You’re on your bicycle gliding down a lane enjoying the ride and view with solitude and the window blowing through your hair. Suddenly, you need to stop and hear a squealing sound that completely shatters your tranquility. There is no need to feel stressed, as many of us have gone down that path. A screaming brake is on the top of the list for most cyclists and is very annoying. However, it’s not the screaming sound that is a problem; your noisy brakes mean the braking system is not performing as it should. So how to fix squeaky bike brakes? We are here to help.
Determine What is Causing the Squeaky Brakes
A noisy brake can occur for many reasons. Sometimes it is a combination of different things that rise to the problem. When you hit the anchor from grease to oil on the wheel rim can be the cause. You may have oil on the brake pad or the rotor. Or the braking surface is misaligned, causing the racket. Maybe you have equipped your ride with new brake pads and still need to break-in. Other causes can be from poorly installed brakes that cause a tell-tale screech when vibrating. As you can see, you first need to find the cause of the problem to reduce your noisy brakes to run smoothly.
What Brakes Do You Have
Your cycle can be equipped with disc or rim brakes, and contamination is most likely the cause of the squeak.
For Rim Brakes
Check the rims to make sure it is oil-free or has no build-up of dirt. If it does, give it a good scrub with a degreaser. Next, check the brake blocks that it is clean and free of grit and oil. Furthermore, make sure they are wearing evenly or not worn out. If damaged, you best have them replaced.
On the other hand, if the brake blocks not worn out but not wearing down evenly, the likeliness is that it is not set up correctly. After cleaning, make sure to check all the bolts to keep the caliper secure to the frame and brake blocks, as loose bolts can cause noise.
After everything is done and it still screams, check to see if the brake is placed correctly on the rim and surface of the block. Lossen any bolts to reposition them accurately. Even a small amount of play in a wheel bearing also causes brakes to become noisy.
How To Fix Squeaky Bike Disc Brakes
Similar to rim brakes, your disc brakes also make a rowdy noise when contaminated. Normally, when you use lubricants made for disc brakes, some get on the brake pads or rotor. Always use an oil-free degreaser to help reduce this from happening. However, if after cleaning, they still scream, you need to eradicate it from your bike to sand it down with some sandpaper. If it does not help, we recommend investing in new pads.
So how do you fix squeaky bike brakes by replacing them? Compared to rim brakes, a disc brake setup poorly causes more harm than good. The best is to cycle at a good speed and firmly pull on the brakes to bed pads. It helps to do this several times to make sure it is well-bedded.
If nothing works as above, there is a chance the caliper is not aligned with the rotor. The fact is that a disc rotor bends fast, but you can straighten it using an adjustable spanner to readjust the position with your eye. After adjusting the brakes, you should have no squeaky noise driving you insane. If all fails, it helps take your bicycle to a local bike shop to check it out.
Fixing Squeaky Mountain Bike Brakes
Compared to a road bike, a mountain bike sees hard-on-and-off braking with higher temps. With all the break feathering, it causes glazes on the brake pads and rotor. You end up with a screechy-smooth sound. To fix the stream on your MBT disc brakes, you need to break the glaze that makes contact with surfaces.
As with the previous method, you use some sandpaper with 150 grit. Alternatively, you can choose less elbow grease, such as an angled die grinder fitted with a 3M Roloc Arbor with 180 sanding disk. With a proper bed-in comprising of an uneven surface etching, it helps prevent the brake pads from tracking that causes glazes in the first place. The important thing is to check the specifications of your model and the make of the rotor.