran a Saint front for the last 6 mos. on the RFX & found it to be a great stopper...reliable, firm, decent modulation & extremely powerful....too powerful for my preferences...tho, I could highly recommend it as a great all around stopper. It was a tad noisy when wet, otherwise flawless after an initial setup.

    I recently replaced it with the Hope Mono M4 & am very glad I did. Consequently, former Hope antagonists may want to revisit the Hopes in light of their recent caliper piston design/ compound changes. IMHO, night & day difference between the new & old pistons


  12. #12
    ... I guess you won't be
    Reputation: jokermtb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,925
    I've got BB7's on my SS [w/ a BB5 modded, for free, to be a BB7 - heh heh heh] and Shimano 4-pot xt's on my spot [the old school xt's].....I'd say the BB7/5's are about as simple to work on/set-up as you could ask for....great for my SS, but when it comes to the feel at the lever, it's really not in the same sublime feel as a good hydro brake. The hydros are a little fussy to get centered, but once you get it, you got it, and it's no regret time. I really like my avid mechs, but if you got a hanker for a hydro, do it.
    Yes, we do indeed rock...http://www.myspace.com/spokedrunkies

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    1,002
    Quote Originally Posted by jncarpenter
    I recently replaced it with the Hope Mono M4 & am very glad I did. Consequently, former Hope antagonists may want to revisit the Hopes in light of their recent caliper piston design/ compound changes. IMHO, night & day difference between the new & old pistons
    When did the caliper piston get redesigned?

    Different (than stock) pad compounds were always available. I know the mounts were redesigned to do away with having to shim them, but did the piston change then? I'm a happy camper with my old-style-mount Hope Mono Mini and M4s, but didn't realize that they might have been improved.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jncarpenter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    6,758
    Quote Originally Posted by anotherbrian
    When did the caliper piston get redesigned?

    Different (than stock) pad compounds were always available. I know the mounts were redesigned to do away with having to shim them, but did the piston change then? I'm a happy camper with my old-style-mount Hope Mono Mini and M4s, but didn't realize that they might have been improved.
    I believe 2006 was the first of the new pistons. Same modulation with a firmer engagement. I could lock the wheel up hard with little effort even before the pads/ rotors were broken in. Very Nice!


  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    3,990
    I agree with most of the comments. I have Avid BB7 on one bike and Hayes Mag Hydros on my Spot.

    The BB7s are great at everything but the downside is that for long downhills... your hands get more tired. It's a simple fact. In addition to the lever springs, which are comparable with both types, you have to overcome the spring tension of the BB7 calipers plus any cable friction.

    It doesn't seem like a lot... but on long downhills, it is. BB7s are great, but the nod goes to the Saints. They really are great hydros.

  16. #16
    Bite Me.
    Reputation: cutthroat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    4,546
    I think a lot has to do with the lever you're using on the BB7s. On our descent off the Top of the World trail which is a solid 5 miles of steep technical downhill my braking fingers felt no fatigue at all and the brakes never faded. I run XTR levers with the pitch block removed and the actuation screw turned all the way in. It's a one finger sytem all the way. In comparison, my friend was using the XTR hydro brakes and about 2/3s of the way into the descent he commented that his brakes were getting mushy at the lever and he was losing power. I think the hydro fluid was getting pretty hot, and was having squeeze harder to slow himself down. That's obviously not an issue with the Avids.
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: 5spotfirefighter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    37
    Thanks for the feedback. I ended up going with the BB7s because I'm coming off V-brakes so these are going to be a huge upgrade for me anyway....along with my sweet new blue 5 Spot!!!! Build kit is on the way!!! Frame is on the way!!!! More to come....

  18. #18
    Natl. Champ DH Poser/Hack
    Reputation: cactuscorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    12,971
    im goin with cuthroat on this one blue. ive done a few ugly desents on the avids such as the ribbon in grand junction. as the hydro brakes in the group either smoked the pads, or in 1 case failed totally, my bb7's ran strong and gawd knows i use alotta brake cuz i basically suck. totally intimidated by those rock slabs at speed. i totally believe its all in the setup.

    congrats on the chioce fsff. i think yer gonna dig em as much as the rest of us did. i have a thread in here and in the brake forum on how to get the most outta these stoppers. not everyone agrees with me but make of it what ya will.
    No, I'm NOT back!

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    4,317
    Quote Originally Posted by 5spotfirefighter
    I ended up going with the BB7s because I'm coming off V-brakes so these are going to be a huge upgrade for me anyway....
    Bingo. You'll love 'em! Change cables once a year.
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  20. #20
    Natl. Champ DH Poser/Hack
    Reputation: cactuscorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    12,971
    yep. more often if ya ride it to work. fire damage plays hell on the housing.
    No, I'm NOT back!

Posting Permissions

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