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  1. #1
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    How do you properly "toe-in" Brake pads???

    So i have this annoying squeal on my brakes, I bought 2 pairs of kool stop salmons and they have been squealing for about a week now.
    I have tried to sand the rims, then sand the pads, then i washed the sand off. All 3 times they squealed so i tried to add a little lube on the pads that worked but that was a short term solution since the squeal came back.

    Then I read about toeing in the pads, which i think means to make it so that the front end of the brakes touch the rims before the back right? i read that this defiantly stops the brakes squeal for me it hasent worked

    so can anyone tell me what else i can do, i have defiantly toed them in because i can visually see that when I brake the fronts touch first.
    Also its only the front ones that squeal not the back ones and they only squeal when im riding at a decent speed lastly im positive none of the brake pads are touching the tyre

    Please help thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    Toe in means the pads are not as close in the back where the rim first enters the pad. What I do is take a thin washer or a thin dime and put it under the back of the pad and seat the bolt. It ends up that the pad does have more clearance at the back, but not as much as the dime or washer. This has worked well for me.

  3. #3
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    Yeah ive just tried that way where you put a piece of card at the back and then tighten it and its still squealing, so i washed the rims and the pads again and give it a little sand still squealing a little

  4. #4
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    What type and make/model brake are you dealing with?

  5. #5
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    try a toe out

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jxpowers View Post
    So i have this annoying squeal on my brakes, I bought 2 pairs of kool stop salmons and they have been squealing for about a week now.
    I have tried to sand the rims, then sand the pads, then i washed the sand off. All 3 times they squealed so i tried to add a little lube on the pads that worked but that was a short term solution since the squeal came back.

    Then I read about toeing in the pads, which i think means to make it so that the front end of the brakes touch the rims before the back right? i read that this defiantly stops the brakes squeal for me it hasent worked

    so can anyone tell me what else i can do, i have defiantly toed them in because i can visually see that when I brake the fronts touch first.
    Also its only the front ones that squeal not the back ones and they only squeal when im riding at a decent speed lastly im positive none of the brake pads are touching the tyre

    Please help thanks
    Yeah, so putting lubricant on your brake pads is very bad.
    Don't Ever Do That Again!

    See, brakes slow you down by using friction against the rim to slow its rotation. Lubricants reduce friction. No friction means no brakes.

    You need to clean your pads and rims very thuroughly to remove all traces of lube contaiminant before proceeding..
    gummy residue of lube mixed with dirt and stuff can itself become a source of squealing



    Since this is only the front brake that does it.... when you use the front brake are you only gingerly dragging the brake? or are you doing full handed endo stops?
    I find that grabbing the front brake hard, deccelerates the bike faster than sqeal/vibrations can begin to resonate audibly.
    Strong decceleration plus no sounds? That's a win-win for me. Practice doing controlled endos.

    Or you can keep toe-ing the pads in, but that weakens the braking power....
    The former solution works with how I ride, your methods may differ.

  7. #7
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    First of all, NEVER lubricate the braking surface. You want maximum friction, because that's what you depend on to stop the bike.

    Now, before you can manage squealing you need to understand it's cause.

    When you apply the brakes the motion of the rim pushes the pad forward with the same force as the braking force. This causes the brake arm to twist so the heel of the shoe digs in momentarily increasing the brake force, until it slips back. This happens at high speed causing a vibration you hear as a squeal. As you apply the brakes harder you'll push the pad flat again, so squealing tends to happen only at moderate brake pressure.

    Over time the shoes will wear, adapting to the twist and the squeal will go away by itself. But if you're impatient you can speed up the process with toe in. The amount of toe-in needed depends on the rigidity of your brake and the friction properties of your pad material.

    Good pads (high friction) require more toe-in since they create more braking force (and reaction twist) than crappy pads. Likewise with less rigid brake calipers since they twist more. You can see this effect and get an idea of how much toe-in you want by gently applying the brakes while pushing the bike forward, and seeing how far the front of the shoes spread. Toe-in by the same amount or very slightly more, so the natural twist brings the shoe flat.

    You can also cure squeal by removing the back corner, so it can't dig in and vibrate. File a shallow angle into the back 1/4" or so, making sort of a ski tip curve. Warning, don't do this if you ride in the rain since it will worsen wet performance.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Toe-in is good. What also may help brake squeal is to clean the rim brake track. I use a green Scotchbrite kitchen scrubber which is mildly abrasive and cuts through the caked on gunk. It can also be helpful to clean the surface of the brake pads if they're contaminated.

  9. #9
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    What type and make/model brake are you dealing with?
    how you toe in a brake shoe depends on how the shoe is attached to the brake.

    bend the brake, bend the post in the shoe holder,
    buying TRP 'adjust in place' plain post brake pads/holders.

    wedge lever under the nut? stack of concave.convex washers [v brakes]
    all are slightly different techniques .. depending on the brake installed..

  10. #10
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    I have the kool stop brake pads the really long ones

  11. #11
    I let the dogs out AlphaDogg's Avatar
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    You put lubricant on brake pads that you expect to actually stop your bike?

    Some brakes just squeal in my experience. Toeing you pads in often helps a LOT. Can you post a picture of how your pads are set up?
    http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/x...6at14619PM.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by rangerdavid View Post
    intellect? we don't need so stinking intellect. this is the 41.
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    And this is why I don't ride aluminum frames... they will explode if I look at it wrong.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jxpowers View Post
    Yeah ive just tried that way where you put a piece of card at the back and then tighten it and its still squealing, so i washed the rims and the pads again and give it a little sand still squealing a little
    A piece of card stock is likley not what rydabent meant. Card is not thick enough. Use a dime like he recommended. If no dime, then a popsickle stick. Something 1/16th inch or just a bit thicker.

    Seconds; if you post the specific brakes you have and maybe even a picture of them installed, help can be more specific.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksisler View Post
    A piece of card stock is likley not what rydabent meant. Card is not thick enough. Use a dime like he recommended. If no dime, then a popsickle stick. Something 1/16th inch or just a bit thicker.

    Seconds; if you post the specific brakes you have and maybe even a picture of them installed, help can be more specific.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kool-Stop-Mo...3880249&sr=8-3
    here are the brakes i have

    i dont see how posting pictures would work because the suspensions are in the way and you wouldnt be able to see the "toe-in". and what other ways are there to set up brakes? I know how to align them to the rim ect

    The card i used is like a business card folded up 4 times



    Also ive read in quite a few places on this forum and in other places that lube does help with squealing and it did but as i said it was only short term and it hardly effected braking

  14. #14
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    I use a somewhat thick and wide rubber band to provide a "toe-in" when I’m adjusting my brake pads. This idea is similar to the dime suggestion. If you get the height and toe-in right, I wouldn’t worry about it. I believe the squeal will go away after a while.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jxpowers View Post
    Do you see that raised snowplow on the back tip of the shoe. That's to help you set the right amount of toe-in. Unfortunately, until it wears off, it's a major cause of squealing. Take the shoes off and file or grind the plow off flush to the rest of the shoe, then go a bit farther and take it down
    so it won't touch the rim when the shoes are flat. That will allow the shoe to twist (as it will) yet not dig in.

    When the shoes are prepared, mount them using a dime trapped just forward of the back end as a toe-in gauge.
    FB
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    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  16. #16
    I'm Carbon Curious 531phile's Avatar
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    Try toe in one side and toe out the other side. Works when all else fails.

    Quote Originally Posted by avner View Post
    I loled. Twice. Then I cried. Then I rubbed one out and cried again, but thanks for sharing.

  17. #17
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    You put your right toe in,
    You put your right toe out,
    You put your right toe in,
    And you shake it all about,

    You do the hokey pokey
    and you turn yourself around
    That what it's all about.
    Quote Originally Posted by Al Dvorin
    Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building. Thank you and goodnight

  18. #18
    Senior Member SJX426's Avatar
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    “toe-in” is a misnomer. From an engineering point of view, it is really “heel-in”. Why? If you are the brake shoe and the surface is moving under you very rapidly, would you use your heel or toe first? If you responded with your toe, what do you think will happen should it catch? Maybe a broken ankle? It is an issue of reference. From the bikes perspective the front of the bike is considered the leading part during motion, but the brake is at the top of the wheel where the wheel is rotation toward the direction of the bike. It is going twice as fast as you are when you are riding (remember the hub is going the same speed and the tire on the road has 0 velocity with good grip).
    So what is commonly referred to as “toe-in” is really “heel-in and it is not the leading part of the shoe but the trailing part. This statement is contrary to prevailing discussions, but there was a time when the right brake lever controlled the front brake too, the constant is change.
    Another consideration for “squealing” is the slack in the mounting of the calipers. If there is a slight play in the mounting, it will allow for the oscillation of movement which is the action that generates the sound. Its frequency is directly related to the harmonics of the oscillation. So the contributing factors are stiffness of the caliper arm, mounting “tightness”, the coefficient of friction between the pad and the braking surface creating the dynamic action of stick and release at a high frequency.
    Sometimes the operational dynamic range of the offending system exceeds the variable adjustment of contributing components of the configuration. In other words there is not one solution or there might not be an easy solution. There may one or two adjustments that are outside of the range but not always.

  19. #19
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    As the top of a wheel rolling you forward, is rotating forward, 'toe' is the trailing end of the brake pad.

  20. #20
    Senior Member kmv2's Avatar
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    Also, get an emery board and put it between the pad and the rim. Lightly apply brake and spin the wheel.

    The surface of the rim gets glazed with the brake pad material sometimes, and is a source of squeal/poor performance.

  21. #21
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    My brakes will squeal in the rain - all of them. Disc and rim alike. Personally I suspect it happens most when things get ' too' clean, cause it goes away as the brakes get used more and contaminants get dried to the surfaces.

    Jagwire makes an alignment tool just for this if you think a specialized tool might help, but all the spacer suggestions offered so far are just as effective.

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    How do you properly "toe-in" Brake pads???

    Quote Originally Posted by jxpowers View Post
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kool-Stop-Mo...3880249&sr=8-3
    here are the brakes i have i dont see how posting pictures would work because the suspensions are in the way and you wouldnt be able to see the "toe-in". and what other ways are there to set up brakes? I know how to align them to the rim ect The card i used is like a business card folded up 4 times. Also ive read in quite a few places on this forum and in other places that lube does help with squealing and it did but as i said it was only short term and it hardly effected braking
    That is an ad for the brake-pads. Useless to solving the issue. When I said "picture of your brakes" I was meaning of your brakes as installed on your bike, and taken from an angle that would be relevant.

    Yes a standard business card folded 4x (now you tell us) is getting close to the right thickness.

  23. #23
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    As several have mentioned, cleaning the braking surface of the rim helps, since you still might get squeal with proper toe in. I also remove the wheels and lightly sand the brake pad material to remove the glaze, and then wash away all the grit and dirt before putting the wheel back on.

  24. #24
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    I couldnt exactly fix it but....

    i changed the rims to one where the grooves on the rim are finer and smaller, this stopped the squeal immediately

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
    As several have mentioned, cleaning the braking surface of the rim helps, since you still might get squeal with proper toe in. I also remove the wheels and lightly sand the brake pad material to remove the glaze, and then wash away all the grit and dirt before putting the wheel back on.
    my first post mentioned that i did that...

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