Squealing Front Brakes

pw2389

New Member
My touring bike has been in the garage for the last 5 months and so I took it out for a spin today. Alas, the front brakes seemed to have developed a horrible squeal. Any clues on the causes and possible cures for this embarrassing condition? :smile:

Many thanks in advance.
 
Brake squeeeeeeeeel is a sonic reverberation caused by the leading edge of your pads gripping the rim (or disc) and releasing very many times a second. Assuming your braking surface is free of contaminants such as tar or general mank it's a simple case of adjusting your pads so that the trailing (or front) edge of the brake pad hits the rim first. Its called 'toe-in'. The best way to visualise it is to imagine that your rim is a fluid passing through a funnel. The pads are the sides of the funnel. A gap of 1mm to 3mm should shut the feckers up depending on the amount of flex or bearing play in your calipers or cantis.
 

Smokin Joe

Legendary Member
I disagree about squealing being caused by not having the blocks toed in. If the rear of the blocks hit the rim first it will cause the breaks to judder, but squealing is caused either by new blocks needing to have the surface scrubbed in or dirty rims.
 
Smokin Joe said:
I disagree about squealing being caused by not having the blocks toed in. If the rear of the blocks hit the rim first it will cause the breaks to judder, but squealing is caused either by new blocks needing to have the surface scrubbed in or dirty rims.
Squealing is judder, the higher the tone the faster the judder.

Perhaps you could tell me why my well bedded in blocks squeal on perfectly clean ceramic rims.
 

Dave5N

Über Member
Fact is, if your brakes squeal, toeing in (caveat -always for me) cures it.

Harder with cantis. But the're rubbish anyway. I have seen (I haven't really) oil tankers stop in a shorter distance than my 'cross bike.
 
Dave5N said:
Fact is, if your brakes squeal, toeing in (caveat -always for me) cures it.

Harder with cantis. But the're rubbish anyway. I have seen (I haven't really) oil tankers stop in a shorter distance than my 'cross bike.
Lower the straddle hanger on the brake cable, it increases the leverage.
 
After reading this i'm begining to think that i must be the only one in the country who sets blocks parallel to the rim with no squeal.
in 30 years i've never toed in brake blocks.
to set i leave the shoes/blocks slightly loose on both sides of the rim, then pull the brake lever tight and set the blocks for height and tighten up the bolt, leaving them parallel to the rim.
i do clean the rims and run a cloth between the rim and block to clean it after every ride.
 
piedwagtail91 said:
After reading this i'm begining to think that i must be the only one in the country who sets blocks parallel to the rim with no squeal.
in 30 years i've never toed in brake blocks.
to set i leave the shoes/blocks slightly loose on both sides of the rim, then pull the brake lever tight and set the blocks for height and tighten up the bolt, leaving them parallel to the rim.
i do clean the rims and run a cloth between the rim and block to clean it after every ride.


Before you clean your bike get a sheet of paper and put it on the rim. Now pull your brake just so it touches the paper and then have a look at the mark and then tell us your brakes are not toed in!
 
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