Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Avid BB5 disc brakes not staying dialed in

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Avid BB5 disc brakes not staying dialed in

Old 08-29-16, 06:23 PM
  #1  
dobozban
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Avid BB5 disc brakes not staying dialed in

Hello,

I am touring fully loaded on a Montague Navigator mountain bike. I replaced the stock disc brakes with Avid BB5s, but have been having some trouble keeping them dialed in. I have adjusted them a couple times using the business card method (BCM?) and that has worked pretty well, but the inboard red cap adjustment dial doesn't seem to be staying in place. I'll tighten it down to be nice and snappy, but within a few brake applications it seems to drift back out and lose its effectiveness. I have this issue on both brakes, but the front is by far the worst. I remains effective enough not to mess with in on average terrain, but I always have to remember to tighten it up before downing a big hill.

Has anyone else had this issue?

Is there some way I can tighten it up so that it doesn't dial out so quickly? I like being able to hand tighten it, but would be happy to use the torx if it meant having reliable brakes.

I am open to recommendations for better mechanical disc brakes and might upgrade to BB7s if I can find them for a reasonable price here, but I'm in Colombia heading south and so access to brands can be a bit of an issue.

Thank you.
dobozban is offline  
Old 08-30-16, 02:02 AM
  #2  
dabac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,036
Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 861 Post(s)
Liked 33 Times in 28 Posts
Are you sure its the adjuster and not the caliper moving?
dabac is offline  
Old 08-30-16, 08:46 AM
  #3  
leob1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Middle of the road, NJ
Posts: 3,027
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 239 Post(s)
Liked 38 Times in 26 Posts
Are you using compressionless housing?
leob1 is offline  
Old 08-30-16, 11:14 AM
  #4  
dobozban
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by dabac View Post
Are you sure its the adjuster and not the caliper moving?
Fairly certain... see below.

Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
It's not in front of me or anyone else.. so I Guess..

1) Brake pads wear , it's a given.
Obviously not a pad wear issue. As I said, "within a few brake applications it seems to drift back out and lose its effectiveness." If it were wearing down that quickly I'd have changed pads 50 times already.

Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
2) There are better pads than stock Avid.
The pads work fine when they are properly aligned, although I'm always open to suggestions for improvement from anyone who has personal experience with specific others.

Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
3) you keeping all bolts tight enough, by checking regularly..
Yes, and I've remounted the unit a couple of times and, as I mentioned, used the BCM.

Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Which pad is going out of adjustment? have you looked carefully?

Inner pad wear adjustment is the knob or Torx screw in the center.. Or cable arm anchor bolt, swing on the cable.

Outer pad wear adjuster is the cable adjuster on the BB5..
I check it every time. It's always the inner pad getting backed up almost to the point of scraping. It happens very quickly between adjustments, so it is definitely not the pad wearing down. Luckily it stops just short of scraping, so I can continue to use it. The outer pad rarely needs adjusting, which is as I would expect.

Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Maybe there are internal parts loose, IDK, try a Columbian Bike Shop.
Perhaps. I intend to take the unit apart as described in another thread here and check it out before I take it to a LBS. I have generally found that most mechanics are pretty clueless when it comes to such issues and often hack it up worse than it was, so I use them as a last resort. I'm near Medellin, so if I can't get it sorted out myself, I'll try to find a shop that knows what they're doing. Cycling is actually very popular here and there are a lot of rich people with insanely expensive mountain bikes, so I should be able to find a good one somewhere, although I find the infinite wisdom of the intewebs to usually surpass the limited experience of a random locale. I posted here with the hopes that someone might have had similar issues. That doesn't seem to be the case, but I do appreciate all the ideas.

Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Next ...
Indeed.

Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
BB5 was the Avid Design when SRAM took over the brand, BB7 was the redesign, model

once SRAM had TW Factories ..

BB7 will cost more get another BB5.

you set up/Plan any Poste Restante package delivery stops, Ahead?
You don't think the BB7 is better enough to justify the cost? I'm happy to shell out a bit of dough on better components, especially with brakes. We're saving plenty by sleeping in farmers' potato sheds!

I have used Poste Restante in the past, but our routing and timeline generally are not fixed enough to rely on it, nor do I always trust the postal workers of some of the countries through which we're passing. Usually we have things sent to a friend or Warm Showers we know we'll be visiting. So far so good.
dobozban is offline  
Old 08-30-16, 11:16 AM
  #5  
dobozban
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
Are you using compressionless housing?
I am not, although I do not believe that would make a difference with respect to this specific problem. It is the inner pad that is backing out. I don't really have any problem with the outer pad. Although I may consider switching to have snappier braking once I figure this problem out.
dobozban is offline  
Old 08-30-16, 11:38 AM
  #6  
Mr IGH
afraid of whales
 
Mr IGH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Front Range, CO
Posts: 4,306
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 347 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Set up the calipers as done in this video and you'll get BB5s to work OK. As the pads wear you'll need to do the video's procedure to compensate for pad wear, the BB5's inner pad is fixed. The advantage of the BB7 is once set up correctly you can adjust both the inner and outer pads independently.

Mr IGH is offline  
Old 08-30-16, 11:44 AM
  #7  
Mr IGH
afraid of whales
 
Mr IGH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Front Range, CO
Posts: 4,306
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 347 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
Are you using compressionless housing?
Compressionless housing just stiffens the brake's pull and destroys any chance for "feel" and progression. The only possible advantage is compensating for weak hand grip strength. One of the worst recommendations I've seen for mechanical disc brakes....
Mr IGH is offline  
Old 08-30-16, 12:27 PM
  #8  
dobozban
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
Set up the calipers as done in this video and you'll get BB5s to work OK. As the pads wear you'll need to do the video's procedure to compensate for pad wear, the BB5's inner pad is fixed. The advantage of the BB7 is once set up correctly you can adjust both the inner and outer pads independently.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NasGJFtgq0A
Thank you, but I know how to set up my calipers and adjust for pad wear and those are not the issue. I've readjusted my caliper position several times. It is not pad wear because the inboard pushes back out within minutes or hours of dialing in.
dobozban is offline  
Old 08-30-16, 01:30 PM
  #9  
Berg417448
Troublemaker
 
Berg417448's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Earth
Posts: 428

Bikes: Yes. The more the better.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 6 Posts
In my experience BB7s are much better than BB5s and are worth the price difference. I had one bike that I simply could not get adjusted properly with the BB5s. Switching to BB7s solved the problem.
Berg417448 is offline  
Old 08-30-16, 03:37 PM
  #10  
dsaul
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,317
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 359 Post(s)
Liked 114 Times in 87 Posts
Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
Compressionless housing just stiffens the brake's pull and destroys any chance for "feel" and progression. The only possible advantage is compensating for weak hand grip strength. One of the worst recommendations I've seen for mechanical disc brakes....
It has nothing to do with hand strength. It has everything to do with achieving an adequate level of braking force before the lever hits the bar. You can get away with the spongy lever feel on a front brake, but you must have never used a full length housing on a rear mechanical disc brake.
dsaul is offline  
Old 08-31-16, 08:21 AM
  #11  
speedy25
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: NE oHIo
Posts: 932

Bikes: Specialized, Trek, Diamondback, Schwinn, Peugeot

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 113 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Have you marked the adjuster with chalk or paint pen to see if it really IS moving? I understand your dilemna but not sure whats really happening. All of my disk brake bikes have been adjustment free after I adjusted them correctly. I think you have taken the care to make yours just right as well.

-SP
speedy25 is offline  
Old 08-31-16, 10:15 AM
  #12  
Mr IGH
afraid of whales
 
Mr IGH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Front Range, CO
Posts: 4,306
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 347 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by dsaul View Post
...you must have never used a full length housing on a rear mechanical disc brake.
Let's see, my mountain bike has BB7s with full housing, my Moonlander has BB7s with full housing and my Soma Saga disc has road BB7s with full housing. All of them lock up the rear wheel before the lever hits the bars. Avid levers on the MTB, Shimano levers on the Moonlander and Cane Creek road levers (short pull) on the Saga.

All of them running Avid standard brake housing 5mm with Avid stainless cable. Not to mention several older bikes long gone running BB7s with standard housing with a variety of levers (including long pull Cane Creel road levers).

Hmmm, maybe you're wrong and don't know how to set up your brakes correctly......

Last edited by Mr IGH; 08-31-16 at 10:19 AM.
Mr IGH is offline  
Old 08-31-16, 10:18 AM
  #13  
Mr IGH
afraid of whales
 
Mr IGH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Front Range, CO
Posts: 4,306
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 347 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by dobozban View Post
Thank you, but I know how to set up my calipers and adjust for pad wear and those are not the issue. I've readjusted my caliper position several times. It is not pad wear because the inboard pushes back out within minutes or hours of dialing in.
OK, then there's something wrong with the calipers. If you can source BB7s at this point in your trip, I'd swap them out ASAP and follow the video procedure exactly. There's millions of satisfied BB7 users, including myself, so you can get them to work correctly.
Mr IGH is offline  
Old 08-31-16, 01:23 PM
  #14  
dsaul
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,317
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 359 Post(s)
Liked 114 Times in 87 Posts
Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
All of them running Avid standard brake housing 5mm with Avid stainless cable.
Avid brake housing IS compressionless housing.
dsaul is offline  
Old 08-31-16, 02:15 PM
  #15  
dobozban
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by speedy25 View Post
Have you marked the adjuster with chalk or paint pen to see if it really IS moving? I understand your dilemna but not sure whats really happening. All of my disk brake bikes have been adjustment free after I adjusted them correctly. I think you have taken the care to make yours just right as well.

-SP
That's a good idea. I am certain though that the pad is moving WRT the disc. I'm not sure if it's possible to back out without the caliper or dial moving.
dobozban is offline  
Old 08-31-16, 02:20 PM
  #16  
Mr IGH
afraid of whales
 
Mr IGH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Front Range, CO
Posts: 4,306
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 347 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by dsaul View Post
Avid brake housing IS compressionless housing.
Sorry, my mistake, I'm using Jagwire brake housing, it compresses very well and contributes "feel" the the brake system:
https://www.universalcycles.com/shop...=78&category=7
Mr IGH is offline  
Old 08-31-16, 02:24 PM
  #17  
dobozban
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Well, I suspect Rim Brakes would have been better choice , for you, than Disc brakes , for your Tour rig..
Nah, I'd go with discs again if I had the choice. I love the disc brakes, aside from this one issue. My wife has rim brakes and in the places we ride the benefits of the discs outweigh the drawbacks, which is pretty much just this annoyance which is more of a nuisance than a disaster. I'm always waiting for her rims to cool down on massive 15% descents and the amount of cleaning she has to do would drive me nuts. Of course, on those same descents I have to make sure I'm dialed in or they'll be peeling me off the rocks at the bottom of some chasm! It's a horse apiece.
dobozban is offline  
Old 08-31-16, 02:25 PM
  #18  
dobozban
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
Sorry, my mistake, I'm using Jagwire brake housing, it compresses very well and contributes "feel" the the brake system:
https://www.universalcycles.com/shop...=78&category=7
I'd use that housing for the name alone.
dobozban is offline  
Old 08-31-16, 02:29 PM
  #19  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,365

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6983 Post(s)
Liked 356 Times in 273 Posts
Originally Posted by dobozban View Post
Nah, I'd go with discs again if I had the choice. I love the disc brakes, aside from this one issue. My wife has rim brakes and in the places we ride the benefits of the discs outweigh the drawbacks, which is pretty much just this annoyance which is more of a nuisance than a disaster. I'm always waiting for her rims to cool down on massive 15% descents and the amount of cleaning she has to do would drive me nuts. Of course, on those same descents I have to make sure I'm dialed in or they'll be peeling me off the rocks at the bottom of some chasm! It's a horse apiece.
Would you be mechanically competent to fix them in the Middle of Columbia, with out asking the internet
to help make you a Mechanic in the middle of a trip?


< i was speaking largely to the spectators , an Un less people say i writing , i cannot guess.

Every small part of Avid Brakes are stocked at the dealer wholesaler aat QBP, in MN or its warehouses ,

Perhaps you set up a Mail drop with a Shop or friend , back Home? It would have been helpful to you Now.


then someone can mail you a whole new brake caliper , general delivery.




./.

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-02-16 at 10:01 AM.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 08-31-16, 03:54 PM
  #20  
dobozban
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Would you be mechanically competent to fix them in the Middle of Columbia, with out asking the internet
to help make you a Mechanic in the middle of a trip?
I know how to work on my bike and even if I didn't that wouldn't keep me from touring. Most tourers can barely change a flat much less repack a hub, but that doesn't keep them from exploring the world in the best way possible. You're never more than a long thumb from a shop. I'm sure I could work out whatever problem I had on my own if I had to, but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to start taking things apart before consulting more appropriate resources than trial and error. I came to find out if someone has had a similar problem or might know of a trick that would obviate the need to take the unit apart. I think my initial post makes it pretty clear that that I have at least a reasonable working knowledge about the system I am using and, per the TOC, that I have searched if anyone else has posted the same problem and that I am trying to expand my knowledge by seeking out others who have additional firsthand experience. I thought that was the point of a forum that has in its description, "If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here..." I don't really understand the rude and condescending attitude from you from your first response. It seems contrary to the overwhelmingly friendly attitude I remember from my time living in Oregon. Did I somehow break the TOC? It's not as if I posted some silly "help me!!" post. Is that how all new posters are treated here?

You've obviously put a lot of time and effort into helping people in this community. I imagine you get a lot of shmoes who don't even bother to do a simple Google search before coming on asking ridiculous questions like, "how do I change a cable??" I'm sure a lot of them would ask you to come over and do it for you, if they could. I get it, I get annoyed when I see people being totally lazy and trying to get others to do their work for them or taking blatant advantage of a community into which I've dedicated a lot of love, but I also get annoyed by being treated dismissively when I make an effort not to waste the time of others. So I apologize if I was overly curt with my response to your suggestions, but I did not feel they were appropriate given the original post.

Now, please excuse me. I have a bike to overhaul. I will provide updates for those who are interested.
dobozban is offline  
Old 09-01-16, 08:52 AM
  #21  
Mr IGH
afraid of whales
 
Mr IGH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Front Range, CO
Posts: 4,306
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 347 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by dobozban View Post
You've obviously put a lot of time and effort into helping people in this community....
Bob is more like a heckler/bomb thrower rather than advice giver. His standard lines are, "You aren't qualified, go to a bike shop." and "You need really expensive stuff.". I put him on ignore a few years ago and the forum is a better place....
Mr IGH is offline  
Old 09-01-16, 08:31 PM
  #22  
sknhgy 
Dirt Bomb
 
sknhgy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Illinois
Posts: 2,742
Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2507 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 12 Posts
My Rockhopper came with BB5's. I highly recommend upgrading to BB7's. They just work way better. Very noticeable improvement.
It was an easy procedure. Shouldn't be a problem as long as you can find a clean, quiet place to work. It cost me around $65.
I found a procedure on the internet and followed it without a hitch. Made me feel very manly.
I upgraded my rotors as well. Rockhoppers come with trashy components.

You will need a torque wrench - or not. I recommend one, though.
__________________
more cops have been killed by donuts than guns in chicago it is a medical fact ask any doctor.

Last edited by sknhgy; 09-01-16 at 08:46 PM.
sknhgy is offline  
Old 09-02-16, 10:05 AM
  #23  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,365

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6983 Post(s)
Liked 356 Times in 273 Posts
Walk into the shop in my town and some things get fixed from parts on hand
or they cannibalize Bikes off the floor , sell those then get the replacements from their wholesalers

Some stuff you just have to wait.. broken drive cogs for belt drive drivetrains , as an example.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 09-02-16, 08:00 PM
  #24  
dobozban
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
My Rockhopper came with BB5's. I highly recommend upgrading to BB7's. They just work way better. Very noticeable improvement.
It was an easy procedure. Shouldn't be a problem as long as you can find a clean, quiet place to work. It cost me around $65.
I found a procedure on the internet and followed it without a hitch. Made me feel very manly.
I upgraded my rotors as well. Rockhoppers come with trashy components.

You will need a torque wrench - or not. I recommend one, though.
Ohh, a torque wrench would be a dream come true.

You're lucky you had BB5s. Mine came with some chintzy plastic ones that started splitting after a couple hundred miles and broke the cable before I got around to changing them. I just went ahead and bought some spare pads, so I'm with them for a bit, but I'll definitely consider the upgrade when those run out.
dobozban is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Thadcorn
Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational)
21
11-25-15 05:57 PM
pakossa
Mountain Biking
4
02-13-13 07:05 AM
chefisaac
Bicycle Mechanics
5
08-02-12 07:30 AM
mi77915
Bicycle Mechanics
15
06-14-12 09:27 PM
rbnfrance
Bicycle Mechanics
5
08-30-11 11:27 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.