Imagine you are cycling through a quiet and peaceful country lane enjoying the view, but all of a sudden, a squealing noise shatters all the quietness and peace as you pull the brake levers.
There is nothing more annoying than any noise coming out of your bike, especially brakes squeaking.
There can be several reasons behind a squeaky bike brake that you can’t end by counting. Some of the most common mentions are excessive grease or oil on brake pads, wheel rims, and rotor, gathering too much dirt, misalignment of contact surfaces of the brake, etc.
The leading reason among them is the going loose of any parts which can cause so much irritating noises.
This article is precisely made to answer all your questions, which requires your full attention till the end.
Why Do My Bike Brakes Squeak?
A noisy or squeaky brake is at the top of the list of annoyances for riding bikes. A lack of maintenance of the bike is the top leading reason behind the squeaking of the brakes.
No matter even if you got the best set of brakes, there is no chance to escape from squeaking if proper care is not taken.
The squeaking of the bike brakes is mainly divided into two categories depending on the type of the brakes, which are the rim brakes and the disc brakes.
Rim brakes are traditional yet still popular among people. Rim brakes can squeak if they contain any loose part par. Get through them very carefully and see all the bolts used for securing the calipers to the frame are tightened enough. Also, the brake block should be tightly bolted with the calipers.
Also, you need to ensure that the brake block, rims, and all the other breaking surfaces are cleaned enough.
Now, coming towards the most modern braking system, known as the disc brakes, squeaking is also seen within them. The main reason behind their squeaking is down to their calipers which may not be perfectly aligned with brake rotors.
Also, a bend in the brake rotor causes the issue of disc brake squeaks which can be fixed by using an adjustable spanner and similar professional tools.
Rubbing Of The Brake Pads Causes Squeaking
A brake rub issue is one of the most common problems behind squeaky brakes. If you travel on your bike for a regular interval, which causes the squeaking of your brakes, then most probably the problem is with a rubbing brake pad.
Not only squeaking but a rubbing of the brake pads also cuts off performance out of your ride by producing unnecessary friction due to the rub and thus improving your speed. In addition, rubbing the brake pads may cause you to put more effort into riding on your bike along with the irritating noises as free.
Rubbing of the brake pad occurs primarily due to caliper alignments issue where the rotor occurs to bend. This bend in the rotor causes the brake pads to rub against the surface of wheels and cause irritating sound.
To see or check if the problem is with a bent rotor, lift your bike wheel from the ground a spin the wheel. If the wheel doesn’t spin freely and comes to rest at a quick interval, it is assumed that the rotor is bent.
First, check through the wheel to fix the problem if it is aligned properly or not. The problem is often with wheel installation, which is out of alignment and causes the rotor to rub against it.
If the wheel is aligned correctly, the problem remains, the rotor alignment is not perfect, or the rotor is bent. However, it is straightforward to fix a bent rotor, and in case of a damaged rotor due to excessive bending, change the rotor.
Why Does Contamination Cause Squeaking, And How To Fix It?
If the sound from the brakes is too loud or if there is a consistent squeaking of the brakes, then the problem is with the contamination of your brake pads.
Break pads have numerous pores and, therefore,porous-like sponges. Things like liquid dirt, oil, and grease quickly occur inside that pore and do not allow the brake pads and the rotor to function correctly. This causes squeaky brakes along with a degradation in the performance level.
Stuff like brake fluids, degreaser, chain lube, bike polish finds their possible route to your brake rotors and, therefore, contaminates the brake pads.
Contamination of the brake pads is so much devastating. Still, you shouldn’t be losing your hope that much easier if they get contaminated.
To fix the brake pad contamination, if you suspect that your brake pads have gotten oil in any way, then clean them right immediately. Use isopropyl alcohol and a clean piece of cloth to clean it.
You can also take the brake pad out and rub the outer portion with sand. However, if the case is such that your brake pads had a bath on-chain lubes or grease, then you should better replace it with another.
For more guidelines, watch this:
Read also: Why Are BMX Bikes So Expensive?
Squeaking Due To Glazed Brake Pads And Fixing It
In the case of a new set of brake pads or brake rotors, you should always break them incorrectly. Doing this will make your brakes powerful and enhance their performance.
Instead of breaking in, if you ride your bike with the new brakes on a steep trail that requires way heavier brake usage, your brake pads will glaze out due to the heating up of the rotors.
It will reduce the ability of your breaks to slow you down effectively and cause nasty squeaking noises.
To prevent glazing of your brakes, break-in your brakes by pedaling around pavements with very light squeezing of the brakes. Do it just before going to any steep trail, and after that, you can pedal over the hill and get down by very slowly pressing on the brakes without stopping entirely at a time. Follow all the processes ten times until the brakes become powerful.
In case of already glazed brakes, take the brake pads out of the caliper and scuff with sands, and then follow the previous methods to do the break-in.
Do Heat And Water Cause Squeak?
Water and heat are another two reasons behind the squeaking of the brakes. When it comes to water, they can quickly come in contact with your brakes if you ride your cycle through any stream or puddle.
But, the good news here is that you don’t have to worry about the water as the squeaking caused by it is temporary and would go away once the water dries off.
But, when it comes to heating and glazing out of your brakes, then the impact can become permanent and sustain life long. In addition, if the squeaking is due to heating, the rotor is probably prone to change its color.
The heating can occur due to very consisting breaking whose solution is to go for a more oversized rotor as larger rotor dissipates the heat better and thus efficiently protect from squeaking sounds.
The squeaking of the brakes is a pretty common phenomenon for bikes and other vehicles. But, at the same time, they are also the most annoying part of your whole driving experience that may ruin your mood. Also, a squeaky brake refers to the decrease in the braking system’s performance.
So, you will never want your bike brakes to squeak, for which you first need to know the reasons behind the cause of it, that you can understand by going through our article.