Obviously, the Avid BB7 disc brake is a huge part of what makes the Volagi Liscio special. There are a lot of folks out there who have certainly earned their stripes when it comes to setting up disc brakes, but there are also those who may not be as familiar with them.
Then there is the brake itself. The Avid BB7 is a great brake, but it does have its eccentricities that can frustrate even the most seasoned mechanic during set up. While we already had one video published on disc brake adjustment, in the spirit of continual improvement we’ve created two new videos, one for the initial set up and one for the actual adjustment, in order to help anyone through the process of getting their brakes dialed in.
Jump past the break to see the adjustment video, along with a word on proper housing length!
As mentioned in the video, there are a few bikes that have shipped with housing that is just a bit too short where it exits either the fork or the chainstay and enters the brake. While the brakes will still stop you just fine, the shorter housings will contribute to a soft or mushy feel at the lever. Sometimes it helps to remove the cable and housing completely from the brake when adjusting it, so while you’re at it you can slip in a new piece of housing. If you’re careful about how you cut the crimp off the cable, the additional length to the housing is usually not enough to mandate a new brake cable.
On the left is a brake that is showing the housing which is too short, the photo on the right illustrates the proper length (click on the photos to enlarge). Notice on the short housing how it’s already starting to split where the housing is being pulled sideways, but the end cap is resisting. When you pull on the lever of a brake that has the housing cut too short, you can actually see the housing piece stretching and flexing under the force of the cable.
Proper housing length is around 107mm for the front brake, and 140mm for the rear brake, and is measured end to end without housing end caps installed.
Any mechanic worth his salt will already know this next step, but for those who don’t: always open the end of brake housing after you cut it. As you can see, the housing on the right doesn’t have a great opening for the cable to pass through which will cause friction in your line. Using either a sharpened spoke, pick, or other sharp implement, open up the inner lining to provide a nice clean opening like the housing on the left. The Prostyle next step would be grinding the housing end down perfectly flat, but be careful not to melt the inner or outer liner by grinding for too long. Once you’ve ground the end down, make sure to clean up the opening again with the pick.
You may notice that on the picture of the brake with short housing, that it looks like the housing end cap isn’t sitting properly in the housing stop. I’ve only seen this on one bike, which was an early pre-production sample so it’s not very common. However, if you run into it there is a very easy fix that can be done in under 30 seconds. The reason the housing wasn’t properly seated was due to the fact that there was extra clear coat sitting inside the housing stop. The added clear coat made it too small of a hole for the housing end cap to properly fit, so it only sat half way in.
To fix the issue, all you will need is a 1/4″ or 3/16″ drill bit, and your hands. Using your hands only (do not use a drill!), simply insert the drill bit into the housing stop, and twist. If you have selected the right sized drill bit, it will grab the extra clear coat and snap it clean out, leaving a little plug of clear coat. That’s it!
There you have it, how to install, set up, and adjust the Avid BB7s on your Volagi Liscio. All of these little steps add up to a tremendously improved feel at the lever, and provide one of the best braking experiences you can currently get on the road.