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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Rim Brakes that squeak question

    I am new to mountain bike riding and ive noticed after going down a couple of steed hills my brakes have started to squeak. I have searched online on how to fix it but i haven't been successful and I was wondering if anyone here can help me remedy this problem. Both the front and back squeak pretty loud.

    So far i have removed the pads, cleaned them, lightly sanded them, and made sure my cables were tight.

    Does anyone else have any other suggestions?

  2. #2
    gran jefe
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    search for "salmon" here in the forums. i think that salmon kool-stop pads, or something like that, are generally recognized as the first step to fixing any rim brake problem.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: literocola's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Make sure your pad angle is correct when the pads come into contact with the rim. Generally you want the pads to be "towed in" slightly.

    I use a file and file off a layer off each pad, you dont need to remove a lot, just enough to get that old layer off. You will see the pads get a lighter color as this happens.

    Use a light sandpaper and gently sand your rim and remove all the grit and pad dust. Sometimes it takes a couple times around to get it off.

    Wipe the rim with a clean towel to remove all the stuff that the sand paper leaves behind.

    If your pads have cracks in them, its time for replacements. Dont use any cleaners on your pads or rim. They leave behind residue that makes for bad braking. I personally use the Kool-Stop MTB formula pads.
    Last edited by literocola; 04-15-2012 at 11:32 AM.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: winter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Squealing brakes is due to high frequency oscillation; the question generally becomes what's vibrating and how do we stop it. This is a common problem with disc brakes, less so with rim brakes.

    literocola's suggest to properly toe-in your brake pads is definitely the first thing to do. Bill in Houston's recommendation of new pads is excellent as well. If the brakes still squeal after all this and you've cleaned the rims and pads, then consider the following...

    1. grease the brake caliper pivots to reduce any minute harmonic vibration there
    2. tighten the brake caliper pivots to make sure nothing's vibrating
    3. make sure the wheel spokes are tensioned properly and the wheel is true

    Hopefully all the suggestions from the forum will help you rid the noise. Otherwise, consider yourself to have an automatic hiker-warning system.
    Go on ahead, I'm gonna take a breather.

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