Join Date: Sep 2009
Bikes: Cannondale Adventure 400; 1983 Trek 620; Bilenky Ti Tourlite
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Welcome to the Forums -- and glad to hear that riding is fun for you!
It would help us figure out what's going on if you could post pictures of your bike. I'd like to see the brake pads, the chain rings, and the derailleurs, for starters. Does the chain feel like it's slipping all the time, only when you're changing gears, or when you're staying in the same gear and pushing hard (ex: standing on the pedals to go uphill)?
A common reason that brakes get noisy is that they sometimes lay exactly flat along the rims. If they're angled slightly, so the pads start contacting with just part of their area and then contact more territory as you pull the lever harder, they get quieter.