In earlier days, mountain bikes had rim brakes in which the calipers apply the stopping force to the outer edge of the rim. These brakes were light in weight and are very cheap. So, they are easy to repair. But they do not work correctly in the rainy season. Your tires will not grip on off roads in the rainy season.
Technology is improving day in and day out. Nowadays, mountain bikes come with disc brakes. Disc brakes have a lot of stopping power. So, a rider does not face problems while riding downhill. These brakes work much better in wet weather as compared to rim brakes.
But, sometimes, a mountain rider may face a problem regarding mountain disc brakes rubbing. So, in this article, we will discuss disc brakes and their rubbing and what we should do to solve this problem.
Working of Disc Brakes in Mountain Bikes
In the disc brake system, the disc or rotor is the critical component in mountain bikes. The rotor is relatively more significant as compared to all other parts of the disc brake system.
The rotor attaches to each wheel of your mountain bike usually consists of cast iron or stainless steel.
The disc or rotor is the contact surface of friction. So, it generates a lot of heat. That’s why on its surface, you will find a lot of vents. The vents allow the cold air to flow through the disc and make it cool. As a result, the disc and all other disc brake components are safe and work properly.
You will find another vital component, i.e., caliper. A caliper is a clamp-like tool that keeps the disc in the proper position. Inside the calipers, you will find another two components, i.e., piston and brake pads. The brake pads usually attach to the piston. The brake pads are a primary component of the disc barking system. It should have sufficient friction material on its surface. Nowadays, different brake pads of other materials are available in the market.
Whenever you apply brakes, the pressurized hydraulic fluid puts pressure on the piston, and the piston pushes the brake pads, which are in contact with the disc. The disc usually attaches to the wheel of your bike. Finally, your mountain bike stops rotating.
Advantages of Disc Brakes
- Disc brakes require less effort to stop a vehicle.
- It generates less heat as compared to any other braking system.
- You can easily maintain disc brakes.
- These brakes don’t skid on wet roads. So, a rider can safely ride a bike.
- It cools at a faster rate as compared to another braking system.
How to Fix Mountain Disc Brakes Rubbing?
Some riders love to travel in the mountains. They like to go cycling uphill and downhill. But, if a mountain bike creates irritating noise on the way, then you lose your confidence in riding. It can be annoying.
Mountain disc brakes rubbing is a common problem that occurs in most mountain bikes. So, as a mountain bike rider, you should know how to fix rubbing disc brakes on a mountain bike.
When you hear irritating noise from your bike, you should not ignore it. You need first to check your disc brake. Usually, when the brake pads rub against the rotor, it produces noise. If you ignore the noise, it may cause more wear and tear to the rotor or brake pad. So, you need to scrutinize your brake disc immediately.
Here I have listed a few problems that can cause mountain disc brakes rubbing and solve this problem.
#1. Oily Rotors
Dirty and oily rotors can cause rubbing problems. So, at first, you need to take out the rotor of your bike and clean them thoroughly. You can use a good cleaner from your local bike shop and clean the rotor.
You can also clean the rotor with a thick clean cloth. Then use Isopropyl alcohol to clean the rotor. Make sure that your hands are not greasy or oily at the time of washing your rotor.
#2. Improper Centering of Brake Pads and Brake Rotors
If the problem continues, then you need to check the position of brake pads and brake rotors. Improper alignment can cause rubbing of disc brakes which causes an irritating sound. Another important thing you need to remember that the improper centering of brake pads and brake rotors happens because the caliper is not precisely in its position. So, to solve this problem, you need to lose the screw and take out the caliper. Fix the caliper in its correct place.
#3. Dirty Caliper
If still, you face the noise problem, then you need to clean the caliper thoroughly. Removing the caliper is relatively easy. You need to unfasten some pins and bolts. Your caliper will release automatically. Just clean it with a suitable cloth with isopropyl alcohol and then place it in its correct position.
#4. Brake Pads
If your brake pads are not neat and clean, then they will cause a rubbing problem. So, you need to clean with the help of sandpaper by removing the caliper from your mountain bike. Suppose your brake pads have more wear and tear, then it’s best to change them.
#5. Air Trap
When the air bubbles accumulate in the hydraulic braking system, then it causes a rubbing problem, and you hear the noisy sound. Sometimes air bubbles get behind one of the brake discs. So the brake force transmitted by the hydraulic fluid compresses the trapped air bubbles rather than moving the piston towards the rotor of your bike. So, it causes a rubbing sound. So, to solve the problem, you need to remove the air bubbles from the brake disc.
#6. Brake Fluid
You need to check your brake fluid from time to time. When the brake fluid is at a low level, then it may cause a rubbing problem. So, you need to change the brake fluid.
Disc brakes are pretty crucial for mountain riders. A rider can go safely on a disc brake mountain bike downhill. These brakes are safe on even wet off-roads. No doubt they’re a bit costly and require maintenance, but safety should be the main priority of a rider. So, you should always opt for a mountain bike with disc brakes.
Mountain bike disc brakes rubbing is a common problem. In this article, I have listed various reasons for rubbing and how to fix it. I hope that has helped you a lot in solving this problem.