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Brake Squeal with Paul low profile Canti and Kool-Stop Salmon?

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Brake Squeal with Paul low profile Canti and Kool-Stop Salmon?

Old 07-01-22, 06:49 AM
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Brake Squeal with Paul low profile Canti and Kool-Stop Salmon?

Have this problem with wife's Terry, and she does not like it at all. What's the cause and what are the available fixes? I'm using a popsicle stick as a toe-in shim. Is that appropriate? Pads are on ball-swivel mounts.

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Old 07-01-22, 08:39 AM
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Popsicle stick, sure why not. As good as another easy to handle item that's about the same thickness.

However there are other ways to try quieting a brake squeal. Toe out, grinding small ramps to the pad's rear facing edges, wiping garden dirt on the pads (my favorite partially because so many cringe at the thought of making a brake dirty as a good thing) and trying different pads.

BTW can you provide an image of these Phil brakes? Having followed Phil Wood products for decades this item is a new one to me. Perhaps you mean "Paul" brand? Andy
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Old 07-01-22, 09:11 AM
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Cleaning the braking surface with steel wool and rubbing alcohol can help, as can de-glazing the pads.
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Old 07-01-22, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Popsicle stick, sure why not. As good as another easy to handle item that's about the same thickness.

However there are other ways to try quieting a brake squeal. Toe out, grinding small ramps to the pad's rear facing edges, wiping garden dirt on the pads (my favorite partially because so many cringe at the thought of making a brake dirty as a good thing) and trying different pads.

BTW can you provide an image of these Phil brakes? Having followed Phil Wood products for decades this item is a new one to me. Perhaps you mean "Paul" brand? Andy
Yes, Andy, good catch, they are Paulís!!! My bad!!
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Old 07-01-22, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Yes, Andy, good catch, they are Paulís!!! My bad!!
Rats! You had me almost drooling. I don't know the popsicle trick but that is about the toe-in I shoot for.

OP, are you using Koolstop pads? If not, try them. Not magic but a very good compromise between squeal and stopping power. Most of my brakes (of at least 4 different types) are silent.

One trick to silencing squeal is to use it all up. Doesn't always work and will scare animals, irritate people and raise the dead in the process. Find a long steep hill. Go down; braking continuously at max volume. Often (but sadly not always) the squeal will be far more manageable afterwards. Andrew, I like the dirt trick. I have a rim that I contaminated the sidewall of mounting a sewup. Three rounds of lacquer thinner, Simple Green and a very good rinse haven't silenced it. (Rear. Grabs badly with oscillating noise to boot. The big downhill helped a lot but it's still a college football game; down from a rock concert.)
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Old 07-01-22, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
OP, are you using Koolstop pads? If not, try them.
Ahem, *thread title.*
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Old 07-01-22, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
Ahem, *thread title.*
Sorry, Just now I've requested the Mods to help me with that.
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Old 07-01-22, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Rats! You had me almost drooling. I don't know the popsicle trick but that is about the toe-in I shoot for.

OP, are you using Koolstop pads? If not, try them. Not magic but a very good compromise between squeal and stopping power. Most of my brakes (of at least 4 different types) are silent.

One trick to silencing squeal is to use it all up. Doesn't always work and will scare animals, irritate people and raise the dead in the process. Find a long steep hill. Go down; braking continuously at max volume. Often (but sadly not always) the squeal will be far more manageable afterwards. Andrew, I like the dirt trick. I have a rim that I contaminated the sidewall of mounting a sewup. Three rounds of lacquer thinner, Simple Green and a very good rinse haven't silenced it. (Rear. Grabs badly with oscillating noise to boot. The big downhill helped a lot but it's still a college football game; down from a rock concert.)
Mooney, sorry to get you so excited and over the moon (lol!). My mistake, they are Paul's cantilevers, the ones with the "low profile" shape, that don't stick out too far. I just sent a note to the Mods requesting help and promising good behavior.
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Old 07-01-22, 06:58 PM
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Thanks to 3-star Mod Stan Seven, my Phil/Paul faux pas has been corrected
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Old 07-01-22, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Rats! You had me almost drooling. I don't know the popsicle trick but that is about the toe-in I shoot for.

OP, are you using Koolstop pads? If not, try them. Not magic but a very good compromise between squeal and stopping power. Most of my brakes (of at least 4 different types) are silent.

One trick to silencing squeal is to use it all up. Doesn't always work and will scare animals, irritate people and raise the dead in the process. Find a long steep hill. Go down; braking continuously at max volume. Often (but sadly not always) the squeal will be far more manageable afterwards. Andrew, I like the dirt trick. I have a rim that I contaminated the sidewall of mounting a sewup. Three rounds of lacquer thinner, Simple Green and a very good rinse haven't silenced it. (Rear. Grabs badly with oscillating noise to boot. The big downhill helped a lot but it's still a college football game; down from a rock concert.)
ok, so back to business: Tomorrow I take off the brake shoes and wheels. Clean the shoes and dress the friction faces with emery 400 to break up any glaze. Take a good look to see if anything looks like a wear limit. Then wash the tims really well with Dial or Simple green to remove dirt and whatever. I can rub the brake tracks with an abrasive or a handful of soil. Then reinstall wheels and pads. I'll get the pads all to face the rims square, then use a thick business card to set the toe-in. I might also chamfer the back (trailing) end of the brake shoes. That covers nearly all the brake fix fix recommendations from you guys here, from Sheldon's notes on brakes, and the Jobst Brandt notes on brake squeal. The only think undone is to buy new Kool-stops, or something.
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Old 07-01-22, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
Cleaning the braking surface with steel wool and rubbing alcohol can help, as can de-glazing the pads.
Yessireebob....
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Old 07-01-22, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Sorry, Just now I've requested the Mods to help me with that.
That wasnít directed at you; it was directed at the guy who suggested you try kool stops even though you mentioned them in your title.
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Old 07-01-22, 08:26 PM
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I just tried the dirt trick. Impressive. I don't know how long it will last but I'm pretty certain I'll be able to find more en route when I ride a century Sunday.
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Old 07-01-22, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
then use a thick business card to set the toe-in.
Don't be afraid to go thicker. I've had brakes/rims that required the thickness of a quarter to get enough toe-in to silence them, even with salmon Kool Stops.
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Old 07-02-22, 05:01 AM
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We use Kool Stop on all our bikes and here is the way I address the pads. 100 grit sand paper followed by rubbing alcohol.
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Old 07-02-22, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
Don't be afraid to go thicker. I've had brakes/rims that required the thickness of a quarter to get enough toe-in to silence them, even with salmon Kool Stops.
I'm not, if you look back to my first post my usual is to use a popsicle stick about an inch under the back of a long brake shoe and pad. Sheldon suggested something thinner, so I thought I would try it. As well, Jobst Brandt said squeal was due to a caterpillar like surface wave along the length of the brake pad, and this is worse with longer ones.

Because I have Kool-stops, toe-in, tight pivots (no apparent play) between my Pauls and the canti posts, not-loose tension bolts, and non-flexy calipers (Pauls), and I still have squeal which drives my wife to want to give up her bike, I think removing, cleaning, de-glazing, lubing, reassembling, and re-pitching and re-yawing the pads (experimenting with amounts of yaw) is plausibly what it needs. If it doesn't work I'm reluctant to pay another $30+ for a front set of Salmons, but it will be time for that. Remember, the front brake pads started their banshee scream with the preferred calipers and pads, and significant toe-in already in place. The hardest part of this is re-orienting her perspective. Before I start up that mountain I need to do the mechanical work, including the garden soil trick!

If any cantilever brakes are less prone to squeal by their inherent design, I'm curious. The levers are Campy Ergopower and they give a mechanical advantage and feel which works well for her as a cyclist, so anything new must work decently with Campagnolo levers. We're not letting this problem lead to a whole new drivetrain. I'm planning to change hers from 3 x 11 to 2 x 11 with a Campy 50/34, but that's the biggest drivetrain change I'd take on (then see if the triple lever works with the CT chainset).

As far as sandpaper choice, I have a box of scraps to look through. 100 grit is a good recommendation, though.

New but related question: Do disks squeal?
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Old 07-02-22, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
Don't be afraid to go thicker. I've had brakes/rims that required the thickness of a quarter to get enough toe-in to silence them, even with salmon Kool Stops.
I'm not, if you look back to my first post my usual is to use a popsicle stick about an inch under the back of a long brake shoe and pad. Sheldon suggested something thinner, so I thought I would try it. As well, Jobst Brandt said squeal was due to a caterpillar like surface wave along the length of the brake pad, and this is worse with longer ones.

Because I have Kool-stops, toe-in, tight pivots (no apparent play) between my Pauls and the canti posts, not-loose tension bolts, and non-flexy calipers (Pauls), and I still have squeal which drives my wife to want to give up her bike, I think removing, cleaning, de-glazing, lubing, reassembling, and re-pitching and re-yawing the pads (experimenting with amounts of yaw) is plausibly what it needs. If it doesn't work I'm reluctant to pay another $30+ for a front set of Salmons, but it will be time for that. Remember, the front brake pads started their banshee scream with the preferred calipers and pads, and significant toe-in already in place. The hardest part of this is re-orienting her perspective. Before I start up that mountain I need to do the mechanical work, including the garden soil trick!

If any cantilever brakes are less prone to squeal by their inherent design, I'm curious. The levers are Campy Ergopower and they give a mechanical advantage and feel which works well for her as a cyclist, so anything new must work decently with Campagnolo levers. We're not letting this problem lead to a whole new drivetrain. I'm planning to change hers from 3 x 11 to 2 x 11 with a Campy 50/34, but that's the biggest drivetrain change I'd take on (then see if the triple lever works with the CT chainset).

As far as sandpaper choice, I have a box of scraps to look through. 100 grit is a good recommendation, though.
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Old 07-02-22, 07:07 AM
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Brake squeal as I understand such things results from one or both brake arm assemblies resonating while under braking load. The objective is to change the system in some way to move the resonant frequency out of the range encountered in normal operation. One thing I've (apparently) had success with is using a thick (eg wheel-bearing) grease on the pivot bosses. If there has been enough wear to allow "rocking" movement of the brake arm, the grease may provide some damping. Might be worth a try.
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Old 07-02-22, 08:14 AM
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Another way to change the resonance is to use a different amount of toe-in on each side.
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Old 07-02-22, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
New but related question: Do disks squeal?
They certainly can, but thoroughly bedding-in the pads and keeping the rotors free of contaminants are the best preventatives.
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Old 07-02-22, 10:01 PM
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I have Paul Touring Canti with Koolstop Thinline pads. No squeal but it takes a good amount of toe. With the Thinline pads there is a little "kick-out" on the end that's about 1.5mm, and I have about .7mm of toe under the kickout. Also make sure the pad adjustment ball/cup that is closest to the pad is fully seated. I've had some of them not fully seat and leave a gap. Those would occasionally squeal, then then pad would suddenly be loose when the cup finally seated. Now I tap them in place with a drift and a hammer, and I haven't had that issue.

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Old 07-03-22, 06:31 AM
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Kool Stop Dual Compound?

My single-point-of-data personal anecdote...

My 1995 Trek 730 Multitrack has its original Shimano Acera-X cantis and Matrix Journey wheels. When I was waking it up a couple of years ago after a long slumber, I installed Kool Stop "Eagle 2" salmon pads.

Stopping was fine, but they squealed something fierce. I fiddled with adjustments on occasion without success, and put up with it for several thousand miles. I mostly ride alone on fairly rural highways, and don't really need to brake very often, so net annoyance was low; it just wasn't a high priority.

I eventually tried some Kool Stop "Eagle 2" pads in the "dual compound" Black/Salmon, and that improved things dramatically on the noise front. I still get a little bit of squeal right when I'm coming to a stop. Stopping seems to be satisfactory, too, and maybe a bit easier to control.
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Old 07-03-22, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Have this problem with wife's Terry, and she does not like it at all. What's the cause and what are the available fixes? I'm using a popsicle stick as a toe-in shim. Is that appropriate? Pads are on ball-swivel mounts.
I had this problem with mini-motos I had to change from Salmons to multi compound
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Old 07-06-22, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by sweeks View Post
Brake squeal as I understand such things results from one or both brake arm assemblies resonating while under braking load. The objective is to change the system in some way to move the resonant frequency out of the range encountered in normal operation. One thing I've (apparently) had success with is using a thick (eg wheel-bearing) grease on the pivot bosses. If there has been enough wear to allow "rocking" movement of the brake arm, the grease may provide some damping. Might be worth a try.
(Greetings from Mundelein!)
Greetings from Ann Arbor!!!

Source of the vibe seems (at least I like Jobst Brandt's argument) to be a surface wave on the rubbing surface of the brake pad. Toe in was (I think) intended to limit the vibrating surface. I don't know if there is play in my canti pivot bearings. Plan is to set the shoes square with the braking surfacs (machined) and send her out to try it. I did that work and I can't make it squeal, but she seems to have a knack for it. I think tomorrow I"m going to set up the toe-in, since I think I figured out a way to do it without a helper - use an old toe strap to force the calipers closed over the popsicle stick or other wedge, loosen the clamps, and force the brake lever with the toe strap, tighten the brake shoe clamp bolts, and release the toe strap. If its all still aligned correctly do the other brake and go out and ride. We'll see. If that doesn't work overhaul the calipers and measure the outer journal and inner and see if there is any play. I don't expect any, these have less than 2000 miles on them and I put Park grease in when I installed them.

I might also try several different gaps, or even asymmetrical gaps, as somebody else selected. But this begins to sound more like research than repair!

I think I've had that old toestrap in my toolbox since we rode around Evanston together!
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Old 07-06-22, 08:37 PM
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If you can find an old Park BT-4 these work to hold the brakes shut.

I've used a Quick-Grip clamp to hold them shut as well.

But with the Paul cantis just loosen the mounting bolts and release the spring tension on the arms, then set the pads. With no spring tension it is easy to set the pads and lock them down. Once this is done reset the tension on the arms. It's super easy to do.
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