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  1. #1
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    Creaking sound from XTR M975 caliper

    My rear XTR caliper developed a creaking sound during my ride last night. When I would engage the brake lever, the caliper would creak (like a hinge that needs oil, not real loud). There was no loss in braking performance (yet anyway) although when I engaged the brake lever the lever had some resistance that went along with the caliper creak. There does not appear to be dirt/pebbles/mud from the trail that are embedded in the caliper/brake pads that would be causing resistance and the creaking sound (I will have to tear it apart tonight to make sure and because the problem developed during the ride I still think I may have trail debris in there somewhere that is causing the resistance/creaking sound.).

    Is this a common issue for disc brakes? If this is a mechanical issue, would it be possible that I would need to bleed the brakes? This doesn't seem to be related to bad performance or air in the brakes. However, I only have ~150 miles on these brakes and they are my first set of disc brakes so I am new to their maintenance.

    Any advice/help you can offer is appreciated.

  2. #2
    A mean teen...
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    Have you tried loosening the caliper and then tightening it again?

  3. #3
    Northeastern Rider
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    My avids developed the same creaking. Turned out that the bolts that hold the adapter had slightly loosened. I simply retightened everything and the creaking stopped.
    "The original concept of freeriding was that there was no set course, goals or rules to abide by. "
    Mountain Riders

  4. #4
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    So I finally worked on this again today. When I would engage the brake lever I could see that the brake pads were not sliding smoothly across the pad axle. I removed the pad axle and pads and both of them had a good build up of black gunk (the pad axle is black itself so I couldn't notice it until it was free from the caliper). The black gunk on the pad axle was not allowing the brake pads to slide smoothly to engage the rotor (source of the creak). Once I cleaned the black crud off (with orange peel cleaner), I put the pad assembly back together and the creak was gone. However, the piston also had some trail crud on it that would have caused the brake pad to wear unevenly if I would have continued to ride without investigating what was going on. I'll bleed the brakes as long as I had to work on them anyway and LIGHTLY sand the pads with 600 grit to remove the crud that has accumulated on them. This is the first time I have worked on my XTR disk brakes and the design of the calipers is straight forward; appears that the maintenance is relatively hassle-free.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
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    Clean the brakes!
    I've had this very same creaking sound too. I will clean the brake pads and calipers this time.

  6. #6
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    That's the gool ol' Sticky-Piston-Syndrome. It happens, just remove the pads, don't put your finger prints on the pad material or rotor. Then spray rubbing alcohol on the pistons and wipe clean. Reset the pistons back into the caliper completely then gently squeeze the lever and the piston will drag more gunk out.

    Do one piston at a time using a 10mm closed-end wrench to keep the other piston pressed into the caliper. Don't expose more than a quarter inch of the piston either or it will pop out and then you're rebuilding/rebleeding your brake.

    This is a pretty easy to fix and common occurence with discs.

  7. #7
    More Torque
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    You did not mention which rotor you are using, and it sounds like you fixed your problem, but if anyone else stumbles across this thread, I fixed a creaking I had from my Shimano setup, described here.

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