View Full Version : Brakes squeaking??

07-24-2006, 12:29 AM
My bike turns 1 month today. (hooray Happy Birthday Jamis!)

Anyway... over the past few rides he's developed a squeak when I brake. I think it's the front one and it's sounds similar to a car when the brake pads wear down...

Only problem is... the brake pads haven't worn down much at all! (compared to the replacement set my BF has in his tool kit (still attached to cardboard)

The rim is smooth, there's no leaf litter or anything like that caught in the brake. '

He's dues in for his free service in a week's time.

He still brakes quickly, It's just the noise is enough to send the dogs off as I ride down the street at 6:00am... when it's still dark...

Any ideas? Anyone?

07-24-2006, 04:10 AM
It's possible there is some grit embedded in the pad. Take off the wheel and feel the pad for anything you might be able to remove. Then use sandpaper on the pad. If that doesn't change anything, it might be a toe-in issue. The pads should hit the rims either perfectly flat or with the front edge slightly ahead of the rear. If the rear edge hits first, they will squeal. If the pads aren't aligned properly, take an 8 inch crescent wrench (I'm assuming these are road brakes, not cantilevers) and snug it up on the flat of the brake caliper, just above or below the pad. Bend the caliper gently until the pad is flat or slightly toed in. Also check that the brake is firmly attached to the bike and there is no play between the caliper arms that could lead to vibration.

Lots of brakes squeal, some brands worse than others and some pad compounds worse than others. Some will squeal no matter what you do (if you had Mafac brakes in 1975, you had to live with it, but you didn't need a horn on the bike). Since these brakes didn't squeal when you got the bike, hopefully the squeak is correctable.

07-30-2006, 08:53 AM
Mine have been squealing, too, since I took the wheels off for thorough drivetrain cleaning a couple of weeks ago. I've read that getting solvents or lube on your rims can leave a residue that will cause a squeal. The recommendation was to clean the rims with rubbing alcohol. Has anyone else tried that? Would degreaser work, too?

07-30-2006, 08:55 AM
Rubbing alcohol works fine on the rims.

07-30-2006, 03:45 PM
I don't mind scaring off the dogs, and being audible to drivers, tho' when eventually I get that disk brake on the back, it'll prob'ly be quieter. I was thinking I need some kind of ipod thing and make screechy sounds when I wanted to. People (and many critters) automatically respond to brakes...