Avid BB7 Brake Pads?

Joined
Feb 28, 2015
Messages
448
Location
MD
I used to swap work (automotive) for bike parts and work. Long story short, bike mechanic traded me work. He installed a new fork (steer tube too short, wouldn't stay right on my bike due to not being able to use a spacer...so it made me question his ability), and avid bb7 mechanical disc brakes. Ever since the brakes have been noisy, but they work so I never tinkered with them. And it's a mountain bike so on trails I didn't really care how loud I was. Been riding the bike lately with family around the neighborhood so I wanted to quiet it down if possible. I checked and the pads have a ton of material still. They were adjusted so that one side would contact the rotor and flex the rotor to the point it'd finally contact the other pad. I got that all adjusted. Lightly sanded the rotor and pads, and all was quiet for one ride. Then right back to squealing it's [censored] off. Are there better pads to run with these? I'm sure it's just whatever pad avid includes with the brakes.
 

BeerCan

$50 Site Donor
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Jan 8, 2007
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2,319
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TN
^^^^^ yeah EBC green are really good for JRA. just don't go lift assisted and you should be fine smile
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2008
Messages
441
Location
Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada
[Linked Image] There's a reason that's an Avid brake lever... The BB7s are good brake for cable discs but they were designed/made in a period when Avid was known for noisy brakes. Clean rotor, clean pads (once contaminated they are difficult to get clean again), and with everything properly aligned they should be quiet most of the time. Get them dirty or wet or, god forbid, simply look at them while holding anything that might get lube on the rotors and hello turkey gobble.
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2012
Messages
3,475
Location
West Michigan
Always had noise with my BB7s until I found the EBC green pads. Game changer. Tried readjustments and caliper alignment, tried a couple of rotor combos, no dice. EBC green and noise is minimal with very good stopping performance.

sucks they are almost impossible to find around here.
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2006
Messages
2,632
Location
NY, NY
What kind of brakes did you run before the BB7s? I bet anything he did not clean the rotors properly. You need to sand the rotors with 220 grit sandpaper. Also, remove the pads and do them lightly too. Ride the bike and do a series of stops to coat the rotors with material from the pads. Then they should work noise free. You need to do this any time you change to a different type of pad.
 

t1snwrbrdr12

Thread starter
Joined
Feb 28, 2015
Messages
448
Location
MD
What kind of brakes did you run before the BB7s? I bet anything he did not clean the rotors properly. You need to sand the rotors with 220 grit sandpaper. Also, remove the pads and do them lightly too. Ride the bike and do a series of stops to coat the rotors with material from the pads. Then they should work noise free. You need to do this any time you change to a different type of pad.

rim brakes....it’s on old bike. 2003 I think Gary fisher sugar.
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2014
Messages
3,352
Location
Winnipeg MB CA
Guys, great discussion! At the two Global Fat Bike Day rides I've attended, 100+ fat bikes at the rallying point sound like a huge flock of geese. The disc brakes, typically wet with early-December slop, squawk like crazy.

Bled the soft hydraulic rear brake on my Kona Dew Deluxe hybrid a few days ago, and it squawked unbearably. Must have gotten some mineral oil on the disc. Finally got back to it today, and, inspired by this discussion, cleaned the rotor and brake pads with (automotive) brake cleaner. What a difference!
 
Joined
May 28, 2002
Messages
370
Location
Chicago
A few quick observations with BB7s. When the ones I have get wet they really squawk until they dry and are used at a moderate to heavy level of braking several times. Otherwise they're very quiet for many miles; I'd say roughly up to 500. Then they'll start to sqeak a bit and slowly get a little louder as the miles accumulate. Nothing too bad though. At this point I take a cotton ball with isopropyl alcohol and clean both sides of each disc until they rub clean on the cotton. It's very quiet after that. Repeat about every 500 miles.

I do remember my break-in. I got the bike in the cold months and the warmest it got in that time was about the freezing point. I needed a huge amount of lever force to get it to brake even for a normal stop. I thought I really made a mistake getting discs. This went on quite some time. Then at around the 100 mile mark, the brakes really started to grab. I can stop normally now with just my index finger and not very much pressure. And since I consider my brakes to be generally quiet maybe this was a good way to break them in.

The last important thing I found on my BB7s, is if you want the calipers to respond immediately(I know some people don't want this and for some it's safer not to) to the lever action, you have to preload the caliper lever mechanism with the cable. To adjust it may take some trial and error but it makes for very responsive, linear and powerful brakes considering they're not hydraulic.
 
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