Old 01-09-19, 06:28 AM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Royal Palm Beach, Florida
Posts: 1,229

Bikes: 2006 Co-Motion Roadster (Flat Bars, Discs, Carbon Fork), Some 1/2 bikes and a couple of KTM's

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Avid BB7 brakes can work very well. Recently I just purchased a used single bike with them. The previous owner had done a poor and incorrect installation in regards to mounting the caliper brackets and the calipers to the frame / fork.

I assume the caliper brackets are installed correctly, are the correct size relative to the disc and are for the correct location.

Often, when installing the calipers themselves, the caliper is positioned too far outboard. Possible reasons are the frame or fork tab placement / location mandates a couple of shims to reposition the caliper bracket inboard more, or simply time was not taken in regards to endure the calipers inboard edge is not acting as the braking friction surface. In short, when the brake is applied, the disc could be rubbing the caliper and not truly contacting the brake pad itself.

As routine maintenance, regardless of hydraulic or mechanical brakes, it is advisable to clean the friction surfaces. I know that alcohol is often the recommended cleaner of choice, but honestly it is inferior to proper brake products such as Brake Cleaner from the auto parts store.

Use safety protection as needed.

Being lazy, you might try a clean cloth, dampened in brake cleaner, then wip the disc surface while rotating the the disc.

I may do the disc wipe at an event or as needed.

Ideally, and this is not difficult, learn to remove the brake pads, and without changing their locations, use the brake cleaner to wash the brake pads.

The best stopping power is from metalic pads. Organic pads can work, but are not as powerful. Over the years, I have tried / tested various pad setups, typically on our Ventana mountain tandem. I find that oem Avid pads work very well. Similar in performance are EBC metalic pads. Pretty certain the EBC is HH compound but I may have that confused with moto stuff.

If I had one complaint regarding Avid BB brakes, it is the spring that acts as an anti vibration / anti rattle device between the pads. As a spring it works fine. However, at the tip of each finger on the spring is an audible wear indicator. If you use the audible indicator to replace brake pads, they still retain a lot of life that is wasted. With that said, I typically use needle nose pliers and straigthen the audible indicator to disable it.

As a last consideration, understand that there are differences between Avid BB brakes. Avid offers BB7m or even the newer series BB75m for mountain bikes.

BB7r is the road version. The difference is the helix that actuates the brakes. The helix profile determines the brake lever to be used.

The very early Avid brakes, and you may have these tended to like an added return spring. My opinion is they are not as nice as the later versions. Newer versions also have adjustable spring force capability and do not require added springs provided the cable is good / clean.
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