Written by Wally Wallace Wednesday, 07 August 2013 00:00
Much like moonshine is the new whiskey, the Avid BB7 S is the new BB7. The venerable Avid BB-7 has been the benchmark for mechanical disc brake performance since it was introduced and is widely considered the first "decent" mechanical disc brake. Great stopping power, ease of use, reliability, and affordability made it extremely popular. All of those attributes led to Avid developing quite stable of equally impressive mechanical disc brakes. Like the BB-7SL road disc brake from a few years ago, the BB7 S is essentially exactly the same as the BB7 but with some significant upgrades. Most notably is the switch from the black steel bolts to stainless ones all around. The black bolts were prone to oxidizing making your steed look less than fresh and potentially causing even bigger problems like stripped and seized bolts. The body of the BB7 S caliper is anodized a nice black and complimented with a new black adjustment knobs... so stealth. The BB7 S also come with Avid's new HS1 heat shedding rotors as opposed to the G2 rotors of the BB7 and BB5. The weight difference between the BB7 and BB7 S is nominal so it's really just a features upgrade.
One thing to note is that the BB7 S won't work with centerlock or 2 piece rotors due to clearance issues with the stock pads. As you can see in the picture below, the the tab on the pad intended to make swapping out pads easier gets in the way. We haven't tried it yet, but we bet that in a pinch you could modify the pad to get the clearance you need.
The BB7 S will be available in both Road (140mm & 160mm rotors) and MTB (140mm, 160mm, & 200mm rotors) versions. The road will work with any short pull road levers out there and the mountain with long pull. There has been some grumbling about Avid's competitors mechanical brakes not working well with SRAM levers, but seeing as SRAM is Avid's parent company we're sure it won't be an issue. All in all a slightly better brake adapted from the benchmark. Is it worth the extra cheese? That's up to you!
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