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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help! The noise is horrible. Screech! Schreech! Screeeeeeeech! Every time I try to stop I get a terribly squeaky noise when the brake pads hit the rim. I've tried everything. I've scrubbed the rims clean and they are VERY clean now. I've even filed down the pads a bit to get even the tiniest hint of dirt, oil, or grime off of there. The brakes pads are totally clean.

Still, I get that brake squeal. What else can I do?
:confused:
 

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Toe-in?

barbedwire said:
Help! The noise is horrible. Screech! Schreech! Screeeeeeeech! Every time I try to stop I get a terribly squeaky noise when the brake pads hit the rim. I've tried everything. I've scrubbed the rims clean and they are VERY clean now. I've even filed down the pads a bit to get even the tiniest hint of dirt, oil, or grime off of there. The brakes pads are totally clean.

Still, I get that brake squeal. What else can I do?
The standard fix for brake squeal is to properly toe in the brake pads. The rear of the pad should be about a double credit card thickness away from the rim when the front of the pad just touches the rim.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Kerry Irons said:
The standard fix for brake squeal is to properly toe in the brake pads. The rear of the pad should be about a double credit card thickness away from the rim when the front of the pad just touches the rim.

I thought you want the brake pads to hit perfectly on the rim. Perfectly square. I have another bike and the brake pads hit perfectly on the rim, no toe-in, and it doesn't squeak. Could there be another reason? And if I do have to do the toe-in, what kind of tool do I need?
 

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More details please

There is not nearly enough information to answer your question in any more detail than Kerry already has. Please let us know:
  1. What type of brakes, make model?
  2. What type of pads, make & model?
  3. What type of bike, make & model?
  4. What type of fork, make & model?
  5. What type of rims, make & model?
  6. Is the problem with both front and back, or just one?
Armed with this detail it may be possible for the community to offer more specific suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Stogaguy said:
There is not nearly enough information to answer your question in any more detail than Kerry already has. Please let us know:
  1. What type of brakes, make model?
  2. What type of pads, make & model?
  3. What type of bike, make & model?
  4. What type of fork, make & model?
  5. What type of rims, make & model?
  6. Is the problem with both front and back, or just one?
Armed with this detail it may be possible for the community to offer more specific suggestions.


Sorry. This is for an old Trek commuter bike and it has a rigid steel fork. The rims are silver Alexa rims that aren't anondized. I have some linear V-brakes on there. It's a generic tektro brand. The pads are tektro also. And I'm having the squeaking on both the front and rear.

I looked on Park Tools website and it appears that they are no longer making their toe-in tool, but I have found several places online that sell them. Still, I'm not convinced that it's a toe-in problem. If toe-in was such a big deal, then why wouldn't Park still make the tool?
 

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Change pads

Thank you for the additional details.

Park probably does not make the toe-in tool because better modern brake pads have orbital washers that allow the toe-in adjustment without physically bending the brake arm (AKA "the old fashioned way").

I would change to modern high quality pads like Kool Stop with orbital washers. Your LBS can help you determine if this is possible and , if so, exactly which model of Kool Stops you need. Short of that, try to adjust the toe-in with a large adjustable wrench; the really old fashioned way. While this sounds like a crude approach (and it is) it was standard operating procedure back in the day.
 

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barbedwire said:
I thought you want the brake pads to hit perfectly on the rim. Perfectly square. I have another bike and the brake pads hit perfectly on the rim, no toe-in, and it doesn't squeak. Could there be another reason? And if I do have to do the toe-in, what kind of tool do I need?
You can use this template thingamajig made by Taxc, or just use plain old bits of cardboard. :)

 

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barbedwire said:
Sorry. This is for an old Trek commuter bike and it has a rigid steel fork. The rims are silver Alexa rims that aren't anondized. I have some linear V-brakes on there. It's a generic tektro brand. The pads are tektro also. And I'm having the squeaking on both the front and rear.

I looked on Park Tools website and it appears that they are no longer making their toe-in tool, but I have found several places online that sell them. Still, I'm not convinced that it's a toe-in problem. If toe-in was such a big deal, then why wouldn't Park still make the tool?


you don't need a toe-in tool... if you need something, put a piece of cardboard, layers of tape, whatever between the heel of the pads and rim
 

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+1

Dinosaur said:
Try different pads...
Tektro pads are not too good to start with (the brakes otherwise are a good value), and if yours are old as well, they're gonna be even worse. Some Koolstop salmon pads will undoubtedly fix you up -- but toe them in properly, as others have noted, and they'll work even better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
rogger said:
You can use this template thingamajig made by Taxc, or just use plain old bits of cardboard. :)



That's a pretty neat looking tool. I've never seen anything like it. What's it called? And who sells them?

You know, about these conical washer things. They are just a pain in the butt. Every time you tighten the nut to fasten the brake pad securely on the brake, the conical washer will invariably slip a little bit and not be in the position you wanted them. I hope that I'm understandable. Anyone have a good method to deal with this?
 

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easy

barbedwire said:
You know, about these conical washer things. They are just a pain in the butt. Every time you tighten the nut to fasten the brake pad securely on the brake, the conical washer will invariably slip a little bit and not be in the position you wanted them. I hope that I'm understandable. Anyone have a good method to deal with this?

1. adjust cable length and tighten pinch bolt.

2. with the brake-shoe nuts a little loose, get the pads in the right position on the rims. Use some kind of a spacer (e.g., a bit of thin cardboard) at the back of the pad to get the toe-in angle.

3. Squeeze the brake lever hard, and hold the lever, to keep the pads firmly in place, while you tighten the nuts.

Done. IME, the nuts with the conical washers don't slip any easier than the conventional ones, which can rotate when you're trying to tighten them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
JCavilia said:
1. adjust cable length and tighten pinch bolt.

2. with the brake-shoe nuts a little loose, get the pads in the right position on the rims. Use some kind of a spacer (e.g., a bit of thin cardboard) at the back of the pad to get the toe-in angle.

3. Squeeze the brake lever hard, and hold the lever, to keep the pads firmly in place, while you tighten the nuts.

Done. IME, the nuts with the conical washers don't slip any easier than the conventional ones, which can rotate when you're trying to tighten them.


JCav, sounds like a good method. Do you use a 4th hand brake tool? I'm having a hard time getting all the slack out of the cable with how clumsy I am.

Oh yeah, I forgot. What about the brake adjusting barrel? Before I adjust the cable length and tighten the pinch bolt, how should I have the adjusting barrel? Should I have it open all the way or closed all the way?
 

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barbedwire said:
JCav, sounds like a good method. Do you use a 4th hand brake tool? I'm having a hard time getting all the slack out of the cable with how clumsy I am.

Oh yeah, I forgot. What about the brake adjusting barrel? Before I adjust the cable length and tighten the pinch bolt, how should I have the adjusting barrel? Should I have it open all the way or closed all the way?
I don't have a 4th hand; never seemed to need one. If I pull the caliper closed tight with a 3d hand tool (or an old inner tube tied around it -- works just as well), I don't have any problem pulling the cable reasonably tight with one hand while tightening the pinch bolt with the other. I set the barrel adjuster somewhere near the middle before fixing the cable -- that way I have some adjustment either way.
 

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barbedwire said:
That's a pretty neat looking tool. I've never seen anything like it. What's it called? And who sells them?

You know, about these conical washer things. They are just a pain in the butt. Every time you tighten the nut to fasten the brake pad securely on the brake, the conical washer will invariably slip a little bit and not be in the position you wanted them. I hope that I'm understandable. Anyone have a good method to deal with this?
http://www.probikekit.com/display.php?code=T0064
 

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toe strap

Stogaguy said:
I use a leather toe strap wrapped around the bars and brake lever to pull the shoes against the rim.

that's fine for old codgers like us, who know what leather toe straps are, and have some lying around ;-) The old-tube thing works well, too.
 
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