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  1. #1
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    confused about brakes

    Ball Bearing Disc Brake

    BB5 Mechanical Disc Brake

    BB7 Mechanical Disc Brake

    Trying to buy the top set of brakes, what is the diffrence between these three brakes in the review section they are treated diffrent but when I look them up on the internet they seem to become one and the same, please help. Thanks again

  2. #2
    ridin' Mary
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    BB5 brakes have a single adjustment on the outer pad, and the inner pad is fixed. It is a horrible design that was primarily created to allow bike makers to include disc brakes as cheaply as possible.

    I ripped my BB5's off my bike and replaced with BB7's so that both pads can be adjusted on the trail. Much better! They only cost a couple of bucks more than the BB5's. I'm guessing that very few BB5's are sold directly to the public and most of them are factory installed.

    If you are trying to "buy the top set of brakes", most people would wonder why hydraulic is not on your list. I happen to like mechanical, but I'm not most people.

  3. #3
    The Bubble Wrap Hysteria
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    BB7's are great brakes. I would make sure you go with a 185mm up front that way you get a bit more brake power. I keep thinking about switching to hydraulic brakes but BB7's are so easy.

    One more thing........do not let those cable brake naysayers effect your decision.........let them put some saddle time on a sport bike then they will know where hydro brakes belong.......

  4. #4
    zod
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    I always end up back at BB7's as well in the end. Great cheap brakes and when you set them up right they have a lot of stopping (throw you over the bars) power.

  5. #5
    Unfit Norwegian
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    You run mechanicals on your $2000 Ventana frames? I'm sure it works OK, butseems a bit odd. Hydraulic brakes are getting pretty affordable, so: Why?

  6. #6
    zod
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    Personally I have run hydros plenty over the years, just happen to always like BB7's more. Simplicity, great modulation, comparable breaking power, trail-side maintainable, etc. The only time I ever feel at a disadvantage with mechanicals is on long steep descents where finger and forearm pump can tend to set it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dazed
    You run mechanicals on your $2000 Ventana frames? I'm sure it works OK, butseems a bit odd. Hydraulic brakes are getting pretty affordable, so: Why?
    I've run BB7s for years on my Ventanas, only recently upgraded to K24s.
    The mechanical brakes have great stopping power and are very easy to adjust and not have rubbing issues. If you bend a rotor in the field, you can still get home pretty well with mechanical brakes.
    But, the feel of hydros is certainly nicer and there is a bit more power. The biggest difference I noticed is the consistency of the power, with the mechanical's you never really know how they'll grab when flying into a turn, with the hydros, you know exactly how they will behave and generally go faster with more control.
    Craig, Durango CO
    "Lighten up PAL" ... King Cage

  8. #8
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    Ive run BB7's on my Salty, and both sons bikes, Chumuco and Pantera. As noted the BB5 is single side adjustable only and not as desirable as BB7. Only problem has been mud on the cables making them stick. Just have to clean the cables. I take them apart once a year and really clean them well to keep the adjusters from sticking. If you are a big guy, my oldset son is about 270 lbs, get the 7" roters, he has smoked his brakes with 6" roters on long descents.

  9. #9
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    Ok, I'm confused by the statements that the BB5's don't have an inboard adjustment?
    My BB5's on my Toro have the same adjustment wheel that the BB7's have. The inboard pad does not MOVE during the braking process but it is ADJUSTABLE, just like the BB7's. What the BB5's lack is the outboard adjustment wheel, instead they have a threaded collar (like on a rear derailler) to pull more cable which effectively does the same as the wheel.

    Warning: BB7 rant coming..
    I too ran BB7's on my Salt before switching to Hope's. Sorry, no comparison at least for a bigger guy like me (230). A bit more power, and way better modulation. The BB7's were either on or off. The Hope's (and Hydro's in general) don't fade either. The final straw for me was the flimsy retention tab that held the pads in. Broke the rear one off and had to buy a new rear caliper to fix it? A 5 cent part that was riveted instead of bolted failed and I need to buy an entire caliper to fix? (This was from Avid themselves btw) Why did the part break? probably because of how many rear pads I went through in the two years I ran them. (5-6 if I recall). And maybe it was just my set, but I had to constantly adjust them to run drag free.
    Rant over:

    I still run the BB5's on the Toro and frankly, they have been a ton better than the BB7's. Drag free, have hardly ever had to adjust them, better modulation. (Not so on off) My only complaint right now is the overall lack of power. (I may be too used to the power of my Hydro's on my other bikes I guess). To that end, I need to switch out the front Resin pads with the semi-metallic's I picked up, I may finally find the power I need.

    Ok, the original owner sorry for the slightly offtopic rant.
    -Aaron G.

    "Before D.W., "anti-squat" was referred to as pedal feedback."

  10. #10
    The Bubble Wrap Hysteria
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ciclistagonzo
    Warning: BB7 rant coming..
    I too ran BB7's on my Salt before switching to Hope's. Sorry, no comparison at least for a bigger guy like me (230). A bit more power, and way better modulation. The BB7's were either on or off. The Hope's (and Hydro's in general) don't fade either. The final straw for me was the flimsy retention tab that held the pads in. Broke the rear one off and had to buy a new rear caliper to fix it? A 5 cent part that was riveted instead of bolted failed and I need to buy an entire caliper to fix? (This was from Avid themselves btw) Why did the part break? probably because of how many rear pads I went through in the two years I ran them. (5-6 if I recall). And maybe it was just my set, but I had to constantly adjust them to run drag free.
    Rant over:
    I would have to admit heavier riders would find cable brakes to fade depending on riding style. That was the main reason I went with the 180 mm rotor in the front. I found a significant modulation improvement when I switched from XTR brake levers to Avid brake levers. I still have the desire to try hydro brakes........I just don't want the additional maintenance. Performance brakes require maintenance to get performing. I remember my Brembo brakes on my Sport Bike required frequent fluid changes. Again, I'm just not sure I want that added maintenance. Granted I have a vacuum pump.....so pulling fluid through the Brembo's made it a lot easier. I guess I am on the fence.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker4life
    ........I just don't want the additional maintenance. Performance brakes require maintenance to get performing. I remember my Brembo brakes on my Sport Bike required frequent fluid changes. Again, I'm just not sure I want that added maintenance.
    What maintenance? Both of my Hopes setups came prebled and I haven't had to touch them. And they are both 2 years old. Even my less than stellar reputation Hayes have only been bled twice and I got those in 2001!

    I bet you've changed your cables a lot more than that!
    -Aaron G.

    "Before D.W., "anti-squat" was referred to as pedal feedback."

  12. #12
    The Bubble Wrap Hysteria
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ciclistagonzo
    What maintenance? Both of my Hopes setups came prebled and I haven't had to touch them. And they are both 2 years old. Even my less than stellar reputation Hayes have only been bled twice and I got those in 2001!

    I bet you've changed your cables a lot more than that!
    I haven't replaced the cables in three years......just remove and shoot some lube down the casings....works like a charm

    Brake fluid (DOT 3 & 4) is hygroscopic which means it absords moisture. I'm not aware of any mtn bike brake manufacture using a silicone base fluid (DOT 5). So with that said, brake systems need to be flushed because that moisture in the system reducing the boiling point of the brake fluid.....making the brake less effective and it corrodes the insides of the braking system. I just changed some fluid for a friend.....five years and the fluid was black as coal......which is why the brakes hardly worked. I will definitely try Hydros when my new Ventana comes in.........but will keep a set of BB7's on tap for those oh-sheet my brakes don't work times....
    Last edited by mtnbiker4life; 02-02-2009 at 01:38 PM.

  13. #13
    zod
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ciclistagonzo
    The BB7's were either on or off..
    Sounds like a setup issue to me, BB7's have excellent modulation (especially when used with speed dial levers). As far as stopping power maybe heavier people have issues, I'm just 160lbs so a front 8 and a rear 7 stop me just as well as any hydro I have ever run.

  14. #14
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    [QUOTE=Ciclistagonzo]Ok, I'm confused by the statements that the BB5's don't have an inboard adjustment?
    My BB5's on my Toro have the same adjustment wheel that the BB7's have. The inboard pad does not MOVE during the braking process but it is ADJUSTABLE, just like the BB7's. What the BB5's lack is the outboard adjustment wheel, instead they have a threaded collar (like on a rear derailler) to pull more cable which effectively does the same as the wheel.


    BB5's do not have outboard adjustment. As you noted they adjust the out board disk pad with the cable slack. You can not set the Clearance from the disk without affecting the cable / brake lever play. The BB7's set up clearance and cable slack separately. Dude don't be baggin on my BB7's. They have provided less wetness and irritation in 4 years than the hydros have provided me in a couple of months.
    Sorted and working sweet, but about as expensive as a Senate seat in Illinois the hydros are nice but I never had to use special bleeding tools or have a mechanic sort problems with the BB7's.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker4life
    I'm not aware of any mtn bike brake manufacture using a silicone base fluid (DOT 5).
    True, but Magura, for one, uses mineral oil; I ma fairly sure another brand does as well.

  16. #16
    Unfit Norwegian
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    Yes. Shimanoand Magura use mineral oil."everyone" else uses DOT4

  17. #17
    Proud lame eBiker
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    Personally,for my $.02, the hydro's are worth going with just for the consistant performance. It takes a lot for me just to hose my bike down every once in a while. And I know, no matter what, over time cable pull brakes' power fades due to crud in the cable housing.
    I can't tell you how many customers come in for a tune up and I recommend brake housing to 'freshen up' the brakes and they look at me like I'm on something. $12 later and they can't believe how much better they're brakes feel and work.

    So I guess on one hand, Mech. are good because they don't take much to make them feel brand new. But on the other hand, hydro's don't ever need that.

    And I hear ya about dot fluid taking on water thru the years....but how many people have been running their hydro's for multiple years with never flushing in fresh fluid. I think people sell our old brakes before we bleed them out!
    www.velocitybicycles.comWhere customers become friends, not simply a dollar sign.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker4life
    I'm not aware of any mtn bike brake manufacture using a silicone base fluid (DOT 5).
    You can't cap with the master son
    So sit your a$$ down before I blast ya one - Kid Rock

    Attached Images Attached Images
    -Aaron G.

    "Before D.W., "anti-squat" was referred to as pedal feedback."

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by winchboy
    . Dude don't be baggin on my BB7's. They have provided less wetness and irritation in 4 years than the hydros have provided me in a couple of months.
    Sorted and working sweet, but about as expensive as a Senate seat in Illinois the hydros are nice but I never had to use special bleeding tools or have a mechanic sort problems with the BB7's.
    Well of course not, when your bike becomes Wall Art ala FoShizzle how can they cause any problems for ya?!
    -Aaron G.

    "Before D.W., "anti-squat" was referred to as pedal feedback."

  20. #20
    The Bubble Wrap Hysteria
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ciclistagonzo
    You can't cap with the master son
    So sit your a$$ down before I blast ya one - Kid Rock

    DOT 5.1 is a non-silicone based brake fluid and is mixable with DOT 4. DOT 5.1 has a higher boiling point over DOT 4

    http://www.buybrakes.com/store/MOTUL-8070HCM

  21. #21
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    Hmm I just got an education on DOT 5 and 5.1, there is a difference.
    From the Wicked Pedia the following info was gleaned.

    DOT 4 is one of several designations of automotive brake fluid, denoting a particular mixture of chemicals imparting specified ranges of boiling point.

    In the United States, all brake fluids must meet federal standard #116. Under this standard there are three Department of Transportation (DOT) minimal specifications for brake fluid. They are DOT 3, DOT 4, and DOT 5.1.

    DOT 4, like DOT 3 and DOT 5.1, is a polyethylene glycol-based fluid (contrasted with DOT 5 which is silicone-based). Fluids such as DOT 4 are hygroscopic and will absorb water from the atmosphere. This degrades the fluid's performance, and if allowed to accumulate over a period of time, can drastically reduce its boiling point. In a passenger car this is not much of an issue[citation needed], but can be of serious concerns in racecars or motorcycles[citation needed].

    As of 2006[update], most cars produced in the U.S. use DOT 3 brake fluid.


    [edit] Boiling points
    Minimal boiling points for these specifications are as follows (wet boiling point defined as 3.7% water by volume):

    Boiling point ranges Dry boiling point Wet boiling point
    DOT 3 205C (401F) 140C (284F)
    DOT 4 230C (446F) 155C (311F)
    DOT 5 260C (500F) 180C (356F)
    DOT 5.1 270C (518F) 191C ( 376F)

  22. #22
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    You're geek is showing....
    -Aaron G.

    "Before D.W., "anti-squat" was referred to as pedal feedback."

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