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  1. #1
    Cycling Enthusiast mi77915's Avatar
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    Disc Brake Problem

    I have a 2012 Cannondale CX-3 with Tektro Novela disc brakes and all they do is squeal and squeak continuously!!!!!! I have returned this bike to m LBS a couple of time and they just don't seem to be able to get rid of this problem. They said they replaced the pads twice, but the problem still exists. I am getting to the point where I am considering replacing these brakes with a different brand. My problem is that I don't know what to use as a replacement. These brakes are mechanical, not hydraulic. Any thoughts/ideas/suggestion?

    Thank you,
    2007 - Giant OCR-2
    2013 - Cannondale Quick SL-3

  2. #2
    B A N N E D
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  3. #3
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    new pads. clean the rotors and do a proper bed in. if you want new brakes then i would only look at the bb7

  4. #4
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    I work at the bike shop in Clarkston. We've run into a quite a few disc brake issues and have been able to resolve all of them. There could be a number of factors leading to your squealing brakes. The most likely was the brake pads but obviously, that wasn't the issue. There could be some glaze on the discs which would require sandpapering the discs. If it's still not cleared up, re-aligning the calipers, re-truing the discs, and setting up the entire system may need to happen.

    I've found that the Tektro's are not built to as high tolerances as other brakes are, which turns out to be a good thing. I've had fewer issues with Tektro's than any other brakes. But, if you do feel the need to upgrade, go with the Avid BB7. The ease of setup and adjustability is great.

  5. #5
    George Krpan
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    Clean the rotors with a bathroom wipe, easy thing to try.

    If you've got metallic pads see if organic pads are available for these brakes. They are quieter but wear much faster and don't have the initial bite of metallic pads.

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    If you sandpaper your rotors and pads, you probably need to bed them in again. You need to generate a lot of heat so pick a steep hill, pick up some speed and apply a brake hard but do not lock up/skid the wheel. Repeat a couple of times. Some people splash water to cool down. Do not touch the hot rotor.
    Repeat for other brake.

  7. #7
    Map maker cbchess's Avatar
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    no need for water

  8. #8
    Cycling Enthusiast mi77915's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for all your advice and suggestions!!!! I will definitely give them a try.

    Thanks again!!
    2007 - Giant OCR-2
    2013 - Cannondale Quick SL-3

  9. #9
    I Will Destroy You! Morbo's Avatar
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    The first thing to understand is exactly what causes the sound we hear when our brakes makes that terrible sound. The reason for it is
    an instability due to the friction forces leading to self-excited vibrations. That is, there is, for some reason, an non-constant amount of braking friction (between the pad and the rotor). This creates vibrations that then are audible. It's similar to the sound you can create when you wet your finger, and run it along the top of a wine glass. When the vibrations match the natural frequency of the wine glass, the feed on themselves and give off a tone. More or less the same with brakes.

    So, the trick is to find a way to clean the surface of the rotor and/or the face of the pads so that the friction that is created when you apply the brakes is CONSTANT....thus, no vibrations. 100% of the problem is in the pads and/or the rotor. To change the entire brake system would be a waste.

    So....clean the rotor, BOTH sides, with a non-oily solvent such as acetone or alcohol. Or you could use a non-polar solvent like MEK, mineral spirits, xylene (goof off) etc....BUT make sure to then remove any and all residue that may have come from the solvent. To do that, I use acetone or isopropyl alcohol. If that doesn't solve the problem then I'd look to the pads; but, you already said your LBS changed the pads.

    One other thing to keep in mind is that all brakes will squeal at some time, under some conditions. It doesn't mean they're bad....it just means there is an uneven friction creating a vibration. Weather conditions often play a roll. One day my brakes are fine. The next, they squeal when they're cold. The next they may squeal only when hot.

  10. #10
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    When i used to work at an automobile repair shop, we would use an air powered die grinder with small 3m sanding discs on it. They were the 1-2 inch diameter discs. We would deglaze the whole rotor both sides with the tool. that usually took care of any squealing or noises.

  11. #11
    Cycling Enthusiast mi77915's Avatar
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    Well, I took my bike back to the shop and this time they said they replaced the pads and "scuffed-up" the disc's. I took it for a ride today (first ride since they did the work), and within 100 feet or so, the squealing is back!!!! I stopped a total of 7 time during my 10 mile ride to see if readjusting the front wheel in the fork, to see if the disc was out of register with the rotor. No difference no matter what I do!!! Now, the breaks don't only squeal when I apply the brake, the squeal continuously!!!!! I rode a total of 10 miles and listened to that noise without interruption!!! It goes back to the shop tomorrow. I am sooooo sick of this bike. What a P.O.S.
    2007 - Giant OCR-2
    2013 - Cannondale Quick SL-3

  12. #12
    George Krpan
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    Quote Originally Posted by mi77915 View Post
    Well, I took my bike back to the shop and this time they said they replaced the pads and "scuffed-up" the disc's. I took it for a ride today (first ride since they did the work), and within 100 feet or so, the squealing is back!!!! I stopped a total of 7 time during my 10 mile ride to see if readjusting the front wheel in the fork, to see if the disc was out of register with the rotor. No difference no matter what I do!!! Now, the breaks don't only squeal when I apply the brake, the squeal continuously!!!!! I rode a total of 10 miles and listened to that noise without interruption!!! It goes back to the shop tomorrow. I am sooooo sick of this bike. What a P.O.S.
    I checked Tektro's site and both the Aquila and Lyra cable disks come with metallic pads. Novelas are not listed on the site but I would assume they have metallic pads too.

    Organic pads are much quieter. I Googled "tektro novela organic brake pads" and they seem to be available.

    I have BB5 Road discs that come with organic pads and they are very quiet. But, the initial bite is poor and they wear VERY quickly. It's why BB5s have a bad rep. I expect with metallic pads they would be better brakes but noisier. You may like the quietness of organic pads but you may not like the performance.

  13. #13
    Dirt junkie. SnowJob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mi77915 View Post
    Well, I took my bike back to the shop and this time they said they replaced the pads and "scuffed-up" the disc's. [...] Now, the breaks don't only squeal when I apply the brake, the squeal continuously!!!!! I rode a total of 10 miles and listened to that noise without interruption!!! It goes back to the shop tomorrow. I am sooooo sick of this bike. What a P.O.S.
    Find a different shop.

    If you want new brakes, I like my BB7s. They squeal like stuck pigs when wet, though.

    Edit: Did a couple minutes of googling "tektro novela disc brakes" and found lots of negative reviews. A couple people wrote that they had constant or near constant brake chatter. Seems like these brakes are the cheapest of the cheap, and I'm guessing your shop guys were doing all they could to get them working right.

    Upgrade time! BB7s, baby, BB7s. Or go hydro.
    Last edited by SnowJob; 06-10-12 at 05:48 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    I agree with the other posters about the avid bb7's I have them on my Crux and they are amazing. they make very little noise, stop super quick, and are very predictable. I think they will set you back abou $150-175 but thats better than dealing with the headache of a bike that makes you mad.

  15. #15
    Cycling Enthusiast mi77915's Avatar
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    Picked up my bike from the shop yesterday and the chief technician told me they called Cannondale, they said to replace the rotors with a set of Avid rotors. They did this and the technician said he rode my bike for a total of about (6) miles that afternoon with no squealing or squeaking. He said that this set up should work great, only time will tell!!! I have not been able to test ride the bike for myself, been sick. We'll see what happens next.
    2007 - Giant OCR-2
    2013 - Cannondale Quick SL-3

  16. #16
    George Krpan
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    Quote Originally Posted by mi77915 View Post
    Picked up my bike from the shop yesterday and the chief technician told me they called Cannondale, they said to replace the rotors with a set of Avid rotors. They did this and the technician said he rode my bike for a total of about (6) miles that afternoon with no squealing or squeaking. He said that this set up should work great, only time will tell!!! I have not been able to test ride the bike for myself, been sick. We'll see what happens next.
    That's good info.

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