View Full Version : squeaky breaks

11-16-2002, 10:05 PM
Could someone give me some tips on silencing a squeaky break? My front break lets out a squeal if I pull on it fast or hard. Usually some kind of oil is required for squeaky things - but on breaks? doesn't sound like such a good idea to me! if oil is needed, where do I apply it? Is squeakiness normal - a kind of natural side-effect of the break pad hitting the rim?

Anyway, if anyone knows anything about this, I would love some advice :confused:

11-18-2002, 09:54 AM
Squeaky brakes are usually caused either by dirty rims or by out-of-alignment brake pads. Don't oil the brake pads, as this will actually make the squeal louder and will significantly reduce your braking power.

You can clean your rims (where the brake pad contacts the rim) with soapy water and a brillo pad.

If the brake pad surface appears glazed, you may want to try lightly sanding it.

A good article on dual pivot brake adjustment can be found on the Park website:

Their complete listing of bike maintenance guides can be found at:

or, you can take your bike to your local bike shop and they should be able to adjust it for a minimal charge.

11-18-2002, 10:40 PM
If it isn't glaze on the pads, simple to sand off or dirty rims take it by your mechanic, who should take about ten seconds to make a minor adjustment and fix that awful squeal. Hate that! Fixing/rebuilding your own brakes is actually not that hard, but it's a sort of zen thing and takes some time to learn- you need to develop the touch. I've fixed everything on my bikes and done it really well, but somtimes it's easier to just find a really tuned to the groove mechanic who does it every day, sort of like a really good pediatrician for your kids. Besides, a good bike mechanic will drop amazing pearls of wisdom and s/he already has all the tools. Some bike tools are pretty weird.
Look for the fix it book- "Anybody's Bike Book" by Tom Cuthbertson is good to read even if only to talk to the mechanic. A lot of stuff is really incredibly easy to fix yourself, and the rest is nice to at least know about.
Once a master does you a brake adjustment though, you'll be amazed. 'Nother level.


11-19-2002, 01:57 PM
I do my own maintenance on most of my bike, and it sounds like your rim needs some cleaning. I usually get that squeal when they are dirty, or if I have adjusted them when they wear down. Mine easily adjust with (patience) and an allan key, so I use the trial and error route and do minor adjustments. They might just need to be washed off though (the rim)
Oh ya, we are talkin' v-brakes right? Discs are a whole other world that I will learn next year!

02-27-2003, 03:12 AM
Originally posted by gapgoil
Discs are a whole other world that I will learn next year!

Those discs look amazing - I can't wait to afford them!

About squeaky brakes.. all of the above suggestions are good. Cleaning rim etc. Also..

Sometimes the brake pad needs to be angled in ever so slightly rather than being flat onto the rim. Angle it front in - that is the front of the pad hits the rim first when you brake. (Hope you understand that - I'd feel better drawing a picture)

Other clue is the brake itself - the type of material. Some of the hard rubber cheapies squeal no matter what you do. And it's so annoying. You have to just experiment a bit.

07-27-2003, 07:45 PM
If your brake pads are old, get new ones. Mine were sqealling too, so I cleaned the rims, and still got sqealling. I took a look at the pads, and they were so worn down that they were actually picking up peices of metal from the rim and embedding them into the pads!

Metal on metal doesn't sound beautiful!:eek: