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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had put off the switch to disc brakes for a while and just recently got a set of BB7's. Made the move after a pretty hairy ride in wet / muddy conditions- rode for about 3 miles with inactive V-brakes.
I am pretty sure that my disc brakes are set up correctly but I have to say that I'm not too impressed with their stopping power. I think they should be well bedded by now, have about 12 miles on them and I was careful not to glaze them over.
I just feel that my V-brakes stopped me WAY better than my discs, in dry conditions. Is it just me? Does it take more than 12 miles to bed these things in? BTW, I'm about 190lb and running 160mm front and back. Wasn't sure if my Dart 3 could handle a larger rotor.

Anyone?
 

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Card-carrying wotmeister
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I'm not sure, but I think the break-in process takes a bit longer.

My Enduro has BBDBs, the predecessor to the BB7, and they're great. They stop better than Hayes Soles.

So, in conclusion, ride it for another few days, and then see how it is!
 

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depending on how those "12 miles" are, it could take much longer.....

also at your weight, a 185mm rotor up front could help providing that extra bite you look for, but you are correct, that the Dart probably won't handle the extra force....in any case the 160s should be good once properly broken in....

give it a couple more rides... or find a hill and go down a couple of times dragging the brakes lightly, so that the pad compound gets embedded in the rotors...after a couple of "runs", then try to brake harder, the power should be better...
 

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they take retardedly long to break in.

im still not thrilled with mine. i bet if i changed my lever, housings (again), cables (again), rotor, and pads, they might work better..

but at that point.. i should have just bought better brakes to begin with. i can dial up the power right now, but then i have zero modulation. if i dial it back to modulate decently, they lack power.

im 205lbs and running 203mm rotors. you're too heavy for 160's on bb7's. i absolutely smoked and destroyed my 160mm's.

i cant help but wonder what kind of terrain people are riding to enjoy 160mm bb7's? on anything steep they just dont cut it.
 

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tomsmoto said:
you're too heavy for 160's on bb7's. i absolutely smoked and destroyed my 160mm's.

i cant help but wonder what kind of terrain people are riding to enjoy 160mm bb7's? on anything steep they just dont cut it.
I was pretty heavy approaching 240 lbs on 165s, pretty happy with the power (front only/v's rear), and my only complaint was redlining the rotor temp about 1.5 miles in to a particularly steep & fast five mile descent. I imagine at 190, he could be ok with the 160s (but I'd suggest a 185 up front).

I'm not understanding the "takes a long time to break in" comments. Mine have always needed a few runs to get 'em up to power, but nothing exceptional -- certainly no reinstallation, just a little extra care on the first couple of downhills.

Most recent was current-model black BB7s on our tandem (w/220 rotors). They were biting right away, and I instantly felt comfortable with them (especially in comparison to the Magura hydraulic rims brakes we were getting rid of on that bike). No babying necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sure. I ride cross country, no true down hill sections (I'm in OH). I watched the Avid video multiple times before installing these brakes. They look to be spot-on perfect. I have some play in my levers but I've been told that unless I move to the speed dials there isn't much that I can do about that.
My back brake will lock up on pavement but not all the time. Also, I'll be down to about 170lb's by the end of August. However, I'll prbably put the weight back on next winter again, LOL.
Any more info needed?
 

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ive had mine for about 2 months and my front is just starting to bite, but ive havent mtbiked a lot on them...
 

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I'm a little mystified by some of the lengthy break in comments too. I usually just bed mine in on the hill I live on in a few short runs after installation (granted, the small hill I live on here in San Francisco would be a mountain in Illinois or Florida). I'd look at other factors in setup or for contamination if they don't bed-in in a reasonable amount of time, especially taking care with caliper and pad positioning.
 

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Do you use compressionless uninterrupted housing? You should if you want to get top performance. I have zero rubbing within the cables (Avid Full Metal jacket), the levers goes as easy as with hydraulics, upgraded with Alligator serrated rotors the power is better than most hydro brakes!
 

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Never trust a fart
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I only have 12 miles on my BB7's and I don't have any braking issues.They stop pretty good to me. Can't wait for them to be fully seated. Gonna end up tossing my self over the bars.


BTW running a 185 mm rotor front and rear.
 

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What kind of adjustments and tweaking do you mean? Sometimes a little turning on the red Speed Dial knob and every 50 - 100 km checking the pad distances, that's all (for me).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Looked them over last night and dialed in the pads a little to closer tolerances. That tightened up everything and they feel much better now. Still can't lock up the front but they are MUCH more responsive. They'll definitely stop me on the dirt, which is all that really matters. Thanks for all of the responses.
 

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ups and downs
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The Avid organic brake pads are a bit grippier and quieter. I'm a few pounds heavier than you and I usually find the best way to bed in fresh discs and rotors is a dozen hard fast stops from about 15mph on flat ground. They might improve a bit after that but you should have about 95% of your braking power at that point.
 

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I am 165 or so, and live in Ohio- no big hills, but a couple of very steep descents- steep enough that you there is some semi-controlled falling, and the BB7s are ok with me. Let us know what kind of cables, housing and levers you have. I for one use standard Shimano stainless cables and housing, it is important to get a clean cut at theend of the housing; I use full length housing just to keep dirt out, and to reduce the amount of friction-inducing exit and entry points for the cable.
A lot of people suggest Avid SD-series levers, and they are OK. I myself use the SD Ultimates just for techie coolness, but for sheer stopping power, believe it or not, the best lever is the Shimano LX. They are clunky and heavy and uncool-looking, but they have a special mechanism inside which increases the amount of leverage the brake lever has as you pull. They also have an adjustable leverage feature- with a small allen key, and if you set the LX lever in highest power mode, you will seriously have incredible power.
Tim
 

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I was also unimressed with the BB7 compared to my V's until I followed Park tool's guide for adjusting them. So much clearer then Avid's instructions (their technical writer should be fired). Now that they are dialed in they are great.

Very sensitive to proper setup!
 

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surfer w/out waves
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dude... BB7's can stop you like shoving a stick in the spokes. If they don't, then the setup is incorrect or the pads are tainted/cooked... the only other reason they shouldn't stop you well, is if the pads are too far from the rotor and you have to pull the lever to the bar...

I went to full housing after riding in a torrential downpour and getting my cables all jammed up with muck... and on the same ride I must've splashed through a puddle w/ some sort junk in it, cuz my front pads were covered in oily residue upon replacement of the cables.... new pads.
 
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