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  1. #1
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    Mechanical Disc choices?

    Guys- Everyone knows Avid is the leader in mechanical discs. But I have seen some far cheaper options, like Tektros, that judging from a casual squeeze at the lever, seem to be pretty decent, too. What are the options these days in mechanical discs?
    undefined Absolutely must have: Black Machine Tech Zeroflex brake levers (the ones with the rotating leverage adjuster)

  2. #2
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    IRD's Dual Bangers get good reviews. They manage to squeeze the rotor from both sides, unlike every other mechanical that forces the rotor to bend to the fixed pad (which also allows the brake action to be tuned nicely). They use an easy to find Shimano pad.

    Unfortunately, the Dual Bangers aren't quite as easy to set up as Avid's CPS system, they required two different sized allen keys to adjust the pads for wear, they weigh a big more than the BB7, and they're more expensive.
    speedub.nate
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  3. #3
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    The key is not in....

    a "casual squeeze of the lever", that tells you absolutely nothing. Ride them and you'll discover why Avid is the current leader in mechanical disc brakes. As nate noted, the only thing that even comes close in performance is the Dual Banger. And even they have their drawbacks as nate noted.

    Tektro, Shimano, Hayes, and other mechanical discs all work. But the preminence of the Avid will come to light at the end of a 1000 foot switch backed fire road descent when you have to grab a hand full of brake for that last switch back. When that time comes I'll take my BB7's thank you!

    Your choice, but if you are wise, you'll ride those Tektros under real world conditions before you pull the trigger.

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  4. #4
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    It's BB7s or good V's



    Or XT, J7.Magura martas or hayes strokers
    Not that all teenagers are evil mind, just most of them.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by uphiller
    Guys- Everyone knows Avid is the leader in mechanical discs. But I have seen some far cheaper options, like Tektros, that judging from a casual squeeze at the lever, seem to be pretty decent, too. What are the options these days in mechanical discs?
    BB7s are still the choice by a long way. The '08 versions are much cheaper than the previous ones, too.
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  6. #6
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    cables

    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    BB7s are still the choice by a long way. The '08 versions are much cheaper than the previous ones, too.
    what's the best type of compressionless cable to use? (note: type not brand)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by zarr
    what's the best type of compressionless cable to use? (note: type not brand)

    I use Nokon (expensive)
    and Shimano 5mm SIS housing (cheaper)

  8. #8
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    Tektro??? Who would even consider those worthy of discussion...i quickly ditched mine for a set of BB7's two years ago... the difference was VERY noticeable. BB7's aren't even that expensive anyways...
    "Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government!..." -- Dennis the Peasant

  9. #9
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    Exactly. I had Hayes MX-2 brakes stock. They worked, but nothing more, and they didn't work great. Switching to BB7s with SD7 levers was night and day from the Hayes mechs. I wouldn't consider any mech disc other than BB7s.

  10. #10
    Never trust a fart
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    I was in the same boat. Deciding what mechanical brakes to go on my new build. Nothing could compare to the BB7's.

    Ended up with a BB7 F/R 185mm kit from ebay for 110.00 plus shipping. These will work very nicely with my SD7 levers.

  11. #11
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    BB7s bro-bro. If you want good prices on some 08s' with 185mm or other sizes, check elitecycling.biz.And use some good quality compressionless cable set-ups, like Shimano XTR.(check the MTBR search for cable discussion).

  12. #12
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by scooter916
    I use Nokon (expensive)
    and Shimano 5mm SIS housing (cheaper)
    NEVER use SIS housing for brakes! It WILL fail (split) and leave you brakeless.
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  13. #13
    Old man on a bike
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    The Jagwire kevlar housings have worked well with my BB7s.
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
    suum quique

  14. #14
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    Odyssey linear slic cable and housing (full length) was a huge difference in my braking system.
    "Never mistake motion for action."

    "If I can bicycle, I bicycle."

  15. #15
    sru
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    An alternative to BB7's is the Hayes MX1 (not HMX1)

    I rode those brakes for 3 years and really liked them. The are a little more difficult to adjust than the BB7's, you use the cable stop (can't remember the name) instead of a dial on the caliper to adjust the outboard pad and an allen key for the inside pad. They had great power if set up properly.

    Cheaper than BB7's too!

  16. #16
    ride like you stole it
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    I just use bulk cables and housing but I cut out as much length as I can and use a dremel to get perfect cuts. Also you'll probably need to play around with the in board pads adjustment to get the location of the pad just right or the brakes will feel mushy.
    I lubed my disc brakes because they squeaked.
    Man was that fun to work out

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    NEVER use SIS housing for brakes! It WILL fail (split) and leave you brakeless.

    same SIS on my dh bike for 3 years and no problems, guess you use cheap housing, i have used it on no less than 4 bikes with out a single issue, just buy good shimano SIS housing and you will be fine.

    Specialized specs jagwire compressionless housing on their bikes with a fancy looking kevlar weave outer layer, I gues to stop this spliting I have heard so much about but never seen on brakes just derailuers

  18. #18
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    I would also recomend the avid brand Full metal jacket cable kit, it has two pieces of stainless steel conduit to help prevent spongy lever feel but I have never personally used them.

  19. #19
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    I have the Full Metal Jacket and 160mm BB7front/rear, Avid sintered pads, coupled with Speed Dial levers, upgraded with Alligator Windcutter rotors.
    Front brake: at least (!!!) equal braking performance than 180mm Formula Oro, K18, Louise, Juicy 7...I have made direct comparisons with this types on bikes of friends.
    Rear brake: equal to minimal weaker power than these hydros with 160mm, depending on the Speed Dial-setting. Equal or better modulation with the BB7 (!!!), probably because of the stronger cable stretching of the longer rear brake cable.

    I saw the top reviews towards the FMJ + BB7 on mtbr. Some people there say "equal performance or overpassing the hydros" and with the windcutter rotors I can confirm it. But you should pay attention for a smooth and direct cable run to the rear brake without narrow curves. My inner brake cable is the uncoated one that is part of the FMJ, I have it "flooded" with "thin fluid" cheap oil.
    Others improve the Avid mechanicals with better (organic) brake pads (Swissstop, A2Z, Koolstop, Avid organic...).

  20. #20
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    i'm a noob and was thinking of upgrading my front v-brakes (works very well) to mech. disc..the bb7. i have xtr 952 dual brake/shifter lever sets...can i use this or do i have to get different levers specially for disc brakes? thanks for any help..

  21. #21
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    Your XTR levers will work fine. Well worth it if you're currently desiring a bit more braking power and control.
    speedub.nate
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  22. #22
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    thanks for the quick response nate.. i'll need to start looking for a new front wheel hub and get these disc brakes..
    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    Your XTR levers will work fine. Well worth it if you're currently desiring a bit more braking power and control.

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