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  1. #1
    Tandem Mountain Climber
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    Mar 2007
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    San Mateo, CA
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    Calfee Tandem, Custom CAAD9 BB30, 90 Santana Arriva Tandem, 02 CAAD4 errand bike, 87 Cannondale "Black Lightning"
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    Reminder: Avid BB7 Caliper Maintenance

    So I bought some replacement plastic adjuster pieces to replace the old melted ones, and also got some new stainless steel mounting bolts with positioning system (as opposed to the standard black coated ones).

    Plastic pieces: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...10&category=20
    SS Mounting bolts/system: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...30&category=20

    I've never had a BB7 caliper fully disassembled. So tonight I took the whole thing apart to see (1) exactly how it works and (2) if anything could use maintenance.

    Inside the mechanisms are pretty simple. There are 3 ball bearings that ride up/down tapered ramps to push the piston in/out, a spring to load of the arm, etc.

    Inside everything was caked in brake dust, so I cleaned everything (including the bearings and ramps and lubed them lightly with pro-link oil. I did not use grease, since I wouldn't want it getting out and on to the pads/rotor, and because there was not grease on there before.

    Also, there is a nut behind the outboard pad adjustment knob that holds the arm onto the piston. Mine was not loose, but there was not very much torque on it. I tightened it a bit more than it was.

    Afterward, the arm actuation seemed smoother with the clean bearings/surfaces and with less lateral play.

    Just something to think about doing every year or so.



  2. #2
    PMK
    PMK is offline
    Senior Member PMK's Avatar
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    May 2008
    Location
    Royal Palm Beach, Florida
    My Bikes
    2006 Co-Motion Roadster (Flat Bars, Discs, Carbon Fork), Some 1/2 bikes and a couple of KTM's
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    Agree, the arm retention nut on all of our tandems has been less than secure. I found that tightening the nut with a slight load applied to the brakes ensured the arm was seated in the correct position.

    This tandem group is often a by the book group. So to keep the engineers content, this is the official, current revision for this date, set of manuals for the brakes. Not only is overhaul located here, but also replacing the brake pads and pad break in procedures.

    http://cdn.sram.com/cdn/farfuture/bN...l_bb7__bb5.pdf

    We have very good results with our BB7m brakes. One concern that has happened with ours is that over time the caliper position can creep in the spherical mounts. Nothing bad or dangerous, just minor brake rub. Last night while making some changes to the bike, I installed billet brake caliper adapters, and omitted the under fastener head spherical seats. I attempted to run just spacers but did not have spacers of the proper outside diameter. Not ridden it yet, but the brakes have a more solid feel, similar to freshly bled brakes on a motorcycle with degassed fluid.

    This link is from when I found the actuator arm working loose on the off-road tandem.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/tandem-mounta...7s-694084.html

    PK
    Last edited by PMK; 04-21-12 at 07:01 AM.
    2006 Co-Motion Roadster, flat bars, discs and carbon fibre fork, size 22 / 19
    2006 Ventana ECDM full suspension mountain tandem
    Some single bikes and a couple of KTM's
    And most important, someone special that enjoys them with me (except the KTM's)

  3. #3
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
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    Hollister, CA
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    This is a very timely thread. We have 8000 miles on our tandem (rear disc) and my single has two BB7. Now that I'm running a Shimano ICE rotor my LBS suggested I might adjust the alignment frequently to minimize rotor deflection. It's an easy procedure and I'm going to do it this weekend. The disassembly and clearning also sounds very, very worthwhile. Another tip I got from Bryon at Crank-2 is to use a torx T-25 to adjust the inner pad. That inside adjuster is a real pain.

    I'll order some spare parts this weekend. Thanks!
    Rick T
    --------
    Volagi - Triple"ized" and Tubeless
    daVinci Joint Venture

  4. #4
    PMK
    PMK is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
    This is a very timely thread. We have 8000 miles on our tandem (rear disc) and my single has two BB7. Now that I'm running a Shimano ICE rotor my LBS suggested I might adjust the alignment frequently to minimize rotor deflection. It's an easy procedure and I'm going to do it this weekend. The disassembly and clearning also sounds very, very worthwhile. Another tip I got from Bryon at Crank-2 is to use a torx T-25 to adjust the inner pad. That inside adjuster is a real pain.

    I'll order some spare parts this weekend. Thanks!
    FWIW, if you lubricate the threads on the inboard adjuster, normally you won't need the wrench. Also, FWIW, the Torx wrench is supplied by Avid with the brake kits. We carry one in the tools on all the tandems.

    PK
    2006 Co-Motion Roadster, flat bars, discs and carbon fibre fork, size 22 / 19
    2006 Ventana ECDM full suspension mountain tandem
    Some single bikes and a couple of KTM's
    And most important, someone special that enjoys them with me (except the KTM's)

  5. #5
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Did the first long ride yesterday with the ICE rotor. Stopping is uneventful and I clearly have more brake available at lower brake lever pressure. Pulling into the rest stop after the only big descent I did experience quite a screech from the rotor, but I'm attributing that to things bedding in; I'll clean the rotor tonight. Adjusting the BB7 mounts no doubt helped, but I see a significant improvement over the steel Avid rotor. I may even consider trying a pair of these on the Volagi, although the stock setup does seem to work very well.
    Rick T
    --------
    Volagi - Triple"ized" and Tubeless
    daVinci Joint Venture

  6. #6
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
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    Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
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    Calfee Tetra Tandem, Specialized Tarmac SL4 S-Works, other misc Road & MTB singles
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    Not a lot of mileage on ours yet, just a couple short rides. Stock BB7 components (incl pads) + ICE rotor is working very well w/o excessive noise, albeit no killer descents yet...

    Last edited by twocicle; 04-30-12 at 01:21 PM.

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