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Never trust a fart
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone still using BB7's? I need new brakes front and rear on my geared bike/ss conversion, and I don't have a ton in expendable income. I've used these in the past and loved them.
 

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Never trust a fart
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have them on 4 bikes and still really like them. They definitely feel different from the XT brakes on my other bikes, but they work great when set up well.
I agree, when setup properly, the BB7's never gave me trouble. I might just go back to them to keep things simple on my SS. You don't see or hear too many people using BB7's these days when the cost of a set of Deore hydraulics are double what you can get the BB7's for.
 

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Anyone still using BB7's? I need new brakes front and rear on my geared bike/ss conversion, and I don't have a ton in expendable income. I've used these in the past and loved them.
The key to the bb7 working well (by a decade ago standards) was to have them paired with a good lever.

If you already have a decent set of levers and the bb7 in your possession, then yes, it would be a perfectly good way to get a SS project up and running on a budget.

However, if you are purchasing the bb7 plus decent levers plus new cables/housing I don't believe it would be significantly cheaper than something like a brand new set of Shimano deore - their "lowest" level stuff is pretty damn good, and definitely better than cable actuated brakes.
 

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^ yeah...TRP wins imho

I used avids for a long time, they were 100% fine....just had to adjust the pads every now and then for wear

but I run TRP now on my one bike with mech brakes, and they seem superior to my BB7's
 

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However, if you are purchasing the bb7 plus decent levers plus new cables/housing I don't believe it would be significantly cheaper than something like a brand new set of Shimano deore - their "lowest" level stuff is pretty damn good, and definitely better than cable actuated brakes.
Agree on this...my daughter's bike (which I've ridden a few times) has cheaper Shimano hydraulics and they are, frankly, great. I'd prefer those over BB7's...
 

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^ yeah...TRP wins imho

I used avids for a long time, they were 100% fine....just had to adjust the pads every now and then for wear

but I run TRP now on my one bike with mech brakes, and they seem superior to my BB7's
Gotta agree. Spyres on the gravel bike work great and no need to constantly adjust the pads as they wear.

If starting from scratch though, I'd pick up some Deore every time.
 

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I posted the following a while back but my thoughts on Avid bb-7s and TRP Spykes haven't changed:

I'm still running bb-7s and they continue to perform well. For cross country type riding, they can't be beat. You can dial them in exactly the way you want and they always remain hassle free with no wandering bite point issues (Shimano hydros) or sticking levers (Sram Guides). Btw, after a lot of experimentation, I've found that Alligator Windcutter rotors and Jagwire Mountain Sport semi-metallic pads to be the best combo for my bb-7s. This setup has been much quieter with good power and modulation.

TRP Spykes were a major disappointment for me. Pad adjusters at the calipers that do not click into position when adjusting was one big issue. They would continually back out after each ride. TRP's response: put locktite on the adjusting screws. Come on guys...really?! Since most adjustments on mechanicals should be done at the calipers and not with the cable adjusters, you would need to apply locktite repeatedly. No thank you. Also, there are barrel adjusters at the calipers for cable slack adjustment. However, these adjusters do not index and there are no lock rings provided for them to stay in place so they too will not hold their positions. Granted, any cable slack is usually taken out at the levers, but come on guys... really?! Lastly, braking feel with the dual piston design was mushy. With a single piston design and one working pad, the inner fixed pad can be kept very close to the rotor for a solid feel. Are bb-7 brakes perfect? No, but again, they give me the least problems of any of the brakes I've tried.
 

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Never trust a fart
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I posted the following a while back but my thoughts on Avid bb-7s and TRP Spykes haven't changed:

I'm still running bb-7s and they continue to perform well. For cross country type riding, they can't be beat. You can dial them in exactly the way you want and they always remain hassle free with no wandering bite point issues (Shimano hydros) or sticking levers (Sram Guides). Btw, after a lot of experimentation, I've found that Alligator Windcutter rotors and Jagwire Mountain Sport semi-metallic pads to be the best combo for my bb-7s. This setup has been much quieter with good power and modulation.

This was the combo I rode years ago. Windcutter rotors, Jagwire Moutain Pro kit, and Avid/SRAM pads. Worked flawlessly for me
 

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As others have said, I still find them very good brakes: cheap, easy to setup and adjust and consistent. The inner dial could be hard to move at times but they fixed by adding the torx head to the adjuster. I run mine with 203mm rotors and they have plenty of stopping power.

Tim
 

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I’ve got several bikes still running them. I’ve also had a few Hydros over the Years: Hayes 9s, XTs, and now MT7s.

Gotta say, BB7s have been the least hassle of any. Setup is an art to get right, and keeping on top of the pad ajustments takes 1 minute every few rides, (keeping the inner pad adjustment as close as possible is key to the pads wearing right) but nothing ever goes wrong with them.

And while the braking is not as nice as the hydros (assuming the hydros are not having problems), they have alway been perfectly fine for me, even doing long steep descents. One finger braking always.

It is critical to use compressionless brake housing with them.

I have bought 2 sets of Spykes, and both felt like they used gravel for bearings. I returned them both.
 
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