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I very recently purchased an E-bike for commuting to work and other area locales. I understand with any new bicycle there will be some break-in time and after a few rides I did notice the brakes were a bit softer than when they started out. I looked online and found some basic tips to adjust the the brake tension which worked.

The brakes on the bike are TekTro Aries mechanical discs.

The weirdness begins with a slight ticking noise I recently started to hear when riding and goes away when I actuate the brakes. However, when I tried to duplicate the problem at home to confirm the problem, I found it difficult to recreate. With the rear wheel lifted off the ground, I turn the wheel and no ticking sound. Additionally while still holding the wheel off the ground, actuating the brake handle had no noticeable effect on stopping the rotation of the wheel. I then put the tire back in contact with the ground and actuate the brake handle, wheel refuses to budge until I release the brake.

Can anyone explain to me how to clear up the ticking noise?

Is the brake not working with the tire off the ground normal?

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  • "Is the brake not working with the tire off the ground normal?" No! Is the rear wheel securely fixed in the drop-outs? – David Richerby Mar 25 '19 at 18:13
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    Make sure you disconnect the battery when working on the wheels and brakes of an ebike – Swifty Mar 25 '19 at 18:51
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    This might be a dumb question, but have you checked that you're pulling the correct brake lever? Some countries have the front brake on the left and some on the right. If this is the problem then while off the ground, it wouldn't slow the other wheel at all. Once you put it on the ground, it would stop the whole bike, making it appear as if it's stopping that wheel. – Carbon side up Mar 26 '19 at 8:20
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    Slight ticking noises are not uncommon at all on disc equipped bikes. I've had it on all 5 that I have owned. Its usually down to tiny warps in the rotor causing them to scuff the pads very lightly. – Andy P Mar 26 '19 at 12:01
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    @ChrisH you might be right, ironically I was trying to avoid comeback from wild blanket statements ;) – Swifty Mar 26 '19 at 16:58
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You seem to have tested the rear wheel. Have you tested whether the front wheel and brake are making the noise?

Also are you pulling the correct lever to operate the rear brake? It depends which country the bike was built in as to which one operates the rear brake. So in the UK the left hand lever operates the rear brake but in the rest of Europe (I believe)its the right hand lever. If you are pulling the front brake lever then obviously the rear wheel will not stop spinning. With the bike on the ground pulling either brake lever will stop the bike moving.

Ticking can be the rotor disc very slightly touching one of the pad. It can be a tick once-per-rotation of the disc if the disc is slightly warped at one point. The ticking would stop when the brake was pulled on as the pads would fully engage and make other louder noises.

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    Thanks for the info Trevor, I live in the Texas and had never encountered a bike with the brakes configured, front-right back-left. But I bought this bike on Amazon and it seems I have purchased a model setup that way. So as I noted in my reply to "Carbon side up" above, I noticed this discrepancy yesterday. I was talking to a coworker as we were both about to leave for the day and happened to look down at my front wheel as I squeezed the right brake lever and noticed the caliper engage. Immediately had a WTF moment and felt dumb for not noticing sooner. – Calvin Ham Mar 27 '19 at 14:10

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