View Full Version : New brakes ordered

12-08-2011, 03:42 PM
When I got my commuter bike, I was initially very pleased with the disk brakes. They were a big upgrade in stopping power over the cantilever brakes on my prior (dearly departed) CX bike.

However, after several thousand miles, they have been needing nearly constant adjustment to stay functional. I looked up the brake model on a MTB review forum (http://www.mtbr.com/cat/brakes/disc-brake-system/avid/bb5-mechanical-disc-brake/prd_414627_1507crx.aspx)and found out that lots of (mostly) mountain bikers were having similar problems with this particular brake model: fading suddenly (like within an hour of noticing a problem), and constantly getting out of perfect alignment or needing adjustment, especially after hard use and/or bad conditions.

Yesterday was a perfect example. On the way in to work in the morning I noticed some fade in the heavy rain, and made a note to tighten up the barrel adjuster before the trip home. But even with that, by the time I got halfway home last night, I had nothing. Zero, front and back. I had to drag my foot like Fred Flintstone a couple times in the last 3 or 4 miles on downhill sections. It "helped" that there was about a 20 knot headwind, so going really slow didn't make me feel bad.

So even though I wouldn't have thought to check out a MTB review board (http://www.mtbr.com/)ahead of time, now I realize that it can be great for commuters -- the mountain bikers are testing components under nasty conditions that are pretty similar to what commuters face.

So after reading the reviews, my conclusion is that these brakes are just too cheap for everyday commuting -- not powerful or reliable enough -- and I decided to upgrade to what will hopefully be a much better model. We'll see when they come in next week!

12-08-2011, 03:49 PM
Shoot - I thought it was just me. Having a terrible time getting those dialed in:(

12-08-2011, 04:35 PM
Yeah.... The delta between bb5's and bb7's is huge...

I am here: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=39.176125,-78.116147

12-09-2011, 08:02 AM
hopefully your new ones will squeak less!

12-09-2011, 08:59 AM
hopefully your new ones will squeak less!

After a few too many battles with snow, the BB5s on my winter bike squeal like hell. I gave up trying to fix it after a dozen attempts, and now I just use it as a warning signal.

12-09-2011, 09:16 AM
BB5s are pretty mediocre. BB7s are much better brakes. Though they do still need a lot of adjustment. Get hydraulics if you want set-and-forget.

12-12-2011, 01:14 PM
The BB5 will still pull me into an endo if I grab it hard, I'm not disappointed with them at all. Next time I build a snow bike, I'll go bigger (maybe even a 29er), but for a budget build, the BB5s rock.