I’ve ridden tons of disc brakes in my lifetime. Everything from Hayes, Avid, Shimano, Formula, Magura, Hope, etc. They are all awesome brakes that work well in nearly all conditions. Some have a little better brake feel than others. Some have better levers than others. Some squeak to no end, while others are as quiet as a burglar in the night.
The beauty of the Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes is in their simplicity. They are easy to use with tons of power–hardly distinguishable from their fluid-filled brethren. They are super easy to maintain and adjust with no worries about annual bleeding, or ruptured lines. All you need is an allen wrench and you’re golden.
The only negative aspect of the BB7′s is that they don’t come pre-matched with levers. You do have to purchase your own levers separately. The Avid Speed Dial Brake Levers are the obvious choice and they come in a variety of pricepoints from around $50 to over $200 per pair. With that, the price can end up being a bit less than hydros, but not by much, depending on which levers you choose. BUT, you do get a level of customization not offered by hydraulic brakesets.
If you want simplicity and power then go with the Avid BB7 disc brakes. They are the best for your money and will be easy to maintain for years to come.
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