I have a Cannondale touring bike from the early 2000s that I use as my daily commuter. With the stock cantilever brakes and original front wheel, I had a lot of front brake squealing. I did the standard maintenance to try and make it stop (toeing, sanding, etc), and it returned persistently. I've even replaced the front wheel (independent reason: got a dynamo) and the brake calipers (Avid Shorty), all to have the squealing come back.
This isn't just any minor squeal, this is "audible from 100 yards, plug your ears, the bike is screaming in pain" kind of embarrassing noise.
Would it be possible that it's the canti mounts on the forks that are causing the squealing? Would replacing the fork be a possibility for fixing this?
I've been thinking that I might try switching to disk brakes, but I don't want to just have a different kind of squealing.
I already have a disk-compatible front hub (Shimano Alfine dynamo hub with CenterLock), but I'd need to get a new fork to get the tabs and calipers. I don't want to throw away $200 (fork + brakes) if I'm just going to be squealing again or subject to a different annoying noise.
Would it make sense to do this in stages? I.e. get a fork with disk and canti tabs and try that, and if the squeal returns try the disk option?