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squealing brakes on bike (Read 1681 times)

    Since I'm injured, I tried biking on Saturday. Well, the bike is old, and the brakes squeal. Bad. I mean, it's embarrassing. I was mortified. Ok, I can't really afford a new bike, and have no tools, or a place to keep the stupid thing for that matter ( studio apt ) I asked my ex to drop it off last week, so I could start riding, since I can't run. Well, you would have thought he would have checked the brakes ( he's a sort of mechanical type) But, he didn't. Big surprise. So, I sent him an email, and this is what I get: "I assume the noise only happens when you apply the brakes, correct? Brake noise is caused by vibrations that build up between the brake shoe and the rim. Rather than smoothly dragging over the rim, the shoe sticks, then slides, then sticks, then slides etc. The resulting vibrations cause the brake mounting points to hum like a tuning fork. Oil in the brake surfaces would temporarily stop it, but it would also prevent the brakes from working so that is not a good idea. You might be able to get the noise to stop by cleaning the rim of any smeared on plastic from the shoes. You can also roughen the surface of the wheel slightly. Easiest way to do that is take a old nail file card, slip it in between the pad and the rim, squease the brakes slightly and spin the wheel. Make sure you use the fine not course side of the card against the rim. Also, filing down the pads where they rub the rim a little might help as well. The shoes are pretty old. I originally bought that bike when I was dating Vera, as one of a matching pair, so it must be at least 13 years old or so. I suspect ultimately the brake shoes will have to be replaced to make it stop. If you don't know how to do this I will do it for you. You can leave the bike at work on date one day and I will pick it up and return it with new shoes. You need to warn me ahead of time that you are leaving it out. Do remember to occasionally lube the chain. wd40 is fine for this" So, since I don't really want to see this guy, should I just take it to the bike shop? Any idea how much that would cost?

    - Anya

      He's pretty close to being right. Except.......DO NOT lube your chain with WD40. WD40 is actually a piss poor lubricant. It will also eventually turn to a thick gunk. It was originally designed to break loose rusted parts and it doesn't work very well for that either. A can of Tri-flow will be fine. It has teflon in it. Try cleaning the brake surface on your rims.......a little time / more use too....sometimes it'll go away. There are much better brake materials today so new brakes may help. A bike shop will charge around $15.00 plus cost of brake shoes to replace but will probably find loose cables, rims out of true, etc......Much like the oil change shops.....always something else. The rubber on the shoes has most likely hardend so I'm guessing new brake shoes. BTW......After reading his response I can see why you divorced him.

      www.hplg.net  The Human Powered League - Solo Cup Series - Trail Building

        Yep. This is pretty much what WD-40 is for.
          It's easier to point you to a site than describe it myself. Check out this one: http://www.bikeman.com/content/view/704/115/ I do something like the matchbook trick described in that link. Kirk
            It's easier to point you to a site than describe it myself. Check out this one: http://www.bikeman.com/content/view/704/115/ Now with clickable action Smile I do something like the matchbook trick described in that link. Kirk

            www.hplg.net  The Human Powered League - Solo Cup Series - Trail Building

              He's pretty close to being right. Except.......DO NOT lube your chain with WD40. WD40 is actually a piss poor lubricant. It will also eventually turn to a thick gunk. It was originally designed to break loose rusted parts and it doesn't work very well for that either. A can of Tri-flow will be fine. It has teflon in it. Try cleaning the brake surface on your rims.......a little time / more use too....sometimes it'll go away. There are much better brake materials today so new brakes may help. A bike shop will charge around $15.00 plus cost of brake shoes to replace but will probably find loose cables, rims out of true, etc......Much like the oil change shops.....always something else. The rubber on the shoes has most likely hardend so I'm guessing new brake shoes. BTW......After reading his response I can see why you divorced him.
              +1
              Son, when you participate in sporting events, it's not whether you win or lose; it's how drunk you get. -- Homer Simpson
                . BTW......After reading his response I can see why you divorced him.
                Glad you noticed. And, he says he did test ride it first. There is no way, he could have ridden that thing, without hearing it. == Thanks for the info, guys!!!!

                - Anya


                Consistently Slow

                  Run until the trail runs out.

                  2013***1500 miles

                  50 miler

                  Race Less Train More

                   

                  Ana Trason  "Living Her Life"

                  "The Marble in The Groove"

                   

                  unsolicited chatter

                  http://bkclay.blogspot.com/


                  Needs more cowbell!

                    Anya...again I wish we were neighbors. DH has like 6 bikes (only rides maybe 4 of them...road, mountain, cyclocross, hybrid...the others are mostly wall art in the garage) and does most of his own maintenance. He LOVES tinkering with people's bikes and getting them ready to roll...he just fixed a co-workers mountain bike this weekend. I think you got some pretty good advice from the guys here. I hope you can get your bike braking quietly and effectively without too much $$.

                    I shoot pretty things! ~

                    '14 Goals:

                    • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                    • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                    xor


                      DH has like 6 bikes
                      Wow.

                       


                      Needs more cowbell!

                        Wow.
                        Yeah, and the combined value of the 2 primary bikes new was about $5k. I can buy a LOT of running shoes without feeling (much) guilt. Evil grin

                        I shoot pretty things! ~

                        '14 Goals:

                        • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                        • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


                        Team HTFU NCTR Driver

                          Hullo, he of the 6 bikes here... (and it's 2 roadies, 1 mountain (29er), 1 'cross, 1 old mtb for kid-hauling, and 1 crash-o-matic tandem, with ditch-seeking steering) So, yeah, 13 years old, your brake pads are hard as rocks now, and almost as effective at slowing you down. Go dig your fingernail into the tread on a car tire - your bike's brake pads should only be that firm or a little firmer. You need new ones. Some folks put in new ones every year; that's probably excessive (assuming they haven't worn down too much). I just replaced mine on my good road bike after about 4 years and 10,000+ miles, and the difference was pretty remarkable. Now, some of the stuff your ex said wasn't too bad. You can actually improve a brake pad by filing its surface, and by digging out whatever bits of rock and sand have embedded themselves into the pad itself. As for the rims, they can get some glaze on them, but you shouldn't be more aggressive then lightly sanding them. Rims wear from braking, there's little sense in accelerating that process. Sqealing is indeed caused by vibrations ('cuz that's what sound is, yo). The root cause of such vibrations is hard to trace, though. Take one pair of brakes that wail on one bike, put 'em on another, and they're silent. Some types are worse than others, though; cantilever brakes are usually the worst offenders. My old cheaps cantis on my cross bike would howl like a tomcat with it's nuts stuck in a mousetrap. Santa brought me some nice Avid Shorty 4s, and they're quiet as can be even when they're wet. In any case, have a bike shop install them for ya. Bring the wrench-dude a beer as a tip, he'll be your friend for life. But WD-40 on a chain? That's unforgivable. WD-40 is better for cleaning a chain than for lubricating one. Use something made to lube a bike chain, like Dumond Tech Lite, or Pedros, or, criminy, put some motor oil on the thing. Anything but WD-40... did



                            Hullo, he of the 6 bikes here... (and it's 2 roadies, 1 mountain (29er), 1 'cross, 1 old mtb for kid-hauling, and 1 crash-o-matic tandem, with ditch-seeking steering) So, yeah, 13 years old, your brake pads are hard as rocks now, and almost as effective at slowing you down. Go dig your fingernail into the tread on a car tire - your bike's brake pads should only be that firm or a little firmer. You need new ones. Some folks put in new ones every year; that's probably excessive (assuming they haven't worn down too much). I just replaced mine on my good road bike after about 4 years and 10,000+ miles, and the difference was pretty remarkable. Now, some of the stuff your ex said wasn't too bad. You can actually improve a brake pad by filing its surface, and by digging out whatever bits of rock and sand have embedded themselves into the pad itself. As for the rims, they can get some glaze on them, but you shouldn't be more aggressive then lightly sanding them. Rims wear from braking, there's little sense in accelerating that process. Sqealing is indeed caused by vibrations ('cuz that's what sound is, yo). The root cause of such vibrations is hard to trace, though. Take one pair of brakes that wail on one bike, put 'em on another, and they're silent. Some types are worse than others, though; cantilever brakes are usually the worst offenders. My old cheaps cantis on my cross bike would howl like a tomcat with it's nuts stuck in a mousetrap. Santa brought me some nice Avid Shorty 4s, and they're quiet as can be even when they're wet. In any case, have a bike shop install them for ya. Bring the wrench-dude a beer as a tip, he'll be your friend for life. But WD-40 on a chain? That's unforgivable. WD-40 is better for cleaning a chain than for lubricating one. Use something made to lube a bike chain, like Dumond Tech Lite, or Pedros, or, criminy, put some motor oil on the thing. Anything but WD-40... did
                            Thanks so much. And thanks for pointing out he's a dumsheit. I still get a kick out of that. Thanks sooooo much !!!!!!!

                            - Anya

                              Zoomie, wish we were neighbors too!

                              - Anya


                              Needs more cowbell!

                                Zoomie, wish we were neighbors too!
                                Just think of the havoc we could wreak! Big grin

                                I shoot pretty things! ~

                                '14 Goals:

                                • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                                • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

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