Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  

Go Back   > >

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.

User Tag List

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-17-11, 05:16 PM   #1
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Avid BB5s not braking well


I recently bought a used 2008 Cannondale Bad Boy Ultra from a colleague. The bike is 3 years old, but basically new (he said he's ridden it only about a dozen times, and by the looks of it that's true).

The Bad Boy has Avid BB5 mechanical disc brakes with 160 mm discs. Initially, their brake power was abysmal, comparable to the side-pull brakes of a cheap bike from the 60s or 70s. I took the pads out, and they had a slight coat of rust on them (I suppose that the discs got a bit rusty, and braking transferred the rust onto the pads). To give you an idea, it was absolutely impossible to get the rear wheel to skid, even when leaning forward on the bike and squeezing the brake as hard as possible.

I then sanded the pads until they looked good again, and also (lightly) sanded the discs and cleaned them with alcohol. This improved the brake power a bit, but I'm very disappointed.

I'm not expecting to get the same braking power as from the (much more expensive) hydro brakes on my MTB, but it's still pretty bad. I cannot get the rear wheel to skid when sitting on the saddle even when squeezing the brakes like crazy (it's not my hands, I'm pretty fit), and the front brake isn't any better. In comparison, the side-pull brakes on my road bike (105) are at least twice as strong.

Is this what I can expect from BB5s, or are they just crappy brakes? I kind of expected "better than road bike" performance from discs; are the brake pads ruined, and should I change them? Or should I upgrade to hydraulic disc brakes?

Money isn't so much of an issue, so getting some Juicy 3s (or something in that class) wouldn't be out of the question, but I don't feel I need hydraulics for what's I effectively use to go around town and short tours. So if possible I'd just make the BB5s work somehow.
aarider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-11, 05:34 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: boston, ma
Posts: 2,869
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
pads still need bedding in or they are contaminated. black streaks on rotors? power should be pretty good
reptilezs is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

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

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:42 AM.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
  • Ask a Question
    get answers from real people!
Click to start entering your question.