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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have some avid 3s and the front brakes are howling quite bad lately and can even howl when the brake is not applied (after the brake is applied). I know this has been addressed in these forums in various ways but sanding the pads, cleaning the rotor, etc don't seem to have any affect whatsoever and I wish to delay buying a new brake system (rotor pads) as long as I can. I suppose I'm asking, have those with avid 3 brake system and the howling often solve the problem without replacing any hardware? Also, it seems like a harmonics thing. Am I wrong? Thanks for any input.
 

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My wife runs Avid 3 since years. No noise.

You do need to check the pads for wear, the caliper for alignment and tighten all bolts. Also the brake does need to be serviced. The fact that you report howling after the brake lever has been released is a sign that the pads don't disengage from the rotor. Seems like they are stuck. You might need to have the brake rebuilt.
 

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R.I.P. DogFriend
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I think harmonics can play a role in some situations, but it's probably important to eliminate other possibilities. You say you have sanded the pads, cleaned the rotor, etc. but once you have done that, I find it's still important to bed the pads in gradually.

I like to find a descent that is quite long (over a mile if possible) and start out by coasting (or pedaling if you need to) and lightly applying the brakes. Hard enough to slow you down and heat them up, but if they start squealing, I back off. I can usually apply more and more pressure as I get to the bottom of the hill and by the time I get to the bottom, I can usually apply full pressure without any squealing.

It will still take a ride or two to get close to full stopping power from your brakes.

Sometimes, the pads get some moisture on them from washing the bike or rain or sometimes after I stop for a few minutes after a descent, the brakes will squeal. I try to apply them just hard enough and long enough to heat them up and this seems to 'cook' out any moisture and they go back to being quiet again.

I know a rider that ended up attaching a flat fishing weight using two sided tape and that seemed to help what we figure is a harmonics issue on his rear caliper. Others have reported success by changing rotors (especially if you arte using the 'roundagon' rotors). I use a roundagon on the front of my 29er hardtail and it works fine for me.

And it's not just an 'Avid thing' as I have ridden more than one Shimano XT hydro that was prone to squealing rather easily.

No guarantees though, some people just can't find the magic bullet to kill off the dreaded turkey warble.
 

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One of the local bike shops in my area sells and makes a paste called sqeelout for disc equipped bikes they apply it to the rotor. I had them put it on when my BB7s were howling and squeeling like mad, and have not had a issue since, I was impressed there a web site for it www.squeelout.com
 

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JRA
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I had the same issue with the avid 3's and it drove me friggin nuts. Tried some of the "fixes". Finally gave up and put a solid rotor with organic pads on the rear. Bike is quieter now but I think I lost some modulation in the process. Nice to have to give avid another $30 to fix a problem they created. :madman:
 

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Face the mounting tabs.
Grease EVERYWHERE metal contacts metal in the mounting. (dome washers, flat washers, bolt threads, tab faces, in/around mounting slots, hub tab faces, rotor bolts)
Clean the rotor.
Use pads that are not contaminated. You can not save a pad by sanding it once it's been contaminated. Sometimes organic pads can develop a glaze after long descents. This is the only situation you can really repair by sanding. I doesn't hurt to hit them a few times with a fine grit sandpaper though so go ahead. DO NOT heat brake pads to try and clean them.
Align caliper.


If you do all this and it still squeals you need new rotors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the advice. I'm gonna mess around with the calipers and alignment a little and tighten everything down. Otherwise, I'm gonna keep on riding like normal and see if the problem fades. I don't see how it could get worse. It's only noise after all. What's a good way to contact avid if all else fails?
 
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