Why do you see bb7's on single speed builds- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Why do you see bb7's on single speed builds

    I'm curious to know why this seems to be popular.
    Is it a cost thing?
    Is it the simplicity of a cable vs fluid?

  2. #2
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    Both.
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  3. #3
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    Purists have rigid everything, cable brakes, to be truly connected to the ride.
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  4. #4
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    Another answer for both. Lots of people SS for their own reasons, but Ive left bb7s on my Monocog because that particular bike for me ALWAYS has to be ready for a ride.When I lost the rear brake in the middle of a ride, I was able to ride home (slower) and then run to the LBS and pick up new housing and cable and be back up in like 5 minutes.

    My two cents

  5. #5
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    this made me laugh, both my SS's have BB7's. ^ and i agree with both. they're just simple and work well.

    for me i just happen to have BB7's in the parts bin when i built my first SS. the price was right and really there's no need for 203mm rotors and four piston hydraulic brakes on a rigid SS. BB7's get the job done.

    having said that, i have new Shimano SLX's in the box ready to go on this week...
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  6. #6
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    Likely several reasons - a holdover from the "good old days". Bikes had cable cantilevers or V-brakes so they had cable disk brakes - fittings and routing worked.
    Single speed bikes have a tendency to not be big buck - so they got the cheapest disk brakes.
    Single speed bikes are simple and easy to service so cable disk goes along with that.
    Cable disk are flexible - you can add alt bars or drop bars or most any weird crap and make it work.
    And don't forget, the cheap and good brakes from Shimano are a recent thing - 3-4 years ago most budget hydraulic brakes were noisy and high maintenance.

  7. #7
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    SS'ers like to be different, and the cost thing is a myth. Shimano hydros can be had for the same price or less than bb-7's.

  8. #8
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    I just like to do my own maintenance. BB7's can be fixed/adjusted way easier than bleeding hydraulics. If I did go hydraulics, I don't think I'd have any issue with XT.

    Also, since all three of my bikes and my girlfriend's bike have BB7's, keeping extra pads handy is easy.
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    Price related only! With how reliable and cheap Shimano brakes have been there really isn't any excuse to use mech. At least go with TRP mech. BB7 "technology" is very outdated.

  10. #10
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    Simplicity and function. That's the whole point of a singlespeed.

    Usually folk building their own singlespeeds tend to have a bit of bike experience and competence behind them and have learned to separate marketing hype from real life utility.

    A BB7 can be set up to work as well as an equivalent hydraulic disk by any competent person, and you don't need a bleeding kit.

    I agree with jonshonda that the TRP Spyres are the way to go now. I have them on one bike, and when the BB7s wear out on the other bikes, that's what will go on them. I suspect it will be a long long wait though....
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  11. #11
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    You may want the TRP Spyke, the Spyre is advertised for cyclocross. I also like the Rever mtn1 but the price is a bit off putting even though you get all the hardware, cabling, and lever.

    My reasons for using BB7: simplicity, reliability, ease of adjustment, it's what came with the bike. Certainly, hydraulic brakes have gotten better and cheaper since I first started using BB7s. I've just never felt the need to "upgrade" when the brakes I have stop me just fine. Perhaps if I was more interested in downhill or lived near mountains, but I don't and so I'll spend the money elsewhere.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  12. #12
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    I always keep a set of BB7's around to throw on a build until I find some better hydros. In the case of my SS they just seemed to fit with the vibe of the bike so I left them. They work as good or better than any hydro brakes Ive used including Formula and XT's.
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  13. #13
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    I have a few sets of them, they work fine, so I keep using them. On my setup, rigid single speed, I simply don't reach the limits of their power.

    That said, as noted by a few others, low and mid range hydros that actually work (shimano hydros) didn't exist as little as 5 years ago... So bb7's were always good bang for the buck. Today, shimano hydros will be the replacement when my bb7's break (although I have an extra set in the parts bin, so that will be a long time from now lol).

    If I were more speed/enduro/downhill oriented, I'd definitely start with hydro from the beginning.

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  14. #14
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    I used bb7s for a lotta years on my ss rides, but about 2 years ago I switched to a set of Shimano XT hydros and these have pretty much followed me thru other SS builds.

    Hydros have shown their true color more in a race than a casual ride, some 40+ mile rides I do your hands begin to wear out on a rigid bike after 3 hours and it's nice to not have to pull so much cable so hard.
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  15. #15
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    Mine came with my bike so I never changed, I do like the simplicity and they work fine. I've been looking around for a newer better mechanical but I don't think there are any.

  16. #16
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    ^ as mentioned by Velobike and myself, take a look at the TRP spyke and the Rever mtn1. Both of them have dual actuated pads like a hydro but are mechanical. The one advantage the mtn1 has is the ability to swap out pads, which are XT/XTR pads I believe, without moving the caliper or removing the wheel. Having said that, I have yet to replace my BB7s with either because money, and the BB7s stop me just fine.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  17. #17
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    A range of BS reasons none of which have any relevance today. Shutup old men ;-)

  18. #18
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    I have them because in Japan you have to put your bike in a "bike bag" when taking it on the train to go ride out in the mountains etc etc

    with hydros you loose fluid and it ends up being a pain. you just want to slap the bike together and go ride when you get to your destination.
    So for me its just a convince thing
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  19. #19
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    I run a couple sets of BB7's on 29er SS's (one set that I've transferred along as I upgraded frames since ~2010). Running steel forks, I find that front end shimmy/judder when braking is a lot less noticeable as compared to hydraulic brakes.

    I run XTR hydros on another carbon fork SS 29er and don't think BB7's would be much different since there is zero fork flex.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbhammercycle View Post
    ^ as mentioned by Velobike and myself, take a look at the TRP spyke and the Rever mtn1. Both of them have dual actuated pads like a hydro but are mechanical. The one advantage the mtn1 has is the ability to swap out pads, which are XT/XTR pads I believe, without moving the caliper or removing the wheel. Having said that, I have yet to replace my BB7s with either because money, and the BB7s stop me just fine.
    Thanks, ill look into those.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slash5 View Post
    Single speed bikes have a tendency to not be big buck
    You reckon?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by thing View Post
    I have them because in Japan you have to put your bike in a "bike bag" when taking it on the train to go ride out in the mountains etc etc

    with hydros you loose fluid and it ends up being a pain. you just want to slap the bike together and go ride when you get to your destination.
    So for me its just a convince thing
    Lose fluid? How?

  23. #23
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    Same reason you ride SS and rigid - street cred in the carpark.

  24. #24
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    SS'ers are tight ass and try to be funky hipsters with an anti-technology mindset.
    If you do something often enough it tends to define you.

  25. #25
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    I've got 2 sets of BB7's hanging on the wall and XT's and Guide's on the SS's.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jas76 View Post
    Same reason you ride SS and rigid - street cred in the carpark.


    Dunno about where you are, but here SS is more likely to be halfway up the mountain on some rocky trail that rips derailleurs off. Maybe your carparks are more rugged than I thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by butryon View Post
    SS'ers are tight ass and try to be funky hipsters with an anti-technology mindset.
    Dunno about hipster, I can't get tight jeans around my calves, and the beard is old and scraggy. But tight ass yes. The money wasted on replacing an XT chainset by gearies pays for a lot of beer.

    Anti-technology? More like no more technology than necessary. The mindset that one good sharp carving knife is better than any amount of those electric ones. Does the same job and never gets wornout or obsolete.

    But for me, I prefer riding a bike to operating it.
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  27. #27
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    not really loose fluid sorry. but you gotta take the wheels off and the brakes always get knocked on the packed train so the pistons compress and you have to reset your brakes everytime. not fun.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by thing View Post
    not really loose fluid sorry. but you gotta take the wheels off and the brakes always get knocked on the packed train so the pistons compress and you have to reset your brakes everytime. not fun.
    Ah, I always use a brake block to prevent that.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post

    But for me, I prefer riding a bike to operating it.
    I am stealing this quote....

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by DualRollers View Post
    I am stealing this quote....
    Nice, getting into Occam's Razor territory.

  31. #31
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    ^ how are you applying Occam's Razor?

    Basically, the razor is that the simplest explanation should be weighed more favorably than complex theories in explaining observed scientific phenomena. How is this being applied to DualRollers stealing of Velobike's statement? Good solid statement there btw Velo. Just confused, quite possible I'm not just seeing the obvious simple explanation.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbhammercycle View Post
    ^ how are you applying Occam's Razor?

    Just confused, quite possible I'm not just seeing the obvious simple explanation.
    I think he was saying it's easier to ride a bike than operate one. it's a bit of a stretch.
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  33. #33
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    Because we are cheap and stubborn luddites.

    Simplicity was once a motivation but newer Shimano hydros are easier to deal with.

  34. #34
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    It's arguable I guess, but I see the cable-actuated brake is being simple. Seems to me the fluid dynamics, while being invisible to most, are actually pretty complex. And much more exposed to the more pressing issue--Murphy's Law.

  35. #35
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    I can only speak for myself, but I love the simplicity of the BB7's on my Unit. Seeing I can operate them single-fingered, I see no reason to "upgrade".

  36. #36
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    Love mine. Thought the shimano low end hydros might be a good by, but I was completely unaware that they provided brake stutter.

    Also, I was trying to not come out and call us all cheap, stubborn, luddites. Also, going to switch my niner carbon fork over to my geared bike and get the nice salsa steel fork. It rides very nice. Then I'll have an all-steel bike again.

    Luddites??

  37. #37
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    Well, I don't use BB7's but I do use some Hope Minis that date from 2002. Not because I'm a tight ass, just because I like the look of them and way they just keep on working.

    I think that's one of the nicest things about riding singlespeeds - because they're basically so simple you can have every nice little thing that you want on them without bothering about what's fashionable.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy R View Post
    ...I think that's one of the nicest things about riding singlespeeds - because they're basically so simple you can have every nice little thing that you want on them without bothering about what's fashionable.
    +1

    The thing about brakes is that when you erase all the marketing BS from your mind you realise it comes down to transmitting the effort from your hand to the brake calliper. As simple as that.

    Hydraulics are very good at doing this, but you've got what is effectively a closed system and you cannot easily modify them. I'm always happy to recommend XT disks to folk with no mechanical nous or interest in working on their own bikes, they're very good brakes.

    The problem with cable brakes lies in that it is very easily to lose a lot of the force being transmitted.

    A cheapskate lever will probably flex and use up some of the lever travel when you pull on the brake. If you use low quality (usually cheapo, but not always) cable outer, then when you pull on the brake the outer compresses and uses up even more of your lever travel in compressing the outer. Also if you curve the cable to tightly, eg for neatness, you're introducing more friction into the cable and ruining the feel. The end result is that by the time all this has taken place there's not much lever travel actually operating at the calliper.

    This does not have to be the case though. Use a decent lever (any decent brand like Avid), and there's no flexing. Use a good compressionless outer* and very little lever travel is wasted in compressing the outer. Have sweeping bends in the outer to eliminate unnecessary friction. This applies to all cable brake systems, not just BB7s.

    End result, good brakes.

    There's no reason a BB7 cannot clamp on the disk as hard as a hydraulic setup. When I hear people proclaiming a decent brake like the BB7 is crap, I immediately mark them down as someone who doesn't know how to set up cable brakes properly.




    * I use alloy tubing for the fixed part of the cable run, and there's no compression at all in that.
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  39. #39
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    Because sometimes you end up traveling somewhere where you dont want to ride with a bike shop's worth of crap in your pack, like a extra derailleur or everything to bleed hydro brakes, ect. I rode all over Iceland and not one shop was set up to bleed brakes, and were roadie shops anyway. I have V brakes with ceramic rims and they slow and stop a SS fine. FWIW, the last time I lost hydro braking was in the mid 90s when my Magura rim brakes failed after a hose was ripped out by a branch.
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    I have V brakes with ceramic rims and they slow and stop a SS fine.
    Yep, I always thought my v's stopped as good or better than any bb-7 I tried. Hydros? A fair notch above both IME. I've beaten the crap out of my Shimanos and maintenance has been pretty much none. Adjustments? Bleeds? Never.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Yep, I always thought my v's stopped as good or better than any bb-7 I tried. Hydros? A fair notch above both IME. I've beaten the crap out of my Shimanos and maintenance has been pretty much none. Adjustments? Bleeds? Never.
    I have a set of Magura Gustavs from 2001 that were last bled in 2003 and have been on many bikes without a fuss.
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Yep, I always thought my v's stopped as good or better than any bb-7 I tried...
    I have nothing against a good v-brake set up, or for that matter cantis so long as the conditions are dry.

    There's no mechanical reason a v-brake should not be as good as a disk.

    However to get it as good as a disk there are a few practical concerns. They are limited by the amount of clamping pressure that can be applied to the rim because the frame will flex. That's not such a problem at the front because forks tend to be more stout than seatstays. and it can be overcome by beefing up the stays or using a supplementary support ("booster" I think they were called). By the time you have done that any weight advantage over a BB7 is lost.

    Another factor is the vulnerability of rim brakes to rim damage. Even a small buckle in the rim and you've lost almost all your brakes.

    They also do not perform as well when wet or muddy.

    On a longer time scale there is the damage rim brakes do to the rim. My move to hub brakes came about after an abrasive muddy 24 hour race in which I wore out a brandnew set of rims to the stage where I could flex them with my fingers. The same race chewed up disk pads on other peoples bikes, but I'd sooner change pads than rims.

    An advantage of hub brakes is that you do not need such a heavy rim. The braking surface of a rim is sacrificial and has to resist bending sideways so it has to to be heavy (relatively). Remove the need for a braking surface and the rim can be made much lighter without any compromise of its strength. Weight saved on the periphery of the wheel is the best place to save weight in a bike.

    But the best summary came from Vader and is particularly relevant if you like to ride in places off the beaten track - Because sometimes you end up traveling somewhere where you dont want to ride with a bike shop's worth of crap in your pack, like a extra derailleur or everything to bleed hydro brakes

    Simplicity = reliability and fixability.
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  43. #43
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    I think single speeds remind us of our Bmx bikes we had as kids, where you just hopped on it and went. So anything vaguely more complex than that we gravitate against. Well at least for me.

  44. #44
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    I had nothing much to say here...until I ran into one of the "trail patrol" today. Riding a rigid, steel Waltworks SS...with BB7's. Really beautiful bike.

    Actually, my first discs were BB7's, around 2009 and Velobike hit the nail on the head with setup. I had them set up with compressionless casing, SS cables and Avid levers. I found them to work incredibly well everywhere I rode. My last two bikes have had hydro's however.
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  45. #45
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    ^ next time you come here speaking of custom steel framed single speeds, bring pics.
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    ^ next time you come here speaking of custom steel framed single speeds, bring pics.
    Okay
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    Timely thread. I recently discovered my XT hyros were weeping oil at the calipers and probably have been for a while; and that I've hated them, the squealing, the cleaning, the maintenance. I've been riding my old BB7's since without any noise or problems or upkeep. I was once told by a more seasoned SSer that he used BB7's for this sole reason, reliability on the trail. He's been proven right in my experience, so far.

    Oil is the worst thing for disc brakes. Murphy's law indeed. Why are products sold to quiet disc brakes? Oily pads!

    That being said, I'll back track a bit. I do plan to try hydros again for one reason. The stopping power of the BB7's seems to be a bit variable. They lockup the wheel every time without noise on demand but thats not what I want. I want predictable modulation...without noise. Hopefully, my experience with the XT's has been an outlier, but if not, I'll probably return to mechanical disc brakes for good.
    At what point did you decide you needed more than 1 gear?

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by DualRollers View Post
    I am stealing this quote....
    You beat me to it. Perfect!
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  49. #49
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    Why do I use BB7's? They came on my '13 Unit and they stop me better than the tektro brakes on my Gravity G29 SS

  50. #50
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    SS is for idiots.
    BB7's are idiot proof.

    I like my BB7's.
    Ride more!

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by asphaltdude View Post
    SS is for idiots.
    BB7's are idiot proof.

    I like my BB7's.
    Being an idiot mechanic is the reason I ditched them. My first disc brakes were Shimano Deore hydro brakes and they spoiled me for life. They were the least maintenance part I've ever owned. I've had them for 13 years and might have bled them twice. Center them when you install them, then change out the pads and forget about them.

    I've had BB7s on other bikes they require way more tweaking. As the pads wear down you have to adjust them and even then the levers come back to the bar or they start to grind. I'm already looking to replace the BB7s on my year old RLT, they are just too finicky. I'd have replaced them a while ago but the stupid integrated levers mean I have to replace the whole shooting match and I'm putting that off.

    It's funny to me how different people have vastly different experiences with the same gear.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ogre View Post
    It's funny to me how different people have vastly different experiences with the same gear.
    We all ride differently, we all ride different terrain, and we all use brakes differently to a degree.

    Obviously hydro has benefits, especially for downhill and possibly all mountain styles of riding. I personally just don't need the touted benefits for most of my riding, I'm just not pulling on my brakes constantly like I might if I were a downhill aficionado. I can more easily manage cable actuated brakes than hydro, mostly because I don't have the necessary tools rather than ability. I also get to avoid the potential mess, collection, and disposal of hydraulic fluid. Also, I don't mind making the necessary adjustments on my bikes as needed, it's a lil bit Zen. Further, IMHO, if someone thinks that because they have hydros which self adjust they need not pay attention or perform ride checks, they are potentially doing themselves a disservice that may ruin a ride or at worst be the root cause of an accident.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ogre View Post
    It's funny to me how different people have vastly different experiences with the same gear.
    have you ever read a tire review? talk about conflicting information.
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  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ogre View Post
    ...and even then the levers come back to the bar or they start to grind...
    Those are also the symptoms of outer cable compressing or lever flex.

    When that happens then most of the lever movement is used up compressing or flexing, so only a little is available to operate the calliper, which in turn means that it is difficult to get enough clearance. The result is that the slightest wear and you are continually adjusting your brakes, ie they are very finicky to keep properly adjusted.

    I've usually found that people who have trouble with cable brakes really have trouble with the cables rather than the brake component.

    Replace the cable outer with something that doesn't compress.
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  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ogre View Post
    Being an idiot mechanic is the reason I ditched them. My first disc brakes were Shimano Deore hydro brakes and they spoiled me for life. They were the least maintenance part I've ever owned. I've had them for 13 years and might have bled them twice. Center them when you install them, then change out the pads and forget about them.

    I've had BB7s on other bikes they require way more tweaking. As the pads wear down you have to adjust them and even then the levers come back to the bar or they start to grind. I'm already looking to replace the BB7s on my year old RLT, they are just too finicky. I'd have replaced them a while ago but the stupid integrated levers mean I have to replace the whole shooting match and I'm putting that off.

    It's funny to me how different people have vastly different experiences with the same gear.
    Check out the HYRD's by TRP, they are sooooo much better than my BB7-R's ever were on my Fisticuff.
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  56. #56
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    Why do you see bb7's on single speed builds

    Quote Originally Posted by dbhammercycle View Post
    We all ride differently, we all ride different terrain, and we all use brakes differently to a degree.

    Obviously hydro has benefits, especially for downhill and possibly all mountain styles of riding. I personally just don't need the touted benefits for most of my riding, I'm just not pulling on my brakes constantly like I might if I were a downhill aficionado. I can more easily manage cable actuated brakes than hydro, mostly because I don't have the necessary tools rather than ability. I also get to avoid the potential mess, collection, and disposal of hydraulic fluid. Also, I don't mind making the necessary adjustments on my bikes as needed, it's a lil bit Zen. Further, IMHO, if someone thinks that because they have hydros which self adjust they need not pay attention or perform ride checks, they are potentially doing themselves a disservice that may ruin a ride or at worst be the root cause of an accident.
    It's really hard for me to take posts like this seriously because my Shimano hydro disc brakes are by far the most reliable, easiest to deal with, least hassle component on my bike. I'm sure your concerns are based on your experience but you are also pretty far off base on some things.

    I'm not sure what special tools you are referring to. You don't have a crescent wrench or small sockets? Mineral oil is non toxic and doesn't require special disposal. They put it on babies buts.

    I've seen seat post, handlebars, and forks fail. I've personally destroyed frames, wheels, hubs, chains, derailleurs and pretty much everything else on a bike fail. But I've never seen a brake hose fail, or even heard a hose failure horror story from anyone who uses them. I'm sure it happens, it's just not likely enough to affect my decision making process.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ogre View Post
    It's really hard for me to take posts like this seriously because my Shimano hydro disc brakes are by far the most reliable, easiest to deal with, least hassle component on my bike...
    I won't argue with that. They are very good.

    But there's some little things that are a hassle. Pull a wheel off, eg trailside for a puncture, and unless you remember to stick that little wedge in the calliper, there's a chance that you'll knock the brake lever and close the pads up, which you then have to lever apart. Not a big deal I hear you think, and again I agree. BUT you'll never have that problem with a BB7 - it's one less piece of technology to have to think about (this is the SS forum )

    Again with the punctures: I always flip my bike upside down to pull the wheels - it just makes the job simpler, and if it's a back wheel, makes the realignment easier when putting the wheel back in. Some hydraulics manage to leak air into the brake lines when you invert the bike, cue spongey brakes. (Maybe that doesn't happen anymore, it's several years since I've bothered with them).

    And using cables makes life so much simpler if you have to pull your wheels off to transport the bike in a car.

    I have only heard off one hose getting ripped out, and that was on a fast downhill, but similar damage would have happened with a cable brake.

    When it comes to brakes, it doesn't matter how the effort at your hand gets to the brake, so long as it all gets there. Leverage is leverage. With a cable brake you can change that ratio.

    After that it comes down to the pad and brake surface materials.

    There's ways to ruin the performance of any brake, eg cantis have a poor reputation with some because they require a lot of care in their setup.
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  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    BUT you'll never have that problem with a BB7 - it's one less piece of technology to have to think about (this is the SS forum ).
    I don't like the BB7s because I have to think about them all the time. I install them, spend 15-30 minutes tweaking them, then a couple weeks pass and I'm tweaking them again. The Shimano discs just work... I put them on the bike, pull out the little plastic spacer and squeeze the levers a few times and forget about it until the pads need changed.

    All of your points are valid, but they just way too intermittent and infrequent bother me as much as adjusting my brakes on a monthly/ weekly basis on cable actuated brakes does.

    I'm kind of frustrated with the BB7s on my RLT right now because the levers are pulling all the way to the bars again so maybe I'm a sketch biased right now.

  59. #59
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    Another vote for the BB7 here, once adjusted initially, I've never had to really fiddle with mine at all. Unless, you put a bend in a rotor, but then you'd be monkeying with whatever disc setup you run so it's a moot point. I had SLX hydros on one bike, and have XT hydros on my squishy bike. The XTs have more power obviously, but not by very much to be honest, and I had to fiddle with them to get the lever to feel how I wanted. They were mushy as could be out of the box, with one requiring a full bleed on a brand new setup.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ogre View Post
    ...I'm kind of frustrated with the BB7s on my RLT right now because the levers are pulling all the way to the bars again so maybe I'm a sketch biased right now.
    I still maintain it's probably your outer compressing. If they sold hydros the way they sell cable brakes we'd be hearing the same complaints about them because some builds would be done with inferior hose.

    A good test is pull your brake on lightly until the pads touch the disk. Now pull harder - there should be very little movement at the lever - it should feel solid, just like a good hydro. If it doesn't, and you can pull the lever significantly at that point, what it is doing is compressing the outer cable until it reaches the point where it is totally compressed and the lever can move no more.

    Edit: There is one peculiarity of the BB7 because it is a one sided brake. The fixed pad should be set as close to the disk as possible without rub, because the moving pad pushes the disk over on to the fixed pad. Too much clearance on the fixed pad side and the brake will feel spongey just like using a poor outer.

    Now that dual sided cable disks are available (eg TRP Spyre) it's time for Avid to upgrade the BB7. I have been using a set on my gravel bike for the last year. Setup is foolproof compared to the BB7 (but still dependent on good outers). However I wouldn't be replacing the BB7s on bikes that have them because they are just as effective.

    One last thing - I often wonder why they don't offer cable brakes as a system, then the use of substandard outers would be less of a problem.
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  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    One last thing - I often wonder why they don't offer cable brakes as a system, then the use of substandard outers would be less of a problem.
    I think Rever has the same train of thought. The Rever MTN1 comes with a lever, cable and housing. I'm also interested in trying dual actuated cable disc calipers, but don't have a problem with my BB7s atm.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    I still maintain it's probably your outer compressing. If they sold hydros the way they sell cable brakes we'd be hearing the same complaints about them because some builds would be done with inferior hose.
    It could be, I'm far from an all star mechanic though and this is something I've seen on multiple bikes. If I'm going to tear this bike apart and figure out how to reinstall everything though, I'm going to just replace it with a setup I know works well which will be some Shimano hydro brakes.

    I'd rather spend $350 and fix it once with technology I know and understand that I know will fix the problem than risk dealing with it again in a few months.

    I like riding my bike and tolerate working on it to keep riding it so I don't generally baby problem components when good, reliable alternatives are out there. I've been thinking about changing out the drivetrain on that bike regardless.

  63. #63
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    Used BB7s on many builds from SS to FS over the years, pretty reliable though if the pad adjusters haven't been moved in awhile they can be a ***** to adjust, almost require pliers. The Speed dialers levers are key to getting good modulation on BB7s which I've read many complaints about but usually a basic lever was being used so it's all or nothing. Have changed over the Shimano XTs on both SS bikes, I think with mineral oil and state of the tech in calipers and brake levers with hydros it's about as bulletproof as it gets now. Bleeding is a trivial process if needed, no worse than initial setup of a BB7 and the XTs have a speed dialer knob that pretty much mimics what the BB7 speed dialer knob does for getting the right feel. Never had a lack of stopping power with BB7s, one finger stopping as with XTs but XTs overall have a feel I prefer these days.

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