How to Fix Squeaky Bike Brakes

One of the most common noises that you'll find on disc brakes on your electric bike is they may be squeaking. When you engage the brakes and hear some loud squealing, it may alarm you. In this article, we will discuss the most common reasons why this happens and what you can do about them.

Brand New Bikes

If you are taking a brand-new bike for a test ride for the first time, you might notice your brakes are squeaking. This is totally normal. When the brake pads are fresh and brand new out of the box, they come with a factory coating on the side of the brake pads. That factory coating is something that needs to burn off. As you ride, you're going to go through a process that's called bedding in the brake pads. As you take your bike out for rides, you should only lightly tap the brakes and avoid immediately fully locking on. In time, the factory coating will start to burn off. After that, you'll notice the brakes are going to lock grip and they'll stop making squeaky noises.

Brake Contamination

However, what if your brakes are squeaking and it's not a new bike? If it's a bike you've had for a while and it just started making noise out of the blue, there are two potential causes for this. The first reason why your brakes are squeaking might be due to contamination. This is any sort of solvents or chemical getting into the rotor or the brake pads.

Most of the materials on the brake pads and rotors are porous and they grip well. However, if any sort of chemical or something gets on to them (and the brake pads are good at absorbing those chemicals), they become damp and won’t be as dry and crisp as they should be. Instead of gripping onto that rotor and stopping your wheel, they might slide a little bit, and that's when you hear the intense squealing that you may be hearing.

If your brake pads are contaminated, in some cases they can be fixed and resurfaced by using sandpaper. However, we usually recommend just replacing and getting brand new brake pads. It’s easier and safer that way.

Brake Pad Positioning

The other main cause of squeaking could just be the position that the brake pads are hitting the rotor. During your rides, occasionally you'll bump your bike, or something gets knocked out of adjustment. And if that brake caliper gets sort of shimmy out of place, the brake rotor can be hitting the pads at a weird angle and that can cause a little bit of noise.

To take care of that, you can do a regular brake adjustment.