How to Fix Squeaky Bike Brakes
Is a strange squealing noise drawing the wrong kind of attention to your e-bike? Do your electric bike brakes sound like a loud flushing toilet? Fear not, because the solution is quite simple and can be repeated as often as you need.
The most common solution for contaminated brake pads is to simply wear off the top layer of your brake pads, which should stop the sound at its source by removing any contamination.
Why Are My Rize Bike Brake Pads Making This Noise?
As you use your electric bike, by design, the brake rotor and brake pads will touch each other. Normally, when everything is operating as it should, the noise will be minimal or non-existent.
However, if there is grease or a build up of dust, dirt or grime on the brake pad, the friction of those two components touching will cause an unpleasant squealing noise. An unpleasant sound can also develop after riding your e-bike off-road or in the rain.
To fix squeaky bike brakes, here is what you should do broken down into specific solutions:
1. Brake Caliper Misalignment: A misaligned in the brake caliper can lead to uneven brake pad wear and annoying noises coming from your ebike.
To fix this, here are the steps:
- Loosen the 2 bolts (green arrows seen in pics).
- Move the calliper until there is space on both sides of the brake disc.
You will likely have to adjust this a couple of times before you are able to get it just right (look at the red and green arrows in the picture).
Be sure to adjust both the bottom and top ends of the calliper as well.
- Once the brake disc is centred between the brake pads, with enough on both sides, tighten the two bolts to secure the calliper in place.
2 - Contaminated Brake Pads and Rotor: When you are using your ebike to go about your daily commute, it is normal for oil, dust, and grease to build up on your brake pads and rotor. This will cause squealing in your bike brakes.
Front Brakes fixes:
- Remove the front calliper with the mini multi-tool included with the bike. Unscrew both the bolts and carefully remove the calliper.
- Remove the bolt on the calliper with a 3mm Allen Key.
- Remove the brake pads. Remember not to touch the brake pad surfaces with your fingers.
- Sand the brake pads with a piece of fine-grade sandpaper until the surfaces are shiny and free of any visible contaminants.
- Wipe the brake pads with rubbing alcohol and a piece of clean cloth and allow them to dry completely.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 on the brake rotor as well.
- Reinstall the parts, being careful not to touch the surfaces as the oil from your fingers can contaminate the pads and rotor again.
Rear Brakes fixes:
- Repeat the same process as the above but for the Rear Brakes.
3 - Shiny Brake Pads and Rotor: Over time, brake pads and rotors can develop a shiny glaze, causing them to vibrate and squeal. This happens because when your ebike brakes are pushed beyond the temperature limits of the friction material.
When this occurs, you can use sandpaper to lightly roughen the surface of the brake pads and rotor, creating better friction and eliminating the noise altogether.
4 - Completely Worn-down Brake Pads: If you press your brakes and squealing starts right away, it is time to replace your bike pads because they have reached the end of their lives. Worn-down pads can't grip properly, leading to squeaking and compromising your braking efficiency.
5 - Oil Leaking: If you notice oil or brake fluid leaking onto your brake components, we recommend that you seek professional help immediately. If you are unsure, feel free to reach out to our customer service right here at Rize Bikes!
Leaks will not only cause noise but can also pose a serious safety hazard. So don't ignore this issue if you do see it. A bike mechanic can diagnose and fix the issue to ensure your brakes work optimally again.
● You may need to ride your e-bike for a few hours before the benefits of removing contaminants from your brake pads kick in.
● Your e-bike is a heavy machine, and disc brakes can exert a normal amount of application noise.
● Your brake pad noise may have nothing to do with contaminated brake pads and could be caused by worn-out brake pads. If that’s your issue, new brake pads can be purchased on the Rize Bikes website.
How do I stop my bike brakes from squeaking?
If you want to avoid squealing brakes, make sure to regularly clean your rotors or wheel rims using a specific (oil-free) disc brake degreaser. It will help keep your brakes in top shape.
Can you use wd40 on squeaky bike brakes?
If you're facing bike problems like gears that won't shift or squeaky brakes stuck in one position, do not use WD40! It should not be used on brakes at all because they reduce friction where it is needed. Also, it can break down and destroy ebike brake components.
Why do my bicycle disc brakes squeak when I stop?
If you're experiencing brake squeal, the most common issue is contamination or glazing of the brake pads or rotor.
When you accidentally touch the pads or rotor with oily fingers, it can cause the pads to lose grip and lead to vibrations, resulting in squealing brakes.