Avid's BB7 cable disc brake is an economical stopper that is a great low cost alternative to more expensive hydraulic brakes, but like any other component, it needs to be setup correctly to get the best results. Inside you'll find some helpful pointers to dial in your BB7, as well as a great setup video showing you the process from start to finish.
Some pointers before you begin...
• It should go without saying that if you're not confident with a tool in your hand that you shouldn't be tinkering with your brakes, but I'll say it anyway: Your risk injury or death if your brakes are not setup correctly. If you doubt your skills, take the bike to your local shop and have them do the work for you. • As always, clean your work area before beginning this job. This is especially important when working on disc brakes. Any grease or lube that you get on the rotor or pads will quickly make them useless. • Cable disc brakes are all about leverage. Setting them up too tight by rotating the caliper's actuation arm too far forward will limit the power you have on tap. Likewise, having your lever pull to short will also result in less bite. Have a look at Tech Tuesday #16 where we covered cockpit setup for more information. • Avid uses a nifty system consisting of hemispherical washers that compensate for any misalignment that may be found in the disc brake tabs. I've seen these CPS washers stacked incorrectly all too often which can not only make it hard to get the brake to run drag free, but also possibly sit the caliper at the wrong height. Take a minute to be sure they are orientated the right way. • The T25 torx screws used to hold the rotor on should have blue Loc-Tite on the threads and be torqued to 55 in/lbs. • After installing the rear wheel into the bike, put it on the ground and loosen and then re-tighten the axle or quick release. This will ensure that the wheel is in the frame straight, something that can be hard to do when the bike is in the work stand. • The red inboard pad adjustment dial can sometimes be hard to turn with your fingers. You can use a T25 torx wrench to make turning it easier. • Use new housing and a new cable to have your brake work at it's best. • A new brake will require being broken in correctly before hitting the trails. Spend some time outside test riding the bike and breaking in the new pads and rotor.
If you've never worked with Avid's BB7 brake you'll be doing yourself a big favor by taking a few minutes to read the instructions found on the RockShox site before watching the video below. Better yet, print them out to have them on hand in case you get lost.