The Brake That’s Breaking Me

It’s the perfect pun, but it’s also a sad truth that one lousy brake is causing me to have a breakdown.

I’m not a mechanic, but I possess certain mechanical skills that lead me to believe that I should be capable of solving this. But then again, when it leaves my boyfriend – an actual professional mechanic – scratching his head, I wonder if there’s any hope at all of fixing this problem.

Because the truth is, I’m starting to hate my bike.

It’s an awful thing to say. I love Dori, I really do, but lately I hate her as well.

It all started with a set of expensive TRP Spyre brakes. I originally bought them for Regina, but when I traded her in, I made the decision to keep the fancy and expensive brakes.

I installed them on Dori, and things were wonderful. I loved the TRPs because they were sharp, sticky, and most importantly, they were silent.

After that, I honestly don’t know what happened. It seems like one day out of nowhere, they started squealing a little, and then a lot.

About two months have passed since then, and I’ve wasted more money than I care to count on a variety of sets of brake pads, hoping it would resolve the issue. I tried the expensive Shimano pads (organic and sintered), then progressed through the cheaper brands (Aztec and finally EBC) when morale was low.

I’ve asked multiple people (some professional mechanics, some not) to look at them, and help me realign the brake calipers. I’ve trued my disc rotors, and then replaced them when I realised they were scored, adjusted the cable tension and the placement of the pads. I’ve scrubbed and burned glazed pads in the hope of reviving them, and I’ve thrown others away in frustration.

Nothing seems to work. My beautiful, quiet, sharp TRP Spyre brakes are no longer something I’m proud to have on my bike. They cause me daily frustration and anguish every time I ride downhill, which I do very frequently, living on a hill in Bristol.

I’m at breaking point. The only options I’m yet to consider are giving my hubs a really good service in the hopes of eliminating any possibility of play, and putting a dab of copper grease on the back of my pads – something that’s been suggested but that I’m rather scared of doing.

Something’s got to give, though. I’ve reached the point of entertaining the idea of selling Dori for something more flashy. That’s how bad it is.

I know sometimes brakes are just noisy, but these were stealthy as hell and then suddenly they weren’t.

Please help. If you have any other suggestions that I’ve not considered – please share them.


4 Replies to “The Brake That’s Breaking Me”

  1. Deffo try the copper grease. Also try chamfering the edges of the pads. Both were standard procedure when I was into motorbikes so there must be some crossover.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sure you have tried this but when mine squeaked , the mechanic just gave the disc rotor a good clean with disc cleaner. I guess you could contact the manufacturer for set up advice could they be faulty. (I hope not) Do the people at Bristol bike workshop have any clues? I’d almost be tempted to ask somebody independent take a look with fresh eyes? Your have to put it out to social media . I’m sure there is lots like this - . Good luck


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