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Why Do My Bike Brakes Squeak?

why do my bike brakes squeak

One beautiful morning, you find yourself biking in a familiar place, enjoying the tranquility and the serenity of the road and the view. Then you find yourself needing to pull up the brake when suddenly, a squeaking sound on the bike was heard. The sound seems familiar but to new bikers, that sound coming from the brake is something new.

Why do my bike brakes squeak? This will be the question that will be asked by a lot of new bike owners. The squeaking sound may be encountered before for some old bikers and addressing the issue will not a big problem. But to others, this will be unchartered territory, and dealing with this problem is something new.

In this article, we will be dealing with information about brake squeaking, its causes, and the things you need to solve the issue. If you think that this is a serious bike problem, then I can tell you straight that it is not and any biker can solve this issue easily.

Reasons Why Bike Brakes Squeak

There are several reasons why a brake produces a squeaking sound during the ride. But before we proceed on that, let me first explain to you the two types of brakes that can be found on a particular bike. The two types of bikes are rim and disc brakes. Each of the two bike brakes can squeak for several reasons which will be discussed below:

Rim Brakes

When we are talking about rim brakes, the braking force is usually found on the outside part of the edge of the rim. When the part of this brake is contaminated or not in good condition, chances are, the brake will squeak in due time.

Also, when there is the presence of oil or grease on the brake pad or the rim, there is a good chance that your bike will be having a brake squeak. Besides, when the brake pad is degraded or misaligned, it will produce a squeaking sound that is telling the bike owner that a replacement is needed.

Disc Brakes

When the braking force is applied to the rotor found in the middle of the bike’s wheel, then this is what you called a disc brake. Unfortunately, contamination of the disc brake can also cause the brake to squeak. Strong chemicals such as lubricants being used to clean the disc have a chance to get it to the rotor or the pads and caused the break to squeak.

Another reason for a disc brake to squeak is when there is a bent rotor or a caliper misalignment. When this happens on the disc brake, the brake pad will be rubbing against each other producing an annoying sound that all bikers will not want to hear. The presence of water and heat can also cause the brake to squeak. This usually happens when you are riding in a stream or a spillage portion of the road.

How to Stop Bicycle Brakes from Squeaking

how to fix squeaky brakes on a bike

Squeaky disc brakes are not a serious problem and will not pose a real threat to the bike. For those unfamiliar with squeaky brakes, there are several ways to eliminate the unnecessary noise and make yourself comfortable again with your biking adventure. Please read below.

Rim Brakes

When the rim brakes are contaminated, it will likely produce an annoying squeaky sound. To solve this issue, you need to free the rim from contamination by making sure that it is free from lubricant or oil and other dirt buildups. Scrubbing it using a degreaser to remove all the contaminants will help while ensuring that all parts are working properly.

You also need to make sure that all the parts are tightened securely by checking all the bolts securing them. One untightened part will make the brake produce an unnecessary sound. You can also check the rim if it is in good condition and cleaned. If it is not, a degraded or dirty rim will reduce the efficiency of the brake. The best thing to do is thoroughly clean the rim and remove all the dirt found on the surface.

Another step that you can do is to check the overall condition of the brake blocks. When the brake block is worn out, uneven, or glazed over, there is a big chance that you will be having a squeaky brake sooner than later. If you think that it is worn out as it indicates, the best thing to do is replace it with a new one. Meanwhile, if it is uneven, you need to set it up properly and make it even and parallel to the rim.

Disc Brakes

Since contamination is the most common cause for a disc brake to squeak, the best thing to do is clean everything especially the pads and the rotor. You can use an oil-free degreaser for the cleaning as well as sanding down the pads. But for worn-out pads, it would be best to replace them with a new one. There are a lot of disc brake cleaners available and it is specially designed to clean this type of brake and make it more efficient.

If the cause of the squeaking is a brake rub, you need to check on the axle if it is installed properly. If it is not, then there is a chance that the rotor and the wheel are misaligned which can cause a brake squeaking. You can also check the caliper if it is secured and aligned properly. Meanwhile, if the rotor is bent, you might need to bend the rotor back using a specialized tool to help you do the job securely.


Why do my bike brakes squeak? This is a normal question for unfamiliar bikers who experienced unnecessary noise in their bike’s brake. That is also the main reason why we made this article to let everyone know that this problem is not as serious as they think it would be. There are many ways on how to fix squeaky brakes on a bike and everyone can do it with ease.

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