Rubbing brake pad

Ride about 10 miles today and the rubbing returned on the left side. Touch the brake lever and it stops. I believe it is the non moving pad. Anything I can do to return to the quiet
or do I have to just live with it. I adjusted the outside pad as well. Still rubs. Is there a diff caliper that offers adjustment on both sides? Thanks!


  • Do Avid BB 7’s have same mounting
    hole position as the Alhonga’s?
  • Is it as simple as realigning the caliper
    mounting bolts, again? I don’t remember if I used blue threadlocker on these two bolts over the winter. Is it
    suggested to do so? Or else these bolts may loosen, shift????
  • yes. quite frankly, though, if you cant figure out how to align the alhongas you are not going to have any better luck with the bb7 brakes.

    if you go to bb7s, use the disks paired with them and new loctited rotor bolts installed with a torque wrench.

    have run bb7s on one trike, alhongas on the other a few years, have yet to figure out why anyone raves about bb7s.

    thread lock on the mount bolts, yes! and when tightening the mount bolts you are going to screw up the alignment unless you go back and forth, quarter-turn at a time tightening.
  • Wow. Thanks. Other side has been quiet. Is there a caliper mfg that offers a model that you can adjust BOTH sides, both pads?
  • The rubbing I am hearing is not a constant sound. It’s like once every revolution. Wonder if this site can show a video?
  • Listen...maybe. Nope. File is not allowed that carries audio. :|
  • So this intermittent sound...does this mean something is out of round? Rotor
  • the alhongas adjust from both sides in addition to cable tensioning at the brake lever thimble.

    on those, you adjust the fixed pad with an allen wrench - on the bb7 its the large red knob. adjusting bb7 movable pad its the small red knob. on the alhonga, the brake cable goes into a socket on the caliper housing that can be turned out to adjust the caliper stroke, same deal as with the bb7, just a different place.

    ching-ching at just one spot on wheel rev could be either an untrue rotor or wheel. a tensiometer will tell the tale on spoke tension, a wheel truing stand you are guessing. one point ching-ching does suggest minor problem with rotor or wheel that can be resolved with caliper alignment.

    saw a rare video on youtube about practical brake adjusting, used that procedure the past 6 years, same-same alhonga and bb7.

    loosen housing bolts. cable and caliper thimbles turned all the way in. free the brake cable at the caliper. screw the fixed pad adjuster in maybe 3 turns.

    manually close the caliper, tighten the cable so there is zero slack. squeze the brake handle - this moves the housing parallel to the rotor. alternate tightening the housing bolts - quarter turn at a time. when elephant tight, release brake lever and back out the fixed pad adjusting screw until the wheel spins freely - note max position of the fixed pad washer is flush with the housing. adjust brake lever thimble for a taut cable. adjust housing thimble for proper stroke.

    main problem with brake adjusting is the type of spacers used on the housing bolts (one size fits all kinda thing) and so the tightening sequence may have to be done a few times to get it right. once you are an old hand at this stuff, brake adjust is 5-10 minutes per brake.
  • JamesR has it right. Also could be the actuator on the noisy brake is a little bit sticky. Had one Alhonga that eventually packed up. Usually my ching ching was a bit of grit with a rotor a little off. Should be able to see if the rotor is off by putting trike on stand or side and spinning with a good light shining through the brake caliper. Also thought I had one going once and it was in fact the wheel bearing that was kaput.

    There is a Park Tool for straightening bent rotors but have never attempted it.
  • for the same-spot ching-ching, bending the rotor can cure the problem but not the cause. cheap, fast fix at the lbs but may haunt one if the brakes get properly aligned down the road. a 10-inch crescent wrench works same as the park tool.

    true, bending can fix the complaint - but if you pull the rotor and eyeball it with a straight-edge for true afterwards, might conclude that was not the best choice of cure.
  • See if it does it while turning in one or both directions. Rub chalk on the rotor and ride a bit, don't use the brakes. See where the chalk is missing. Even a Sharpie would work.
  • Thanks for that tip.
  • Shined a light thru the rotor/pad area and saw so rubbing. I had both wheels off this winter as I put new grease in there. Could that be some of the issue causing noise? I have the Rover standing up against the porch wall now and am able to access that caliper area easier. Bought pulleys today for raising it later for other maintenance clalamities. Anyone ever tighten their spokes? I got a wide range of ‘notes’ on this same left side. Thanks.
  • Sure wish I could play a video with sound here.....
  • cleaning, regreasing spindles, hubs only a good thing.

    common on new wheels to have spokes unwind the first few rides. sometimes you hear a ping when they do. over time, unequal tension of spokes in a wheel can cause rim deformation, wheel out of true, steering and braking problems. put some sort of pointer close to a rim, wheel off the ground. spin wheel and see if runs true.

    musical spokes. good maintenance practice, preserve wheel quality by getting them in tune. helps to juice the nipples with wd-40 prior to adjustment.

    two thoughts on this:

    the lbs uses a truing stand and goes through the by guess and by golly ritual making the wheel true. costs time (money) to check the resulting spoke tension - good bet truing-stand-only method does not result in a tight average tension range.

    i bought a park tool tensiometer, bit awkward to use on a 20-inch wheel but quite enlightening. found it easiest to have the unshod wheel in the lap when loosening and tightening the spokes. forget using one on a 20-inch 48 spoke wheel.

    think if you have a good enough ear, plucking the harp is good enough for a mounted wheel provided you keep spinning the thing and checking for true. good idea after tightening to pull tire, tube and rimstrip to make sure there are no sharp little nibs of aluminum lurking to give you interesting leaky tube problems (another step the lbs seems to skip)

  • Because the Trike is upright, I can see in close and the caliper is pivoting out of alignment as I tighten the two bolts. I am holding caliper with one hand, trying to keep pads parallel with rotor. When it is, it spins silently. Try more tomorrow.
  • What do you call that washer in the caliper that allows it to pivot so the pads parallel the rotor? I want to replace both. See if that helps. Thanks
  • Instead of trying to hold the caliper in line, either follow the procedure of tightening down the pad adjustments to force correct alignment and then tighten mounting screws or place a business card between pad and rotor , both sides, apply and lock brakes, and then tighten alignment bolts. Before doing this make sure the other two bolts that hold the mount to the bike frame are tight... not the alignment bolts with the concave washers. Make sure the number, and orientation of the concave washers is correct.
  • There is one concave per mounting bolt, correct? And they go between where the caliper mounts to the lower bracket, right?
  • Finn59 wrote: »
    Ride about 10 miles today and the rubbing returned on the left side. Touch the brake lever and it stops. I believe it is the non moving pad. Anything I can do to return to the quiet
    or do I have to just live with it. I adjusted the outside pad as well. Still rubs. Is there a diff caliper that offers adjustment on both sides? Thanks!

    I had the same problem with my 559 and it drove me crazy...same symptoms and worse if I braked during a turn. Then on a whim I took the Walmart looking reflectors out of the wheels. Lo and behold the noises went away. The tension from those reflectors lodged in the spokes was distorting the wheels. Go figure.
  • Thanks. I’ll look but don’t believe I have any on the 20’s. Front wheels were stationary all winter and I rode maybe three days this winter. Will a hard bump
    move the caliper out of alignment?
  • good illustration:

    enough variation on disk brake installs to boggle the mind:

    basically a double ball-and-socket arrangement to compensate for both trike and brake mfg tolerances and introduce vexations for the brake installer. buncha fiddly crap compared to rim brakes and a gross violation of keep-it-simple design. ymmv.

    agree with TrikesterHal on popping the spoke-mount reflectors. do nice clearance adjustment in the house, sit on the trike for a ride and uneven spoke tension with the reflectors acting as a fulcrum can generate doubts as to having adjusted the brakes properly.

    keep the faith, Finn - you gonna nail this thing and be an old pro at it!
  • We have rode our mountain bikes in some extreme conditions and never had rotor or pad issues. Did it work OK prior to removing the wheel ?
  • I found that I had the “cupped washers” flipped when I looked at the right caliper. Whoopee. Now that the pads are square to the rotor, there is still some noise. Rotor looks like it comes close to the pads at the top, where the pads are mounted on the thin metal item. Sorry don’t know the terms for all these items. Have yet to add the thread
    locker til I have cured the beast. Had it all apart this winter. Don’t remember any sounds last year, last fall from either side.
  • Brake pad clip, or mounting clip. Could rotor be rubbing waay up in the top, narrow area?
  • Great news. I was going to replace brake cables and I had tightened up the troublesome left side. Now no more rubbing. Lever was almost touching the grip. Now it is firm. This post is officially
    done. Put a fork in it. It can be moved to the back. Page 100.
  • add laurel leaves to your helmet, mosi honorable Finn59 - thou art now an official old pro! congratulations!
  • And now there is a slight noise on the right side. Does it ever end?? ; :/
  • TT University has a video on the brakes which is good. A thing or two diff than I was taught by the teachers here.
    I bought new cables that are longer. Haven’t installed them yet. I found my left brake lever catches before returning to its start position. That leaves the pad out a touch, rubbing. Can the old original brake cable be lubed inside?, or just replace it? Also, what should I use to cut the new cable with?
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