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The V-brake pads are creaking when the wheel is still and I press the lever. (I.e. not a duplicated of this question, because they don't creak when trying to stop the rolling wheel.)

What could be the reason?

Some thoughts of mine:

  • I don't think the absence of "toe-in" counts in this case, because the wheel is still, and hence there can be no resonance. (If I understand correctly that's what toe-in achieves: prevents the pad bouncing on and off the rim while it is rotating.)

  • A similar creaking happened to me once, when the brake pad was rubbing on the tire, but upon close inspection this seems not to be the case now (as far as I can tell, the two are not touching.)

  • If I loosen the pads, the creaking stops (so I think it is not some other part of the system, which causes the noise, e.g. calipers not being lubricated at the point where they rotate).

  • When trying to stop the rolling wheel, I don't hear the noise (but maybe it is just so subtle, that it is covered by the other subtle noises the bike is making).

I captured the noise in this video:

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  • What do you mean by "wheel is steady"? Does the noise appear when the wheel is not rotating? That would be more than weird... Commented May 23, 2021 at 20:42
  • Yes, when the wheel is not rotating (see video). Is there a better word for that?
    – Attilio
    Commented May 23, 2021 at 20:44
  • But then, where does the power for the squeaking come from? There must be two parts that are rubbing against each other, otherwise it would be physically impossible to produce a squeak. Commented May 23, 2021 at 20:49
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    If you shot a longer video, you could create some rather good ASMR
    – Swifty
    Commented May 23, 2021 at 20:56
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    I experience ASMR when I see a cool bike--or even mine after a forced hiatus from riding or seeing it. It may be a little sick in the head, but to me an acceptable pathology I prefer to label "passion." Lol
    – Jeff
    Commented May 23, 2021 at 21:28

2 Answers 2

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What you are hearing in my opinion is the squeak of the rubber pads gripping the rim. Notice that the pads do not close into and on the rim from a perfectly lateral, 90° approach. The path of the pad takes a slight arc into the contact point with the rim. At the contact point as one continues to squeeze the lever and modulate the braking force, the pads continue that slightly arc'd path which leads to some slight sliding on the rim. The displacement of the rubber and the arc'd path of the pad combine to cause a brief squeak as the rubber settles into the rim. This is a normal observation and actually an indicator that the rubber of the pads is in good shape and not weathered or hardened. Some might infer there may be some contamination that's causing the squeak. Possibly, and this can be corrected by cleaning the braking surface of the rim with alcohol and roughing up the pads' braking surface with some sand paper or bastard file. At any rate, this is a fairly common sound and a normal finding that does not affect braking performance in any way.

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    I like this more than my answer heh. maybe it could even just be that supple new rubber squirming. Agree it's quite common
    – Swifty
    Commented May 23, 2021 at 21:14
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I think it's either the stack of washers on the pad squirming together under pressure, or the pad pushing on the rim surface (assuming your assertion that nothing is touching the tyre). It looks like a brand new set up with totally clean surfaces. I bet with a little use, wearing the surfaces and getting a little dirt in there, the creaking will reduce.

Ensure that the pads are lined up nicely with the rim and that the nuts are nicely tight and you'll have safe brakes, the creaking isn't really an indication of a problem if everything else is set up properly.

Often, the solution for a creak on your bike is to add a little grease, but not in this case because you want to keep grease and oils away from the brakes and rims (caliper mounting posts being the minor exception).

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  • I've had a similar creaking noise that went away when I replaced the cable with a coated cable.
    – Carel
    Commented May 24, 2021 at 9:53

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