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Tectro Spyre vs Avid BB7

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Tectro Spyre vs Avid BB7

Old 04-07-22, 03:31 AM
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utoner34
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Tectro Spyre vs Avid BB7

Anybody owned both of these brakes can provide first person experiences?

Mainly I am interested in which one are more powerful?

Spyre is dual piston so one would think this is the clue but is it?

Or are there any mechanical disk brakes out there that are even more powerful?
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Old 04-07-22, 06:55 AM
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I can only comment on the BB7. They work really well and are very durable, but can be a bit fiddly to get the pads properly positioned. Once the proper The Spyres get very good reviews. From what I have read, the Spyres are easier to set up due to both pads moving when brakes are engaged, ergo, they both are adjustable. It seems some of the efficiency is affected by what set up the bike has. Maybe looking at Youtube videos would help with the decision. Other than that, I guess the cost is a factor.

Which Discs for a Big Tour? - BB7 Road S vs. TRP Spyre
https://www.******.com/r/bicycling/c...or_trp_spyres/
https://www.velonews.com/gear/road-g...other-options/
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Old 04-07-22, 07:54 AM
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Both work... I like the spyre's better. the BB7's the plastic adjusty things break or fall off, and the stupid little convex washers dont hold up great to salt. BB7's are way easier to find used so I seem to end up with them on more bikes.
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Old 04-07-22, 09:26 AM
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One is perfect, the other is dinosaur tech with one pad moving. LOL. Yah the TRP costs 50% more I think. You get what you pay for.
The BB7 is seriously chunky and clunky, it's 15 mm wider. POS. Imagine trying to clean that if you are a mudder. I used a BB5 for years, it was nothing but pathetic.
I have a cable TRP Spyre on my Rohloff tour bike with a 203 mm disc. It's been working perfect with ZERO squeals for 4,600 miles. Can grab tight INSTANTLY every time. The bike is 120 lbs on tour. LOL. My mount is a DIY affair too for a track dropout. I have SA levers set to long pull. Another benefit is the TRP can be set with a big gap, no problem. The original pads are still on.
I actually goofed and bought a BB7 at first and never used it. Been trying to sell it at half price ever since.
My front wheels have a SA XL-FDD dyno drum brake. Been perfect for 29,000 troublefree miles. ZERO worries.
Hydro is needed like a hole in the head. LOL.

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Old 04-07-22, 09:43 AM
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Just to clarify, the BB5’s are single action and BB7’s are dual action. Spyres are dual action similar to BB7’s but their setup, adjustment, and performance is significantly better than the BB7’s. I have extensive experience with both.

A well adjusted set of Spyres perform as well as more expensive hydros in terms of braking power, modulation, and feel at the lever. Well adjusted Spyres perform better than lower end hydros, particularly when it comes to lever and modulation adjustment.
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Old 04-07-22, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by utoner34 View Post
Anybody owned both of these brakes can provide first person experiences?

Mainly I am interested in which one are more powerful?

Spyre is dual piston so one would think this is the clue but is it?

Or are there any mechanical disk brakes out there that are even more powerful?
Neither is more powerful than the other. I have Spykes rather than Spyres, as well as BB7, and Klampers. All three have the same stopping power. There are lots of mechanicals arenít quite as effective as those three but none really better.
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Old 04-07-22, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
Just to clarify, the BB5ís are single action and BB7ís are dual action. .
Both BB5s and BB7s are single piston/action.
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Old 04-07-22, 11:34 AM
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I've had BB7s on my bikes since about 2003. I needed the wet stopping capability and put up with the warped rotors and finicky adjustments. When Spyres came out I converted one of my bikes. OMG! They were so much better installing, no warping the rotors, and a ton less screeching when wet. I quickly converted my other bikes. Spyke/Spyres are no more powerful, but they work so much better I'm surprised that Avid can keep selling BB7s. It's even more astounding that in the years since Tektro came out with the dual-piston mechanical discs, Avid hasn't even bothered to improve their stuff.
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Old 04-07-22, 12:02 PM
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I don't know that it comes down to power - both systems will lock up your wheel without a problem. It comes down to modulation. I used BB7s on my MTB and, while they worked fine, I never really experienced the modulation that people raved about with disks, so I can only assume that hydraulic disks are even better. I did find that the BB7s were quite sensitive to cable condition - I think the return springs in the caliper levers weren't particularly strong, and if there was any resistance in the cables, they didn't always return cleanly. Could be my perception. The other issue is that cable-ops (at least BB7s) only have one moving pad - the other being stationary. So, when you brake, the moving pad has to contact the rotor and then push (ie bend) the rotor over to the stationary pad before you get full bite. Compare this to a system with two moving pads that (if set up correctly) provide a clean simultaneous bite on both sides of the disk - I suspect any difference in "feel" and modulation between single- and double-piston (either hydro or dual-piston cable-op) comes down to this fundamental difference.
That being said, I found the BB7s to be pretty effective and very easy to set up and adjust - while only one pad moves, both pads are independently adjustable with the red/orange dials on each side, so centering the rotor is very easy. My MTB used QRs rather than thru-axles, so reinstalling a wheel required the occasional recentering tweak - however, with the BB7s, this was an easy 10-second procedure.
I think if I was taking the disk route again, I would look at hydraulics, or at the very least some dual-piston cable-ops.

Last edited by Litespud; 04-07-22 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 04-07-22, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
Both BB5s and BB7s are single piston/action.
Youíre correct and I misspoke. BB5ís are single adjustable while BB7ís are dual adjustable (like Spyres).
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Old 04-07-22, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
Youíre correct and I misspoke. BB5ís are single adjustable while BB7ís are dual adjustable (like Spyres).
I guess you could say that BB7 are 'dual adjustable' in that the inner pad can be adjusted; but the inner pad does not move during braking. So BB7 are slightly easier to set up than BB5, but otherwise work the same. The caliper works by the outer pad bending the rotor until it contacts the inner pad. It's a recipe for warping the rotor out of true, and the more gap between the inner pad and the rotor, the worse the effect.
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Old 04-07-22, 07:25 PM
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I, too, have used BB7's on 3 bikes since 2003 and have been riding a bike with Spykes for a year and a half. BB7's have worked well but the Sprykes have been very quiet and over 5,000 miles have required no attention other than adjusting the pads, which I find easier on the Spykes.
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Old 04-07-22, 08:20 PM
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I have used both and would go Spryes all day every day over the BB7s the one thing SRAM/AVID has going for them are their mechanical brake levers that is about it for those two everything else I could live without but SD7s and SRAM drop bar brake levers and also TT brakes levers are fan-freakin'-tastic. It is like they figured that one niche out and then gave up

Spyres are so easy to use and like with any mechanical brake good pads, rotors cables and housing you can have some excellent stopping power. I am running mine with Jagwire Elite Link, KoolStop Pads and Shimango XT rotors and they are great. Wish I had better levers but alas Gevenalle uses some more meh Tektro levers (yes I know TRP is Tektro Racing Products) and I really like that concept and my homemade ones didn't work out when I tried it with some Paul thumbies and Sram Levers and don't want to go back to the drawing board on that one.
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Old 04-07-22, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
I guess you could say that BB7 are 'dual adjustable' in that the inner pad can be adjusted; but the inner pad does not move during braking. The caliper works by the outer pad bending the rotor until it contacts the inner pad. It's a recipe for warping the rotor out of true, and the more gap between the inner pad and the rotor, the worse the effect.
I would never choose to run BB7s, for exactly the reasons described above. On the one bike that I've had them on, I was either truing the rotor or re-centering the caliper constantly. The upside was that I learned how to do those things really well, but only because I'd had so much practice. Spyres, on the other hand, avoid these drawbacks by working like a hydraulic brake, with dual pad actuation. That's not to say that the lever feel and modulation are as good as good hydros, but I'd take Spyres over cheap hydros, and over any other cable disc brake. Bonus: they're stupid simple to set up.
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Old 04-08-22, 07:26 AM
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I've ridden extensively on BB7's, and helped a friend install and test his Spyres. I might choose the Spyres, but my touring bike came OEM with the Avid.

Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
... So BB7 are slightly easier to set up than BB5, but otherwise work the same.
I would avoid the BB5, of course -- having to recenter the caliper as the inner pad wears is too fiddly.

Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
... The [BB7] caliper works by the outer pad bending the rotor until it contacts the inner pad. It's a recipe for warping the rotor out of true, and the more gap between the inner pad and the rotor, the worse the effect.
Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
... On the one bike that I've had [BB7] on, I was either truing the rotor or re-centering the caliper constantly. The upside was that I learned how to do those things really well, but only because I'd had so much practice. ...
As these two point out, minimizing the gap on the inner pad of the BB7 is crucial to good performance; a big gap will bend the rotor and make braking feel spongey. For BB7s, you will likely need the tool and skills to true your rotors from time to time. However, I don't find this skill exclusive to BB7; I have had to true rotors on my road hydros as well -- rotors can easily go out of true from heat under hard braking or from hard knocks when taking the wheel in and out.

(Admittedly, I went years without truing rotors, dealing with squeaky braking and rotor rub. A rotor truing tool is one that, now that I have it, I find indispensable.)
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Old 04-08-22, 08:03 AM
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I switched from BB7 to Spyre because the BB7 was too chunky and I couldn't fit a rack anywhere near it. The Spyres are WAY more svelte, the outer edge has to be almost 20mm further inboard than the BB7. My rack fit just fine over the Spyres.

I really liked that switching from BB7 to Spyres on my bike was plug and play. I didn't even have to remove the cable ends.

I haven't found the braking to be any better with the Spyres, but I am doing a LOT less fiddling and adjusting now.
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Old 04-08-22, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Velogoth View Post
I switched from BB7 to Spyre because the BB7 was too chunky and I couldn't fit a rack anywhere near it. The Spyres are WAY more svelte, the outer edge has to be almost 20mm further inboard than the BB7. My rack fit just fine over the Spyres.

I really liked that switching from BB7 to Spyres on my bike was plug and play. I didn't even have to remove the cable ends.

I haven't found the braking to be any better with the Spyres, but I am doing a LOT less fiddling and adjusting now.
I have BB7's on one of my bikes and have never liked how fiddly they are. Is it as easy as just getting the Spyre calipers and swapping them out with the avids?
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Old 04-08-22, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Neither is more powerful than the other. I have Spykes rather than Spyres, as well as BB7, and Klampers. All three have the same stopping power. There are lots of mechanicals arenít quite as effective as those three but none really better.
I only used BB7s and don't have any experience with other brands of mechanicals....If the stopping power is the same for all mechanical disk brakes, then what are are the advantages of the more expensive Spyres and Klampers over BB7s ??
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Old 04-08-22, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I have BB7's on one of my bikes and have never liked how fiddly they are. Is it as easy as just getting the Spyre calipers and swapping them out with the avids?
Yes, it's a super-easy conversion. One criticism I've heard about the Sypres is that they don't come with cone washers. I re-used the washers from the BB7, without even checking to see if they were needed. They probably weren't.

My trike, which I've ridden like twice, has BB5. I'm sure if I start using it more I won't have the patience to keep up with adjustments; but for now it's OK the way it is.
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Old 04-08-22, 09:05 AM
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If I'm making the switch is there any reason I shouldn't just go with the HY/RD's?
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Old 04-08-22, 09:05 AM
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I guess I am going to stay on tectro then. I already own them on one bike but I will bee needing them for my another bike.
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Old 04-08-22, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
If the stopping power is the same for all mechanical disk brakes...
No one has said this.

Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
...then what are are the advantages of the more expensive Spyres and Klampers over BB7s ??
Several posts have enumerated the advantages of Spyres over BB7s, if you'll bother to read them. Klampers aren't really part of the discussion; this thread is about BB7s and Spyres, as the title states.

Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I only used BB7s and don't have any experience with other brands of mechanicals
So obviously you were trolling (as usual) when you dropped this turd back in February:

Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
BB7s are the original and the best, everything else is just trying to re-invent a wheel.

Last edited by Rolla; 04-08-22 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 04-08-22, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I only used BB7s and don't have any experience with other brands of mechanicals....If the stopping power is the same for all mechanical disk brakes, then what are are the advantages of the more expensive Spyres and Klampers over BB7s ??
Nothing super significant, really. Spykes and Spyres work more like a hydraulic brake but they arenít perfect. They have two pivots which means more points of failure. The pad adjustment is an aluminum screw that is easily damaged and, in my case, installed far too tight from the factory. (That problem seems to have been fixed after I contacted them about the problem and received a nice email thanking me for the heads up.) The caliper body is centered over the rotor which puts the body closer to the spokes. The TRPs also have to be physically adjusted for wear just like any mechanical. That, however, has never been a problem for me. I have yet to replace pads in any disc brake Iíve owned.

The Klampers are extremely robust. They are easy to rebuild and adjustÖfar easier than BB7s (the adjustment wheel works properly without ripping your fingers up). The brake arm can be replaced so that the brakes work with either long or short pull levers. They are also made in the US. You can sometimes get them in bright colors.

But are they worth twice as much as BB7s? Probably not. They are excellent brakes but so areTRP and BB7. All three are strong enough to stop a bike but, in my opinion, so is any rim brake.
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Old 04-08-22, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
No one has said this.
I did say just that. Braking with any brakeÖhydraulic disc, mechanical disc, side pull rim, cantilever rim, or linear brake rimÖis more about how to use them than what to use. Iíve mountain biked, road biked at 50+ mph off mountain roads, ridden loaded touring bikes at 50 mph down mountains in the rain, tandemed, etc. with all of them and never felt that the brakes were insufficient. The touring bike scenario was done with cantilevers.

I have used both of the brakes in question (as well as the Klampers). They are all good brakes but one isnít far superior in stopping power to the others.
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Old 04-08-22, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I have BB7's on one of my bikes and have never liked how fiddly they are. Is it as easy as just getting the Spyre calipers and swapping them out with the avids?
It was for me. I don't have enough experience to say whether it will be in every case, but I don't see why it wouldn't be.

Originally Posted by kingston View Post
If I'm making the switch is there any reason I shouldn't just go with the HY/RD's?
These have all of the failure modes of mechanical plus all the failure modes of hydraulic. Is it worth the extra weight/cost/maintenance/risk to get marginally better performance? It's still not as good as full hydraulic from what I've heard. That's your call but for me it was an easy no.
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