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ADVENTURE BY BIKE®

Avid High End Mechanical Disc Brake

I'm going to try something new today. I recently found out that a product manager at SRAM reads our blog. I've been bugging this person for some time about SRAM/Avid producing a high end mechanical disc brake. Maybe it's just me, but mechanical disc brakes are so simple and effective. No fluid. Easily servicable. I love them. However, all the mechanical disc brakes on the market keep getting cheaper and heavier. Where is the high end version? Who wants one? I know I do.

So....share your thoughts. Who thinks SRAM should do a high end mechanical disc brake? Who would buy them?

FYI: The line starts behind me. I'd take at least 5 f&r sets for my personal bikes.

One note, please don't comment if you'd never buy a disc brake or would never consider owning a mechanical disc brake.

Ride & Smile!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jason Boucher

Growing up as a Minnesota farm boy, I developed an appreciation and love for land and open space. This appreciation has fostered two passions, cycling and photography. Both of these passions provide freedom, encourage me to explore and foster creativity. More importantly though, my journey with a bike and a camera reminds me that the world is big and I am small.

COMMENTS (37)

 Jason |

It would be nice to see Avid come out with another mechanical that rivals (pun not intended) the new crop of hydraulics. Urban Freeride and Park bikes are potential uses.

 Anonymous |

I still ride canti’s, however, I have been interested in disc brakes.  I am a home mechanic, though, and won’t muck with hydraulic fluid during a grand experiment into disc’s.  What I would need would be nice light ones, too for XC and CX.

 Jorj |

Of course I want a nice mechanical disc, then I can buy a Las Cruces frame to mount it on :-)<BR><BR>On the other hand, if SRAM made a hydraulic double tap lever so I could have hydraulic calipers on my CX bike, that would be ten times better

 miles |

I would buy one especially if it came in version that would work with road levers.

 Anonymous |

I would like to see a high end option also.  I recently picked up a pair of the 08 BB7s and they have made some good changes in the design as far as the adjustment knobs.  Simplicity and the lack of seals keep the mechanicals on my bikes.

 Fxdwhl |

I’d buy a set.  And while we’re dreaming here make the same brake compatable with both road and mountain levers; I’m sure it could be done allowing ‘us’ to switch as needed. Compatability is a good thing.

 Anonymous |

I would like one. I love my BB7 but would trade them for something more high-end as soon as I can. I see room for improvement and would love the mechanical discbrakes even more. No reason for a hydraulic for me.

 Andrew |

I’ve been thinking about this also.  It would be great to have a nice Mech disc brake to go with a fancy set of Avid Ultimate levers.  I mean I’m sure they could make something with a competitive price point (to hydros) out of magnesium, carbon, or just some lighter weight materials with a little work going into lightening it while making it a little more powerful or just as powerful.  <BR><BR>I would be in line to buy a set of BB Ultimates as long as they weren’t ungodly expensive.<BR><BR>-Palek

 Evan Bacon |

How about a dual banger mechanical like the ones Interloc racing design puts out? I haven’t tried them personally, but I love the idea of a smooth modulating brake which I can easily disconnect and swap levers when I inevitably go down. It would be great for my xc cross bike or my rigid ss. If I never have to work on a Hayes mx2 again it will be too soon.

 Anonymous |

I’d get one. I don’t want to mess with messy oils, i just like cable actuated gizmos on my bikes.

 Anonymous |

...i would certainly like to see something a little lighter, and maybe slightly sexier.  the bb7’s are as powerful as most hydro’s out there when set up properly, and the fr-5 levers may be cheap, but they are the lightest lever avid makes and work awesome…so maybe a high-end combo of some sort?

 Anonymous |

“Darn tootin’ that is a great idea”. I would buy at least 3 sets of high end mechanical disc brakes for my stall of 29er bikes, which are currently running BB7 two times and one set of BB5’s.  I personally hate disc brakes due to the noise (rotor scraping against pad) and weight.  I just purchased a 2006 Salsa Ala Carte frame and will go with V-brakes to get away from the disc altogether on the hardtail.  Get on it Sram, we need it, and we want it.  Thanks!!

 Guitar Ted |

Jason, you know me and you know I’m down with this idea. Lets see, about four sets in the house (BB-7’s) currently and I need more, so yeah. I’d be buying these.<BR><BR>I suggest a highly polished and anodized finish. Something pearly silver like the original XTR stuff was. Make it work better, make it lighter, and make it look like jewelry. I agree on the road/mtn compatibility in one caliper. I know it would sell. <BR><BR>SRAM better get on this or somebody is going to figure it out and beat them to it. (Shimano anyone?)

 Anonymous |

I am currently looking at buying my first salsa and just saw the blog.  I would say yes to mechanical if it was light enough.  I am wanting to build a very light hard tail and considered getting away from disk on this one but nothing beats the stopping power when wet or dry.  I think they would be easier to work on while on trail at least more than fluid.  Hope to see how light they can get.

 Jeff Kerkove |

Back when I raced for CatEye Enduro, we ran Avid Mech Disc brakes.  Damn good stuff, and never had an issue with it.  If SRAM can produce a similar functioning brake at a lower weight and price point….they could cause a shake up in the disc brake market!

 Anonymous |

The BB7’s work phenominally well with the Avid Ultimate levers!<BR><BR>Really, any Avid Speed Dial lever makes these brakes more excellent than they already are. (and they are good)<BR><BR>That said, I would possibly purchase a “BBU” BB Ultimate. Hard to say whether I’d be interested at the price point that exceeds Juicy 5 or 7.<BR><BR>However, I would LOVE to see a BB Ultimate made. I’ve been waiting for that since my first BB7’s in 2000. Do it SRAM!

 Anonymous |

I think Avid’s BB7s are great.  I’d be very interested in a lighter version.

 Kid Riemer |

I think the BB7’s work very well, but let’s see some simple (and some not so simple) improvements to them.<BR><BR>Simple:<BR><BR>The adjustment dials need to be improved upon. Difficult to grip (especially the inboard side) and/or too much tension. There only needs to be enough tension to stop them from auto adjusting while riding.<BR><BR>Narrower: try to make the inboard side narrower to improve caliper/spoke clearance. This isn’t always an issue but is on some freaky builds.<BR><BR>Lighter: Hey, this is bikes right so lighter equals better if it can provide the same (or better) power and the same (or improved) modulation.<BR><BR>Road and Mtn: If you can make this brake compatible with both levers…it will be the rock star of the mechanical disc brake world!

 monk3y mike wellborn |

I converted over from Hayes to BB-5 and BB-7’s on all my bikes.  The first generation mechanical discs were not so great, but the new stuff works pretty well.  Like you said, they’re simple and reliable and don’t require a bunch of expensive parts to maintain/repair them.

 MG |

<span class=“deleted-comment”>This post has been removed by the author.</span>

 Anonymous |

high end mechanicals would be a dream come true. Only one set for me to start; then I move the BB7’s over to the single speed from the race bike.

 Anonymous |

I would be happy to see a good mechanical disc. However, I really like the feel of hydros. I agree that they’d be easier to work on, but the more time with my bike the better, on or off it.

 Alex |

Sign me up for a couple of sets!<BR><BR>I run the BB7R on the front of my drop-bar 29er (yeah I’m a freak!) and love it even if it is a bit heavy and clunky. 700km in the Indian Himalayas with out a hitch and still on the same pads.<BR><BR>An MTB / Road compatible all-in-one version would be great as would some speed-dial ROAD levers in the smae shape as the Cane Creek / Campag ones…now I am dreaming!<BR><BR>Alex

 Anonymous |

A high end BB7 is a great idea and one that has been floating around my noggin for some time.  Lighter would be a must, and versatility with other applications would be huge as well. <BR><BR>I currently run two sets of BB7s and two sets of Juicy 7’s.  I like both products alot, but lean towards the hydro on more weight weenie rides.<BR><BR>That said, I’ve got a 29’er SS ride that is screaming for some BBU’s.<BR><BR>Thanks for the poll…great idea.

 Kid Riemer |

I forgot one other request:<BR><BR>140mm version as well as 160mm, 180mm

 PH |

I’d be in x 3!

 Professor Pedal |

Here here… snow + 20 degree downhill = unfun with rim brakes, and I don’t want hydraulic on the commuter-mobile.  I’d be all about this.

 rick is! |

i would LOVE some lighter mech’s.  I run the BB7’s on my two mountain bikes now and they’re great.

 Anonymous |

Sign me up for 3 pairs!  A clear shop rat’s dream.

 MG |

i’d buy at least five f/r sets of brakes to cover my personal bikes easily… sign me up.<BR><BR>i understand there is a certain “something” you give up when you go from hydraulic to a high end cable pull disc (which is what any engineer at a disc brake company would tell you as the reason for not doing it).  the thing is that, for a bicycle, the simplicity of cables win out for me, and clearly it does for several others here on this board, and on the trails around the country, perhaps moreso in some areas than others (the midwest, for example is a hotbed of avid cable disc use, whereas the rocky mountains perhaps isn’t so much).<BR><BR>now, put together, we have collectively about 100 sets of brakes sold here—hardly enough for SRAM to engineer a new high-end design, but reading all of your passion for its need really made me smile, because I realized that it wasn’t just me that has been wanting a brake like this to exist.  I guess I can’t say that I was 100-percent ignorant—Jason and I have talked about it, so I knew he and I were on the same page, but I never knew so many others were on it too.  We’re gonna’ need a bigger book, and while we’re at it, some brakes would be awfully nice.  <BR><BR>How ‘bout it Avid?  We’ve got cash in hand—just make us the brakes.  Pretty please???

 Anonymous |

Oh yeah - that would be cool.  A high end cable pull disk brake set.  No bleeding or fluid required.<BR><BR>XC and ‘cross type brake.  Some kind of adjustment for use with mountain and road levers.<BR><BR>I’ve test ridden a bunch of disk brake bikes, but still run canti’s on my mountain bikes and ‘cross bike.<BR><BR>Build ‘em and they will come…...

 Anonymous |

Amen Brothers (& sisters)! I too have had 3 sets of BB7’s as I have yet to find anything higher end then that. I made the switch from V brakes to combat the snow and rain and would appreciate a better option.

 Big John |

I was all about BB7’s when I lived in Michigan. The simplicity and serviceability is what makes them really standout. I recently moved to Utah and after my first ride in Park City after climbing for an hour only to descend for 20 minutes my forearms were rather sore from pumping the brakes. I’ve recently switched over to Juicy’s on my 1x1. I currently run my mechanicals on my Salsa Ala Carte 96er(which I commute with mostly on the foothill trails) with a drop bar and still get much enjoyment out of them. But for sustained descents I need the extra power of the hydros. I’m a less concerned about weight and more with the power of the brake. Sure drop some weight, and maybe make the rebuild a little easier; but most importantly give ‘em a little more power and modulation if possible. I would be totally on board for a high end mechanical under these circumstances.

 Anonymous |

I’m down for three sets…two mtn and one road.

 Seba |

Reading what everyone above said, it seems that disc mechnicals might be too hard on the forearms in real mountains. The main use for great mechnical disc would be winter / fall commutes and cross coutry riding anywhere without real mountains.

 Anonymous |

I appreciate your bringing this up,  I google “blackbox mechanical” often We have already been waiting far too long for this. I have seen pictures of highly tuned bb7 brakes.  This can be done much better by the real R& D folks.  I have used the Ultimate levers and the BB7s with nokon cable housing with great success for many, many miles of rocky mtn riding and desert racing. I finally broke down and bought XT hydros, bailing on sram.  I have only seen Juicy’s work when the stars are aligned ever so perfectly. Sram,tow me back in with a cable!

 Willits Admin |

Ooooh. The Willits crew would be all over this. I’ve got 3 pairs of BB7s between my Willits and my Las Cruces.  Wes recommends BB7s to just about every customer too.

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