Disc brake newbie question, about mixing wheels/hubs/rotors
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  1. #1
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    Disc brake newbie question, about mixing wheels/hubs/rotors

    Hi,

    I have ordered a new cx disc frame + a pair of avid BB7 road. I am completely new to the disc world (I'm not Rincewind).

    This bike will serve as both a commuter and a CX race bike. I will probably use at least 3 different wheelsets (1 for the road, two for CX with different tubulars) and will have to build them in the next 3 weeks before my first CX of the year. As much as possible, I'd like to be able to swap wheels without needing to much tuning/alignement/setup.

    About the wheel changes :
    -can I mix hubs from different brands and type (center lock / 6-bolt) or should I keep using the same model for all my wheelsets to avoid a re-alignement..
    -can I mix different rotor models or is the width standardized and respected ?
    -should I rotate the rotors every few weeks to minimize wear difference ?

    About the BB7 rotor and pad quality :
    -are the standard pads OK or should I switch to another type/brand ?
    -are the Avid G2 rotors OK ? Are there better, lighter and or cheaper alternatives ? I will have to buy a batch of rotors shortly.

    I know these are a lot of questions, I've done some MTBing but never owned an MTB. As much as I can, I like to do the wrenching myself.

    Thanks very much already !

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by T0mi View Post
    Hi,
    -can I mix hubs from different brands and type (center lock / 6-bolt) or should I keep using the same model for all my wheelsets to avoid a re-alignement..
    I would buy all the same to minimize the need to adjust
    -can I mix different rotor models or is the width standardized and respected ?
    Same as above
    -should I rotate the rotors every few weeks to minimize wear difference ?
    No

    About the BB7 rotor and pad quality :
    -are the standard pads OK or should I switch to another type/brand ?
    Yes, no
    -are the Avid G2 rotors OK ?
    yes

    Are there better, lighter and or cheaper alternatives ?
    Yes but the difference won't be noticeable
    I hope this helps

  3. #3
    First one home gets beer
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    Compressionless housing helps too.

  4. #4
    J-K
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    Quote Originally Posted by T0mi View Post
    About the wheel changes :
    -can I mix hubs from different brands and type (center lock / 6-bolt) or should I keep using the same model for all my wheelsets to avoid a re-alignement..
    To add to what mountbkr said: If you do use different hubs, avoid centrelock. There are thin shims on the market for 6 bolt discs. By way of these shims, you can get discs on different hubs in the same place, so the brakes need no re-alignment.

    About rotors: The thickness is allmost allways 2.0mm. Some are a tiny bit less (Formula), but none are wider. With BB7's you need to be careful with floating disc with a spider in the middle. If the spider is too wide, it will hit the little tabs that stick out of Avid pads. There is a sticky forum thread on MTBR that sums up what works and what does not.

    Offcourse, using the original discs is the most foolproof way. There are lighter discs available, but check out the differences... minimal.

  5. #5
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    Thanks you very much guys, this is a good confirmation of my original thought. I will look at buying my hubs in bulk and use the original rotors. I want it to be a no brainer, I won't play the shim game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by T0mi View Post
    Thanks you very much guys, this is a good confirmation of my original thought. I will look at buying my hubs in bulk and use the original rotors. I want it to be a no brainer, I won't play the shim game.
    You might still have to shim due to differences in offsets in the wheel builds but it will be minimal if you use a good wheel builder.

  7. #7
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    On Velonews today. About the same advise as above, but with some cool links.

    The Fall of Discs: Trick your Avid BB7 brakes

  8. #8
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    How often do the rotors need to be trued? I just got mine and they didn't arrive trued but still work without rubbing if the pads are opened wide

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by T0mi View Post
    Hi,

    I have ordered a new cx disc frame + a pair of avid BB7 road. I am completely new to the disc world (I'm not Rincewind).

    This bike will serve as both a commuter and a CX race bike. I will probably use at least 3 different wheelsets (1 for the road, two for CX with different tubulars) and will have to build them in the next 3 weeks before my first CX of the year. As much as possible, I'd like to be able to swap wheels without needing to much tuning/alignement/setup.

    About the wheel changes :
    -can I mix hubs from different brands and type (center lock / 6-bolt) or should I keep using the same model for all my wheelsets to avoid a re-alignement..
    -can I mix different rotor models or is the width standardized and respected ?
    -should I rotate the rotors every few weeks to minimize wear difference ?

    About the BB7 rotor and pad quality :
    -are the standard pads OK or should I switch to another type/brand ?
    -are the Avid G2 rotors OK ? Are there better, lighter and or cheaper alternatives ? I will have to buy a batch of rotors shortly.

    I know these are a lot of questions, I've done some MTBing but never owned an MTB. As much as I can, I like to do the wrenching myself.

    Thanks very much already !
    iirc, the standard BB7 pads are a sintered metal compound which is better for the wet stuff also.

    Avid G2 rotors.... not a fan of them. The Avid HS1's are cheaper and come on Avid's hydraulic setups.

    For a dose of style (and cheaper alternative), check out Alligator Windcutter Color rotors
    Brakes/Disc at Price Point

    I like the Alligator Windcutter and Avid HS1's better than the G2 Cleansweep rotors on my MTB

    The Avid brake fastening system allows for quick realignment for when you need to swap wheels/rotors. Loosen the bolts, apply brake pressure & tighten the bolts.
    2010 Specialized Secteur Elite with the RBR not-approved Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheelset
    2009 Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29er upgraded to SRAM X9 with 1x10 and Stan's Arch EX rims and tubeless.
    2013 Cannondale CAADX-6 Tiagra with 9-speed SLX RD to run 11-32T cassette and Stan's Alpha 400 rims and tubeless
    and
    Some Burton snowboard setups, one with stiff ol' Camber and one with Rocker-Camber-Rocker

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredwininger View Post
    How often do the rotors need to be trued? I just got mine and they didn't arrive trued but still work without rubbing if the pads are opened wide
    Depends. If you're anal, probably several times a season. But if you're not inclined to get stressed out about a little noise, they should really only need attention if they get banged in a crash. Rotors tend to develop a little runout if ridden in wet conditions, but it's rarely significant. If the brakes aren't actually squeezing the rotors between the pads, there's not enough drag going on to mess with the bike's speed. That's not to say I'd let it drag all the way around on one of the pads. But with the rotor and pads properly adjusted, a once-per-revolution ping isn't a big deal and will frequently sort itself out anyway.

  11. #11
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    On my mountain bike I have two different wheelset's. They use different hubs and I have to loosen the bolts/respread the pads everytime I change wheels. If you can I'd build them all with the same hubs.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountbkr View Post
    You might still have to shim due to differences in offsets in the wheel builds but it will be minimal if you use a good wheel builder.
    Huh? Disc placement has nothing to do with the wheel build, it's a function of the distance between the axle mating surface relative the the disc mating surface on the hub. If this distance is the same he's fine.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by OnTheRivet View Post
    Huh? Disc placement has nothing to do with the wheel build, it's a function of the distance between the axle mating surface relative the the disc mating surface on the hub. If this distance is the same he's fine.
    I stand corrected.....must have been half asleep when I posted that. :thumbup:

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