Is there anything more annoying than squeaking or howling brakes on your bike? Everyone knows the nails-on-a-chalkboard sound of a noisy set of brakes that (unless you are a trials rider) often accompanies poor braking performance and heckling from your riding buddies!
What causes noisy brakes?
There are a variety of things that can cause your brakes to start making unsavoury noise, however it is usually a result of the braking surface becoming contaminated. This can happen in lots of different ways, most commonly when you get some form of oil or lubricant onto your disc or pads when working on your bike.
Some of the things things that can contaminate your discs are:
- Spraying them directly with MO-94, Bike Protect or any other form of lubricant
- Washing lube from your drivetrain onto them when hosing your bike
- Oil or Brake fluid dripping onto them from elsewhere on your bike
- Touching the disks or pads with your bare skin (your skin has natural oils on it!)
- Using contaminated pads on a clean rotor and visa versa
How do I stop my brakes from getting contaminated?
Avoiding contamination is a great first step but it is not always easy to avoid overspray settling onto your discs. We want it to be as easy as possible to Clean, Lube and Protect your bike which is why we designed our Disc Brake Covers! These mean you can go wild with MO94, Bike Protect or any other aerosols without fear of contaminating your brakes!
What do I do if my brakes are already making noise?
If your brakes have been contaminated and are making noise, all is not lost! Whilst we prefer to prevent rather than cure, you can clean most contaminations off the disks and pads with some of our Disc Brake Cleaner. Simply:
- Step 1: Put on your Muc-Off Mechanics Gloves
- Step 2: Shake can to activate formula
- Step 3: Apply to entire brake area so pads and discs are treated
- Step 4: Allow disc brake cleaner to evaporate
- Step 6: Wipe away any excess with a clean microfibre cloth
After cleaning with the Disc Brake Cleaner you will need to ‘bed in’ the discs and pads, to do this simply drag them gently down a nearby hill. You will find that the braking power will gradually increase and any noise should fade as you do this, leaving your brakes powerful and noise free!
What else can I do to get rid of noise?
Unfortunately, some pads are beyond saving, if they have soaked up too much oil then you may find that the disk brake cleaner will work for a time before the noise comes back. If this is a case then the best option will be to replace the pads, when doing this it is very important to clean the disc thoroughly so that it does not pass on the contaminant to your new brake pads!
Hopefully these tips will help you safely keep your bike and brakes clean and quiet so that you can get back to enjoying riding headache free!