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  1. #1
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    Avid BB7: Performance difference between Road vs Mountain version?

    There are two versions of the Avid BB7 available, labeled mountain and road depending on the cable pull required. This will be on a drop-bar bike, and I have either type of brake lever available (a V-brake compatible Tektro lever or a standard Cane Creek), and would be happy using either. This will be the front brake, operated by the left hand, and I never use STI shifters for the front derailleur, only bar-end or down-tube, so compatibility with those is not an issue. Does anyone have any experience as to whether the road or mountain version of the BB7, paired with the appropriate lever, performs better than the other?

    I read that the road version is supplied with inline cable adjusters, whereas the mountain version is not, but I have an extra one of those already, so that also doesn't matter to me. The price difference is also not big enough to worry about, so I'm looking to find something else that will help me to decide between them. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    same powern mountain ver has better resale value

  3. #3
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    In your care I suggest the mountain, because it will allow you to use the tektro brake levers, and not the cane creek (the lizards look funny)

    Otherwise I don't think it really matters.

  4. #4
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    For one reason or another the road version of the BB7 never feels as good at the lever. Mostly I think because it tends to be run on drop bar bikes with more housing and maybe even secondary levers.

    Just less friction and easier to setup with flat bars levers and mountain BB7's. I have only adjusted road BB7's after the fact not installed them and cabled them from scratch. I suspect with careful installation they would feel ok.

    No experience setting up drop bar v-levers and the mountain version on a drop bar bike...

  5. #5
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    One other consideration is that the 203mm is only available in mountain versions.

  6. #6
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    wesmamyke's response about lever feel is the type of thing that I was looking for, so thanks for that. Although, as you say it could be all about the other differences between a flat-bar and drop-bar install that causes this, and may not be due to a difference in the brake itself. Anyone have any experience in a direct comparison with each version on the same type of bars?

    I'm not sure about the limitation of the 203mm BB7 only being available in a mountain version, because I know some tandem dealers sell the road version in that size (it's common to use this as an additional or primary brake on the rear wheel for extra heat capacity on long descents), see Precision Tandems. Anyway, I'm only looking for a 160mm front rotor for cyclocross duties.
    Last edited by Chris_W; 01-06-10 at 10:14 AM.

  7. #7
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
    .....I'm only looking for a 160mm front rotor for cyclocross duties.
    You probably already know this, but just to make sure: in sanctioned cyclocross races, disc brakes aren't allowed.

    It does seem that bikes with disc brakes, particularly mountain bikes, are common at more casual cyclocross races.

  8. #8
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    This is the same tired old "Why does my road bike seem to have less braking power then my mountain bike?" complaint, which has the same answer: road bikes go faster and have less rolling resistance, requiring longer stopping distance.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  9. #9
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    Pre 2006 manufactured road BB7's reportedly had weak return springs. This is fixed by adding a 5/8"x3/4" compression spring inline just upstream from the pinch bolt.

    I have f/r 203mm road BB7's with Ultegras on my road touring bike and f/r 203/160mm mountain BB7's with XT v-brake / shift levers on my mountain touring bike. The former were a bit tricky to set up, mostly because my bike mechanic mentors kept telling me that I needed Travel Agents and I consequently just didn't have faith that there was a sweet spot of perfect operation without them or some other work around - see first paragraph.

    The differences in braking between the two versions of BB7's after both are properly set up is impossible to discern because of all the other components / parts on the bikes. The road versions give you the option of converting to STI in the future.

  10. #10
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
    This is the same tired old "Why does my road bike seem to have less braking power then my mountain bike?" complaint, which has the same answer: road bikes go faster and have less rolling resistance, requiring longer stopping distance.
    No it isn't, I don't even have a mountain bike! And I haven't complained about anything, I've simply asked whether there is a noticeable difference between the two versions of the BB7.

    To wb: Thanks, I was already aware of the stupid UCI cyclocross rules, but I don't find riding around in circles with a bunch of other people to be very interesting, so the rules don't matter to me. My cyclocross bike is my "go anywhere in any conditions" bike. The rim brakes on it work great in good conditions, equally as effective as disc brakes most of the time, but on the road in the rain or on muddy trails, braking power is greatly reduced. Since I'm slowly modifying this bike to handle everything that it possibly can, getting a disc brake on it is going to improve braking in certain situations.

    There's no chance of "converting to STI in the future" - the bike came with dual STIs, and I immediately removed the left-hand one - I just hate using them for front derailleurs, bar-end or down-tube shifters work WAY better, and I'm very unlikely to change my mind about this (I have all 3 of my single bikes and a tandem set up this way: STI for the rear derailleur, bar-end or down-tube for the front derailleur).
    Last edited by Chris_W; 01-06-10 at 10:29 AM.

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