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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2005 Giant STP1 which according to their website, comes equipped with AVID CPS brakes. I'm assuming these are what Avid calls "mountain BB" disc brakes since it is older than the BB5 or BB7's. The problem I'm having is that it is too sensitive and the power to the disc is non linear, so I'm looking for a solution to improve modulation. Will upgrading to BB7's help? What about different brake pads? Or is hydraulics the only way?
 

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Meh.
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CPS is refering to the mounting system, it is not the model. I'm pretty sure the brakes on the STP1 are BB7s. I always thought modulation was decent on the BB7s. You could swap to speed dial levers if you want more modulation, you can adjust with the speed dial levers. Or I guess you can make the brake feel mushy and like crap by moving the inboard static pad further away from the rotor. This will make the dynamic pad have to push the rotor further over before it contacts the other pad.
 

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Derailleurless
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Avid mechanical discs are just largely unchanged since their introduction. There was a change in '02 to the 160mm rotor and a modified caliper design, but the mechanics we more-or-less carried over. The name was changed from BBDB (Ball Bearing Disc Brake) to BB7 in '05 to distinguish between the new, entry level BB5.

As Will alluded to, what levers are you running?

The inside pad plays a large role in modulation. Set it very close, and you'll have an on-off feel. Move it back an extra two or three clicks and you notice a large gain in modulation.

Also take the time to set your outboard pad so the pad engages where it's natural for your hand! If you're engaging right away (again, with the pad set close to the rotor), that may be a bit unnatural and difficult to control the bike without grabbing at the levers.

The mechanicals actually provide many more adjustments than hydro brakes. Engagement point, modulation, lever tension, and reach adjustments are all possible to set the feel & performance up exactly as you want it. Hydros often give you none of that -- you take it as it comes.
 

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Speedub.Nate said:
Avid mechanical discs are just largely unchanged since their introduction. There was a change in '02 to the 160mm rotor and a modified caliper design, but the mechanics we more-or-less carried over. The name was changed from BBDB (Ball Bearing Disc Brake) to BB7 in '05 to distinguish between the new, entry level BB5.

As Will alluded to, what levers are you running?

The inside pad plays a large role in modulation. Set it very close, and you'll have an on-off feel. Move it back an extra two or three clicks and you notice a large gain in modulation.

Also take the time to set your outboard pad so the pad engages where it's natural for your hand! If you're engaging right away (again, with the pad set close to the rotor), that may be a bit unnatural and difficult to control the bike without grabbing at the levers.

The mechanicals actually provide many more adjustments than hydro brakes. Engagement point, modulation, lever tension, and reach adjustments are all possible to set the feel & performance up exactly as you want it. Hydros often give you none of that -- you take it as it comes.
Nate has it right.

I will add that you do not want or need to back out the inner pad very much to make huge changes in the feel. 1-3 clicks is enough. Go much further and the inner pad wears unevenly and the brake is more likely to howl.

Be sure to maintain your pad adjustment. You do not want the rotor to start rubbing on the caliper body.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The 2006 STP's are equipped with BB5's, so it wouldn't make sense that the 2005's have BB7's. Even though my brakes are probably older models, my discs have both in and out pad adjustments, unlike the BB5. So this follows what Nate mentioned about the name change from BBDB to BB7 for differentiation. The levers are Avid FR-1 (stock).

Even though I followed the installation instructions to the tea (the whole 1/3, 2/3 thing), I find it difficult to "feather" the brakes for things like manuals and wheelies. BTW, this is really my AM/commute rig - I just like messing around once in a while because I come from a BMX background.

I squeezed the levers on a Kona Stuff equipped with Hayes HFX-9 hydraulics, and unless it wasn't tuned properly, it felt very mushy. In my experience, V-brakes has the best behavior and feel, but they're not as cool looking :D

OK, so I'll try to adjust the inside and outside pads. If that doesn't work I'll look into these speed dial levers.

Thanks!
 

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Sugary Exoskeleton
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Speed Dial

Pick up the Speed Dial levers, they will make a really big difference.

Just a turn or two of the speed dial can change the lever feel dramatically. You get a wider range of adjustment than by using the inboard pad method, and you don't rely on bending the rotor over to increase modulation. Like Shiggy said, it works, but you are limited in the amount of adjustment before you are wearing your pads at an awkward angle.

Search ebay, they are up for sale all the time for really good prices.

FWIW, the BB-7 works really nicely with XTR dual control levers... something about the cable pull length actually feels better to me than my straight Avid setups.

JMH

shiggy said:
The 1/3-2/3 thing makes no difference. Just roughly center the rotor in the caliper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Wow, the method Speedub.Nate suggested works really well, but I think my pad setting is at a point where I should be concerned about uneven pad wear (rotor looks like it's flexing a lot). Therefore, I'm planning to look at speed dial levers.
Thanks for everyone's help! :thumbsup:

BTW, can anybody recommend a reliable online retailer that sells these levers at competitive prices (besides Ebay)?
 

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Meh.
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bee-man said:
Wow, the method Speedub.Nate suggested works really well, but I think my pad setting is at a point where I should be concerned about uneven pad wear (rotor looks like it's flexing a lot). Therefore, I'm planning to look at speed dial levers.
Thanks for everyone's help! :thumbsup:

BTW, can anybody recommend a reliable online retailer that sells these levers at competitive prices (besides Ebay)?
Isn't that what I said? Just in less detail?

"Or I guess you can make the brake feel mushy and like crap by moving the inboard static pad further away from the rotor. This will make the dynamic pad have to push the rotor further over before it contacts the other pad."
 

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XSL_WiLL said:
Isn't that what I said? Just in less detail?

"Or I guess you can make the brake feel mushy and like crap by moving the inboard static pad further away from the rotor. This will make the dynamic pad have to push the rotor further over before it contacts the other pad."
"...make the brake feel mushy and like crap..." is hardly a ringing endorsement of the adjustment. The amount Nate and I am talking about still gives you a fairly solid feel and powerful brake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Oops, sorry Will, I didn't mean to discount your post. I guess on my ride, adjusting the pads the way you, Nate, and Shiggy described feels far from what I consider mushy. Anyway, thanks to all and perhaps I'll update this thread when I get my levers. :thumbsup:
 

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You may also want to consider....

hey beeman, if your brake is giving you only on or off for modulation - and you do not want to buy new levers AND it has plenty of stopping at the high end, then you may want to consider removing some of the pad so you have to squeeze that much harder- hence better modulation/control. JUST DO NOT CUT AWAY TOO MUCH.
if removing pad take it off the upper or lower section not the leading or trailing edge.

good luck,:) let us know how it goes .
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I bought and installed the Avid SD7 levers, and ran through several settings over the past weeks with no improvement in modulation. It turns out that the best setting is the same position as the stock levers that came with the bike. Good thing the levers were only $30. Now I'm beginning to wonder if I'm asking too much. Maybe if y'all jumped on this bike, you'd say I was crazy for complaining...

Doug:
How do you remove some of the pad?

As a last resort, I'll just set my pads per the original recommendation (by Will, Nate, and Shiggy) and deal with the uneven wear. I just hope I don't decrease the life of my rotor and/or brake pads. Here's some pics. Oh, and to avoid confusion, it's an '06 STP frame with '05 STP1 parts.



 

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bee-man said:
I bought and installed the Avid SD7 levers, and ran through several settings over the past weeks with no improvement in modulation. It turns out that the best setting is the same position as the stock levers that came with the bike. Good thing the levers were only $30. Now I'm beginning to wonder if I'm asking too much. Maybe if y'all jumped on this bike, you'd say I was crazy for complaining...

Doug:
How do you remove some of the pad?

As a last resort, I'll just set my pads per the original recommendation (by Will, Nate, and Shiggy) and deal with the uneven wear. I just hope I don't decrease the life of my rotor and/or brake pads. Here's some pics. Oh, and to avoid confusion, it's an '06 STP frame with '05 STP1 parts.



I see your problem....you are missing the little rubber dust boot for the cable on the caliper....just kidding.....

I have installed the Avid Full Metal Jacket cable system. I use 1 finger to brake most of the time, except for long downhills. I get very good modulation and very little wheel lockup. I adjust the inboard pad til it hits the rotor, then back it off 2 clicks. I don't like my rotor to flex too much. I then adjust the outboard pad til my brake lever goes about half it's travel when full brake is applied. I have some old XTR 8 spd shifter/brake combo. I have the old BBDB with 165mm rotors.
 

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glader60 said:
I see your problem....you are missing the little rubber dust boot for the cable on the caliper....just kidding.....

I have installed the Avid Full Metal Jacket cable system. I use 1 finger to brake most of the time, except for long downhills. I get very good modulation and very little wheel lockup. I adjust the inboard pad til it hits the rotor, then back it off 2 clicks. I don't like my rotor to flex too much. I then adjust the outboard pad til my brake lever goes about half it's travel when full brake is applied. I have some old XTR 8 spd shifter/brake combo. I have the old BBDB with 165mm rotors.
I'm glad to see that you're having good luck with the XTR shifter/lever combo. I'm running M951 8 speeds shifter/levers with 1997 XT v-brakes, but hope to get a new wheelset soon so I can run Avid BB7's. How far did you need to adjust the wheel on your levers for best modulation? I guess it's a subjective feel isn't it?
 

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royta said:
I'm glad to see that you're having good luck with the XTR shifter/lever combo. I'm running M951 8 speeds shifter/levers with 1997 XT v-brakes, but hope to get a new wheelset soon so I can run Avid BB7's. How far did you need to adjust the wheel on your levers for best modulation? I guess it's a subjective feel isn't it?
I have the levers set for full. I like the brakes to start stopping at the begining of the slot and be full power by the end of the slot. That give be the perfect modulation. I can use 1 finder most of the time, but will use 2 fingers for an extreme stop. buy these brakes now, don't wait, they have really improving my speed alot:thumbsup:
 

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glader60 said:
I have the levers set for full. I like the brakes to start stopping at the begining of the slot and be full power by the end of the slot. That give be the perfect modulation. I can use 1 finder most of the time, but will use 2 fingers for an extreme stop. buy these brakes now, don't wait, they have really improving my speed alot:thumbsup:
Well, I need a new wheelset with disc hubs first. So that I understand your setup, you are using the entire slot of the lever? Is the transition smooth, from the beginning of the slot to the end? LOL, I still have the little plastic safety block in my levers. I can control the v-brakes quite well with the levers set up with no slot action. I actually really like the v-brakes, but I hate them when I go through mud, or when it's raining. Then they grind, or I have practically zero front brake.
 

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royta said:
Well, I need a new wheelset with disc hubs first. So that I understand your setup, you are using the entire slot of the lever? Is the transition smooth, from the beginning of the slot to the end? LOL, I still have the little plastic safety block in my levers. I can control the v-brakes quite well with the levers set up with no slot action. I actually really like the v-brakes, but I hate them when I go through mud, or when it's raining. Then they grind, or I have practically zero front brake.
Yes, I use the entire slot. Man, take those safety things out. I've never used them. There were ment for people going from standard non v-brakes to v-brakes. This would keep them from going over the bars by giving the brakes less power, therfore called safety blocks. Plus you'll wear a groove in the slot and the roller won't roll past the groove. Yea, I liked the v-brake too, until I put the disc brakes on, way more power. Plus, like you said, mud, wet and some sand will just grind the rim sidewalls. I replaced several rims due to the sidewalls getting too thin.
 

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glader60 said:
Man, take those safety things out. I've never used them. There were ment for people going from standard non v-brakes to v-brakes. This would keep them from going over the bars by giving the brakes less power, therfore called safety blocks. Plus you'll wear a groove in the slot and the roller won't roll past the groove.
Thanks for the advice. After having them for eight years, I think I know what they do, and what they prevent.;) No groove either. I can bomb down trails pretty quick, and haven't seemed to have a problem with hand fatique due to inadequete brakes. However, I have toyed with the idea of bumping them up. For all I know, I might just love it.
 
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