Avid BB5 Brake Review

3.36 out of 5
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August 29, 2018
Model/Year: 2008 BB5

Pros: Simple design Easy to service Easy to rebuild cheap No fluid to bleed or worry about

Cons: Really hard to tune to not rub and still work Needs frequent adjusting Hard to reach the inboard tuning knob

Recommendation: These came stock on my 2008 Specialized Rockhopper. I have rebuilt them twice and replaced pads twice. They work just well enough to keep me from dropping the cash for a hydraulic set. Not bad by any means, but if I was in the market for a set of disc brakes would not seek them out specifically.

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June 20, 2016
Pros: Easy on the fly adjustments

Cons: Pads are undersized in my opiona

Recommendation: With proper care and regular cleaning i have zero issues with these brakes

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May 27, 2015
Model/Year: 2006

Pros: The brakes are cheap, have ok stopping power, sheds heat quickly, inexpensive maintenance, and is good on descents and flat surfaces.

Cons: The brakes are always getting out of line, does not cope well with vibrations, and sports small brake pads.

Recommendation: I would recommend this product to anyone that is coming from v brakes on a budget otherwise go for hydraulics, there pretty cheap these days.

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January 21, 2015
Model/Year: 2008

Pros: Decent for what they are...

Cons: Small pad surface and Avid skrimps on the rotor contact patch.

Recommendation: I know this is an old thread but I will relay my experience with these brakes. They came fitted on my old 29er with 185mm rotors. Absolute garbage with the Avid rotors that had the small round holes in them. If you have those then toss them, they are worthless for clearing dust and debris from the pads. Went with the Hayes "V" series rotors in 180mm. If you measure the Avid vs. Hayes rotors the contact patch is a little wider on the Hayes. You may have to shim the BB5 calipers with some flat washers to get the pads to align with the Hayes rotors properly but they will cover the full surface. I went with some aftermarket semi-metallic pads (the ones that are painted yellow) and this combination actually works pretty decent... FWIW

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March 16, 2013
Pros: Cheap, i guess

Cons: Really finicky and hard to adjust. They make you wish you just had v-brakes. They also squeal a lot, and I'm a light rider.

Recommendation: Don't get them. Save up for better ones.

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December 15, 2012
Pros: Budget brakes that wont break the budget.

Cons: Basically these are for looks only. They stop marginally better than well tuned V brakes and they aren't as adjustable.

Recommendation: As was mentioned before, if you are looking for a cheap fork mount brake option, this is your bet. Don't expect much in the way of performance though.

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December 14, 2012
Model/Year: 2010 BB5 160mm rotors

Pros: -none

Cons: -Cheaply made
-Only one side of the rotor modulates and is adjustable
-Constantly require adjustments

Recommendation: The previous reviews of these brakes blew my mind. If these come stock on your bike, throw them away and upgrade to either BB7s or Hydraulics immediately. These came stock on my hardtail 29er and I had nothing but issues with them. They only adjust and modulate on one side of the rotor while the other side sits and waits for the rotor to be bent into it to stop the bike. HORRIBLE brakes.

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October 18, 2012
Pros: Good overall stopping power for mechanical disk brakes.
much better option than cantilever brakes

Cons: Brakes squeal when locking out.
Not enough braking power in extreme conditions.

Recommendation: These are great mechanical disk brakes for the money. For most applications these brakes work really well however, they are lacking, as far as stopping power, on extreme downhill situations. They are not as sensitive as hydraulic brakes so transitioning from one to the other will take some getting used to. The Avid BB5's came with my bike and if I had a choice I would personally have gone with a hydraulic brake set up but the BB5's are a great set for the amount of money you would spend to purchase them.
If you don't have the money for a set of hydraulic brakes I would definitely recommend these to anyone.

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February 27, 2012
Pros: came stock on bike easy to adjust but hard to get right

Cons: somtimes squeel touchy to get right

Recommendation: do the job but hard to get set right over long periods of time!

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February 7, 2012
Pros: Great brake for the price

Cons: Adjustments can be finnicky

Recommendation: Once these are set up correctly they are bulletproof for the minimal investment on mech. disc brakes. MSRP is much lower than stated as well. A set (front and back) is even much less than stated.

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Avid BB5 3.36 out of 5 based on 22 ratings. 22 user reviews.