Andy R wrote:
As far as depending where you ride goes, if you only ride flattish trails in the dry then you'd not be at much of a disadvantage with V brakes.
That's not the sort of riding that I do, though.
I'd say we ride a similar style of trails. Over this way though the BB7s just don't stand up to the conditions as well as a hydraulic brake. On more than one occasion I've seen trail debris catch in the caliper arm (while riding) making the brake very ineffective.
If budget was an issue and I wanted a cheap upgrade then I'd happily choose BB7s but selecting one when you've already got a peefectly good Hope brake just to match the levers doesn't sound like an intelligent solution.
On the Marta SL, a few people I ride with have also commented on the lever feel in comparison to other brakes. I don't have any but have found on the Hopes and Shimano brakes I have that the Goodridge hoses make a noticable difference to the lever feel.
All very valid points re. the trail debris issue, and true - if I already owned a good hydraulic front brake I wouldn't bother changing to a BB7 just to match levers either. In fact the only reasons that I'm using one on that Kilauea that I have in Greece was that I didn't have a spare hydraulic lever/caliper lying around and, to be honest, I was curious to see how good they are.
I still find it an impressive brake, especially for the money (I already had the SD7 levers anyway) and the comparison with the Marta SL's was simply because they're the disc brake I'm most familiar with and one that I find to be really good.
It's all down to personal preference and I think it's more important for a bike components to function well than it is for them to look pretty.
To have both is nice, of course