There are a lot of answers for this topic already but I haven’t been able to fix it yet.

When my disc brake caliper bolts are loose the rotor does not rub but when I tighten them the rotor rubs. I’ve tried doing it by eye and using the brake lever to center it, but no luck, the pads keep rubbing. I cannot push the pistons back any further, is that the problem?

I’ve tried most solutions already unless I’ve been doing it wrong. Thanks.

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1 Answer 1


Check that the rotor is true. If the rub occurs at a specific point of wheel rotation the rotor may be slightly bent. You won't be able to adjust the caliper position to eliminate rub if this is the case.

Rub is not caused by the pistons being advanced too much, so there is no point pushing the pistons in. As soon as you use the brakes they advance again. However, a piston might be sticking, so that it is not retracting from the rotor when the lever is released. You can try to unstick a piston by carefully advancing an cleaning it.

These Park Tool videos may help you:

  • Ok thank you, I wouldn’t really think the rotor wouldnt be true it looks straight but I will watch those videos and try to straighten it. The problem is though that the rotor is straight enough when the disc brake screws are loose and nothing rubs.
    – JHus
    May 16, 2019 at 18:54
  • When the caliper mounting bolts are loose the force exerted against the rotor by the pad that touches it will be much less than when the bolts are tight, so you won't hear any noise or feel any resistance. May 16, 2019 at 19:21

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