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[VIDEO] High Tech BCA Performance: chat with Andrea Brioschi

Nice chat with Andrea Brioschi, the person behind the research and development of the Italian High Tech brand BCA Performance.

BCA High tech Performance andrea brioschi

BCA is a family business made in Italy with a lot of passion and expertise and we took advantage of Andrea's expertise to also delve into questions that do not exclusively concern his products. Space for the video and, below, the verbatim transcription of the chat.

SEE THE VIDEO

TELL US THE STORY OF BCA

BCA was born about fifteen years ago: we were a design office for third parties and small productions. Following some of the indications given to us in the off-road world, motocross, etc., we began to develop various brake systems. From this world, mountain bike products were subsequently born.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF A COMPANY WITH A MOTORING BACKGROUND COMPARED TO A PURELY BIKE COMPANY?

In my opinion all technologies are valid. We have affinities with our theories, given by experience and what we have developed over the years. We have our own general know-how and we have brought it back to the bike world. But it's not that a motorcycle company is better than a bike company, absolutely not. Indeed, in the bike world we encountered new problems that we didn't have in the motorcycle world.

MOUNT M1 bca pliers

BCA SEEMS TO BE AIMING VERY MUCH FOR SUBSTANCE AND WE CAN'T FIND A LIGHT RANGE FOR XC AND A "HEAVY" RANGE FOR DOWNHILL. DO YOU CONFIRM?

Yes, there is currently one caliper. The only thing that in my opinion varies between one discipline and another is the issue of smoothness/roll-back, where in Gravity you need greater readiness than in XC. However, these are precautions that are taken but always starting, basically, from the same product.

BCA Yod4 Enduro disc

BETTER 2 OR 4 PISTONS?

I had a motto which was: two pistons, two problems, four pistons, four problems. I prefer the 2 pistons: in my opinion the 2 pistons, referring to products with 2 generous pistons and a dedicated pump, will have a modulable stroke while on the four pistons, the pistons will be smaller and there is therefore a lot of impact speed. You transform it into power with the issue of the pad, in the sense that in any case you have pads that are more generous but the modulability is lost.

DOT OR MINERAL OIL?

So on 2 feet there is no clear answer. We use DOT because, coming from the motoring world, our know-how is focused on that and it is the best known oil. But I happened to read, I don't mind this person on Facebook, who commented: "Beautiful BCA system: when they do it with mineral oil I will buy it". I would say: no problem, I'll modify it and send it to you. In the end the mineral is rubber, that is, using rubber resistant to the corrosion of the mineral rather than the dot. Then ok, the fluid itself has slightly different properties, such as the more or less maintained temperature, the corrosion index and more.

SO DO YOU CONFIRM THAT THE DRIVING FEELING CHANGES BETWEEN DOT AND MINERAL?

Yes, it changes the feel of the lever a bit, because it's a different smoothness.

BCA
Davide Finetto (left) – Andrea Brioschi (centre) – Gabriele (right)

YOU TOLD ME THAT BCA BRAKES CAN BE CUSTOMIZED: BUT WHAT DOES THIS CUSTOMIZATION MEAN?

A system is nothing more than: caliper and pump. Once you have the caliper that does the job of clamping the pad onto the disc which is in sections and then it would go to take it to the pump. When you want more on/off or more modulated braking, manage these sensations with different cartridge diameters.

Example: do I want modulable braking? I keep a cartridge with a smaller diameter, by doing so I have more travel and manage my braking in more sectors. Do you want sharper braking? I change the cartridge but with a larger diameter. Plus we can also play on different lever arms.

BCA USES A PAN SYSTEM ON THE PUMP: WHAT IS THE REASON?

Generally, sometimes I wonder if the other systems work with oil rather than air, because there are tanks so small that I say: "but how do they get consumption with pad consumption?". This is not to say that they don't work. We need more oil: large pistons require a lot of oil during pad wear in order to carry an adequate quantity of oil.

TELL ME ONE BAD VICE YOU WOULD NEVER WANT TO SEE IN A BIKER AGAIN

I certainly don't like seeing people who come to the system from a standstill and think they understand how to brake the bike by crushing it. He stops and crushes my levers. I feel bad seeing him do it. Another thing, it bothers me to see bicycles upright: not so much because of the position itself but because I'm sure that the brake will be activated (and released) with the bike upright, thus facilitating the passage of air. If you turn the bike over for a limited time without applying the brakes, air will never get in so easily, because the hole is very small. But if you release after braking, you create depression, and therefore, when the piston returns, it will safely pull in air.

Be careful when you position the bike vertically on the Shuttle 🙂

WHAT IS THE CONSTRUCTION MATERIAL OF BCA PADS? ORGANIC OR METALLIC?

Ours is a mixture: they are loaded with metal, but they are not synthesized. They are loaded in an abundant quantity to guarantee durability and performance but always remain on an organic basis, given that they are so popular. I am not a seller but I recommend our pad because we have tested it and I am sure that it will give good braking, having a lot of metal charge, but maintaining the organic matter, not throwing out too much graphite, therefore dirt.

By not throwing out too much dirt, our disc works well and is effectively kept shiny. When I see a lot of dirty pads it's not good. That graphite is a sort of lubricant, a sort of self-protection of the pad when it reaches temperatures. But when we are in the presence of so much dirt we work on the disc badly, let's say almost like a friction, not a bite. And this causes the temperature to rise, consumes the disk etc. Ours tries to overcome all this.

FLOATING OR NON-FLOATING DISCS?

I don't like floating discs, I don't appreciate them for my mentality, in the sense that I would say that floating discs acquire play over time. In the long run they generate inaccuracies at the plant level. I'll exaggerate to make the concept clear: let's say that when I have a floating disc and I go to start braking, I have an initial moment where the disc must settle and align itself, and then braking begins. I prefer a product that doesn't compromise.

If I were to create floating disks I would make them according to the temperatures: they must always be axially constrained and radially we could leave them free, but axially they must work precisely in their point.

bca yod4 disc
BCA Yod4 discs are not floating due to brand choices

DO DISCS OF EXCESSIVE THICKNESS, EXAMPLE 3MM, BRING ANY ADVANTAGES?

The thicker the disc becomes, the better the performance in terms of temperature: it takes longer to heat it up and it holds the axial thrusts better (so it bends less). In my opinion, however, with a well-made structure equipped with a rigid hub, there is no longer any need for all this thickness. So currently we have abandoned the question of the three millimeter disc: too much for the bike world. And I would like to point out that it is the disc hub that makes the difference, not the thickness itself.

Thank you Andrea for the wonderful chat and we will send you back to the official website of BCA for more details.



Written by

[email protected] I am a fan of everything that has 2 wheels: at a young age I practiced road and track cycling (Italian Allievi champion). At the age of 18 I passed into the cross country competing at national/international level as an Under23. Past Elite, I made the choice to take things more lightly from a training point of view, and my love for gravity disciplines was born, training me as an FCI MTB instructor and guide. Now I have made passion my profession by managing 2 MTB centers on the island of Elba (Bike Center Elba and Elba MTB), creating the FANTAmtb and telling in an ironic but professional way everything that revolves around MTB thanks to 365mountainbike and 365TV (YouTube'PULITI dentro BIKER fuori').

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