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Avid Speed Dial 7levers
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- Avid speed dial 7 levers
- Speed dial leverage adjuster
- Mica/black forged aluminum handle
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I've owned a lot of bikes, with varying brakes set up on each. There have been Tektro brakes, which seemed like a joke since they were so poor and functioned worse than rim brakes. I've also ridden road bikes, which have pretty poor brakes (designed for light weight and speed, not stopping) but do function when need be. However, I will restrict this review to my SD-7's and Shimano Hydraulics to compare them to.
On my recumbent, I've swapped between Avid BB7's paired with these SD-7 levers, and Shimano Deore M615 Hydraulics. The avid's are rated as one of the best cable disk brakes on the market, as is the Shimano being one of the best hydraulics on the market (at a reasonable price point, not super ridiculous price point). The Shimano's are amazing, with great modulation and feel. They gave confidence and inspired me to brake later into corners.
The BB7's and SD-7's, however, are an amazing combo that rivals the Shimano's. First off, The levers are adjustable to change the lever position and the cable pull position. This helps this lever achieve better modulation than any other cable brake lever I've used. The levers are also the right size for mountain biking. The Shimano's really only were a 2-3 finger lever, whereas you could use all your fingers on the SD-7's. This gives the SD-7's a power advantage over regular brakes. The adjustable cable pull position, which is the red knob, allows you to adjust the mechanical advantage you get by the levers. I leave mine at the highest advantage position and they work great.
Power wise, the SD-7's and Hydraulic levers feel very similar. Properly set up, each work very well, although the hydraulics are a bit small for my preference. In terms of modulation, the SD-7's are the best at replicating hydraulics, but aren't the same. Very good however. To sum up, these levers make cable actuated brakes perform much better than regular levers by providing the user with increased leverage.
I have also installed a set of these levers on a road bike with rim brakes. Night and day difference in terms of power and stopping. I considered buying the FR-5's for $10 less, but the extra money is well spent on these. The adjustment knob makes up for the dollar difference. You won't be disappointed by these levers on any cable brakes you use.
I recently changed the configuration on my touring bike from drop bars to the Jones H Bar. I did this because the Jones bars allow more hand positions and comfort. Because of the configuration change, I needed to buy new brake levers and thumbie shifters. I chose the Avid Speed Dial 7 and am very pleased. They are smoothed and I like the adjustability.
They're great! You can tell their meant to take a beating. I'd give them 5 stars but the 2.5 mm screw tgat adjusts how close/far the brake lever sits is pretty hard to get to unless you have a long and durable tool.
If you have mechanical disc brakes on your mountain bike, put these on yesterday!
The levers are Interchangeable (left or right side), have readily accessible dials for quick lever pull adjustment, and are very easy to install. They also have a nice finish.
I am one happy customer.