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Proper brake toe-in technique

Old 05-07-18, 03:41 PM
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Proper brake toe-in technique

What's the preferred method for properly setting toe-in on brake pads? I watched one YT video that suggests the thickness of 2 business cards, placed about 3/8" from the back of the pad. Is that sufficient? After I did this, visually it looks like there is almost no change to the pad angle. Maybe I'm squeezing the lever too hard when re-tightening the pads? Also, I don't have much experience with doing this, how does the pad wear after toeing-in? Seems to me that the pad will start to wear on an angle, and every subsequent toe-in will increase the angled wear, eventually leading to some goofy looking angled brake pads that are mostly worn down in front?
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Old 05-07-18, 04:26 PM
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You only need to toe in the pads enough to prevent them from squealing when you apply the brakes. Two business cards worth is a good starting point. Don't worry about angled pad wear; if you do it right, the pads will wear straight.

Brake squeal occurs because the calipers flex when you apply the brakes. The pads are pulled forward by the rim, eventually coming to a point where not enough pad is striking the rim, so it slips, the caliper flexes back with the slip, and the process repeats. This happens at a high frequency, causing the squeal.

When you toe in the pad, the front of the pad strikes the rim first, the caliper flexes and pulls the pad into full contact with the rim. With the pad fully contacting the rim, the pad wears pretty much evenly, and you don't get the high frequency squeal.
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Old 05-07-18, 04:59 PM
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Take a couple thumb tacks, insert them into the rear face of the pads. Use the the thin head thumb tack type. Perform your pad to rim setup and then remove the tacks afterwards. Or, if you want to make your hair stand up when you brake, leave them in and ride!
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Old 05-07-18, 05:06 PM
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It depends how rigid your caliper is. A good modern brake shouldn't require toe-in.

In any case, make sure the brake pivot is properly adjusted before you evaluate it (if it's a dual pivot it's almost certainly rigid enough not to require toe-in).
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Old 05-07-18, 05:11 PM
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I use a think rubber band as the spacer, tied off so that if fits snuggly but not real tight around the brake pad.
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Old 05-08-18, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
You only need to toe in the pads enough to prevent them from squealing when you apply the brakes. Two business cards worth is a good starting point. Don't worry about angled pad wear; if you do it right, the pads will wear straight.

Brake squeal occurs because the calipers flex when you apply the brakes. The pads are pulled forward by the rim, eventually coming to a point where not enough pad is striking the rim, so it slips, the caliper flexes back with the slip, and the process repeats. This happens at a high frequency, causing the squeal.

When you toe in the pad, the front of the pad strikes the rim first, the caliper flexes and pulls the pad into full contact with the rim. With the pad fully contacting the rim, the pad wears pretty much evenly, and you don't get the high frequency squeal.
Ok cool thanks for the explanation! Makes sense.
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Old 05-08-18, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo
It depends how rigid your caliper is. A good modern brake shouldn't require toe-in.

In any case, make sure the brake pivot is properly adjusted before you evaluate it (if it's a dual pivot it's almost certainly rigid enough not to require toe-in).
They are dual pivot. But the rims are carbon (first set of carbon rims for me), and so they squeal at high temperature (extended braking on long, steep descents) or when applying a lot of force to the brakes (stopping quickly from high speed). Never had a problem on alu rims, so I'm trying to find a solution to this new problem. Also going to try a few other brake pad brands, from what I've read, certain pads are better at reducing squeal.
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Old 05-08-18, 09:42 AM
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pads like Kool Stop eagle claw raise the tail end in their molded design.. the plough tip is supposed to clear grit in advance as well.
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Old 05-08-18, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by cthenn
They are dual pivot. But the rims are carbon (first set of carbon rims for me), and so they squeal at high temperature (extended braking on long, steep descents) or when applying a lot of force to the brakes (stopping quickly from high speed). Never had a problem on alu rims, so I'm trying to find a solution to this new problem. Also going to try a few other brake pad brands, from what I've read, certain pads are better at reducing squeal.
Real race cars squeal a bit in certain conditions while braking. Wear it as a badge...
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Old 05-08-18, 12:16 PM
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I use a zip tie on my CX bike with canti's, but on my road bike with Ultegra 6800's I just kinda eyeball it or don't worry about it at all.
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Old 05-08-18, 03:59 PM
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I use a paper clip.
Cheers,
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Old 05-08-18, 04:24 PM
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A purpose built thing for this.. if you're not happy with a folded in half business card.
https://www.amazon.com/Jagwire-Brake.../dp/B007FWPD2Q

Realize though, toe-in disappears after a little while as the pad is worn down
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Old 05-08-18, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo
It depends how rigid your caliper is. A good modern brake shouldn't require toe-in.

In any case, make sure the brake pivot is properly adjusted before you evaluate it (if it's a dual pivot it's almost certainly rigid enough not to require toe-in).
^This.
I have one bike with v-brakes, one with cantilevers, and two with road calipers.
I don't bother with toe-in on any of them.
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Old 05-08-18, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene
Realize though, toe-in disappears after a little while as the pad is worn down
That's the case if you don't need* toe-in and the caliper isn't flexing. If you need it, the caliper flexes and you'll end up with toe-in worn in even if you haven't set it.

* It can be more complicated than that, with pad compounds, the brake type, and the geometry of the whole system potentially having a bearing on the matter. 700C bikes with Vs or cantis are prone to squeal... one thing that can sometimes help is grease on the pivot stud, which changes the resonant frequency. Squealing discs can also be a PITA, if it isn't just a case of contaminated pads.
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Old 05-08-18, 08:40 PM
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Check this Parktool video. It's for a dual pivot type brake but inside, it gives links to different rim braking system and how to adjust,

https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair...-brake-service
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Old 05-08-18, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo
^This.
I have one bike with v-brakes, one with cantilevers, and two with road calipers.
I don't bother with toe-in on any of them.
Me neither. I don't worry about it and any squeal with new pads goes away quickly as the pads wear in.


-Tim-
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Old 05-08-18, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH
Me neither. I don't worry about it and any squeal with new pads goes away quickly as the pads wear in.


-Tim-
+1
Toeing pads in often just uses up some of the available brake lever travel for pad alignment. Changing pad type/material is often enough to stop the sounds. My prefered method is to clean the rim (90+ % alcohol works fine), set the pads parallel to the rim, make a few hard stops. If the squeal is still present, not reduced, swap for different pad compound and try it again. Only then do I try toeing in.
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Old 05-10-18, 10:07 AM
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Seems like the rims and brakes are starting to "break in", I don't get a really loud squeal unless doing essentially an emergency stop. Now I just get more of a dull whistle but I think it's more to do with the textured braking surface. After I use up these pads, I'm gonna try a different pad, I've read that Reynolds Cryo Blue are quieter on carbon rims, though I guess they are pretty soft and wear down faster. Just experiment until I find something that works, just need to get used to carbon rim braking being a bit noisier than alu. Thanks everyone!
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Old 05-10-18, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene
A purpose built thing for this.. if you're not happy with a folded in half business card.
https://www.amazon.com/Jagwire-Brake.../dp/B007FWPD2Q
I've got one made by TacX: https://www.amazon.com/Tacx-Brake-Sh.../dp/B001D8WLQO. Recommended.
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