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Bicycle Brakes Are Noisy

 
 
Quincy
 
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2011 07:10 am
Hi everyone.

Here's the short story: my front bicycle brakes are very noisy when I use them. They still stop very well, they just make a lot of noise. I washed the front tyre with soapy water then dried them, but I think this made it worse. The rear brakes are quiet and work well. What is the problem and how do I fix it? Please bear in mind I am very bad mechanically.

Long story: I ride my bike on the weekend, but for the last month or two the weather has been lousy so I haven't ridden my bike in a while.

About a month ago I did, however, spray my brakes and tyres, joints etc. with WD40, after first wiping them down to remove dirt. I did this because the chain, and gear system at the back, I think, was getting a bit noisy when I cycled. This removed the noise at the back and now when I cycle and free-wheel there is very little noise.

That was about a month ago, and today when I wanted to ride my bike I found the front brakes very noise, but everything else is fine, the brakes work very well. I washed the front weel with soapy water, but this seems to have made matters worse.

Any help is much appreciated. Thanks.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 4,984 • Replies: 14
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roger
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2011 02:45 pm
@Quincy,
Gee Quinc, I never heard of putting wd-40 oil on brakes before - except as a joke.

I used to have a sqeaking rear brake too. Only happened when I lightly feathered them. Actually, I got in the habit of touching the brakes to move the pedestrians out of the way. Worked better than anything. I do understand the brake pads can be realigned or slightly ground on the leading edge to cure the problem. It's only annoying, though. Doesn't hurt anything.

Edit: WD-40 is a good cleaner; not much of a lubricant. Bike shops have better stuff. They tell me you should use a dry lube for dry conditions, and a wet lube for wet conditions.

Good to see you back, by the way.
Quincy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2011 03:21 pm
@roger,
Thanks for the greeting. I didn't think anyone here knew who I am.

I only used the WD40 because my father said it was ok. He's the general handyman, not me.

It is a very loud sqeak though. One of the neighbours told me to shut up when I was testing the brakes on the hill outside the house.

I thought about re-aligning but the the brakes stop the bike very well, they just make a lot of noise!

roger wrote:
I do understand the brake pads can be realigned or slightly ground on the leading edge to cure the problem.


I don't know what that means, to grind the brakes.

roger wrote:
Edit: WD-40 is a good cleaner; not much of a lubricant. Bike shops have better stuff. They tell me you should use a dry lube for dry conditions, and a wet lube for wet conditions.


So a lubricant is what I need then? Sounds a bit silly to put lubricant on brakes...
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2011 03:29 pm
@Quincy,
Ayeah. We remember MassCass.

I think what they do is slightly remove a bit of material from the leading edge of the pads so the trailing edge contacts the rim first. I've never done it. When I say 'leading edge', I mean the edge that first contacts the rim when the wheel is rolling forward.

Glad you asked about the oil. I didn't mean to put it on the pads, though it may have sounded that way. Specifically, the oil goes on the chain and the jockey wheel on the derailer. Usually, you oil them and wipe the excess oil off after 30 minutes or so. Whether you should oil the derailers themselves, you need better advice than I can give. If they contain anything made of plastic, it probably stands up to oil real well. PROBABLY.
Quincy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2011 03:34 pm
@roger,
MassCass? Please do enlighten me.

I guess I'll just take it to the bike shop on Monday, and fork out a fortune just for some advice.

Thanks anyway.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2011 03:45 pm
@Quincy,
So sorry. I had Quincy confused with Quinn. My bad.

Bike shops shouldn't charge a cent for advice. Expect to pay for parts and labor. I don't know about South Africa, but at a minimum, they have to give advice before selling you a repair job.

I just realized you said something about the wd-40 on tires. Don't do that no more. Even if it doesn't corrode the rubber, it could easily cause a loss of traction.
Quincy
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2011 03:49 pm
@roger,
Well I used it on the metal part that makes contact with the brakes.
Thanks Roger.
wayne
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2011 03:27 am
@Quincy,
You could try using some steel wool on the contact area of the front rim.
Sounds like your pads and rim are getting a bit glazed.
Quincy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2011 06:52 am
@wayne,
I don't like the sound of that, sand-papering down the rim...
wayne
 
  2  
Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2011 08:27 am
@Quincy,
Steel wool isn't exactly sandpapering the rim, it will remove the oxidation and glazing that occurs over time.
I don't know how old your pads are, they dry out and become glazed over time.
Like the eraser on an old pencil.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2011 09:05 am
i'vwe had been a reg cyclist for years and reasonably handy. your choice is to remove the pad and sand it lightly with some medium grit snadpaper or replacwe thew pad. As has been stated before, the pad is glazed or the pad surface where it meets the rim is the problem. Replacing the noisy brake with a new pad is cheap enough solution. Rough up the pad with some light sand-papering. It's done all the time.

I never use WD40 on a bike chain and anywhere else. Someone sugfgested a dry lube and wet lube for the chain and I support that. for wet lube I use Phi'l's Tenacious Oil (turquoise container) availble at most bike shops. For dry lube, I use a decent graphite (dry) lube product. I make sure to clean the chain with a clean rag first as well as I can before applying the lube. hen I always make sure none gets on rim or brakes. after the lube has worked in, I remove any excess with a rag from the chain/chain area.

And I'm always very cautious of any getting on a pad. That seems to have caused your pad to be damaged or glazed. Also clean the noisy rim very well with something that can remove that glazing that also could've formed on the rim, too.
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2011 01:31 pm
Like Ragman said, remove any glazing from your brake pads with sandpaper, or replace the pads.

Also, wipe down your rims with alcohol.

In regard to lubing your chain, you can use any light weight oil. Be sure to clean your chain with some sort of solvent like kerosene or diesel fuel beforehand for best results.

You should lube the pivot points on your derailleurs and brakes also, just don't get any lube on the pads.
0 Replies
 
Quincy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2011 03:23 pm
Well! Thanks for the responses everyone. I got new brake pads, front and rear, which is not nearly as expensive as I thought it would be. Haven't fitted them though. Is there is book for bicycle maintainance for people who know very little about the mechanics of bikes?
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2011 09:04 pm
@Quincy,
Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance is well regarded. Lennard Zinn has also put out Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance. One of the strong points is clean line drawings instead of a bunch of murky looking photos.

I understand Park Tools has an outstanding online maintenance library.
Quincy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2011 03:49 am
@roger,
Cool, thanks
0 Replies
 
 

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