Avid BB7 brakes & Speed Dial Ultimate levers review

Robust mechnical stoppers; good for jump bikes

Our rating 
3.3 out of 5 star rating 3.3
GBP £169.99 RRP | USD $338.11

Our review

The best cable disc brake out there, but we say save your bucks and go with the SL levers
Skip to view product specifications

The initial bike of this all-mechanical brake system is not dissimilar to its hydraulic cousins. However, once you are into your braking, the stopping power doesn’t increase dramatically the harder you pull the lever, the way it does with a hydraulic system.


The £169.99 levers are a marvel to look at, but are a bit of a misnomer. The feel and ergonomics of the £47.99, 9g lighter Speed Dial SL are better than that of the Ultimate.

The Avid BB7 is still the best mechanical caliper available, though. It has a smooth action, with the actuator arm rotating on ball bearings. The inboard and outboard pads can be independently adjusted. It’s decent value at £45.99 for caliper and rotor.

The ludicrously priced Avid Speed Dial Ultimate levers boast titanium hardware, adjustable leverage ratio and sealed cartridge-bearing pivots.


Cable disc brakes are a more robust option for jump bikes, plus the lower level of stopping power won’t be an issue.

Product Specifications


Name Speed Dial Ultimate Levers
Brand Avid

Manufacturer's Description The pinnacle of custom modulation Response Geometry engineering and legendary Speed Dial technology integrate ergonomics, efficiency and unmatched adjustability, putting absolute control at your finger tips. Result: A CNC machined lever that's as functional as it is swank.
Features • CNC Aluminum - Light weight and precision fit • Speed Dial Leverage Adjustment • Patented adjustable leverage that allows on-the-fly adjustment, without tools. Dial in the exact feel and performance you want • Live-Action-View-Ports™ - A peek into where the Speed Dial adjustment is• Qwik-Adjust Barrel Adjuster - One-handed cable adjustment• Sealed Bearings - Silky smooth and low maintenance• Cam-Split Clamp™ - Easiest way to install a brake lever - keep the grips where they are• Bend Zone™ - Designed to bend the handle, not damage the body• Finish - Stealth Black• Weight - 152 grams• Upgrades from the Speed Dial SL• CNC machined• Cam-Split Clamp• Qwik-Adjust barrel adjuster• Wider Speed Dial range
Weight (g) 152
Cable Adjuster Yes
Colour Black
Material CNC Alloy
Brake Compatibility Cable-Operated Discs