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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have noticed shimano has a few mechanical brakes, I guess they always had them. And I'm interested to know if anyone tried any mechanical brake that was "better" than bb7s. I really like my bb7s though, good power and feel, and they seem very unfinicky after broken in.
 

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I can't speak for everyone else but I think that you'll get a pretty resounding "No" in answer to your question.

BB7 (or BB MTN - seems to be a couple of 'different' versions that are basically the same) brakes are excellent brakes and many prefer them over hydraulic disc brakes. I chose to keep my BB7s (on my wife's general-purpose bike) over my Juicy 5s when selling my HT recently as the 5s were a pain in the a$$ and the BB7s never let me down.

I've also had Hayes MX, Promax and Tektro mechanical disc brakes on other bikes over the years and their performance and adjustment were nowhere near as good as the Avids. The only problems with them can be the same as any other mechanical brake - keep the cables running smoothly so that they release properly. I greatly improved this on my HT by using full-length cable outers to the calipers.

I.M.O. of course. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm running cane creek short reach road levers now, but I also have cane creek alu timetrials and sram alu timetrials to test. Its a drop bar bike.
 

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There's the new BB7S which is a bit lighter, but it's still a BB7. So, no.

We might see people chime in and say some other brake is better - and it might be it works better for them. But at that point it's a matter of taste: what features and characteristics do you value most.
 

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There probably isn't a better caliper, but you have to put up with crappy SRAM pads that are noisy. The Shimano mechanicals work okay, but the right side pad is often held crookedly so that its hard to get rid of rubbing.

But honestly, I would argue that a well manufactured hydraulic system requires less maintenance than a mechanical. Honestly...the fact that mechanicals require periodic adjustment when working properly, but a properly working hydraulic doesn't need adjustment until the pad is worn out is what I am talking about here.

Seriously, some mechanically oblivious people will end up using up all the pad compound and then going straight into the pad backer on a hydro because they self adjust, but that wouldn't be possible on a mechanical because it would have had to have been adjusted long before then.

So I guess whether you consider that a plus or a minus is whether you can spend a few seconds checking your pad wear visually.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hydros needs bleeding and I don't like that even though I have always done it myself. The fuking syringes and all that crap when you need to get to work quickly.. I have never noticed this self adjusting feature (both shimano and formula), I have removed the calipers and pumped without rotor them to get that effect though.
 

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So I have noticed shimano has a few mechanical brakes, I guess they always had them. And I'm interested to know if anyone tried any mechanical brake that was "better" than bb7s. I really like my bb7s though, good power and feel, and they seem very unfinicky after broken in.
Once you put in EBC Gold pads, no. The BB7 is still on top.
 

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I don't like that -- always done it myself -- need to get to work quickly -- I have never noticed this self adjusting feature.
Hmm, coincidence? :D

You don't need to remove the wheel for the brakes to self-adjust. Bleed them right and the next time you have to touch the brakes maintenance-wise is when you've worn the pads and replace them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I saw my old bike recently, with formula brakes, that I bled to perfection before handing it over. It had been sitting outside for around 1,5 years now and the brakes had seized up somehow, wheel wouldn't move at all. Had to push the pistons in and lube them, it was still rubbing though. This is why I don't like hydros.
 

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I've been a BB7 fan for 5+ years now, but they are such a great value, I've always wished Avid would spin off a lighter weight version using a higher-spec alloy, improved forging, refined FEA models, or some other mumbo-jumbo. You know, since "value" is wasted on weight weenies like me.

Pretty disappointed with the recent "BB7s" refresh though... doesn't look like they changed anything other than paint, at least on the caliper itself. But, it seems that the winds of change are blowing through Avid, what with the recent complete re-design of their hydro brake. Maybe the same smart guys can take a look at the BB7 next...

My first motorcycle featured twin-leading-shoe DRUM brakes (talking 1960s technology here)... with those, you either learned to keep the brake cable running silky-smooth, or you learned to eat pavement when your front wheel locked. Keeping BB7's running smooth and powerful is the same idea, though much less dramatic.
 

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What about those new TRP Spykes that are supposedly coming out soon? They look pretty nice. I like my BB7s a lot, but I am very intrigued by these TRPs. Anybody have any updates???
I tried the Spyres. Good brakes, but I would not use them on a mtb.

Better modulation than the BB7. More tolerant of untrue rotors.

Less power. Require more hand effort. Pad engagement needs to be further from the bar.

Tried the TRPs with the stock pads and with EBC Gold, which I prefer in the BB7.

I went back to the Avids.
 
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