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Loud Screeching Brakes

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Old 06-23-09, 07:56 AM
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Timtruro
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Loud Screeching Brakes

I recently did some work on an old mixte (Vita Sprint). When I took it out for a little shakedown, everything seemed good except for and ear-piercing screech when the brakes are applied. They do stop the bike ok but the racket is nerve wracking as well as disturbing to those around the bike. Tried adjustments but nothing seems to work.

I have not replaced the pads, could it be just that they are old and brittle?? I did not that the rims are etched, but they are original and should not cause this problem.

Any helpful suggestions are appreciated. It is a nice bike, and I am going to loan it to a friend for the summer but I don't want to give it to her like this.
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Old 06-23-09, 08:02 AM
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Clean the rim braking surfaces.......perhaps a little bit of scotchbright. Inspect the faces of the pads and pick out any bits of metal showing. Think about using a bit of toeout/in on the brakes.
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Old 06-23-09, 08:12 AM
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overthehillmedi
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There is that old saying;"The squeaky wheel gets the grease" other than that I have no idea.

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Old 06-23-09, 08:15 AM
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+1 to Madmaxx. I make little shims out of clear blister pack plastic or milk jug plastic to toe them in. And replace those pads. Pads, even with minimal wear, deteriorate with age.

I use Koolstop "Continentals" (salmon colored) on my older bikes - I get them from biketoolsetc.com . Your LBS may carry them as well.
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Old 06-23-09, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
Clean the rim braking surfaces.......perhaps a little bit of scotchbright. Inspect the faces of the pads and pick out any bits of metal showing. Think about using a bit of toeout/in on the brakes.
I agree with Maxx. Also:

1. If you are using the original brake pads, they are probably brick hard. That's bad. Get new ones.
2. If your pads still feel alive, use a fingernail emery board to dress them up. That'll usually do the trick.
3. On brakes as old as I suspect yours are, I clamp a 6" adjustable wrench onto the arm and gently bend it inward so that the front of the brake pad touches the rim first by just a skosh.
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Old 06-23-09, 10:00 AM
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Clean the rims with Simple Green and a scrubby pad. Scrub hard. Thoroughly rinse them. If they have worked well in the past then this will probably do it. If there is still some screeching then scrub them again, perhaps with something more coarse and don't be so gentle. Also, what others said about the pads.
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Old 06-23-09, 10:00 AM
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Yup -- clean rims and slightly pigeontoed KoolStop salmon brake pads should do the trick.
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Old 06-23-09, 10:07 AM
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Unless you ride on MUP's. Under those conditions brake squeak can be useful.....
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Old 06-23-09, 10:32 AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. Looks like I will be kept busy for awhile. Will let you guys know what I tried and and what worked for me. Mucho Gracias
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Old 06-23-09, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by overthehillmedi View Post
There is that old saying;"The squeaky wheel gets the grease" other than that I have no idea.
I would recommend against greasing your brake pads.
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Old 06-23-09, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by cbr2702 View Post
I would recommend against greasing your brake pads.
Yup. That screeching noise is the only thing that you'll be able to stop using greased brake pads.
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Old 06-23-09, 01:54 PM
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Hi,

Just adding a bit of clarity to the toe-in comments. Looking down at the pads, the end that is towards the front of the bike should be closer to the rim than the end that is towards the back of the bike.
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Old 06-23-09, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by cbr2702 View Post
I would recommend against greasing your brake pads.
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Yup. That screeching noise is the only thing that you'll be able to stop using greased brake pads.
WD 40 works wonders

On the MTB- I use get brake squeal occasionally. Normally at the start of a ride but easy cure- Find a puddle and run through it or Water from the water bottle worked.

Old blocks may have gone hard so change- Clean the rims with methylated spirits- get toe in on the pads and if all else fails- buy earplugs.

And on the blocks I have never had a problem with the braking effect from "Good Quality" Shimano blocks. They do squeal however- but when ever I tried Koolstop or any other block- the rate of wear or stopping power worked against them.
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