Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking Gear Reviews and Roundups





Balfa BB7 Frameset

4.72/5 (47 Reviews)
Weight : 9.5 lbs

Product Description

Balfa BB7

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Reviews 1 - 15 (47 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by DH.FR.0ne a Weekend Warrior from UK

Date Reviewed: May 30, 2011

Strengths:    Huge travel, parallel trajectory, confident, reliable, indestructable - an awesome downhiller

Weaknesses:    One thing ----> weight, and lots of it.

Bottom Line:   
The bikes suspension design is monumental, it will literally ride down anything. Front and rear suspension work perfectly together so the bike is stable and predictable. Great at speed.
Its a good looker too. Built strong you'd struggle to break it in any way.
The only downside is weight. I dont find it an issue while riding, the push up sucks but its well worth the ride down.
Id recommend it to anyone.

Also despite it being out of production since 2005 Balfa UK still make the link plates and chain pulley. Ideal as the bb7 can still compete with this generation of downhillers- why get a new bike when you could keep a legend going?

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   SuperTavi DH

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   Solid Mission 9, Kona Coiler, Kona 5-0, Saracen Raw2 (mod), Norco A line.

Bike Setup:   2004 Balfa bb7, Marzocchi Shiver DC, Fox VanRC, FSA moto, Chris King headset, Avid juicy 7, Sram X7, WTB laserdisc DH w/ timberwolf tyres.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by yzrider927 a Downhiller from Colorado

Date Reviewed: July 22, 2009

Strengths:    huge travel> does drops at high speed, strong frame doesnt brake easily easy to maintain

Weaknesses:    really heavy not the best for riding aroung town fing jumps and drops.

Bottom Line:   
great bike love it fits my budget. if you have money get somethin different. if your hurtin for money great bike to have

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   money

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $650.00

Purchased At:   Pink Bike

Similar Products Used:   foes, kona, rocky mountain

Bike Setup:   Manitou Dorado Fork, Hayes brakes in great working order, = required fieldIntense mag 30 rear wheel, Mavric DB21 front wheel, Protaper bars with MRD clamp, king headset, Maxxis and michelin tubeless tires

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by wooyek a Downhiller from Poland

Date Reviewed: January 27, 2009

Strengths:    - High pivot suspension design - frame soaks up sharp-edged objects at every speed, maintains momentum very well;
- No pedal kickback - chain growth is close to none;
- Constant wheelbase - it's predictable and you can push the suspension for extra stability;
- Very stable and forgiving at higher speed and while jumping;
- Low centre of gravity - rails corners;
- Fairly low standover height - inspiring confidence, especially for smaller riders;
- Simplicity and predictable feel of single pivot bike;
- Sturdy, built to last for ages;
- Suitable for racing as well as freeriding;
- Well, it's a classic!

Weaknesses:    - Sluggish handling when speed drops (it slightly gets better when the shock is mounted in steeper, "FR" position but then high speed handling is compromised);
- Rather on the heavy side;
- Some design issues (shock reservoir hitting the linkage, chain device decreasing tyre clearance - see "Technical data");
- Prone to brake-jack (as any single pivot; fixed by floating caliper set);
- Rear end is rather flexy;
- Poor pedalling efficiency- this bike goes only when pointed down the hill;
- Restricted access to rear shock adjustments - unscrewing upper mount is often needed.

Bottom Line:   
It's out-of-the-crowd design really turns out to provide outstanding performance on the trail/track. The only REAL downside is slow handling at low speed, but since speeded up, this thing rails the corners and gives extra stability on straights and in the air.

Design of this bike is so unique, that despite being out of production for 3 years, it still hasn't real competition on the market. Only Appalache Real, it's successor, could beat it (and actually does).

If you want any information and data about the BB7, visit unofficial website:

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Giant AC, Norco Shore and some short rides on real DH rigs.

Bike Setup:   Marzocchi 888RC, Manitou Swinger 6-Way, Saint, Profile Racing etc.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Brian a Downhiller from San Ramon, Ca, USA

Date Reviewed: December 30, 2007

Strengths:    No lateral flex, perfect geometry for 30-plus mph, monster-trucks over anything in it's path, low center of gravity, drifts nicely around corners thanks to the rear-wheel travel path, pedaling eficiency, I have not had ANY of the maintenance woes of the other reviewers once properly set up.

Weaknesses:    I have had the chain mysteriously skip off on a few occasions during some of the rough runs at Northstar, and the weight makes Downieville more work than it should be. The frames can still be found out of the UK, but it'll cost you a crapload for just a frame...

Bottom Line:   
The pedaling efficiency allows for all-around riding if you have the legs and lungs to push the weight (just shy of 48 pounds), but the geometry hides the excellent handling capabilities until you break 25mph. This is the first "point-and-shoot" bike that I've ridden which owns the technical capabilies to rule Northstar Resort, even with a long frame.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   Mail order and built

Similar Products Used:   Rocky Mountain, Yeti, Kona.

Bike Setup:   Shiver DC, D321 rims, 'Hussy cranks, Primo hardware, Shimano brakes, Tioga Factory DH tires, uncut Diabolus bars.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by eric loranger a Downhiller from quebec

Date Reviewed: May 16, 2007

Strengths:    9 inches of rear travel looks great...great for bombing strait down a trail

Weaknesses:    the wheelbase ni too wide unless there is a wall ride it is easy to slip out. the head tube angle is too steep for freeride.

Bottom Line:   
this bike is really ment for dounhillers. you can still do jump but it is a really good bike for me. i wanted 9in of travel for a cheap price and i got it. dont get me rong ...i love this bike it rides beatifully but it is bnot a bike to do competitions on. get a norco team dh..if you are rich lol.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   22

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $475.00

Purchased At:   a gye in montreal

Similar Products Used:   none(just had a bighit 01

Bike Setup:   balfa bb7 2003 888 vf2 2007 5th element 2004 ethirteen chain guide ect.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tyler Nulty a Downhiller from Newburyport Ma

Date Reviewed: November 27, 2005

Strengths:    The Whole bike is pretty solid, especily the rear end. it also helps to overhual all the pivots with greese & Lock-Tite every season or so.

Weaknesses:    I would have to say the main pivot. the bearings are sturdy but you have to be carefulthe threads can strip fairly easly. so just use some lock-tite and your all set. also i had some problems with the top shock mounting bolt. The previous owner had got a very solid and custom bolt for it that made it 10 times stronger. the sad thing is that now they are out of buissnes, you can still get some parts from jamie over seas at

Bottom Line:   
This is my Second review of this bike and it is still a great Freeride machine to a Race Demon. I would say if you have te chance to snag one of theese go for it, you will not be disapointed. When my BB7 leaves i can truly say i will Cry. feel free to Email or Im me with any qeustions AIM= konarider98

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Lynn Woods

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   Used of a great fello named Alex

Similar Products Used:   Kona Stab and Kona Stinky

Bike Setup:   02 BB7, 03 Ti Dorado, Saint cranks, 05 Deemaxes, DHX Air 5.0, XTR drive train. Carbon goodies, Hayes HFX's... And Lovein' It!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by david anderson a Downhiller from new westminister

Date Reviewed: November 10, 2004

Strengths:    the ride high suspension design is killer, make it so easy to pedal. it is so well thought out the way it runs all the lines. i am alos crazy for the billet aluminum head tube and the exrat beefy. the suspension desing is also perfect for ever type of ride, it take high speed hits and big drops. the duel shock position make if good for fr/dh. the new chromoly rear end is off the hook, just making it stronger. with the 5th element and titanium spring it is a killer combination. i am also amazed at all the little weld balfa did to just make this a killer ride, also how the placed everything make it a saultless frame. it is by far the best frame out there for a downhill/freerider.

Weaknesses:    the main pivot bolt comes loose easy, the area around the shock is wide and sometime u hit ur knees on it so wear shine pads, the chain is really close to the stays so it eats them up fast, but all of that is easy stuff to fix!

Bottom Line:   
this is one sick ride, if u love to ride get a balfa!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   to many to list

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1250.00

Purchased At:   atomik

Similar Products Used:   2002 norco team dh, hot chilli dh 6, my balfa minuteman! i own two sick rides!

Bike Setup:   everything o4, manitou dorado, chris king hubs and headt set, sram x.0 derailer, axion stem pedals, raceface cranks and bb, funn bars, mavic rims 321 and 729 , michellin treads, tompson seatpost

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by kas saidi a Downhiller from WOODSIDE, CA, US

Date Reviewed: July 21, 2004

Strengths:    This bike has performed flawlessly, i cannot say one bad thing about it. I have owned a bb7 for about 6 months now and i love it and i have never encountered a problem. I set it up with the 2004 fox vanilla RC shock(pro-pedal) and highly recommend it.

Weaknesses:    NONE!

Bottom Line:   
Great bike to buy if you are in the market for a DH race bike. Very strong with the chro mo rear end. NEVER had a problem. one of the best DH bikes out there.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   N*

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   my local bike ship

Bike Setup:   2004 bb7. Dorado. D321 rims. Hayes HFX 9. Mich. Tires

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Andrew Ihnat a Downhiller from SYDNEY

Date Reviewed: July 5, 2004

Strengths:    This Frame is stunning in the way it rides & looks.
I'm using a 5th element & set up purely for DH race specs..
My team have been using the Balfa for round 6 months & have found it to be unreal! Chromo rear end = stiffness rigidity..
Solid downtube = pin point accuracy for turning & railing berms!

Weaknesses:    A little heavy, Paint scratches very easy...

Bottom Line:   

THEY ARE UNREAL for any DH track, & really easy to get used to.
They jump great, rail like a train on tracks..GET IT!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   DIRT

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Balfa PTY LTD

Similar Products Used:   Santa Cruz V10 2004, TURNER DHR & GIANT DH TEAM 04...

Bike Setup:   World Cups 04, 5th Element, MRP, XTR, Hayes DH Discs, 521 DH rims, Sram etc

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by michael kaw a Downhiller from australia, sydney

Date Reviewed: May 23, 2004

Strengths:    the frame and all the components

Weaknesses:    nothing exept you just have to check the bolt because they come lose often

Bottom Line:   
this is the sickest bike i have every riden, it is very good at cornering and very fast on the downhill track, stacks of travel means smooth and bigdrops, it is super stong and will handle anything you throw at it then laugh in your face, it is also very light well compared to a normal downhill bike so it can also do jumps, i recomend this bike to any one doing downhill od just going big

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   blue mountains

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   second hand

Similar Products Used:   intense m1, foese dhs mono, demo 9, santa cruz v10

Bike Setup:   balfa bb7 frame, 02 cherry re boxxers, xt brakes, 321 rims, maxxis high rollers tires, azoniccc shorty stem, titec bars, hope hubs and headset, shimano tiagra deralia

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by dave rasmuson a Weekend Warrior from slc,ut,usa

Date Reviewed: February 18, 2004

Strengths:    strong, very stiff, plush travel, awesome jumping bike and very good at dropping ledges.

Weaknesses:    The hardware was a little cheaper than i expected them to be. You have to be careful not to strip the bolt on the pivot. I suggest puting lock tight on the bolt because it has a tendancy to come loose.

Bottom Line:   
This bike is awesome. I strongly suggest this bike if you are planning to dh race or even to just goof around on the weekends. It is great for urban riding when you can't get up to the hills. The bike is strongly suited to northshore style riding. I love riding this bike even around the city looking for stairs and drops. Very fun and really plush. I love the high chain pully system, my chain hasn't even attempted to come off or skip nobs on the chainring.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Thieves forest

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $2800.00

Purchased At:   from a sales rep.

Similar Products Used:   Intense M1, Foes dhs mono

Bike Setup:   fith element, XTR, boxxer team, mavic 321, dt swiss hubs

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by mark a Weekend Warrior from vancouver

Date Reviewed: August 23, 2003

Strengths:    Solid, whether it's in corners, off drops, over baby heads. No maintenance.

Weaknesses:    nadda

Bottom Line:   
Okay, here's the rub. i bought this frame 'cause it was dirt cheap and I wasn't sure if I was going to like a full suspension - tried some a while ago and hated them (devoted hardtail fanatic). Let me tell you brothers and sisters, I have been converted to The Ways of Balfa.... I HAVE BEEN HEALED, PRAISE THE LORD!.......... Sorry. Anyway, it's a 2000 frame, it was in great shape when I got it despite being used previously by a Balf team rider. I mean, this thing is bulletproof. The frame is light by current standards at under 10 LBS. I am telling you, this thing is as stiff laterally as my hardtail but with lottsa travel. Easy to manouver, great standover, great BB clearance, feels good in the air. Pedals almost as well as my hardtail.

I have to go and make love to my bike now.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   at your mom's house

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   450 frame only

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   standard heavy DH parts

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Chris Dufault a Downhiller from Barrie Ontario Canada

Date Reviewed: July 18, 2003

Strengths:    Sweet race bike with tons of travel(2002 bb7), The pully system works like a charm and got to love to adjustable head tube angle and bottom brake hight.

Weaknesses:    Occationally the main pivot bolts can come loose, Make sure you check them atleast once a week. Bit noisy also, You can fill it up with foam if it bugs you that much.

Bottom Line:   
This is a totally sweet race bike. She cruizes on the downhill coarse and corners really well. If you are going to get one, be sure to spring for the floating disk brake attachment because it makes a huge difference! But dont go for the 5th element because its kinda hard to adjust because its tucked away and it make bunny hopping a bit harder. Buy the thing, you will be glad you did, FYI: bby stands for the pivot is 7 inches above the bottom braket.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   waterfall

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   Cyclepath

Similar Products Used:   Nothing in the same field

Bike Setup:   2002 Balfa bb7, dorado, xt.....

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Martin Daris a Downhiller from Quebec

Date Reviewed: July 17, 2003

Strengths:    Great big hit absorbtion
Simple and very low maintenance
Very solid bike

Weaknesses:    A little on the heavy side , but that's the price you have to pay to get a bike that strong.

Bottom Line:   
This is a good racing bike. I changed the main pivot bearings only once. The linking plates between the shock rockers and the swingarm are so stiff that there is no side load on the shock. After two years of abuse I never had to re-sleeve my shock. Awesome bike!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Everything

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Similar Products Used:   GT Dhi Race

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Dave a Downhiller from Beaconsfield, Quebec, Canada

Date Reviewed: June 7, 2003

Strengths:    Everything! Great travel! Very little Pedal drag! Components are all top of the line. Great for racing! Balfa builds there bikes strong and light.

Weaknesses:    Nothing big, but with one ride to the hill, i have had 2 pinch flats. My fault!

Bottom Line:   
This bike is well worth the money! After taking it downhill once, you will never want to get another frame but a Balfa again. The frames themselves feel confident under any condition you put them in. A true downhillers dream bike!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   A Line

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $4000.00

Purchased At:   Balfa Team Rider

Similar Products Used:   Intense M1, Norco Team DH.

Bike Setup:   All parts are 2002. Boxxer, XTR derailleur and Cranks. MRP. Mavic D521. Hayes Hydraulic 8 Inch front/rear. Thompson post. EA50 Bar. FSA Pig Headset. Primo Flat pedals. Micheline 2.8 Front Tire. Maxxis 2.7 Rear Tire.

Reviews 1 - 15 (47 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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