How to fix screeching brakes

Bicycle brake squeaks - you can do that about it

You can usually repair screeching bicycle brakes yourself. In this article, we'll show you how to get rid of the annoying squeaking of disc brakes and V-brakes.

V-Brake: Eliminate squeaking on rim brakes

The squeaking of rim brakes is mostly caused by incorrectly adjusted brakes or by dirt, oil or grease deposits on the rim and brake pads.

  • Checking the brake pads: Make sure that the brake pads are not worn. Under the rubber layer that is used to brake, there is aluminum, which makes loud noises when it comes into contact with the rim. When the brake pads are worn out, you will need to replace them.
  • Adjusting the brake: First adjust the brake shoes. You should stand as close to the rim as possible without touching it.
  • Turning the brake pads: Try to turn the brake pads a little so that the front part touches the rim first. Often times, such a setting fixes the squeak. With older models, you cannot turn the brake shoes.
  • Clean the brakes and rim: grease and dirt can be the cause of the squeaking. Clean both with a little water and washing-up liquid. Tip: To clean the brake pads, you can moisten the rim with water and washing-up liquid and then apply the brake while driving.
  • Sanding brake pads: If the brake pads are stubbornly dirty, it helps to sand them with fine sandpaper.

Squeaky disc brakes

Even with disc brakes, the squeaking is mostly due to incorrect settings or dirt and grease.

  • Adjusting the disc brake correctly: Tighten the fastening screws on the brake calliper and brake disc. Loose screws can be the cause of the squeak. We'll show you how to properly adjust disc brakes.
  • Cleaning the brake pads and brake discs: Clean the brake pads and the brake discs with a little water and washing-up liquid. To clean the brake pads, you can moisten the brake discs with water and washing-up liquid and then brake carefully while driving.
  • Run in new brakes: With new disc brakes, the squeaking often disappears on its own after a few brakes. The brake pads have to be ground in before they grip properly.

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