Balfa BB7 opinions and reviews
If you read this site, you probably already know a thing or two about the BB7, so technical details aside (view "Frame overview" and "Technical data" for details), let's go straight to good and bad things about the BB7.
- High pivot suspension design - frame soaks up sharp-edged objects at every speed, maintains momentum very well;
- No pedal kickback - chain growth is close to none;
- Constant wheelbase - it's predictable and you can push the suspension for extra stability;
- Very stable and forgiving at higher speed and while jumping;
- Low centre of gravity - rails the corners;
- Fairly low standover height - inspiring confidence, especially for smaller riders;
- Simplicity and predictable feel of single pivot bike;
- Sturdy, built to last for ages;
- Suitable for racing as well as freeriding;
- Well, it's a classic!
- Sluggish handling when speed drops (it slightly gets better when the shock is mounted in steeper, "FR" position but then high speed handling is compromised);
- Rather on the heavy side;
- Some design issues (shock reservoir hitting the linkage, chain device decreasing tyre clearance - see "Technical data");
- Prone to brake-jack (as any single pivot; fixed by optional floating caliper set);
- Rear end is rather flexy;
- Poor pedalling efficiency- this bike goes only when pointed down the hill;
- Restricted access to rear shock adjustments - unscrewing upper mount is often needed.
It's always best to know as many people's opinions as possible before making a decision. You can save a bit of Google-time by clicking these links:
- MTBR.com - over 40 user reviews and opinions about the BB7;
- NSMB - another collection of user reviews;
- Pinkbike - valuable "Long (real long) term review";
- ECMTB - good review of 2003 BB7.
If you are still hungry for some more, try these:
- FeedTheHabit - 2003 model quick review;
- Asilvertouch - actually Appalache Real review, but contains valuable thoughts about the Balfa;
- Bike Addict - short description of early version of BB7.
These are maybe not as valuable as full reviews, but you can still find some unique comments about building up and riding the BB7: