Thursday Tech Tip: Adjusting Avid BB5 Disc Brakes

How To's/Tech Tips Main Mountain Biking

Here’s a simple How To….Adjusting your Avid BB5 Disc Brake Caliper.

RL Policar

RL Policar is an avid mountain biker and the Editor In-Chief of and Between the two sites, he's published well over 4,000 articles (and growing).

7 thoughts on “Thursday Tech Tip: Adjusting Avid BB5 Disc Brakes

  1. You want to know how to adjust Juicy 5’s…then you’ll get a how to with Juicy 5’s!

    Let me work on that and post it as soon as we get it done.


  2. I followed your tips to see if I could prevent the rotor from rubbing on the pads, but when I do that I lose all stopping power and the cable adjustments are both at their limits. Could the rotor be bent (the bike only has about 100 miles on it)? What do I do? Is rubbing a problem – it’s annoying, but does it shorten the brake’s life?

  3. A couple of things Marc, if your adjusters are at their limit, then y you may want to adjust them back to their original position, then loosen the bolt that holds the cable in place on the caliper. Pull the cable taught, lift the lever on the caliper that activates it, hold it, then tighten the bolt. That should give you more room to play with the adjuster barrels if needed later on.

    But one way to check your rotors. Spin the wheel, look at the caliper where the rotor goes in, and check if its warped. You can either have the LBS try and bend it back or simply get another rotor.

    One more thing you can try is taking out your pads, the doing a quick sandpaper job on the pads. Sand enough to remove the glazing, and until you get to a fresh layer of the pad. That normally helps.

    If you’re still having problems getting them to grab, then you may have some grease in there, in which some disc brake cleaner or rubbing alcohol when sprayed on the pads will help eliminate the grease.

    BUT if you’re still having problems after all that, then check to see if you have the following brand of calipers:
    Promax and Winzip. Those brands suck! I’d recommend a set of Avid BB5’s. I have those on most of my bikes and I love them! You can get them through for as low as $34!

    Anyhow, good luck with all that. Let me know how it goes.


  4. RL, Thanks for the tips you gave Marc. I think you may have skipped over his real question. I am starting to have his original issue; the non adjuster side pad rubbing on the caliper. Did not have this issue at first, developed over time. Any advice for this?


  5. If the rotors are rubbing only on one side and the rotor itself isn’t warped, you can adjust the caliper body on the fork or frame mount by loosening the retaining bolts and moving the body until the rotor is centered between sides. Sometimes you can barely loosen the bolts and squeeze the brake lever to “self-center” the caliper body, but I prefer to eyeball it.

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