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Old 06-26-10, 11:06 AM   #1
daven1986
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Road disc brakes or MTB disc brakes?

Hi,

I am building a singlespeed bike with a front disc brake. However I would like to know how people find the avid BB7 road brakes with road levers and avid BB7 mtb disc brakes with linear pull aero levers.

I have had both but the BB5 version, I found neither give the feel of rim brakes. The levers feel a bit spongy. Are the BB7s better?

Other than that what combination do people think gives the best results?

Thanks

Daven
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Old 06-26-10, 11:36 AM   #2
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The difference between road and MTB disc brake calipers is the amount of cable pull they're designed to use.

Road disc brakes are designed for the standard cable pull of Campy, Shimano and SRAM integrated road levers.

MTB disc brakes are designed for the standard cable pull of typical MTB brake levers.

The difference between the BB7 and BB5 is that the inboard (fixed) pad of the BB7 is adjustable, where on the BB5 it is not.

My bike has BB7 road calipers and Shimano 105 STI levers. I love them.

Last edited by tsl; 06-26-10 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 06-26-10, 08:26 PM   #3
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Is there any reason other than the coolness factor to use discs? Bikes already HAVE disc brakes, with the rim acting as the disc, and all seven of my bikes stop fine that way. I'll admit I haven't looked at discs in a few years, and they may have improved, but when I checked them out before, they didn't seem to add anything but weight.
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Old 06-26-10, 10:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
Is there any reason other than the coolness factor to use discs?
If you're a fair-weather cyclist, a weight-weenie, or a retro grouch, no.

But see, Daven, the OP, lives in Merry Olde. Perhaps you've heard, it rains a lot there. He commutes by bike in the rain.

I live in the Northeast US. We get snow. Lots of it here on the shores of Lake Ontario. Maybe you've seen that on CNN or The Hyperbole Channel™. I commute by bike in the snow. See that white stuff on the ground behind me in my avatar? Snow.

I can't speak for Daven, but here's my experience.

My first winter bike had V-brakes. Through the winter I had to replace the pads every couple of weeks. They don't last long in the wet. The wet also causes grit to stick to the rims. It turns to grinding paste. By spring, I had worn the braking surface of the rims concave. This is an unsafe condition. Since then, I've seen other rims that have exploded due to worn braking surfaces. This convinced me that rim brakes are not the right tool for the job. And it's damned expensive replacing brake pads every couple of weeks, and rims every spring.

My current all-seasons, all-conditions commuter has Avid BB7s. In three years of 52-week riding, I'm only on the fourth set of pads. I haven't had to replace rotors (or rims) due to brake wear or damage. The brakes have not clogged with ice and snow like my V-brakes did. They also stop exactly the same in the dry, the wet, and the snow. I don't have to compensate for wet or dirty rims. They just work the same, stop after stop, every single time.

I won't ever own an all-seasons, all-conditions bike without disc brakes. IMHO, disc brakes are one of the defining characteristics of an all-seasons, all-conditions bike, right up there with lights, full-fenders, mudflaps, and room for studded snow tires. (All of which also do nothing but add weight if you're a fair-weather cyclist or weight weenie.)

I don't think they're necessary on a fair-weather bike. All my fair-weather bikes--including my weight-weenie bike--have ordinary road calipers. They stop just fine.

Last edited by tsl; 06-26-10 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 06-27-10, 03:22 AM   #5
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Thanks TSL, don't think I need to explain anything else! I have a road bike which I am using at the moment in all weather due to my hybrid having a broken rear wheel. In the rain the stopping power is noticably reduced. With the hybrid disc brakes I hardly notice any difference. This bike is going to be an all weather bike and hence will need disc brakes.

It seems that the BB7s are quite superior to the BB5s, so I think I'll go with them in road form.
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