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Old 01-18-12, 01:10 PM   #1
4Rings6Stars
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My first bike with (mechanical) disc brakes, need some advice.

I spend most of my time on road / cyclocross bikes but I have gotten into mountain biking a bit this past year. My Klein and Wicked are classics but neither of them have disc tabs. My new cyclocross bike, however, does. I will be using Campy Ergo road levers and mechanical disc brakes.

I'm looking for some advice as I have absolutely zero experience with mechanical discs. I'm considering picking up some Avid BB5 or BB7's. Somebody has offered me some Tektro Aquila rotors/calipers as well but those appear to be more entry level.

Any advice? Are the cheaper brakes any good? If they are just heavier than the higher end rotors but still stop as well (or almost as well) that's not a problem since I won't be racing.
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Old 01-18-12, 01:15 PM   #2
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My room mate's Tri-cross came with BB5's. He got fed up with trying to adjust them and switched to BB7's. Something about pad adjustment only being on one side on the BB5's. I don't know the specifics as mine are hydraulic.
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Old 01-18-12, 01:41 PM   #3
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If you're going to get mechanical disc brakes, do it right the first time and get BB7's. I've never used BB5's but my BB7's have never given me any grief. I'm not exactly sure what all the differences are between BB5's and BB7's but I think the main difference is the adjustability. For the BB5's you can only adjust the pads on one side. BB7's on the other hand can be adjusted from both sides. I'm not sure if you can use road levers with BB7's though, maybe if you get the road version. I've only ever used them on my mountain bike with Avid SD-7 levers.

In short, get BB7's.
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Old 01-18-12, 02:01 PM   #4
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given your choice, go with BB7s.
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Old 01-18-12, 04:22 PM   #5
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I have bb5's on my SS Jabberwocky) and bb7's on my gearie (Bandersnatch),and I can tell you first hand,the bb7's are better brakes,easier to setup and just nicer to work with. Nothing wrong with the bb5's (especially if you get em at a screaming deal),just more fussy,they both stop well when properly adjusted (there's the fussy part I mentioned). FWFW,the reason I have both is I already had the bb5's when I built the Jabber,and needed another set of discs for the Bander (both are disc specific frames). Hopethathelpedsomewhat
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Old 01-18-12, 04:52 PM   #6
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...In short, get BB7's.
Yup.
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Old 01-19-12, 01:23 PM   #7
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bb7s. it's been said. whatever you do, just don't get shimano mech brakes. they are spongy as hell no matter how you set them up. if you will consider hyraulics, however, I strongly recommend Shimano for ease of maintenance. not as popular as Avid hydraulics, but they are open bath so you can bleed them yourself.
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Old 01-19-12, 02:38 PM   #8
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If you're choosing between BB7s and BB5s, opt for the BB7s. They're easier to adjust, have pads that last longer, and are worth the extra $$$.

Lots of folks run Avid's mechanical discs because they're inexpensive, but I run them because I prefer the feel. I've used hydraulic brakes from Avid, Hayes, and Shimano, and I always end up going back to BB7s.
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Old 01-19-12, 07:54 PM   #9
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BB7's aren't a very big step up in terms of a price, but are a pretty nice step up in terms of design and overall quality.

My bike came with BB5's. Avoid them. Constant adjustment will be required basically after every ride. The rotors that come with them are cheap too - come out of true a lot which can get really old. Spend the extra $$, believe me. I've since replaced with with Shimano SLX hydro's, which, needless to say, is a significant upgrade. But I found a good deal and wanted hydros.
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Old 01-19-12, 08:49 PM   #10
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BB7. Absolutely fine pieces of equipment.
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Old 01-19-12, 08:58 PM   #11
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Are squeaky brakes a symptom of the brakes being out of adjustment? Mine still stop perfectly but they howl like mad.
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Old 01-20-12, 07:08 AM   #12
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Are squeaky brakes a symptom of the brakes being out of adjustment? Mine still stop perfectly but they howl like mad.
clean them. rubbing alcohol on the rotor. if that doesn't work the pads are contaminated so you gotta take them out and burn the crap off with a propane torch until they glow red.
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Old 01-20-12, 08:12 AM   #13
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Doesn't necessarily mean the pads are contaminated...brakes are pretty much gonna squeal in the rain, and it also depends on the brake pad material. If you are running them in dry weather with no mud, and they still squeal like crazy then there is probably something wrong.

As to BB5 or BB7...they both work pretty good when properly set up. Like everyone said go with BB7 if you have the option, if not, the BB5 are not bad brakes. You just have to have a little bit of a mechanical touch to get them set up right..I have both brakes and the BB5 have never given me any trouble.

Edit: Forgot about OP bike having road bars lol..

Last edited by ShimmerFade; 01-20-12 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 01-20-12, 09:09 AM   #14
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Doesn't necessarily mean the pads are contaminated...brakes are pretty much gonna squeal in the rain, and it also depends on the brake pad material. If you are running them in dry weather with no mud, and they still squeal like crazy then there is probably something wrong.
this is disk brakes. if yours are loud in the rain, something's wrong. seriously, cleaning solved most of the problems. pads should be burned from time to time anyways as routine maintenance.
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Old 01-20-12, 12:27 PM   #15
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If you think so
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