How To Stop Your Disc Brakes Squealing – Mountain Bike Maintenance Tips

Here’s how to sort brake squeal either in the workshop or out on the trail.
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Brake squeal can be caused by a number of things.

First up, check your rotors – are they bent or out of shape? If so, an adjustable spanner might do the trick, otherwise, you’ll need to replace the rotor.

Are your rotors clean? Use a disc brake cleaner to make absolutely sure. If you’re out on the trail, try getting some mud on them and braking hard.

On your pads – brake squeal is really likely down to oil or another contaminant on your brake pads. Remove them and have a look. The mud trick might work, and, if you’ve got a blow torch, put the pads in a vice and see if you can boil the oil off.

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Category: General

38 Responses to “How To Stop Your Disc Brakes Squealing – Mountain Bike Maintenance Tips”

  1. He is the road bike gy

  2. For me everytime the brake pads contaminated (squealing moose-like sounds) just use fine sandpaper to grind the brake pads a little then wash it with dish soap and just bake it on stove with frying pan (without oil ofc.) with very low flame, until all of the brake pads surface is dried.

  3. Hi please help. I have used range of shimano brakes from m355 to slx. but after a while oil start apprearing on the disc. this happened for all of them the cheaper ones are worse. Is this normal?are my brakes leaking oil?

  4. Who is this guys

  5. i used wd40 by accident on my disc brakes and they dont work

  6. In centering calipers, do you still need to squeeze the lever while re-tightening the bolt?

  7. hi guys i cleaned the disk all ready and I heated my brake pads but it doesn't work it get louder and louder

  8. Just use wd 40 it's amazing

  9. I've done this several times, but my brakes start squealing as soon as the weather forecast says 0.1% chance of rain.

  10. can i use brake cleaner

  11. it works thanks

  12. Hi folks, I was out on a group ride the other day in heavy rain,before the ride I replaced both back and front pads, but the amount of sqeeling was almost embarassing! I asked a few people, as I wasn't the only person who's brakes were making a noise. One explanation was that the discs and pads were cold and if you just very slightly held the brake levers on, it's warm up the pads and stop them from sqeeling. It did seem to help, but obviously going up hills you don't want to be applying the brakes even a tiny bit, but on those coasting down hill sections it did work. What are your thoughts on this? Does the pad composition make any difference? As I am always very careful about my brakes.

  13. Get some disc cleaner that works for me to

  14. What does the free stroke adjustment do. I have my pads to close to a 203mm disk and when I hit a bump in the road the discs hit the pads and makes a awful sound. Is free stroke a solution to the problem?

  15. So my brakes were got blead by accident and they now seem to be making and awful grinding noise that I cant seem to get rid of, I orders a bleeding kit and will this hopefully solve the problem?

  16. this really helped, i put a new rotor on my rear and its now dirty as hell, so must have oil on the pads and i know for a fact that they will be glazed now because my rotors, 9 times out of 10, are hot to the touch mid ride

  17. i have oil on my pads and disc,tryed alcohool degreaser and disc cleaner but didnt worked

  18. i dont have a wheel rotor. I have my brakes brake at the rim of the wheels

  19. where will i get the break cleaner!!

  20. Can you use methylated spirits to clean the disks?

  21. Is it ok to clean brake pads with degreaser or alcohol?

  22. With new disc brakes, do you need to brake them in before they stop making a noise? I have just had some replaced at my local store an they make a hell of a noise!

  23. Can someone tell me how to get rid of scratches on my mtb

  24. Very informative, thanks. Used Meths on the discs and no more squealing. My neighbours will be very happy as I live at the bottom of a rather steep hill and often ride late! LOL about all the DW40 anecdotes, that shit is Darwin Award material!

  25. Is that a triple on the front

  26. what do you use to clean the disc break? (lol sorry ive just joined the cycling club and idk much about bikes:p)

  27. Can i make the same thing with sandpaper?

  28. ive heard that filing a chamfer on the edges of the pads keeps them from squeeling

  29. Simon hasn't got his tire label aligned with his valve

  30. Does anyone have a video to check if your brake pads are glazed ?

  31. why is there a gcn guy on here?

  32. hello. I have Grease on my bike rotor disk. how to clean it by easy way? and I have the rotor break (the red one) and I don't know how to to clean it. could you please show me
    thank you

  33. Global Mountain Bike Network hydraulic disc brakes and mechanical disc brake which one is better

  34. Cheers.

  35. GMBN i accidently pressed the lever without the rotors in place now they're squealing and the lever is soft. help please!

  36. Thank you so much this was such a big help. My new breaks were horribly loud and made it really hard to enjoy my rides. I just did these steps and used a lighter to get some oil out and a file to get a new layer and so far no squeeling whatsoever

  37. in my case the brakes only squeal if they are wet. and it is mainly the front brake.

  38. I regularly clean my rotors with alcohol on a paper towel, usually as part of my pre or post ride clean and lube ritual. Seems to do the trick. I still run mechanical brakes, BB7's, and have a lot of adjustabillity at the pads. Keep meaning to switch to hydros but my mechanicals have never let me down, don't leak and don't need to be bled.