Tech Tuesday - Silence That Squeaky Disc Brake

Jan 10, 2012 at 0:05
Jan 10, 2012
by Richard Cunningham  
 
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Everyone has had a day when their brakes howl like monkeys and, unless you happen to be a monkey, a persistent howler can take the fun out of a day's ride - or worse, announce your poaching whereabouts to nearby not-so-bike-friendly uniformed forest inhabitants. Before you become angry or incur another's anger again, silence those stoppers with this week's Pinkbike's Tech Tuesday disc brake how-to.

We accidentally lubricated this brake with chain lube and were awarded with a howler on the following ride. It runs silently now - after the Tech Tuesday fix.
We accidentally lubricated this brake with chain lube and were awarded with a howler on the following ride. It runs silently now - after the Tech Tuesday fix.

Why Disc Brakes Howl

What makes brakes howl was explained to me by Wayne Lumpkin, the founder of Avid Brakes and a vast reservoir of information about everything disc brakes. This is what Wayne said:

As the brakes go through the break-in period, they don't begin to stop with authority until some of the brake pad material is deposited on the rotor as the two components bed together. If the pad cuts through this layer or the layer is laid down irregularly by an improper break-in interval, the pad jumps a tiny bit as it hits a damaged area, digs in, jumps a bit and then digs in again a short distance beyond. The sequence creates an oscillation which continues onward, creating a microscopic series of waves around the circular braking track. Once the pattern is created, the rotor essentially becomes a steel recording disc that is programmed to squeal - and it can't be erased simply by switching to new pads. Brake squeal is most commonly caused by a weak initial break-in period, with the introduction of impurities like chain lube or chemical bike cleaners to the braking surfaces as a close second.

Arrest the Squeal Before it Begins

Wayne says to break in your disc brakes with a series of very firm stops from a reasonably good speed before you get out on the trail. This properly deposits the pad material on the braking surface of the rotors. Typically, most riders drag their brakes lightly around every corner in the trail, as well as down easy descents. Lightly dragging a new set of brakes is a perfect recipe to create brake howl - which is why you see so many cross-country riders with noisy brakes.

Finally, oil your chain by the drop, not with a spray can and save yourself the hassle of cleaning or replacing your noisy rear brake components. Oil on the outside of your links does nothing good for the chain or the bike. Work the lube into the chain slowly and then wipe is squeaky clean before you ride. If you use an aerosol bike polish, then you are guaranteed to get some of the spray on the rotors. Wipe them with automotive brake cleaner on a fresh towel before you spin the wheels.


How to Silence a Squeaky Disc Brake

What you need dedicated shop towels are a good idea because aerosol brake cleaner will eat additives and plastics in cloth or parer-type napkins and could cause more trouble. Eye protection is a good idea too when using chemicals. We show you the tools necessary to remove Magura brake pads. You ll need a slightly different kit to remove other types of pads. Finally. we used 100-grit abrasive because it gets the job done quickly. If your rotors use a spider then make a sanding block from a paint stirring stick or similar or carefully work the rotor with the edge of the rubber block.
What you need:
Dedicated shop towels are a good idea because aerosol brake cleaner will eat additives and plastics in cloth or paper-type napkins and could cause more trouble. Eye protection is a good idea when using chemicals. We show you the tools necessary to remove Magura brake pads. You'll need a slightly different kit to remove other types of pads. Finally. we used 100-grit abrasive because it gets the job done quickly, but 220-grit will result in a nicer finish. If your rotors use a spider, then make a sanding block from a paint stirring stick or similar, or carefully work the rotor with the edge of the rubber block. Before you get started, realize that brake rotors can become as sharp as a knife on the edges of the braking surfaces and also the connecting spokes. Be careful.

Unscrew the locking pin and slide the brake pads out of the caliper body. Store the pads and pin in a clean and dry place.
Step 1 - Unscrew the locking pin and slide the brake pads out of the caliper body. Store the pads and pin in a clean and dry place.

Remove the wheel and unscrew the offending brake rotor. Place the screws in a clean dry place. They have thread-locking material applied to the threads so they need to remain grease and oil free.
Step 2 - Remove the wheel and unscrew the offending brake rotor. Place the screws in a clean, dry place. They have thread-locking material applied to the threads, so they need to remain grease and oil free.

Get the gloves and protective eyewear on and then clean the rotor with a generous dose of automotive brake cleaner and then wipe with a shop towel. Repeat at least once more. NOTE The edges of brake rotors can become VERY sharp. Proceed with caution
Step 3 - Get the gloves and protective eyewear on. Clean the rotor with a generous dose of automotive brake cleaner and then wipe with a shop towel. Repeat at least once more.
NOTE: The edges of brake rotors can become VERY sharp. Proceed with caution!

Assemble the abrasive cloth onto the sanding block. Make sure that one edge is virgin so you can work around two-piece rotors with narrow braking tracks.
Step 4 - Assemble the abrasive cloth onto the sanding block. Make sure that one edge is virgin so you can work around two-piece rotors with narrow braking tracks.

Place the rotor on a flat table and protect it with a clean shop towel. Sand the rotor in a circular pattern and overlap the rotor face with the sanding block by two inches or so to keep it flat on the braking surface.
Step 5 - Place the rotor on a flat table and protect it with a clean shop towel. Sand the rotor in a circular pattern and overlap the rotor face with the sanding block by two inches or so to keep it flat on the braking surface.

Most or all of the previous braking history should be sanded from both sides of the rotor. Give it a wipe with a clean towel infused with brake cleaning fluid and then set it aside on a clean towel.
Step 6 - Most or all of the previous braking history should be sanded from both sides of the rotor. Give it a wipe with a clean towel infused with brake cleaning fluid and then set it aside on a clean towel.

Give the pads a generous spray and then wipe them clean and dry with a towel. Repeat once more and then set them aside in a clean place.
Step 7 - Give the pads a generous spray and then wipe them clean and dry with a towel. Repeat once more and then set them aside in a clean place.

Place a flat section of abrasive cloth on the towel and sand it with light even pressure - just enough to reveal the grainy matrix of the pad material i gt right i gt . It doesn t take much to clean it up.. Be sure not to overdo this step as over-sanding the pad can distort the braking surface and shorten its life.
Step 8 - Place a flat section of abrasive cloth on the towel and sand it with light, even pressure - just enough to reveal the grainy matrix of the pad material (right). It doesn't take much to clean it up. Be sure not to overdo this step as over-sanding the pad can distort the braking surface and shorten the pad's life.

Reassemble the rotor to the hub. Keep your nitrile gloves on for the reassembly process to ensure that you won t be introducing any impurities to the pads or rotor.
Step 9 - Reassemble the rotor to the hub. Keep your nitrile gloves on for the reassembly process to ensure that you won't be introducing any impurities to the pads or rotor.

Replace the pads and screw the pad-retainer pin back in using the maker s torque spec.
Step 10 - Replace the pads and screw the pad-retainer pin back in using the maker's torque spec.

The finished product awaiting a proper break-in. Burn your brakes in on a paved surface with a dozen strong controlled stops from about 20 miles an hour.
Step 11 - The finished product awaiting a proper break-in. Burn your brakes in on a paved surface with a dozen strong, controlled stops from 15 to 20 miles an hour.



Was Pinkbike's brake-howl fix useful to you?





Past Tech Tuesdays:
TT #1 - How to change a tube.
TT #2 - How to set up your SRAM rear derailleur
TT #3 - How to remove and install pedals
T #4 - How To Bleed Your Avid Elixir Brakes
TT #5 - How To Check And Adjust Your Headset
TT #6 - How To Fix A Broken Chain
TT #7 - Tubeless Conversion
TT #8 - Chain Wear
TT #9 - SRAM Shift Cable Replacement
TT #10 - Removing And Installing a Headset
TT #11 - Chain Lube Explained
TT #12 - RockShox Totem and Lyric Mission Control Damper Mod
TT #13 - Shimano XT Crank and Bottom Bracket Installation
TT #14 - Straightening Your Derailleur Hanger
TT #15 - Setting Up Your Front Derailleur
TT #16 - Setting Up Your Cockpit
TT #17 - Suspension Basics
TT #18 - Adjusting The Fox DHX 5.0
TT #19 - Adjusting The RockShox BoXXer World Cup
TT #20 - Servicing Your Fox Float Shock
TT #21 - Wheel Truing Basics
TT #22 - Shimano Brake Pad Replacement
TT #23 - Shimano brake bleed
TT #24 - Fox Lower Leg Removal And Service
TT #25 - RockShox Motion Control Service
TT #26 - Avid BB7 Cable Disk Brake Setup
TT #27 - Manitou Dorado Fork Rebuild
TT #28 - Manitou Circus Fork Rebuild
TT #29 - MRP G2 SL Chain Guide Install
TT #30 - Cane Creek Angleset Installation
TT #31 - RockShox Maxle Lite DH
TT #32 - Find Your Tire Pressure Sweet Spot
TT #33 - Three Minute Bike Preflight Check
TT #34 - MRP XCG Install
TT #35 - Stem Choice and Cockpit Setup
TT #36 - Handlebars - How Wide Affects Your Ride
TT #37 - Repairing A Torn Tire
TT #38 - Coil spring swap
TT #39 - Trailside help: Broken Shift Cable
TT #40 - Installing a Fox Float Air-Volume Spacer
TT #41 - Replace the Seals on Your 2011 RockShox Boxxer World Cup Fork
TT #42 - Clean and Lubricate Your Fox F32 Dust Wiper Seals
TT #43 - Thread Locker Basics
TT #44 - Install a SRAM X.0 Two-By-Ten Crankset
TT #45 - VPP Suspension Bearing Service
TT #46 - Rotor Straightening
TeT #47 - Finding and fixing that creak
TT #48 - Bleed and Service Magura Marta Disc Brakes
TT #49 - Cup and Cone Hub Basics
TT #50 - Install and Adjust Pedal Cleats
TT #51 - Cup and Cone Hub Rebuild
TT #52 - Converting Mavic Crossmax SX Axles
TT #53 - Cassette Removal and Installation
TT #54 - Cane Creek AngleSet Installation
TT #55 - American Classic Tubeless Conversion
TT #56 - Wider Rims Are Better and Why Tubeless Tires Burp Air
TT #57 - Pedal Pin Retrofit
TT #58 - Bleed RockShox Reverb Remote Lines
TT #59 - Cutting Carbon

Visit Parktool.com to see their entire lineup of tools and lubes
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124 Comments

  • + 95
 WD-40 on discs/pads will silence those babys right up.
  • + 139
 It makes you go faster too!
  • + 2
 thats funny
  • + 13
 Yeah, brakes only slow you down.
  • - 8
 I got mine sprayed with that.. Screwed things up.. I went really fast.. Brakes didn't work,,
  • + 22
 Brakes? HA! *WHAT* brakes? lol you mean those thingys on the bars that you use last second to keep from hittin' trees? Eek
  • + 8
 loving this bold shit
  • - 3
 my bike has the handles, and then top of the line invisible brakes i got for $9,999.99 and they work absolutely amazing. coaster brakes are also the worlds greatest invention.
  • + 4
 I used to soak the pads in alcohol and then burn them with a blow torch to get rid of oils Razz
  • + 6
 The fastest way to silence your disc brake? -> remove the rotor!
  • + 2
 oh. ive been doing this for years, i thought it was a bodge haha. i was under the impession brake squel is due to residue on the disc/pads , then the pads become contaminated so new ones are required.

obviously not
  • + 1
 if you have a really loud bell, no need for brakes!
  • + 2
 using a blow torch on your rotor works amazing, just lightly use it but carefull to not warp it
  • + 3
 Experience has shown me that most brakes don't squeek nor rub anymore after Shimano rotors are installed. Says enough to me.
  • + 2
 @RobbyBriers - I agree completely. Shimano rotors may be a bit heavier than most but they're quieter and stop better (I have no experience with the Icetech rotors though).
  • + 2
 Icetech are fantastic.
  • + 1
 I think the Shimano centerlock rotors are thicker.. What more are the icetech variants..
  • + 1
 Is this actually true about Shimano rotors? I've tried both avid and hope rotors in avid brakes and get no end of squeal!
[Reply]
  • + 44
 They forgot the most important step!
To ensure your brake calliper is aligned correctly to your brake rotor first as this is the most common reason for brake squeal!
Don't use the 'squeeze the lever' method, it does not work, you have to do it by eye, which works best every time.

The oscillations which are referred to at the start of the article are due to the force from the centre of the piston not acting on the centre of the pad, but on one end of the pad.

All the cleaning, sanding in the world can't change this, neither can changing pads.

www.krankdirtwear.com/fix-your-bike/issue-5-workshop.pdf
  • + 4
 10 points to you sir !
  • + 13
 view never had an issue with the "squeeze the lever method"
  • + 12
 Personally I like the squeeze the lever method as a starting point followed by some fine adjustments by eye!
  • + 15
 Actually, they forgot the most important thing..... an iPod. You'll never hear brake howl ever again.
  • + 1
 TBH I would just take the wheel off and rub it with a tea towel! Lazy mans method
  • + 2
 I used to use the "squeezing the brake method" by trying to hold the brake lever with one hand, and tightening the bolts with the other. Needless to say this wasn't very reliable, sometimes it would work and others not.

The trick I've found is to bungee your brake lever to your handlebar, that way it can maintain constant pressure and you can use both your hands to slowly tighten up the bolts. Works every time for me.
  • + 1
 Its best to do the squeezing the leaver technique and then a do fine adjustments by eye
  • + 1
 Squeeze the lever has worked every time for me so....
  • + 0
 I agree,.you should "eyeball" the clearance between both pads and the rotor,.some pistons dont fully retract or will retract at an angle somewhat and that will also lead to squeal. Ive used the business card trick(sometimes folding it to dbl its thickness depending on pad wear) This uneven retraction/extension comes from letting your pads wear way too far down before replacing them and the piston itself gets dirty/corroded due to being exposed to the elemnts. It happens with auto brakes too. Keep them clean and never let the pads get down too much beyond 1/2 their thickness and you'll most likely never have this problem. The pad sanding method works great as I use this when I "tune" disc brakes at my shop. You just cannot get to heavy handed with the sanding. I also put their wheel in the truing stand,..spin it,.. and use fine/med emery cloth and "turn" their rotors too. This breaks the glaze/residue off and works mahvelously!! I make sure I have pads that cover 90% of the brakes I see come in so I can sell a pair on recommendation when needed. In 5 years at a shop,.I've only had ONE guy bitch about the cost of pads. Something else I've been doing on my personal bikes is use that Finish Line Flouro Stanchion lube,.with the drip tube,.VERY carefully and sparingly on what piston *is* exposed. Seems to be working great as I have had excellent pad/piston retraction since. I re-apply it after every cpl washes of my bike after very dirty rides.
  • + 1
 I agree with the squeeze first then eyeball method. I just got my Reign serviced. Prior to the service, I had my brakes working quite quietly. After the service, they've started howling at the rear when cornering, and even when popping the front wheel off the ground... and that's without the brakes even being applied. aaaargh.
[Reply]
  • + 13
 this makes so much sense, I will do it today.....if anything this passed race season with squeaky brakes, made me faster...LOL...the squeal let me know when I was on the brake, not to mention the fans yelling out "get off the brakes" so I always held off in the sections I knew I was on the brake. The squeal pushed my limit allot more, but its an embarrassing way to learn, "get off the brake"
  • + 4
 lol thats how I got faster to! my old hayes nines sounded like a lamb being electrocuted to death and my current formula rx's sound like a two year old screaming
[Reply]
  • + 11
 we have found that sometimes getting a bit of nice sloppy mud and plastering it all round the disc and riding for a few minutes making sure the mud gets right in there pulling the brakes on/off/on/off but dont let the mud dry out then rinse all of it off the brakes this seems to work for about 90% of the howlers we have had on days out! the mud acts like a cutting compound on the disc and pads re-bedding them both in! worth a try when you are miles away from your brake cleaner/sanding pads etc...
  • + 2
 This is pretty much the poor mans way to do it, since mud is made from dirt, dirt from sand, and sand = grit.. this will act just like a sandpaper!
  • + 1
 The mud at my locals is like a clay/sand mix and gets really dusty in the summer, a handful of this thrown at your brakes works a right treat!
  • + 4
 Good input. A muddy day can right all wrongs for a disc brake - the accelerated wear and wet abrasive action can clean the rotors, align the pads to the rotors and, unfortunately, take six months of life from the brakes in the doing. All good! RC
  • + 3
 Assuming you get 6 months out of a set of pads. XC will last forever but DH is a different story. But with DH you eat through material so fast and the rotor gets so hot, and squeal doesn't usually last long because the braking surface is changing so often.
[Reply]
  • + 7
 IMO I wouldn't be using car disk brake cleaner. Bike brakes don't run at high enough temps to burn off the residue left by the car brake cleaner. Get yourself something proper like Muck-off disk cleaner, I've found this works a lot better. Spray it on, let it evaporate, wipe off, and brakes are back to perfection!
  • + 6
 And it smells pretty!
  • + 0
 For those in the UK try www.juicelubes.co.uk their brake juice is awesome! (Yes its a disc/brake cleaner) In fact I've used a lot of their stuff and its all awesome!
  • + 1
 It's made for both cars and bikes and it's listed in Motorex' bike line assortment.
  • + 1
 That brand, maybe, but not all brands!
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Excellent to see PB taking on the most frustrating and time consuming problem out there. Unfortunately it's not always as simple as they make it sound. Although what Wayne claims as the underlying problem may be true, in my experience some bike/wheel/brake combos are extremely prone to squealing no matter the bed-in process. Furthermore, that doesn't explain intermittent squealing..... like when you stop to wait for a buddy and when you get moving again, all of a sudden your silent brakes from 5 minutes ago are now squealing like crazy after a cool down. Play in suspension pivots, hubs, poor spoke tension, poor caliper alignment (including non-faced tabs) can all lead to the howl. Sometimes you just need to change part of the equation. Take the Devinci Wilson: truly a howler with the 8" stock rotor. Switch to a 7" and presto, problem solved. On a couple of occasions I have even had to replace frames that for some mysterious reason just wouldn't stop howling. Like a finger on the rim of a wine glass, it just seems as though the thing was created just right to perpetuate a resonance. Take a non-howling brake off another bike and slap it on problem bike? Ear piercing. Switch to a different frame of same make/model and use the same howling brake, silence..... Now that's something the frame manufacturers don't want you to know.....
  • + 1
 Scram Elixir Avid 3 /Giant Trance 29er, unbearable noise, bike shop has reworked the brakes twice no results, I have removed brake pads, rotor, flat sanded, brake clean, automotive disc quiet. Still noisy. Giant has agreed to replace at their dime with Shimano XT.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I had a squeeky Hope Mono M4 (Black and Gold version) that was squeeky. Turned out to be a sticky piston.

Pumped the pistons out then pushed them home one at a time and used some silicone spray on the pistons (keep away from rotor and pads)

Brake works better than ever with more power, a little too good as its easy to lock the rear but the modulation is still good.
  • + 8
 You had a squeeky Hope Mono M4 that was squeeky. That bastard surely was squeeky! Razz

Good input though +1
  • + 6
 you know its bad when the guy who speaks english as a second language corrects you
  • + 2
 Kept rewriting post then didn't proof read it properly before hitting submit...
  • + 1
 I wouldn't see what could have been another reason. Just found it funny Smile
[Reply]
  • + 9
 grease works to
  • + 2
 Actually I'we had a friend who sprayed chain lube on the brake calipers (mechanical) to stop them from squeaking! lol
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Works like a charm, although I had frame resonation on the last bike. No matter the technique it made the rear triangle howl and vibrate.
  • + 2
 Sorry bro, didnt know what the red tab at the end meant :-( Make sure that your disc brake mounts are faced, that may be the cause of chatter at the backend.....
[Reply]
  • + 3
 How to silence Avid brakes? Install Shimano rotors to them.
How to silence other brakes? They don't need silencing.
How to clean contaminated brake pads? Bake them on 200C for 20 minutes in the oven.
  • + 1
 Bake or broil Wink
  • + 1
 Just enough to heat up to that very moment when they stop smoke (burn out all shit collected)
But it helps to increase power, not stop yelling.
BE CAREFUL NOT TO BURN / BLOW PADS when continuing heating after smoking stops !
they will fall apart! proven!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The sanding of pads works but not on the rotor itself. If you dumb out annd get oil on pads and rotor then break out the butane torch and sandpaper. The easiest way to quite brake contaminents is simply pour water on the caliper/rotor before you start riding. Then burn them in with some high speed. Result is nicely polished rotor and more power.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Awesome Tech Tuesday...I'll be using it.my one brake squeaks....I often wonder if it's me or the car next to me...but a squeaky brake does help sometimes when you're coming up behind pedestrians...(Busy 2 lane city street so I don't ride on it)
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Wayne should stand up to his product! it's called research and development. Not copy some other product a incorporate with cheaper material. Avid has problems! and has no fix. And won't reply to owner/bike shop questions with resolution.
simply stay away from this product.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Good article, but it fails to instruct readers how to re-align the calipers to the pad. Not all squeal issues come from dirty rotors. Sometimes it's bad alignment.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I've found using Halfords' Fine Emery Cloth (www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_storeId_10001_catalogId_10151_productId_802575_langId_-1_categoryId_255242) attached to a variable speed orbital sander gets the job done in absolutely no time and produces a much better keyed sufrace. You have to run it at a low RPM and only go over it lightly though, but the results are far better than doing it manually.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 this idea works but you do not need brake clean from the automotive store a degreese spay works alot better and is formulated for this sort of thing have done it multiple time on bike that we have around the shop especially after they have been test ridden. but this is a quick fix. always make sure the reason how ever is that the pads are not contaminated with fluid cause then the process will not work..
[Reply]
  • + 1
 coming from a bmx rider, who needs brakes? but when I have to stop them from making noise at the shop, I usually use rubbing alcohol on the rotor instead of brake cleaner. from my experience it works better. and I usually burn the pads with a propane torch. works wonders every time. burns away any grease or crap on them. hell the occasional idiot comes in who tried wd40 and the blow torch solves it.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I'm always worried that the brake cleaner leaves a residue on the pads although it's supposed not to... only use it on the disc then buff it with a lint-free cloth. Any feedback on using it on the pads? Cheers
  • + 0
 i find putting the pads on the stove and burning the residue of works amazingly
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Did this to my annoying Elixer 1 rear brake on Friday and did 12 on sat with no noise at all its was so great. I did substitute alcohol for brake clean and used 150 grip paper. This works.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 lol looks like a lot of unnecessary work, its better to just spray your pads and rotor with a flammable brake cleaner (non flammable wont work) then use a propane torch to burn the rotor untill it stops smoking(spin your wheel and hold the torch in one spot on the disc) then burn your brake pads for about 30-45 sec (do not get the pads red hot they may crack) then wait for them to cool and re install. p.s. do not touch or sand down your brake pads before re installation in my experience it always makes it worse

that's the best technique in this mechanics opinion
[Reply]
  • + 3
 This has worked well for me...though I am a Uniformed Angry Forest Monkey, so I don't plan to do it too often...
  • + 1
 Small circles to break up the pattern that the pads lay down on the rotor. Good question though. RC
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Those blue shop towels are pretty sh1t when soaked with liquids, they just break up. I suggest you nip to Halfrauds and get some cotton car cleaning cloths, much better. Avid brakes are still sh1t, even if you do delete my comment. Wankers.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 As above, car brake cleaner isn't the best for this job due to the discs not getting hot enough to burn off the deposits left.

I use lab grade 99.99% isopropyl alcohol. do not use rubbing alcohol/surgical spirit as it has castor oil added, Methylated Spirit often contains oil based impurities too. If you must use these take a mirror and place a drop on it and allow to evaporate. if it leaves something behind do not use.

Make sure the caliper is centred. I do this by eye using a torch/light/head torch anything that can be shone through the gap to help me set the brakes up.

With my Hope Mono 6Ti's and Mono M4's I remove the pads when setting up the caliper, once its central I drop them in unfortunately Mono Minis cant do this so if your pads can be fitted and removed with the caliper in place give it a go, I find it helps.

Now the caliper is fitted and the pads are in centralise the pistons most people miss this out but it helps a lot. I've used various items in the past, a hacksaw blade snapped in half between the disc (rotor) and pads, playing cards or a Hayes feeler gauge caliper alignment tool

To centre the pistons use a small screw driver between the backing plate of the pad and the body of the caliper on opposite side to the pad that is rubbing and pull the brake lever to move the dragging piston back in and the other one out.

The guys at Hope/MTB Cut have made some useful vids

There is a video that explains how to do this on the Hope website hopetech.com/page.aspx?itemID=SPG219

direct link to video - How to - Centralise pistons : blip.tv/play/gpkd4OoGAA

There is also a video that shows how to centralise the caliper itself

direct link to video - How to - Set up a caliper : blip.tv/play/gpkd4JwkAA
  • + 1
 Brakeclean? who would think a product sold as a cleaner for brake components would contaminate the pads. I think most bike freaks have alcohol laying around from their freebase days!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Sorry to sound thick but when you say circular motion do you mean small circles or a continual circle the same way as the pads do?
  • + 1
 If you look at the picture in step 6, there is a pattern in the disc after making a big continuous circle.
  • + 2
 Cheers, thats why I wear glasses!!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Regular cleaning of the rotor after wet/muddy rides with isopropyl alcohol and the pads as well and you should be fine.
  • + 1
 yeah rubbing alcohol on the rotors is like a habit for me after i wrench on my bike. i might try the sanding next season to freshen up my rotors though
  • + 1
 Agreed! Choose denatured isopropyl alcohol from your hardware store... not the low percentage alcohol from the health care section.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Tried alot of things to make the brakes silent, but the only thing i've found work was to just change the brakepads and set fire to the disc.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 They aren't kidding about disks getting sharp, I accidentally flicked a disk with my thumb while I was changing a flat on the trail the other day and it cut me right open!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I have found the if a "grill" my pads after cleaning they work just like new. Ususally bring them up to 500+ deg F slowly and cool slowly. Just throw them on the BBQ
  • + 1
 what about all the oil drippings on the bbq racks? :S
  • + 3
 grill masters keep there grill clean.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 If it works, it will be one of the most usefull tech-tuesdays ever! Squeaky brakes are so damn disturbing in the forest, where everything is calm and quiet...
[Reply]
  • + 3
 but blow torching your pads is so much more fun!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I have been using a tiny blob of Copper slip on the metal part of the brake pad,Done this since i bought my first set of Hopes in 98, it works a treat for me...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Work the lube into the chain slowly and then wipe is squeaky clean before you ride. *it* not "is"
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I tried this and 3 days later they went back to being just as they were, fast and didn't work. Frown
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I just ended up shearing my screws because I couldn't get them off. Far out, is there any way to loosen them more?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 All the vast reservoir of knowledge AVID have, and they still make sh1te brakes.
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  • + 1
 This is basically how I do it except I have always used rubbing alcohol instead of brake cleaner as a solvent.
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  • + 1
 Is abrasive cloth the same as sand paper? I can't find abrasive cloth anywhere.
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  • + 1
 nope, didn't work. but maybe I didn't sand the rotor enough so I may try again.
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  • + 1
 put pads in the oven to burn off residue and inpurities or burn with blowtorch
  • + 1
 Careful with the blow torch, some are fine, some pad materials pop / explode or some just come away from the back plates.
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  • + 2
 ABSOLUTELY THE BEST THING TO STOP BRAKE SQUEAL : ear plugs...
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  • + 2
 I did all this and it did nothing for my saints
  • + 1
 which pads and rotor are you running?
  • + 1
 saints are tricky...best thing to do is get Disc brake cleaner...spray the disc and light it. This'll burn off most of the oil and pull the grime together. Then get some sterilising wipes (alcohol only with no moisturiser obviously) and give them a good run round. You'd be amazed how black they come off. For the pads...spray with disc cleaner and rub them together, then do the same with a clean degreaser like swarfega, and repeat with disc cleaner. If you're pads are well worn and contaminated though the only option is new pads unfortunately.
  • + 1
 i have the same problem with my saints actually. i'm running them with avid g2 rotors and they are squeaking like hell. even after doing this multiple times and with the original pads. a friend of me is running the shimano rt 76 rotors and his is completely quiet.
  • + 2
 I have the shimano m810 pads with avid g3cs. I'm not so concerned about squeaking but the performance has dropped on them considerably. I thought maybe the pads or discs were contaminated so I did the following: Clean with degreaser soap, spray 70% isopropyl alcohol, evaporate all that shit (and burn any oil that could potentially still be on the surface with a blow torch), and finally sanded both with the same sandpaper RC is using in the pic above.

I've seen tons of people riding avid g2/g3 and they all squeal, especially in the wet.
  • + 1
 Use Shimano rotors with Shimano brakes.
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 ha ha 15-20 miles per hour firm stops. i can see a lot of people flipping over the handle bars
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  • + 1
 Great, now how do I fix my dragging avid calipers!? I know other people suffer from this.
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 Honestly, they should have done this one first, it was the most helpful one yet
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  • + 1
 Time for my XC bike to go under the knife. Wink
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  • + 1
 i have never had squeaky disc brakes....... ever guess im just lucky
  • + 2
 Me too! Saints with metalic pads.
  • + 1
 Same Saints with metallic pads, never had a problem
  • + 1
 Try riding in a hot and dry bike park for 6+ hours... they will HOWL
  • + 1
 I do, never had any problems all year.
  • + 1
 You must have the golden set then.
  • + 1
 BB5's with 6" roundagon rotors never squaks .)
but BB7 with RT62 7" squaks on 10 kmh speeds ( I find it useful when commuting d:b )
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  • + 1
 Wow, magura brakes! Those things are shit!
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  • + 1
 Best way to silence you brakes is plug in your Ipod and crank the volume!
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  • + 1
 I've used this for a while now it works a treat
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  • + 1
 I want the Mike Levy videos back to Tech Tuesdays!!
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  • + 1
 Avid would know about howling brakes. Warranty them and buy shimano
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  • + 1
 i 3 Iso-Propyl-alcohol!
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