After 200 miles on my LaPierre X Control 229 equipped with basic Avid hydraulic disks, I can hear the front wheel disk ventilation slots grinding through the caliper when I brake moderately! (Shimano 160 disk). I did the normal thing of re-aligning the caliper; slacken bolts, apply brakes hard and re-tighten bolts. This made no difference. Should I be changing pads to organic?

  • 1
    Is there anyway you can get a recording? Does it make the noise when you flip the bike upside down and spin the wheel? If you have verified that rotor is not rubbing the pads OR the caliper body, it could be a perfectly normal noise. Some Avid brakes are very noisy. Add in some moisture or sandy grit and the noise becomes worse.
    – canadmos
    Apr 22, 2014 at 22:54
  • My Avid BB7's make a bit of a thumpity-thumpity noise under heavy braking from the vents, but nothing I'd call "grinding". Are the pads getting gouged or torn up? May 1, 2014 at 21:16

2 Answers 2


Is there any loss of braking power associated with the noise? Does it feel that the brakes aren't working fast enough? Brakes do make a similar sound when water gets on the rotor for no loss of power.

From what you are describing and because you have realigned the caliper I would suggest your pads may have become contaminated or glazed and therefore not engaging properly. Check the pads for chips, hard spots or a glassy appearance (there may be a toe formed at the leading edge of the brake which is ok). Sand the top layer of the brake pad off until it is rough and dull again.

Also check the rotor for any greasiness (make sure your hands are clean and dry). Wipe the rotor with isopropyl alcohol or other non-residue type solvent to remove any decontamination.

Hopefully this will remove any scraping sound and take you back to the turkey gobble and squealing normally associated with Avid Elixirs.


Had the same thing while riding off road over the past weekend with some overzealous braking - just happened at the trails, were working well on the way in.

I fixed them with what you did - slacken, mash down hard and re-tighten the bolts. did the same for the front discs too but that needed a couple of taps to center it proper. the rotor rubs with the slack-retighten step.

Since you mentioned that you did that and it's still there, perhaps it might help to pull the pads out and inspect them. Might be worn (though I would think that is would be only a remote chance with only 200miles done), might have dings on the pads themselves or the pads weren't clicked in proper.

Once the free stuff is done and the problems still there, I guess throwing some cash down for a pair of pads and a quiet braking experience would wipe that curious/angry look you see in the mirror :)

Add: sorry just remembered - do check the rotors too for anything wrong with it - burrs at the vents or not smooth spots.

  • Avids are unlikely to ever give a quiet braking experience. Don't go chasing mythical silence.
    – DWGKNZ
    May 6, 2014 at 19:17
  • have had avid mechanicals on 3 bikes, totally quiet unless its caked with mud or really wet. hardly mythical i feel - just needs proper setup and adjustment.
    – deeviate
    May 7, 2014 at 1:06
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    Meant the Elixirs, have two squeaky sets 1 and 7s.
    – DWGKNZ
    May 7, 2014 at 2:39
  • Hi folks, thanks for that. Changed the pads for Galfer Standard pads.....et viola! (The pads that came new with the bike were very harsh sintered). The new Galfer pads have a little extra protuberance at the bottom, (ooh er matron), that somehow helped them seat in the caliper more comfortably. May 29, 2014 at 15:32

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