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How to Fix Squeaky Bike Brakes?

Squeaky brakes in a bike can be pretty annoying. And if your bike brake has the same issue, we’ve got it covered for you. Besides, noisy brakes happen due to multiple factors.

If you’re a cyclist, you’d know how bothersome it is to ride with a squeaky brake. And in this article, we have covered various factors that lead to noisy brakes. In addition, you will also learn how to stop the bike brakes from being squeaky.

Why are my bikes so squeaky?

Multiple factors lead to squeaky bike brakes. Therefore, if you have a squeaky brake, you should first look for the reason. And it’s vital to know the cause of the noise. Understanding the root cause will allow you to solve the issue sooner without any hassle.

Some of the brakes make noise due to misalignment or contamination. It also happens due to the wearing performance of the brake, and it’s vital to fix it. Note that a squeaky brake also means that your bike needs a check-up. Therefore, it’s essential to service your bike when there is squeaking. In addition, prolonging the issue will only worsen the condition.

Furthermore, a bike has two types of brakes, namely rim and disc brakes. And according to the kind of brake you should look into the issue. For instance, dirt contamination is likely to happen more in a rim brake than a disc brake. And this produces noise, wearing of rim and poor braking.

What are rim and disc brakes?

A disc brake is a metal designed with a circular disc that rotates with the wheel. It comprises of caliper, rotor and brake pads and functions interdependently. In this, the caliper brake gives force to the rotor. The rotor is interlinked with the central part of the bicycle wheel. And between the brake pads, there is friction where the wheel’s movement is halted because of the rotor.

Rim brakes are also referred to as mechanical brakes. In this type, the brake caliper gives force to the rim that is located below the wheel. A rim brake mainly uses cables for closing the caliper. The rotation of the wheel is slowed down due to friction between the brake track and brake pads.

Are new bike brakes supposed to squeak?

It’s normal for a new bike brake to make squeaky noise, especially a disc brake. New pads or rotors take some time to work together. The new pads usually are rough and coated with elements that are meant for protection. Thus, allowing your bike brake to make squeaky noise.

However, the noise dissipates after bedding in. It’s a process where the constant braking allows the debris to release into the small surfaces of the rotors and pads. With this, the small spaces are filled where there is more area for the surface. In addition, it also leads to brake better. This process will gradually lead the squeaky noise to go away.

How do I get my brakes to stop squeaking?

As mentioned earlier in the article, multiple factors cause the brakes to squeak. And before looking into the factor, you should also look into the brake types. It consists of rim and disc brakes. Therefore, to stop the squeaky noise, you should also make a note of the brake types.

Some of the factors that cause brake noise under rim brakes are through:

  • Contamination through dirt
  • Grease contamination

Usually, the blocks wear down while applying brakes, leaving metal and rubber residue. And this, in turn, leaves the braking surface dirty. In addition, it combines with other dirt like mud and ends up collecting at the blocks. And in the process allows the squeaking noise.

So, you need to get a brush or clean cloth to remove the dirt. Also, it will be better to inspect the first and take out the wheels. With that, remove the dirt either with a brush or a clean cloth. Use a cleaning product to clean both sides of the rims and brake blocks. Furthermore, the same process applies to the contamination through grease or oil.

And if the sound continues after all these processes, it would be better to change the brakes. If your bike has low-end brakes, it tends to bend while braking. Hence an upgrade would be a good call.

Under the disc brake, too, contamination through dirt or grease is likely to happen. However, to remove the grime, you need to remove the pad along with the wheels. And then clean the rotors and pads with an alcohol solution or brake cleaning. After cleaning, you can refit and see if there is any noise.

For the contamination through grease, you can clean the rotors without any hassle. But it would be difficult to recover the pads if they were contaminated by oil or grease. So, it will be best to replace it. Furthermore, you should also note that brake noises usually happen in a new bike brake. And in a disc brake, it is bound to happen. So, if you have a new bike, make sure to bed in. But before you do that, see that the pads are free of contamination.

Another factor that produces squeaky noise can also be due to the non-alignment of the caliper. So, here is how you can see if it’s aligned or not. First, turn your bike upside down. Now, spin the wheel and see if the rotor is straight during the spin. Also, make sure that there is a gap on each side of the pad.

If it’s not straight, take off the wheel and redo it. Make sure that the wheel is tightened and recheck it. And if it’s still not aligning, slightly take off the caliper bolts. Now move the caliper to fit it straight and tighten the bolts at the same position. After that, look at the rotor and see if it’s spinning straight. If there is some rubbing, it would mean that the rotor is warped or bent.

A rotor tends to bent when it has hit something while on a trail. It would also mean that the rotor has worn off and become thin. So, the best option is to replace it with a new rotor.

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