Yesterday, I cleaned my 5 months old bike using WD-40 Bike HEAVY DUTY DEGREASER and removed some dirt and brake material residue from the wheels. Now my front brakes moan.

I did go through this question and I did set toe-in to around 2 mm, which helped somewhat. Now it's just moaning, not moaning like an old train braking.

I also sanded the pad surface a tiny little bit with a 2000 grit sandpaper. The pads are clean and free from any derbies or foreign particles. They still have some 3 mm before the wear indicator.

The wear on the pads looks mostly even, but there's a bit of unevenness due to the wheel rim wear indicator, but I checked and those points are making good contact with the interior of the indicator.

I'm not really sure what to do now. Most of the searches provide me either with the toe-in solution or give results for disc brakes.

  • Also I'm a bike newbie, so any pointers on how to make my question clearer and easier to answer would be very helpful!
    – AndrejaKo
    Jun 6, 2016 at 12:56
  • that is weird usually it is because of dirt. Did you use some product to clean your wheel?
    – kifli
    Jun 6, 2016 at 13:08
  • @kifli I used a WD-40 Bike HEAVY DUTY DEGREASER product. I've rinsed the bicycle afterwards with water, as instructed in the manual.
    – AndrejaKo
    Jun 6, 2016 at 13:14
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    Try re-cleaning the rims with rubbing alcohol and then seeing if the sound goes away after a bit of riding+brake use.
    – Batman
    Jun 6, 2016 at 13:51
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    Wash the surfaces with a bit of dish or laundry detergent in water, rinse well, then just live with it for awhile. Sooner or later the brakes will settle and the situation will improve, if the toe-in is halfway right. Jun 6, 2016 at 15:24

1 Answer 1


Do NOT use WD-40 of any kind on your rims if you use rim brakes. WD-40 leaves a residue. If you have contaminated your rims, clean them off with rubbing alchohol. Once you do that, it'll be like starting with new brakes, so they will take a little brake in to get dirt and rubber re-imbedded in your rims. If the pads have been contaminated with WD-40, and it sounds like they have, replace them. Pads are cheap.

  • 6
    This has nothing to do with regular WD-40. Its a bike cleaning product sold under the WD-40 brand.
    – Batman
    Jun 6, 2016 at 16:15
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    @Batman, still not a good idea to use a heavy duty degreaser from any brand to clean rims unless the residue is cleaned off with alcohol after. Pads are likely contaminated.
    – zenbike
    Jun 6, 2016 at 21:04
  • It is still a degreaser, and degreasers are semi-evil anyway, since they don't know how to step degreasing when they get to your bearings. Advice still stands: don't use it on wheel rims. They shouldn't be greasy anyway.
    – Lee-Man
    Jun 6, 2016 at 21:19
  • @Lee-Man As I mentioned, the bicycle was rinsed with water afterwards. Additional cleaning with 40% Ethanol and 19% 2-Propanol mixture produced no results.
    – AndrejaKo
    Jun 6, 2016 at 21:39
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    Then your pads are likely contaminated. Additionally, once you get things correct, even with new pads and newly-adjusted V-brakes, it still might make a little noise until you break it in. I know squealing v-brakes can be a pain, which is one of the many reasons most folks use disc breaks. Lastly, rinsing off rims after using a degreaser is not enough! I rarely use a degreaser, and when I do I'm careful where it goes, because it contaminates disc brake pads too.
    – Lee-Man
    Jun 6, 2016 at 21:49

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