A squeaky brake is definitely an annoying situation. Especially when you do not know the reason behind it. Now, you may have oil or grease on your rim, a misaligned braking surface, or it’s possible that your brake pads are contaminated. No matter the reason, you can face a squeaky situation on any kind of brake you are using.
It’s not only the sound that is annoying. A squeaky brake may be a sign of an underlying problem with your braking system. If so, it may affect the bicycle’s braking capability. That’s why, it is important to address the situation.
Well, fortunately, there are some easy fixes that you could do yourself. Knowing the problem is the key. Once you’re aware of that, you can move to the possible solution without much thought.
So, here’s everything you need to know about your noisy brakes and how to fix them.
3 Reasons Why Your Brakes Squeeke
Why are your brakes squeaky? I am glad you asked. There are two main reasons why your brakes are making this sound. This could be due to improper alignment or contamination of the brake pads. The method to fix the squeak depends on the problem.
1. You Have An Improper Brake Alignment
Sometimes, the brakes on your bike are not installed in proper alignment with the rim brakes. Or the brake pad could get misaligned with time. This can happen due to the regular wear and tear on the bikes. If you have squeaky disc brakes, examine your rotor and caliper. It is possible that they might be misaligned.
Get your bike’s brakes in top condition with our step-by-step guide on how to tighten and align bike brakes.
2. Your Brakes Are Contaminated
You often oil your brakes to keep them smooth. Well, sometimes, this brake fluid leads to contamination in the disc pads and rim brakes. It can even contaminate the brake pads, especially in disc brakes. The contamination will create a form of debris on them. All of this leads to squeaky brakes. Your brakes can get contaminated because of greasy fingers touching the rim or using aerosol too close to the braking surfaces.
Learn how to adjust your bike’s brakes with our easy-to-follow guide
3. Worn Out Brake Blocks
If your brake blocks are worn down or there’s a misalignment between the braking surfaces, this may also lead to a squeaky sound.
Keep yourself and others safe. Follow our guide for easy-to-follow steps to learn how to put on front brakes on a bike.
How to Fix Squeaky Bike Brakes?
1. Fixing The Brake Alignment
Well, if there are squeaky bike brakes in a brand-new bike, then it’s surely improper alignment of the brake pads with the rim.
Uninstall The Entire Padding
So, what you need to do is uninstall the entire padding on the braking surface by loosening the caliper bolts and reinstall the same. Just pay attention to keeping the front part closer to the rim brakes and the back part farther away from the rim brakes. Also, make sure that the rim brakes and brake pad touch each other, and that neither of them touches the tire.
Tighten The Bolts On The Braking Surface
Once you’re through with this setting, you just have to tighten the bolts on the braking surface. Now, that is the tricky part because as you tighten them, the brake pad will tend to rotate with the bolts. You need to prevent that from happening. So, make sure that you’re holding the brake pads very tight in place when screwing the bolts.
Ensure a safe ride by tightening your bike’s brakes. Our guide will show you how
Run A Test
After you’re done with the installation, give your brakes a check. If you still experience squeaky bike brakes, adjust the pads a little more, and you’ll be good to go.
What To Do If Your Alignment Is Fine?
Now, if you know there’s no issue with the installation of the pads, then it’s that the pads have worn out. In that case, you can just replace the pads with new ones, and you won’t have to deal with squeaky brakes anymore.
2. Fixing The Contamination Issue
An easy way to get rid of the contamination is by cleaning your brakes with some rubbing alcohol.
Rub Your Brakes With Alcohol
Just take a clean cloth, dampen it with alcohol, and wipe the disc pads and rim brakes. You’ll see the oil residue on the cloth. Once you are done, squeeze the brake lever. Check if they still squeak. But this will work for oil contamination only.
Clean It With Sandpaper
If there’s debris on your pads, then they’ll still have the squeak. What you need to do in this case is to take off your brake and rub the top layer using sandpaper. Basically, you need to remove all the debris from the brake pad and wheel rim with a brake cleaner. You can also try rubbing alcohol.
Check The Brake Blocks And Bolts
Additionally, make sure the brake blocks are also clean and ensure that the brake blocks are not worn out. Also, consider checking the bolts securing the brake blocks to the caliper are tightened properly. You can use a non-oil-based degreaser for the brake blocks.
Replace The Brake Pad
However, if there’s already a lot of debris accumulated there, then scraping with sandpaper, rubbing, cleaning, or anything like that will not be very helpful. You’ll only end up wearing off the pads altogether. So, if you can see that the debris is too much to scrape and clean, a better option would be to just move ahead and replace the pads.
Get to know your bike inside and out with our guide to bike anatomy
Can I spray wd40 on my brakes to stop squeaking?
Yes, you can spray WD-40 on your brakes to stop squeaking. But remember, it is only a temporary solution. And it is also not good for the long-term health of your brake.
Will squeaky brakes go away?
Yes, squeaky brakes go away if you address the problem.
Do expensive brakes squeak?
Yes, expensive brakes can also squeak if they have an underlying issue.
Do new brakes ever squeak?
Yes, new brakes can squeak if they have an adjustment issue.
What can you use to lubricate brakes?
It is best to use brake lubricants to lubricate your brakes.
It’s an unpleasant experience to ride with that loud sound of squeaky bike brakes. It irritates you, hampers your smooth stop, and is also not good for your bike in the long run. Fixing a squeaky brake is not really hard, especially if you follow the steps I described above.
Just find the reason and address it with a simple fix! And you’re done! If you need any help, reach out to me in the comment section below!
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