Squeaking bike brakes are a common problem that can be very annoying. Squeaking is caused by the friction produced as the brakes make contact with the rim of your tires. It can indicate that your brakes are not working as well as they should. Most squeaking can be eliminated by cleaning the rims or adjusting the brakes.
Things You'll Need
- Cloth for wiping or cleaning rims
- Adjustable wrench
- Owner's manual
Determine the cause of the squeaking. Several things make bike brakes squeak: wet rims, dirty rims, new brake pads, or brake pads that are not adjusted correctly.
Try the easy fixes. If the rims are wet or dirty, clean them with a cloth. If your brake pads are new, you can file away the shiny surface or simply use them until they are broken in.
Check the angle of the brakes, which is known as the "toe in." The front or leading edge of the brake should be angled just slightly toward the rim. When you engage the brakes, this edge should hit first, followed by the rest of the brake pad. If only the leading edge hits the rim, your angle is too great.
Adjust the toe-in, if possible. Most new bikes have brakes that you can adjust by loosening the brake pads. If you have the bike owner's manual, consult it for the best way to adjust your brakes for that specific model.
File the brake pads to the correct angle if your bike does not have adjustable arms. You can also bend the brake arms to achieve this angle, but experts such as Jobst Brandt do not recommend this method.
Readjust the toe-in if the brakes start squeaking again. The toe-in will change as the brakes are used and become worn.
Tips & Warnings
- If your bike is made of aluminum, do not adjust the brakes by bending the brake arms because they can easily break.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
Why Do Car Brakes Squeak?
Squeaky brakes are a common occurrence that can be a sign of brake-system dysfunction. Although a certain amount of brake noise is...
Why Bike Brakes Squeal
Squealing brakes is a common problem that bicyclists encounter. Bicycle brakes that squeal are usually in good condition and can be easily...
How to Get a Car's Brakes to Stop Squeaking
When parts are not working their best, a car's first signal to you is usually noise. The noise you hear coming from...
How to Fix Squealing Brakes
Squealing brakes can be an indication of worn brake pads or a symptom of another issue concerning your vehicle's braking system. Because...
How to Stop Brake Squeal
Squealing brakes are embarrassing. There is little a driver hates more than those annoyed stares from everyone within earshot after stopping at...
Adjusting Squeaking Bicycle Brakes
If bicycle brakes are squeaking, make sure that the wheel is all the way up the frame and double check adjustments. Learn...