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I bought a Schwinn Frontier Sport few months ago and started riding happily. After a few weeks my front rim brakes started creaking. It's so annoying in public places. My rear brake doesn't produce any sound but isn't as powerful as the front brake.

The retailer says cleaning would solve the front brake's issues and I got it cleaned, but nothing changed. Is there something I can do something myself to fix this?

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If you bought it from a reputable bike shop their mechanic would, for free, "toe in" the front pads a hair to fix this. – Daniel R Hicks Sep 8 '13 at 19:12
Creaking or squeaking? – joelmdev Sep 9 '13 at 0:41
@jm2 - It's a squeaking sound (my bad vocabulary). Daniel - I bought it from the best shop, but I do not think their mechanics are great. – pMan Sep 11 '13 at 10:51
It doesn't take a great mechanic to toe in your brakes. It takes only a barely competent mechanic to do so. – Carey Gregory Sep 17 '13 at 23:55
up vote 12 down vote accepted

V-brakes can be hateful and make a lot of sound if they're improperly adjusted- sometimes they're noisy even when they're properly adjusted, especially on braking surfaces that are not machined. You can usually alleviate this with one or more of the following methods.

  • First and foremost, make sure your pads are properly adjusted. This is better demonstrated than described, so check out this youtube video to save yourself a lot of reading. If the link goes down, just google v-brake adjustment.

  • Make sure the braking surface of the rim is clean. Use rubbing alcohol and a green scrub pad to scrub off any crud, and then wipe the braking surface off with a clean towel with a dab of alcohol on it. Using anything besides rubbing alcohol may leave a residue and make the problem worse.

  • Toe in the brakes. I found this image which not only illustrates what "toeing in" your brakes is, but shows a nifty little trick to set the gap appropriately:

enter image description here

You may need to toe them in more that what this picture is showing if they continue to squeal on you.

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This was a very helpful video as i have just bought a new bike two weeks ago, and it has rained lot and my brakes are squeling alot – Catherine Jones Sep 17 '13 at 18:07
+1 for the rubber band trick. – Carey Gregory Sep 17 '13 at 23:54
Rubber band trick is fantastic. I've tried so many ways to accomplish that to no avail. Brilliant! – Kevin Sep 18 '13 at 17:36

Also make sure the washers are set correctly. enter image description here

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That's only the right arrangement sometimes, other times you need the thinner washer pair on the inside. And it won't help with squeal, only with braking force and making sure the pads don't slide off the rim or hit the tyre. – Móż Apr 7 at 1:39

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