So, you’ve noticed a little squeak in your brakes.
There could be various reasons that your brakes sound squeaky, but we’re going to lay out the most common culprits of squeaky bike brakes.
Brake Rub – If you’re noticing the squeak/ping sound at intervals when you pedal, the most likely reason is brake rub. The best way to test this one is to lift that wheel off the ground and give it a good spin – like you’re on the Price is Right! If the wheel doesn’t spin freely and quickly comes to a stop, you know brake rub is the issue. This can be attributed to a misaligned caliper or a tweaked rotor.
Gunk – if the squeak is loud when you apply your brake, then the likely problem is some gunk or foreign contamination. Brake pads are porous, so they will soak up grease and oils. Things like chain lube, degreaser, and brake fluid can be contaminants. Having these items in your brake pads not only makes them noisy, but they will render your brake pads less effective.
Glaze – there is a break-in period for new brake pads. If this isn’t done and you’re going down a steep applying a lot of brakes, your rotor will heat up causing your brake pads to glaze over. This makes your braking power a lot less and the squeaking sounds a lot more.
Water or Heat – these elements can cause your brakes to squeak a bit. While the problem caused by wet brakes will go away when they dry out, hot brakes (consistent braking for long periods) might not. This can also lead to the glazing of the pads or rotor
The good news is there are solutions to all of these problems. They range from a little adjustment to some good cleaning, to replacement of the brake pads. So, if you have squeaky bike brakes, bring your bike in! We can diagnose the problem and get them back to functioning fully without the noise.