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  1. #1
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    My fidings on the Turkey Warble Noise.

    Hi all, I just joined MTBR a few mins ago. I ride a 2012 Specialized Epic Comp that came with Avid Elixer 7 or something brakes. The brakes generate a horrific vibration/turkey gobble/warble sound that can come and go, but for the most part it was always there and I hate it. From what I hear it's very common. What fixed mine was to remove the pads, clean the backing plate with alcohol and apply blue painters tape to the backing plate. Trim it about a millimeter in from the edges with a razor blade. Install the pads back into their original location. My bike brakes go from horrible to a pleasure to ride with the tape on the back. Now I search for a better material to use, not sure how long the tape lasts. I will report back after a few more days of testing. But adding the tape shut my brakes up instantly. Auto brakes always have a backing plate covers and phenolic pistons, probably for the same reasons. Why my MTB doesn't, I have no clue. I hope this can help some people out there having the same issue.

  2. #2
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    That is a great first post!
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  3. #3
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    LOL, thanks. I just got the bike brand new a few weeks ago. Before I added the tape on the backing plates of the brakes, my front and rear brakes were shaking the bike bad. So with the tape installed, the immediate result was no noise/vibration. I did nothing else. I literally went from a real bad issue at all times, to adding the tape, going down the road and having the issue gone. Nothing else was done. Stock pads and rotors are in place.

  4. #4
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    I have attended quite a few automotive brake classes over the years and brake noise is usually the primary topic. Seems like brake noise has lessened over the years primarily due to better manufacturing tolerances. Brake shims are used to aid heat dissipation and alignment imperfections. I'd say bicycles brakes suffer from minimal overall materials and misalignment. Most automotive calipers "Float" which really helps alignment whereas a mtn bike is 100% fixed. Just had a bike come through the shop w/ a noisy & lightly vibrating brake where the owner said new brake set ( new pads 2 different sets) he had the mentioned problem. We confirmed a true rotor and non-contaminated quality pads. Lightly facing the disc tabs eliminated the problem. He had switched from a Hayes brake set to Avids - Apparently the Hayes were less tolerant of the mis-aligned disc tabs.

  5. #5
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    I worked for Ford and also have had my share of brake problems in the automotive field. I see less and less warped rotor and noise issues with automotive brakes these days. Back when I was working for Ford I was constantly working on brake troubles. After getting my first bike with disk brakes a few weeks ago and running into this issue , I realized the lack of parts compared to an automotive brake. Just for laughs I decided to use tape as a makeshift backing plate. Lucky for me it works. price and effort was minimal. I feel in my case the tape stops the pads from developing the vibration frequency that the bike frame and forks do not like. It must shim out some slop and also isolate the vibration. I took a ride today and I'm still good

  6. #6
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    I seemed to have made a few improvements to my brake noise saga. I was still going strong with the blue painters tape but I switched to a thin aluminum tape used for duct work. I covered the backing plate and one edge of it with the tape. I also bent the retaining clips slightly out to add more pressure There seems to be two issues causing the warble. I feel the rotor design causes the vibration and the lack of shims and insulators allows it to resonate through the bike. The tape alone makes my front and rear brakes 95% quieter. Adding a simple Hayes rotor up front made the front even better. The pad hitting the rotor spoke doesn't sit well with me on the stock rotor design. I like how the pad rides in the meat of the rotor on the Hayes. I still have to change out the rear rotor although it is very quiet now. I feel it will get better. I will report back.

  7. #7
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    The aluminum tape sounds more durable than painters tape. It may well be that the layer of adhesive is what is doing the job of damping out vibration.

    I did a spring mod, not to increase the pressure but to make it more even top to bottom because as it is the majority of the force is on the top of the pads. You have to just bend the 'tines' out enough to balance things without having the spring not sit flush with the pad in situ.

    I never had that much noise from mine - Elixir 9 on an '11 Epic, but things have been eerily quiet for the last few months. I ride an hour or two a day on mountainsides so they get lots of exercise in mostly dry conditions. I run OEM pads on G3 rotors.

    For the record, I was running Maguras on a [new] loaner for two weeks and they had the classic turkey warble in stereo. No Avid patent on it, apparently! Nice brakes, great lever, but would take some sorting out in this case.

    This is a useful post; thanks for the ideas.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bulerias View Post
    For the record, I was running Maguras on a [new] loaner for two weeks and they had the classic turkey warble in stereo. No Avid patent on it, apparently! Nice brakes, great lever, but would take some sorting out in this case.
    Word. MT-8s here, front brake howls and vibrates the whole bike horribly. A little dab of grease on the pads helped, but I am going to try some tape, too.

  9. #9
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    Try the aluminum tape. I'm testing that now with a stock rotor and pad in the rear and a Hayes rotor up front with stock pad. I think I was going to rip through the blue tape fast. Having the aluminum tape on the back and down one edge locks them in nice
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My fidings on the Turkey Warble Noise.-image.jpg  


  10. #10
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    I swapped in a set of Serfas semi metallics and found that the noise disappeared instantaneously. They aren't as aggressive to stop, but much easier on the ears. Wet or dry, not a peep.

    I'm on my second set, with another pair for next year. $10 a pair is a lot more forgiving than the $30 avid wants for garbage pads...

  11. #11
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    Great to hear I was wondering if there was a decent pad out there for a more reasonable price. I tried organic pads but that did not cure what I like to call the turkey warble problem. That to me is a different sound than a squeal. I can almost live with some squeal. The warble to me is horrible and no fun to deal with on a ride.

  12. #12
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    Why not just use disc break quite from an automotive parts store on the back of the pads? it is designed for these issues and would probably last long then tape with expose to water and muck and so forth.

  13. #13
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    My fidings on the Turkey Warble Noise.

    Try Gorilla Tape


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phinox View Post
    Why not just use disc break quite from an automotive parts store on the back of the pads? it is designed for these issues and would probably last long then tape with expose to water and muck and so forth.
    Because I wanted to shim the pads so they don't move and vibrate. The aluminum tape is extremely sticky also. I was never a fan of the spray on or the jell type of brake quiet in the past. Although I did think about it. As of now I'm 100 % cured and I feel it's mostly from having the tape on the edge of the pad to take up some slop. Along with it in the backing plate and the more simple design of the Hayes rotor. Today's automotive brakes come with very well made shims and insulators as for the goop and the spray on stuff .......I have not touched it in 20 years. There is the type that soaks into the pad and it does not last the other kinds can't act as shims.

  15. #15
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    If you shim the caliper up off the adapter just enough to keep the pads from contacting the rotor spokes, you will find it reduces noise. I had to use a couple of washers with my Elixir trails to keep them quiet. I do know of a bike that is resistant to even this solution, so I will try some tape on his pads and see how that works. Thanks for posting your results!

  16. #16
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    I agree, in my opinion there are 2 parts to the problem in my case. I thought for sure that just changing the rotor or doing what you did with the shims to lift the pad out of the spokes would solve it 100%. It didn't. It got a little better . I feel the brakes work by doing millions of micro stops that I call stiction and a vibration is always created. Insulating it or changing its frequency is the next step. As far as a brake squeal goes it's caused from the pad crystallizing from heat. Most the time it can be sanded off or in case of a car rotor it can be resurfaced.

  17. #17
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    Took my bike out for a major beat down on the trails today. I'm finally very happy , the brakes performed beautiful. Very enjoyable ride.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by aragundicm View Post
    I literally went from a real bad issue at all times, to adding the tape, going down the road and having the issue gone.
    Sweet...glad to hear. What Bike and brakes are you running ? What tape did you use and how did you apply it. I'll post pictures later of the tape after it gets more abuse. My ride yesterday involved some sand, mud, and down hills. Performance before the tape shim was horrific......Now, I just smile and enjoy.

  19. #19
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    Lead tape that's used to customize tennis racquets might be something else to experiment with if for some reason the aluminum tape doesn't get the job done. Sounds like the aluminum tape may be the fix though. Vader1 is going to have the undying gratitude of a lot of people if that's the case.

  20. #20
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    I will have to say I had it bad, front would vibrate like crazy, rear felt like crap and would also vibrate. I bought a roll of 4 dollar blue painters tape and put it on the back of the pad and rode 12 hard miles on sunday and didn't have one problem.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyboy907 View Post
    I will have to say I had it bad, front would vibrate like crazy, rear felt like crap and would also vibrate. I bought a roll of 4 dollar blue painters tape and put it on the back of the pad and rode 12 hard miles on sunday and didn't have one problem.
    Nice....12 miles of good braking is nothing to complain about for 4 bucks. I would guess you could do a good 80 or more on the blue tape. Who knows, maybe it holds up for the life of the pads ? I got 4 miles on the aluminum tape and there is no signs of needing a change yet. Did you go along the sides of the backing plate with the tape Flyboy907 ? I found this to be a huge improvement over just putting it on the backing plate only. I only went down one edge because both seems too much.

  22. #22
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    I also don't see the tape creating any other problems. Only time will tell for me. I was so fed up with the vibration before this that it does not even matter. I got four miles and counting, another guy got 12 and we are happy. My front vibration was so bad.....I didn't want to ride. You could literally see the forks acting like tuning forks when you looked down the side of them. LOL, not cool.

  23. #23
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    I Put about another four miles on, lots of heavy down hill braking. Zero noise, Zero vibration. After my next run I'll inspect the backing plates and take some pictures. This is all on my 2012 Specialized Epic with Avid Elixer's running the stock pads with the aluminum tape on the backing plate and down one edge. It's one continuous piece.

  24. #24
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    With new brake pads, I'm surprised there's enough room to apply tape on the backing plate and install the pads with no drag. I'll try my Elixir CR's and see if it helps.
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  25. #25
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    The thickness of the tape I've been using is .004 When you say Drag....are you talking about braking force that's going to stop or slow you down or are you talking about the pad lightly brushing the sides of the rotor ? I would not worry too much about a new pad that slightly just brushes a little bit. My bike is new and the pads clear with the tape. After the tape is applied....I just loosen up the caliper bolts, squeeze the brake lever and then torque down the bolts. I don't even fart around or look at it after that. Just ride. If you hear a slight brush.....Just ride it. It will break in real nice very fast. I also use a set of Hayes rotors....seems to be even better. $22 bucks a rotor. The stock ones were fine with the tape but these Hayes just seem to hit a home run.

    Without the tape applied....the problems are bad. It's night and day. This goes for stock avid rotor or the Hayes that I got. No tape = bad news. Horrible sounds and vibration.

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