Help! My brakes are making a noise... What do I do? Jon Cannings is here with the answers.
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Cleanliness. Something is much less likely to make a noise in your braking system if its clean. The braking systems on our bikes are really open to getting contaminated as dirt and grime from the road can get thrown up on to the parts, and well as overspray of lubricants and polishes when you apply them.
If your pads are past their best, they could be causing that noise. It’s a scream for help if you like! After that previous step of cleaning is the ideal time to check the condition of components.
A final few checks:
- Firstly, if you are using rim brake pads, you want to make sure that they are either toed in, or flat on the rim surface. So by this I mean that the pad contacts the rim at the same point throughout, or very slightly the front most part of the pad contacts the rim first.
- An easy way of doing this is to hold the brake lever in, and loosen and retighten the pad, ensuring that it it lined up correctly. Toeing in does a great job of removing squeal, so for this a nice way of doing it is the same method as before, but slipping a bit of thin card such as a business card in between the rear third of the brake pad and the rim and then tighten up the fixing bolt.
- Using carbon rims on your bike? Then make sure you are using brake blocks designed for carbon as the wrong pads can give of a loud scream to let you know you have the wrong pads fitted as well as giving you bad braking performance.
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Photos: © Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images & © Bettiniphoto / http://www.bettiniphoto.net/
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