Quieting mechanical discs- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Quieting mechanical discs

    My bike has Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes with 160mm rotors. If I grab a handful of brake on either end, it sounds like this (turn up your computer volume):

    BROHWHOWWOOWWWOHWWWHHOOOOOWWWHHOOOOWWWWHHOOOWWWHHH OOOOWWRB

    If you listened closely, it howls like a raped Werewolf. Banshees cover their ears in pain, birds take flight from the trees for miles, and small burrowing mammals convulse and die. These are the brakes where only the cam-side pad moves, and I've got them adjusted as accurately as they are going to get. The rotors are confirmed tight and the calipers set to not cause rotor deflection.

    I rather enjoy quiet winter rides and seeing the abundant wildlife in my area. How do I quiet down these turds?

  2. #2
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    on my two bikes, one with Elixir9 Hydro's and the other with BB7's, they'll both howl if theirs moisture in them...once the moisture is gone, the noise is gone too.

    what brand of rotors are you running?

  3. #3
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    Common issue on most brakes. Take the pads and rotors off and sand them with high grit sand paper. I did that and the noise disappeared for about 4 months.

    The noise came back a couple of weeks ago though and I haven't repeated the process of sanding them again due to lack of ambition.

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  4. #4
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    Once broken in mine shut up. Keep riding and cleaning them.

  5. #5
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    My BB7s did the same thing to me last week but once they warmed up and cleared the moisture they were quiet like normal.

    My Juicy 7s don't make a peep.....I still have 7s on 3 bikes and my Wife's Elixir CRs make no noise even wet......the BB7s howl like it is a full moon
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  6. #6
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    Brakes squeak. Can't get around it. Better rotors may help, same as better pads. If you can find organic pads that'll fit the Ares, go for it.

    Otherwise, there have been various hacks to help lessen the squeal. Most of them involve putting a thin aluminum shim (cut up pop can or aluminum foil) on the back side of the pad, inside the caliper. Can be hard to get it in there though. It helps reduce vibration, but wears out over time and can be hard to get back out. an MTBR search should show something about this.
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  7. #7
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    Put baby powder on the back side of your hand, then "pimp slap" the sh!t out of the brakes until they shut up!

  8. #8
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    Copper paste between the pad and "piston" (it isn't a piston really, but an equivalent part) helped with my howling BB7 brakes. Also make sure the cable housings are tied to the frame/fork leg with a zip-tie as close to the caliper as possible.

  9. #9
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    Ride down a big hill and get them really hot. Mine are always quiet after that until they get wet again.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  10. #10
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    OP, I love your description.

    Damp brakes are typically noisy ones. It's how they behave in the dry that really matters. IMO, you can chase howling noises for eternity and never find the source. The causes are multiple.

    If it's moisture, there's not much you can do about that except to heat them up on a downhill so they'll dry out.
    It sanding/cleaning the pads doesn't do it, my feeling is that it's not worth it to me to continue trying to chase the problem. I'll buy new pads, maybe changing pad compound. If that works, great. If not, then I start considering new brakes. Life is too short to live with brakes that wake the dead.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the feedback. Ironically, the brakes are dry during the wookies-in-the-throes-of-passion screech fest. I've tried heating them up but to no avail, at least not yet. Ironically I don't have this issue with any of my hydros, which consist of Tektro Aquila, SRAM Guide, and Shimano SLX. The only time I had noise problems to this extent in the past was with other Tektro mechs...Novelas that came on a Diamondback.

  12. #12
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    Brakes constantly heat up and cool down, I'm thinking that moisture may be condensing on them during the process.
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  13. #13
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadgerOne View Post
    ..during the wookies-in-the-throes-of-passion screech fest.
    You are excellent at painting a visual picture with words. I truly feel sorry for your brake problems.
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  15. #15
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    I agree with every one else in this thread that you have a way with words. I think you should pump your brakes until the squeal dies away, that's what I do on the bike or in the car. If however, there is too much water or snow then perhaps a different pad will work.

    Are the organic pads any more quiet?
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  16. #16
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    https://www.trpbrakes.com/category.p...1223&catid=184

    I added these babys as good as my hydro XT'S but winter cold weather reliability of mech.

  17. #17
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    I've been interested in those spykes since I first heard about them. What do you think? Worth the price of entry?

    I also like the Rever mtn1. I don't know anyone who has either right now. Dual piston mech is a great idea and one I'm glad to see.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  18. #18
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    It's not a question of which brake you're using. They all do it. Thus buying a new one isn't going to solve it -- you will eventually get noise again. Possibly worse than what you have now.

  19. #19
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    Hilarious descriptions

    I have had occasional moisture related noise that is pretty obviously related to moisture (snow, rain, etc), and otherwise been able to keep them quiet just by keeping them dry and clean (BB7's on the fatty), hydros on other bikes...

    but then I finally had a chance to ride the fatty on a beach and get some saltwater involved. Oh my word. Just a word of caution for the OP, if you've already got noise, do not get that thing near saltwater. I think I actually called this guy in like a turkey hunter

    Quieting mechanical discs-screen-shot-2015-11-30-8.19.15-am.jpg

    A good cleaning and they quieted down again, but I was astounded at the volume I was able to produce when they got damp with saltwater.

    I have also had good luck using organic pads. Not sure it's always a solution, but it has helped with my louder-than-normal brakes.

    Tektro isn't going to be your high-end quality stuff either... you could definitely get rid of most of that sound moving up to BB7's, and the rest of it by going to a nice hydro.
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  20. #20
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    Howling, squeaking and many other noises can also be caused by the brake caliper not being set exactly parallel with the rotor resulting in the caliper piston motion to not be perpendicular to the rotor. If this is the cause, sanding down will result in quietness for a short period of time before the noise returns.

    If your noises won't go away, try this :

    1. Make sure your pads have with even wear, if not use a fresh set
    2. Loosen you caliper mount screws
    3. Gently pull the brake lever until the pads clamp the rotor
    4. Jiggle the caliper until it is sitting flush on the mount. If it is not, release the lever gently and re-jiggle
    5. Tighten mounting screws
    6. Release the lever and check by eye the rotor is sitting between the two pads. If it is not, repeat the steps.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbhammercycle View Post
    I've been interested in those spykes since I first heard about them. What do you think? Worth the price of entry?

    I also like the Rever mtn1. I don't know anyone who has either right now. Dual piston mech is a great idea and one I'm glad to see.
    The spykes have been a very good improvement over my BB7s. I had been a BB7 fan boy for a long time and willing to accept the frequent need to adjust and sand pads and calipers to keep everything quiet and modulating good. With the spykes set it all up and go ride they have the modulation and power of hydro XTs that are on my 29r. Being mech you still need to adjust for pad usage unlike Hydro but 30 seconds a brake every few hundred miles is easy and worth the reliability in the cold. Add to it i have had very very little noise only noise has been when covered in slop and that went away after a few pulls of the lever.

  22. #22
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    Cover your rotors in teflon grease. Quiets them right down!





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  23. #23
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    Hucking kitty says:
    "It's amazing how much traction my 29er gets at 3 psi!"
    "engine oil on your chain!"
    "Brakes squeaking? Oil them!"
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  24. #24
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    W.D.40 is a water displacer. Spray it liberally on your pads and rotors. That will stop the squealing. Then run down to your lbs and get some new brakes cause you just ruined them...... Seriously, damp brakes are noisy brakes, If you are riding on snow you will get some noise. Some rotors are better than others, organic pads help, maybe wear ear plugs or get used to it. At least you won't need a bear bell.

  25. #25
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    My bb5s made noise back in the day( 2 years ago)

    I read the turkey gooble thread, then removed the brake pads, installed aluminum tape(HVAC) I may have put grease on the backs on top of the foil tape as well????

    Note a noise since! These are like the Tektros that only one piston/pad moves. Caliper must also be slightly twisted at an angle for good pad alignment for good braking. That is because only one pad moves and deflects the rotor over at a slightly different angle. Then brakes will take less break-in to work good. (Last paragraph has nothing to do with noise, just to make brakes work better)
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