How To Fix A Squeaky Bike Brake On Your Bike (Updated 2021)

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Bike brakes are a significant part of all bike types. No matter what bike types you are using, BMX bikes or road bikes or any other kinds, some squeaky and squealing sounds will appear after a period of use.

Sometimes, the sounds are slight and seem not to be a severe problem. But sometimes, they are so loud and annoy riders a lot. If you also have a headache on this issue, don’t hesitate to read this article now to find out how to fix a squeaky bike brake.

Reasons Why Bike Brakes Squeak

Reasons Why Bike Brakes Squeak
Reasons Why Bike Brakes Squeak

Brakes are responsible for reducing riders’ speed during their ride or stopping when necessary. Hence, brakes are significant in creating friction to overcome the bikes’ gravity. In other words, brakes need to suffer excellent wear. Different combinations of surfaces and brakes can also play a part in the brakes’ noise.

Brake noise can occur for several reasons. If you usually leave grease on the rotor or the wheel’s rim, the braking surfaces contact is misaligned. A new brake pad also needs to be installed for optimum braking performance. The braking surfaces is very important.

One of the other causes is pollution caused by walking in the dirt. The contamination is also a significant cause of squealing bike brakes. Different vibrations may indicate that the brake system is not working correctly.

When you hear the brake sound, your brake is having problems. If you do not solve the brake pad brush against the rim or disc, it will make very annoying squeaking noises. Such noises will make it hard for you to focus on the ride.

Negative Impacts of Squeaky Bike Brakes

Negative Impacts of Squeaky Bike Brakes
Negative Impacts of Squeaky Bike Brakes

As you all know, when any part of a bicycle breaks down or does not function as it should, they are potentially dangerous to the riders.

Sometimes we think the squeak is just a little noisy and not dangerous at all. But the reality is not so. The squeaking sound of bicycle brakes is also potentially dangerous. So how difficult are they? Let’s find out with me!

The significant impact of a squealing brake is the noisy sound. Whenever you ride, the squeak will make you crazy. Moreover, it is tough to focus if you are in a race.

But that’s not all! Squealing brakes are more dangerous than that. It will take about a thousand times for the brake shoes to grab and release the rim to make that sound. The brake shoes will deflect forward every time the sound appears. As a result, the brake arms will flex and break your bike.

Besides, a squeak is a signal showing that your bike is getting into trouble. Imagine what if you are down a hill, but your bike break does not work? How dangerous it is!

How To Fix Squeaky Bike Brakes

How To Fix Squeaky Bike Brakes
How To Fix Squeaky Bike Brakes

There are two main types of brakes used for bicycles: brake discs and rim brakes. Each type has its composition and use; therefore, there will be different ways to improve each type. From my experience, when we want to prepare any part of a bike, it is better to learn its composition first.

Thus, this section will show you the composition of rim brakes and disc brakes first. Then, it will show you some tips to fix squeaky bike brakes for each type.

Composition of rim brakes and disc brakes

Rim brakes

Composition of rim brakes and disc brakes
Composition of rim brakes and disc brakes

A rim brake is also known as a mechanical brake. It works on the friction mechanism acting on the wheel’s rim while rotating. Thus, it reduces the wheel’s speed and slows it down. The brake pads are usually made of cork rubber leather materials and captured with metal pads. The rim brake is generally activated by a brake lever mounted in the handlebar.

Disc brakes

Typically, disc brakes consist of brake pads, rotor, and caliper components.

The brake disc is designed in metal in a circular disc and rotated with the wheel. The brake pad secures the brake disc as you depress the brake pedal. The brake disc’s surface is smooth, and the brake pads are made of metal pieces that touch the brake disc slightly.

There are also brake blocks on the component. They will fit into a caliper. Whenever you ride and make a brake application, the brake blocks will rub on the wheel rim.

Since the brake pads are made with higher metal content, they will cause more noise. Even in a good state, the brake can also make a squeaky noise as usual.

Even disc brakes can often make very slight squeaking noises. Especially after the rain, due to the mud clinging to the dirt, signs such as worn brake pads cannot be removed. The brake disc surface is no longer smooth, or the brake pads are not correctly fitted. Even though it has not broken immediately, Unsafe still makes the journey uncomfortable.

How to fix the squealing sound on bike brakes

The squealing sounds on rim brakes

How to fix the squealing sound on bike brakes
How to fix the squealing sound on bike brakes

To fix the noisy sound, you need to remove two lumps first. Then, lightly grind the surface between the lumps and the braces. Now check if your brakes are still squealing or not.

Another way is to use the aluminum cleaning handle to scrub the rims clean, possibly while moving the vehicle with dirt or heavy dirt.

Or adjusting the rear eraser to a little more than 1mm from the rim can also make your brakes more stable.

To better understand how to fix the squealing sound on rim brakes, let’s watch this video:

Watch video: How to Fix Squeaking Squealing Rim Brakes: Quick bike brake toe-in the easy way

The squealing sounds on disc brakes

Usually, about 80 to 90 percent of brakes make squealing sounds not due to wear or bent disc but due to the brake piston droppings’ deflection, causing the brake pad to touch the brake disc.

For this case, you can refer to the steps below:

  • First, quickly release the shaft to re-align the wheels for the proper talon standard without being unjust or distorted compared to the frame.
  • Then, use the hexagon to remove two screws that catch the oil on the fork and adjust the brake disc between the two pairs of pads.
  • After that, tighten the screws again. Typically, the brake piston is on the front rib. Thus, when installing the rear wheel, it is often unbalanced and often skewed. That’s why the brake pads touch the disc and squeak.

Another case is that the brake pads are running. For the mechanical brake, remove and take some sandpaper and rub it with the oil brake. You can get some soap to rub in and then wash it off. Besides, you can also use some disc brake cleaners.

To get a clearer image of how to fix the squealing sound on disc brakes, you can refer to this video:

Watch video: How To Fix Noisy Squeaking Squealing Disc Brakes On A Bike

Reasons Why A High-quality Bike Brake Is Important

Reasons Why A High-quality Bike Brake Is Important
Reasons Why A High-quality Bike Brake Is Important

Bike brakes are a vital component that reduces the bike’s speed when riding. Thus, it is significant to equip a high-quality brake for your bike.

Why a high-quality rim brake is important

If your bike uses a rim brake, the aluminum rim’s outer is often worn away by the brake’s friction. The wheel is therefore weaker.

During braking, the brake’s friction surface and the rim will withstand heat. It is not a big deal as the brakes are applied in limited cases and for short periods so that the heat dissipates quickly and the air. However, when riding a heavy vehicle over long distances, the heat energy generates more. It can cause a lot of heat to damage the brake pads.

As a result, a good-quality brake will be better. You had better buy a rim with a ceramic coating to reduce wear and improve wet and dry braking with less heat transfer inside the edges.

Why a high-quality disc brake is important

Why a high-quality disc brake is important
Why a high-quality disc brake is important

Disc brakes are usually used for road bikes. Therefore, they should be of high quality to ride in bumpy mountain trails, rocks, or other challenging conditions like wet, mud, or snow.

Also, a disc brake applies the enormous torque possible at the hub. Heat buildup can lead to brake disc failure. Excessive temperature leads to boiling hydraulic fluid resulting in brake broken.

During the ride, the hydraulic system pushes the brake pads firmly onto the brake disc, stopping the wheel’s rotation. After a while, the brake pads wear out, and the braking performance deteriorates.

Due to the issues mentioned above, the better the braking quality is, the safer the riders are.

How to choose a suitable bike brake

Choosing a high-quality bike brake is significant, and so does a suitable bike brake.

Many people wonder which bicycle brake is best for their bike. However, the answer is that there is no best brake for a bicycle. The right bike brake for kids’ bikes is not suitable for adult bicycles and vice versa.

Some people think that it is better to choose the disc brake. That is only partially true. Because disc brakes are great for mountain bicycles but long-distance or touring bikes, it is not.

In short, choosing the right bicycle brake depends on the type of bike you are using and the purpose of your riding.

The above article has just provided you with a fix when the bicycle brake squeaks and other helpful information related to the bicycle brake. We hope you will enjoy it. And don’t forget to read our following valuable articles!

FAQs

How do I stop my squeaking brakes?

The easiest way to stop your bikes from squeaking is regularly cleaning up the bike brakes. Also, you should usually check them to realize the problems and fix them soon.

How long does it take to fix the squeaking brakes?

It depends on how severe the squeaking sound is and how familiar you are when fixing that problem. Usually, the time will be around 30 minutes to an hour. But it can be longer in some cases.

Do I need to deal with rim and pads while fixing a squealing bike brake?

The answer is yes. There are different causes of squeaking brakes,  of which rim and pads are also the causes.

Is the riding surface a major cause of squeaky brakes?

Of course. When you ride, the dirt on the riding surface will hang on to the brakes. It is one of the causes of making your bike brakes squealing.

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About Jim Felt

Jim Felt, a man with a genuine love of speed. A man who designed his very first triathlon frame for Johnny O’Mara – the star of Motorcross at “The O-Show” – then got big successes in 1990. In 1994, Felt incorporated with Answer Products to launch his brand, starting a 7-year relationship until 2000. In 2001, Jim Felt relaunched the Feltracing brand in conjunction with Michael Müllmann and Bill Duehring. Our product lines were then expanded into a full line of commuter bikes, cruisers, MTBs, MBX, even road and tri bikes. The total number of models were up to 140 distributed in 27 countries.