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Old 07-27-17, 06:29 PM   #1
Mark42
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Squeeling rear disc brake..... grrrrrr....

The bike has bb5 calipers front and rear. The front is a 203 mm disc, the rear is a 160 disc. Both calipers have the stock "red" brake pads, which I believe are the semi-metalic pads. The front made a lot of noise until the caliper was shimmed up a bit to the point that the pad was not rubbing the spokes of the disc. Then it was quiet, and just made that unnerving metal on metal sound. But stopping was amazing. Tried shimming up the rear caliper with no change. Swapped front and rear calipers, no change. Re adjusted the rear caliper to the point where the disc barely moves when the brakes are applied, no change. I finally got tired of screwing around with the caliper and just ordered a set of organics for the rear. Now its dead quiet.

What is it about semi-metalic pads that make such a racket? And why do metalics make that god awful grinding sound? Cant manufactures make metalics that are quiet?
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Old 07-27-17, 06:35 PM   #2
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I have no experience with cycle disc brakes... but can you slap some anti-seize compond (copper grease) onto the backs of the pads, to help with the squeal?
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Old 07-27-17, 06:39 PM   #3
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Avoid copper grease. It'll run and eventually make things worse. The Brits (and Irish?) love the stuff and I don't think anyone in the US has ever heard of it aside from Rover owners.

Anyway, I had a similar issue. There's a few things to try. The first is Finish Line degreaser clean off the pads and rotors really well. If that doesn't work, try gently sanding the pads to get the glaze off. For my issues, that helped a bit, but it wasn't permanent. The only thing that helped for me was a new set of pads. I'm just trying not to do whatever it was that ruined the last set.

Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you.

s
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Old 07-27-17, 06:49 PM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestions. I was going to try cutting a big X on the pads with a hack saw (thin blade for cutting steel for our foreign friends) to see if that would help, but the new organics came and that fixed the issue. The metalics did have a tendency to lock up the rear wheel. The organics can, but it takes a bit more pressure on the lever. I like the organics on the rear. I'm not racing, or any competition, just riding my half-breed bike on pavement and dirt trails. The metalics on the front are amazing for braking power. They blow away an organic up front. Adjusted the rear organics so that the brake lever is squeezed to about 3 or 4 mm from the grip before it can lock up the rear tire. Works very nice for me.
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Old 07-27-17, 06:53 PM   #5
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Avoid copper grease. It'll run and eventually make things worse. The Brits (and Irish?) love the stuff and I don't think anyone in the US has ever heard of it aside from Rover owners.
"Avoid copper grease"? I disagree.

Americans (and Brits, but unfortunately not so many Irish!) who who've ever worked on a car/truck pre-1980, are quite fond of it. How exactly will it "make things worse", applied (correctly) to the back side of a brake pad? It's also perfect for bottom brackets, front/rear derailleur mounting, and just about anything that sees a lot of road crap (brake calipers, e.g.) where you want to prevent corrosion and seizing (hence "anti-seize") of different types of metal.
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Old 07-27-17, 06:55 PM   #6
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Brake pads get grit stuck to em which can cause noise. Bad adjustment, water, and cheap mechanical disc brake systems can also cause noises.

You could have tried taking them out and washing them with some degreaser soap and warm water. The organic pads will not last very long so keep that in mind. Organic pads are good for cheap mechanical disc brake systems.

Last edited by AlexanderLS; 07-27-17 at 06:57 PM. Reason: Clarified that I meant cheap mechanical disc brake systems.
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Old 07-27-17, 07:47 PM   #7
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Americans (and Brits, but unfortunately not so many Irish!) who who've ever worked on a car/truck pre-1980, are quite fond of it. How exactly will it "make things worse", applied (correctly) to the back side of a brake pad? It's also perfect for bottom brackets, front/rear derailleur mounting, and just about anything that sees a lot of road crap (brake calipers, e.g.) where you want to prevent corrosion and seizing (hence "anti-seize") of different types of metal.
Yup - it's good stuff for sure as an anti-seize... I have half a tub left, but no more land rovers, sadly. To me, on a bike, it just seems too close to sensitive mechanics that don't want to be greasy. Is it possible that I'm irrationally afraid? Perhaps, but a new set of pads was a fine investment for me to fix the problem.

ss
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Old 07-27-17, 08:03 PM   #8
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I replaced my front BB5 brake with a BB7, which has much easier and better adjustability. Solved all my squealing issues.
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Old 07-27-17, 08:42 PM   #9
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I replaced my front BB5 brake with a BB7, which has much easier and better adjustability. Solved all my squealing issues.
I had thought of that. But the cost is not in my budget. The organic pads on the back work very well for my riding style. I get BB5 take-off calipers from the local shop for about $10 each. Not a bad deal. And they have like zero wear on the pads. They are more than sufficient for my riding style.
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Old 07-27-17, 08:49 PM   #10
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I don't think $26 or even $40 is breaking the bank, for the considerably improved adjustability. But run what you can reasonably afford!

The rear BB5 on my bike is still working just fine, but once I wear the existing pad down on that one, I'll probably upgrade it to the BB7.
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Old 07-27-17, 09:17 PM   #11
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I certainly would upgrade the brake either to BB7s or better yet TRP Spyres or Spykes. However I might try taking off the rotors and pads and cleaning them with isopropyl alcohol if you are looking to stick with the cheaper brakes. The pads you can soak with iso and then set them ablaze (in a controlled and safe manner) to burn out any crap and maybe give them a bit of the old sandpaper.
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Old 07-27-17, 09:31 PM   #12
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I certainly would upgrade the brake either to BB7s or better yet TRP Spyres or Spykes. However I might try taking off the rotors and pads and cleaning them with isopropyl alcohol if you are looking to stick with the cheaper brakes. The pads you can soak with iso and then set them ablaze (in a controlled and safe manner) to burn out any crap and maybe give them a bit of the old sandpaper.
Fire. Sounds like something I would do. Will give it a try and put back the metallic.
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Old 07-28-17, 04:09 AM   #13
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I HATED discs when I had AVID's.
Highly recomend the TRP Spyre C's (dual piston).

I remember having to:
1. Loosen the caliper bolts
2. Squeeze the brake lever
3. While squeezing the brake lever, tighten both caliper bolts

That would *sometimes* fix the squeeling for about a ride or two.
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Old 07-31-17, 01:14 PM   #14
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Fire. Sounds like something I would do. Will give it a try and put back the metallic.
Hopefully it will help a little. Just make sure when you do it that you do it safely!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-01-17, 06:59 PM   #15
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Quickly (but safely) put flame to the rotors, with a blowtorch, perhaps, to burn off the $hit.

Last edited by Dirt Farmer; 08-02-17 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 08-02-17, 04:57 PM   #16
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I have two disc bikes. I stopped the squeal like this:

Take out pads and get the finest sandpaper yo can and gauntly sand them a little. Lay the snapper on flat surface and slide the pads...not much sanding needing- maybe 15 back and forth movements. blow the dust off and rinse them in 90% isopropyl alcohol. Then lay them pad surface up and light them on fire. Flames should go out in 10 seconds or so. WAIT a minute for them to cool off (you know how I know this) and reinstall. My squeak never came back on either bike.

Also, brake hard on a downhill several times. It deposits pad material on the discs, beds the pads, and quietens the discs down. Never clean the discs specifically (water rinsing is fine).
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Old 08-02-17, 04:59 PM   #17
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Oh, this process has also worked on my mtb bike brakes since 2004 or so. Not all squeal but once in a while, one did.
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Old 08-02-17, 05:25 PM   #18
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One thing I noticed with BB7 (presumably the same would apply to any mechanical disc brake that used a fixed inner pad) was that the fixed pad needed to be adjusted VERY close to the rotor. If the rotor had to deflect too much, squeal was the result.
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Old 08-12-17, 06:55 PM   #19
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Scrape... scrape... scrape... That's what happens when you push the fixed pad in. I'm thinking of all the years I rode on rim brakes without ever needing to know they were there, and wondering if I just bought a white elephant. I grew up in the 70s; the term "8-track brakes" is turning around in my mind...
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Old 08-29-17, 12:14 AM   #20
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Scrape... scrape... scrape... That's what happens when you push the fixed pad in. I'm thinking of all the years I rode on rim brakes without ever needing to know they were there, and wondering if I just bought a white elephant. I grew up in the 70s; the term "8-track brakes" is turning around in my mind...
One bike did make a scrape sound like that on fast turns. It had the huge 203mm disk on a 29'er rim with a caliper offset bracket and carbon fork. Lots of area for flex in that setup. What stopped it was tossing the old U spring clips and installing new ones. I also spread the new clips a bit wider, and bent them around a 3 mm or so rod to make a circle instead of a U and the top. This increases the spring force when spreading the spring and gives more material to flex, making a better spring. Noise went away except for under the most extreme conditions (at which point I would be scared).
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Old 08-29-17, 10:21 AM   #21
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"Avoid copper grease"? I disagree.

Americans (and Brits, but unfortunately not so many Irish!) who who've ever worked on a car/truck pre-1980, are quite fond of it. How exactly will it "make things worse", applied (correctly) to the back side of a brake pad? It's also perfect for bottom brackets, front/rear derailleur mounting, and just about anything that sees a lot of road crap (brake calipers, e.g.) where you want to prevent corrosion and seizing (hence "anti-seize") of different types of metal.
I have never heard anti seize called copper grease......interesting....
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Old 08-29-17, 10:29 AM   #22
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anti-seize that is made with copper is the best for Ti, steel, alloy. I use it when using Ti spindles in steel or alloy pedals. It prob comes in zinc or aluminum, but copper is supposed to be the best.
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Old 08-29-17, 10:57 AM   #23
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Pad surface glazed?
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