odd noise from front end when braking

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by alecstilleyedye, 28 Mar 2008.

  1. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    when front braking, i'm getting a noise like something tapping the alu frame. not had it before, i initially thought it was related to the fact that the brake block pads are in need of replacing, but i can't see any reason why.

    with the image fresh in my mind of the chap on the club run who had a nasty crash due to a snapped steerer tube, i'm a bit wary now.

    the noise has only been noticeable since i put new tyres on it the other day.

    ta in advance.
  2. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Have you checked the obvious? E.g. are the wheels back on dead straight?
  3. walker

    walker New Member

    Bromley, Kent
    also what bike is it? if its a road bike check your cable runners. it could be something obvious like a loose cable is knocking against frame/fork etc or it could be a loose headset or something like that. Go over the bike with a fine tooth comb. tighten all bolts and screws, also check that your brake pads arn't rubbing the tyres.
  4. OP

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    could be a loose headset. can i just tighten it using the hex bolt at the top of the stem? apparently you can damage them with overtightening, so i'm a bit wary of doing it.
  5. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    No, you have to loosen the stem first, normally two hex bolts on the side, then tighten the headset bolt until it is tight enough that when you engage the front brake and rock back and forth there is no obvious movement within the head tube. To make sure that you haven't overdone it though rotate the handlebars which should be totally free. Finally re-tighten the stem bolts.
  6. Stick on a Giant

    Stick on a Giant New Member

    Interesting, I've got the same problem. I've got a new Spesh Tricross, first couple of times I used it it was fine, but now get a noise that sounds as though something is catching a spoke per wheel revolution when I use the front brake. Will check wheel is in place properly and also headset tightness - may have bedded in a bit with use and need adjusting.
  7. Steve Austin

    Steve Austin The Marmalade Kid

    it could be the brakes, canti brakes can 'creak' on their mountings. remove brakes and smear some grease on the mounts.

    Headset cups would be my guess though. remove them and grease them sorts this. I know some folk don't like greasing headset cups, but i always have and have never had creaks, so go figure
  8. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    If you're getting a regular tap with the brake on, I'd bet on the rim. Run your finger round both braking surfaces and feel for any nicks in the ally. I've had this a few times, 30 seconds with a sheet of emery and all is quiet again.
  9. OP

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    it's more like a tap when brakes are applied, and again when released. not as noticeable in the wet, so could be brakepad related. i'll see how it is when i get some new pads.
  10. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Could be either, looseness in the front brake, but I think more likely a bit of slack in the headset.
    Sit or stand over the bike, grab the front brake and rock the bike back and forth with your weight on the saddle, feel the top of the headset as you rock, can you feel/see any slight movement...can you hear the noise?
    Can you see any play in the front brake assembly?

    If the headset it's easily tightened and it's a trick worth learning...

    Scroll down to "Adjustment"
  11. Wouldn't be the brakes 'pushing' the wheel towards the magnet side of your forks, causing an interference 'tick tick tick' between magnet and sensor would it? Does the noise slow down when braking or stay at the same regularity?
  12. PatrickPending

    PatrickPending Guru

    one thing possibly to look for - if you have a cycle computer on the bike - the magnet my be tapping the sensor, but only when the forks are slightly flexed when braking. Has happened to me
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