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How to adjust Toe on XT Vbrakes brakes to reduce squeel?(8 posts)

How to adjust Toe on XT Vbrakes brakes to reduce squeel?wolfereeno
Feb 9, 2003 8:20 PM
Didn't get much response on mtbr. Both my front and back brakes squeal like pigs. Pads are new. Is there an adjustment to toe the front of the pads in? I'm only familiar with some older cantilever brakes where there was a rotating wedge shaped washer that adjusted this. Don't know much about these vbrakes.

much thanks
re: How to adjust Toe on XT Vbrakes brakes to reduce squeel?mja
Feb 10, 2003 4:47 AM
Despite lack of familiarity with XT's, I'm sure they adjust -- and that you can figure it out. Trial and error is the approach: First adjust pads (toe) to strike rim in one direction, and if this doesn't work adjust pads to strike rim from the other direction. You may find that KoolStop pads are less prone to squealing -- some do. Then again, you may find like me, that at least on the front, nothing stops the squealing. (I eventually installed an Avid mechanical disk on front!)
this is how I set toeDougSloan
Feb 10, 2003 7:25 AM
Not sure toe is the problem, but here it how I do it.

I loosen the brake pad holder nut. Then, I insert a small emory board (finger nail thing) under the rear 1/4 inch of the pad, while using the brake lever to clamp it down hard. Then, with the other hand I tighten the nut/bolt to the point where the bolt is tight enough to hold, but before the pad starts to turn; then, I release the brake and finish tightening while holding the pad by hand. This seems to work every time.

You don't have ceramic coated rims, do you?

Buy other brakes - Avid SD7 70$@pricepoint (incl. levers)PeterRider
Feb 10, 2003 3:24 PM
... just did the change, I couldn't stand the noise. I got the Avid following advice from a guy on mtbr. Look in the archive, you should see a thread.

The Avid brake much better. I'll sell the XT on ebay for a few $.

There's got to be a better soln than thatwolfereeno
Feb 10, 2003 7:18 PM
I've ridden these brakes for over 4,000 mostly noise free miles. I've had the pads replaced before when they started making noise and they were fine for a while. This last time I went to a different shop. Maybe they used cheaper pads or didn't adjust them correctly. I don't think this is a vbrake specific problem. I've had it with older cantilever brakes.

When pads hit the wheel squarely - ie parallel to the rim, they can grab and resonate. Toeing the front end of the pad a few millimeters is how you fix this on cantilever brakes. When they wear down, they start to hit squarely again and squeel.

I'm bettin an adjustment or diff pads's all that's necessary.

Thanks anyway

BTW, these are not ceramic rims.
well, if ridden 4000mi, maybe, still the avids are much better.PeterRider
Feb 10, 2003 10:04 PM
The bike I had the problem on, I got second hand in september and didn't notice the problem when I test rode it. The pads were koolstop, rims Sun, toe-in adjustment correct. The noise was awful specially when the brakes were under load (going down at fast speed, then braking).

When I changed for the avid brakes, no noise at all, and they are much more powerful. At first I didn't believe that guy on mtbr, I am not in the mtb world so I had never heard of avid, and also usually shimano makes good stuff. But now that I made the change I am really impressed. They are REALLY much better quality brakes for cheaper.

I considered the option also to change for disc for only the front brake, but I don't use the mtb enough for needing disc. And also I'm cheap... The pricepoint deal at 70$ for brakes + levers is excellent, and I will probably get back at least 50-60$ on ebay when selling the old stuff, still in excellent condition.

MaybeEl Kabong
Feb 11, 2003 1:08 PM

1) take some sandpaper to the pads and get rid of any glaze that came from the factory, or that has been built up.
2) make sure your rims are clean -- use scotchbrite if you need to.
3) try some toe-in.
4) take the pads back to the shop and try another brand. WtB dual compounds worked best for me.
5) order an XT rebuild kit from your shop and install it.

Or save some time and possibly money and get some Avids. I have found that some bikes / forks just squeal with Shimano parallel push brakes, not matter what you do. Although since you haven't had that problem before, you should be OK with one of the fixes above.

How do I know, you ask? I spent 2 years and who knows how much time and money trying to get my XTR Vs to stop squealing, with no success. Bought some Avids, and nary a squeal since, and equal power.

El K.
re: How to adjust Toe on XT Vbrakes brakes to reduce squeel?Homey
Feb 11, 2003 4:16 PM
A credit card between the rim and the rear of the pad while pulling the lever and tightening the pad adjuster nut. I secon the preference for Avid. I run Avid disc, XTR V brake and Avid Ultimate V brake while my wife runs Avid SD Ti. The Avids all feel better than the Shimano. Particularly the levers.