I got the pads on the front brake of my bike replaced 2 weeks ago. Immediately I heard a rubbing noise at low speed. I thought this would be ok - that the pads just had to be worn in or something, but 2 weeks later the sound is still present, though it had diminished a little.

Is this something I should be concerned about?

  • If you feel it's an issue, I'd take it back to the mechanic who replaced them for some diagnostic. It does take a while for brake pads to get broke-in or bedded. I guess it really depends on how far you've actually ridden the bike ... some people might ride a thousand miles in a week. Others might only ride 50. It can take somewhere around 500 miles for car brakes to become bedded, I'd assume it's as long for bikes. Feb 23 '14 at 18:53
  • Is there excess heat coming off of the brakes? It could potentially be a caliper sticking. It's not uncommon for calipers to choose to fail when brakes are replaced (since the pistons are pushed back in and dirty, exposed parts of the piston are forced back past the seal). Feb 25 '14 at 17:59

This isn't unusual. I'd go as far as to say I'd be suspicious if I had a shop replace the front brake pads on my motorcycle and didn't hear them skimming the rotor a little. It's normal for the pads to touch the disc a little, and it's especially audible at low speed and after a fresh install.

Now, that said, if the pads are indeed rubbing enough to slow you down or become hot when you're not using them, you should be concerned and seek to rectify the problem.


This is not usual

There is a reason this happens.

When you put new brake pads on your motorcycle you have to depress the pistons in the calipers to make room for all of the new brake pad material you have on a new brake pad.

When you depress the pistons in the calipers the buildup of the brake bad dust gets into the seal a bit. When you apply the brakes it forces the piston out of the caliper, when you release the brake lever the caliper is supposed to retract just a bit. Not much but just enough to pull the pad off the disc.

There are typically two reason why a pad would rub on a rotor after a pad change

  • The piston was not properly cleaned and removed from the caliper and as a result is sticking enough that it is not retracting in the caliper and dragging on the rotor.

  • The glue. High temp anti-squeal adhesive needs to be applied to the backing plate of the pad. The backing plate sits between the pad and the piston prevents the piston from damaging the pad. If you don't put the anti-squeal with some adhesive properties the pad may not retract with the piston leaving it to drag on the rotor. In race applications the backing plate and the adhesive isn't typically used as the rotor drag amounts to such a minimal amount of friction that it's not relevant. As well, the anti-squeal tends to not like extraordinarily hot environments and can get hot enough to actually begin to smoke. Smoke is bad so there is tendency to avoid it's use in a competitive scenarios. In other words, it's not necessary for what you are trying to accomplish which I assume is to not race.


If your pads are dragging and your not racing this bike, that's not right. I would assume the squeaking is coming from your backing plate vibrating upon braking. Get the anti-squeal for cars or bikes, it doesn't matter as much as advertising would like you to believe. Put it on both sides of the backing plate between the brake pad and the caliper piston and enjoy the silence.

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