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  1. #1
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    Front brake popping

    I just bought my first road bike over the weekend. I installed the front brake, and this morning I noticed that when I brake hard I hear a popping sound coming from the brake. Any ideas on what may be causing that or how to fix it?

    When I installed the brake I noticed there were two washers with kind of serrated edges right behind one another on the bolt that attaches the brake to the fork. I left them both on there, but I noticed the rear brake only had one. I don't know if that's an issue or not.

    I also am very scared of tightening the brake so hard that I crack my carbon fork, is that a possibility? I don't have a torque wrench, but I tried to estimate the proper torque to apply (max 87 in-lbs, I think) by using a 5" allen wrench and estimating about 20 lbs of pressure.

    Any help this morning would be greatly appreciated since I'm riding this bike home. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Hello! someone help! I'm having this EXACT same issue. Thank you.

  3. #3
    Peace and bicycle grease! une_vitesse's Avatar
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    hm. does this happen the moment you apply the brakes, and only then? could be a kink in the cable housing causing the cable to hang up somewhere in the brake lever or the housing stop on the brake caliper and popping into place when the brake is applied.
    if it repeats itself, it could be a mis-aligned seam on your wheel. look for the seam (opposite the valve hole) and feel it.
    the washers are to locate the brake caliper on the fork, use one if that's all you need for the brake pads to clear the fork. use two only if you need the extra length.
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  4. #4
    Peace and bicycle grease! une_vitesse's Avatar
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    the misaligned seam will eventually smooth itself out ( usually after many many miles).
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  5. #5
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    Hmm, actually I dont know about the original poster, but light braking on my bike is fairly normal, however, (just for reference sake) at 75% lever engagement it pops once. Its kind of a blunt pop. i can feel it in the brake lever. After it pops it doesnt pop again until I let go of the brake and reapply.

    It almost feels more like a headset/fork issue that is activated when the brake clamps down to a certain pressure. what do you think?

  6. #6
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    Just for reference: I fixed it. It turns out, the top cap/stem wasn't on tight enough. As a matter of fact, the handling was just a touch too loose too. So, I tightened it and it brakes BEAUTIFULLY now. WOo.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by chubbychu View Post
    Just for reference: I fixed it. It turns out, the top cap/stem wasn't on tight enough. As a matter of fact, the handling was just a touch too loose too. So, I tightened it and it brakes BEAUTIFULLY now. WOo.
    Did you loosen the stem bolts before you tightened the top cap?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidad View Post
    Did you loosen the stem bolts before you tightened the top cap?
    Davidad; I read somewhere on here that the stem bolts, not the top cap, holds the fork to the head tube. In which case, to answer your question; yes.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    As an update (I'm the OP), I fixed my issue too. It turned out that bolt that holds the brake to the fork was on too tight. Once I loosened that a little the issue went away.

  10. #10
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooleric1234 View Post
    I just bought my first road bike over the weekend. I installed the front brake, and this morning I noticed that when I brake hard I hear a popping sound coming from the brake. Any ideas on what may be causing that or how to fix it?
    If this is a new bike, take it back to the shop for them to take a look. These things are difficult to diagnose via remote viewing.

    When I installed the brake I noticed there were two washers with kind of serrated edges right behind one another on the bolt that attaches the brake to the fork. I left them both on there, but I noticed the rear brake only had one. I don't know if that's an issue or not.
    No, two serrated washers are often used on the front brake to allow wrench access to the centering flats that would otherwise be obstructed by the lower headset cup.

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