Servicing disc brakes is often a mix of science and art–especially when it comes to eliminating noise and vibration. The ‘net is full of recommendations and remedies for silencing squealing disc brakes. Most of the fixes–cleaning rotors, centering calipers, changing pads–have proven effective, but sometimes you find yourself faced with a setup that just won’t stop howling. For those situations, PV Bikeworks’ Squeal Out brake treatment paste can help restore your bike’s silence (as well as your sanity).
Using Squeal Out is very simple. A small amount of Squeal Out paste is applied to both sides of the rotor, and the brakes are then “dragged,” and applied several times. This distributes the paste, and fills in the pads’ and rotors’ micro-grooves. When that process is complete, the brakes are cleaned with isopropyl alcohol, and the pads and rotors are bedded in as usual.
I tested Squeal Out on my BB7-equipped Salsa Vaya. The bike’s rear brake (which is normally silent) had developed a loud squeal that I could not eliminate using any of my usual fixes. The Squeal Out treatment not only silenced the offending brake, but the paste also reduced the “flutter” or “pulsing” that sometimes occurred during extended braking. After 200 miles (of dirt and pavement), my Squeal Out-treated brake is still running quietly.
Squeal Out is an effective (and easy) way to improve your brakes’ pad and rotor interface, but it’s not designed to fix serious mechanical issues such as worn-out pads, loose calipers or rotors, etc. For those situations, it’s a good idea to consult the manufacturer’s instructions, or visit your local bike shop.
Disclosure: PV Bikeworks provided review samples for this article, but offered no other form of compensation for this review.