The Avid BB5 mechanical disc brakes have just one pad adjustment knob as opposed to the Avid BB7 which allow you to adjust both pads.
This how-to is for the Avid BB5 and is the easiest, most consistent way I’ve found to dial-in these brakes.
Tools you’ll need:
- 5mm Hex wrench
- spare paper or biz card
- P-Handled T25 Torx Wrench
And the steps…
- Use the 5mm hex wrench to loosen the bolts that connect the brake to the frame. Don’t pull the bolts completely out, however make sure there is enough space so you can move the caliper easily.
- Put a spacer between the rotor and fixed brake pad. This is the pad that’s farthest away from the wheel.
In the picture I used a few sheets of thin paper. A buddy of mine has used a business card as well. Basically you just need something that will provide a small amount of space between the rotor and stationary brake pad.
- Tighten down the pad adjustment knob by turning it clockwise. You can do this by hand, however it’s easier to use the P-handled T25 torx wrench. Make sure you tighten the knob all the way down. Don’t overtighten and break anything, however make sure it’s really snug.
- Tighten the bolts that attach the brake to the frame using the 5mm hex wrench.
- Loosen the pad adjustment knob all the way and carefully remove the paper spacer.
- Tighten the pad adjustment knob until you have optimal stopping power. Be sure to test it out by spinning the wheel by hand and pulling the brake before you try to ride again.
So what did we do?
One of the hardest things about installing the Avid BB5 caliper on the frame is making sure it is in line with the rotor and that there is the right amount of space between the rotor and stationary brake pad. Adding the paper spacer ensures there is good clearance between the rotor and brake pad. By tightening the pad adjustment knob all the way down with the caliper bolts loosed you are making sure the pad and rotor are lined up correctly.
Have any questions or thoughts? Leave them in the comments.