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  1. #1
    shz
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    Upset terrible squeal on my disc brakes

    So the noise started a little bit while riding yesterday. then became gradually worse.

    it sounds a lot worse when I'm off the bike vs on the bike and riding

    should I clean it with alcohol?
    horrible squeal on my disc brakes - YouTube

  2. #2
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    Do you have the brakes applied when it's making that noise? I'd try re-aligning the calipers and cleaning both the pads and rotors. Start with a light sanding of the pads and some isopropyl alcohol then let them fully dry before reassembly.

  3. #3
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    Aloha, first of all, your brake caliper is not centered on the rotor. Either that, or one or both of the caliper's pistons are sticking and not retracting like they should (which causes the pads to drag on the rotor like you are experiencing). How long have you had these brakes? They look like they've been used a lot and dirty. The calipers (and pistons) may need some good cleaning. If the pads are worn, the pistons may be sticking out a lot which cause them to not retract as well.

    Anyway, so if the pad(s) are sticking, you'll get that "brake dragging" sound. I am assuming you are not holding the brakes while you are moving the bike back and forth in your youtube video.

    Now for the "sound". Squeaking is always some kind of vibration in the pads/caliper/brake rotor. If the pads are new(er), I would remove the pads, sand them. If they aren't, get new pads and sand them a slight amount. Put them in. Additionally, whether you use new pads or the old ones, sand the rotor slightly and then clean with the alcohol. Good luck with that, always hard to diagnose and fix these kinds of problems without actually having my hands on the bike itself.

  4. #4
    shz
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    You're right. Only one of the two calipers retracts. The brakes are about a year old, I bought this bike used. So best thing is to take off the calipers and inspect them?

    Any videos on how to align the calipers? Thanks

  5. #5
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    There are a bunch on youtube if you just search. I didn't include one since you know best what you want, but there are plenty. Check the wear on the pads, also. It sounds like you need to free up that piston first, though.

  6. #6
    shz
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    I've inspected the brakes more carefully. It seems like with all braking systems, the pistons are only on one side. It does seem to retract normally, but there is definitely a rub on the inside part of the caliper.

    I'm going to center the calipers and see if that helps Adjusting Disc Brake Calipers - YouTube

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