squealing firecrest 303s - any ideas i haven't tried yet?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by motorthings

setup: new zipp 303 firecrest clinchers with EE brakes on my cannondale evo

originally used the tangente platinum pro pads that came with the wheels - loved the feel of the pads, but squealing drove me to try the swissstop yellows. both types of pads tried flat and toed in (at various degrees of toe). swissstop yellows don't squeal as bad, but the feel is not nearly as good, and instead of squealing, i sometimes get a shuddering vibration on hard stops.

between each test I deglazed the pads with sandpaper, and cleaned the brake track of all pad residue. i tore the brake calipers down completely, and the mounting hardware, cleaned and lubed where appropriate, and reassembled, and still get the same problems.

I have not found anyone else running this setup and having any issues (and only one person running this combination setup in the first place), so it may just be something very specific to my machine.

i have scoured these internets and tried all sorts of crazy ideas:
- dry lube on the back of the brake pads
- duct tape on the back of the brake pads (haven't tested this one out, once the I get my stitches out from my knee - screw removal last week - i'll see if it works at all with either pad type)

I ordered a set of new sram red aerolink calipers to see how much of the issue is the brakes. My guess is that different calipers will make a difference, and if they do, I will have to decide between my lovely EE brakes and my lovely 303s. I don't want to give either of them up, but the squealing issue is distracting (and embarrassing on group rides).

Swisstop is coming out with the black prince carbon rim pads (any day), and I could also try the zipp tangente cork style pads, but don't want to keep throwing $75 sets of pads at the issue if I keep getting the same results.

any other suggestions are appreciated (or if you want to send me an old pair of your tangente cork pads that you don't need any more for me to try out)!


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by tommasini

Consider leaving a bit a pad residue on the rims - versus cleaning off.

by Weenie

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by Geoff

Also, run cork pads. Corima are lighter, too.

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by HillRPete

Try Reynolds blue pads. They still squeal a bit on my (non-zipp) wheels, but much less so. Also they are at a price point where it doesn't hurt trying. They work great in the wet too.

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by motorthings

I have thought about trying the reynolds pads, but they are not on the "approved" list for zipp warranty.

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by fio

Never had a problem with squealing with my 303 FCs and Yellow Kings...but I have had them leave yellow streaks all over the brake track. Kind of annoying, but they work. I have a set of the Zipp pads, but I haven't used them yet. I use Record, so maybe those calipers make a difference? What makes you think that the squealing is a result of the calipers anyways, and not the pads or rim? Just curious.

EDIT: I'm running tubulars
Last edited by fio on Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by motorthings

mostly process of elimination...i am guessing it is some sympathetic vibration that just happens to result from the combination of equipment I am using, and that changing the equipment will change the harmonics.

there is always a reasonable bet that I am overthinking things, but until I figure it out, it will gnaw at me like necrotizing fasciitis.

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by Zigmeister

I run Zipp 303 FC tubulars, but the rim brake track treatment is the same I believe.

I also run the Zipp Tangente Platinum pads, no squealing whatsoever.

Sometimes they recommend putting a credit card on the back part of the pad, and adjusting them so they are toed in slightly to help with noise.

I just put them flat personally because I don't have these issues.

I'm wondering about your brakes also. Do you have another set to try. I'm running Sram Red brakes, and had Force previously...never had the noise.

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by motorthings

tried them flat, tried them toed 1mm, 2mm, 3mm.

i'd guess the tubies have a different "harmonic", since they are a closed profile, but I have a set of red brakes on the way to try out.


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by motorthings

got my new red calipers toady, and after fitting them up with the bike in the stand, I can't get any misbehaving sounds out of them like I could the EE's.

I get my sutures out Friday, and will get to see how they act in the real world (the brakes/wheels, not the sutures). :D

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by Getter

I'm running the Reynolds pads on my 404 tubulars...no noise. If they wanted me to use their approved pads...the wheels should have come with them.

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by bluhorizan

Take a look at this thread; may have some alternatives with other better performing pads...: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=105211

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by motorthings

i pinged zipp technical support today, since after installing the new red calipers, the squeal is still there.

they were helpful at least in confirming that i had done everything right in trying to fix the problem, and said they'd send me a set of the tangente cork pads to try out. the rep said he'd also check with the other folks there and see if they had any other suggestions.

they did ask if i had talked to the folks at cannondale about it, since it could be frame-related. i said i hadn't, since i couldn't think of anything useful cannondale could contribute, but i guess it is possible that it is a harmonic resonance that involves the frame. maybe i just need to drill a few strategically placed holes in the rear triangle :noidea:

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by LionelB

it is surprising that Zipp is recommending that you talk to Cannondale. I also cannot think of anything frame related that would create noise...

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by Danton

Check the play on the wheel, if it is vibrating because the hub is loose this can add to the squeal and is a problem in itself to correct.

But otherwise the noise is energy leaving the wheel and is part of the braking, not ideal but it is tolerable.

by Weenie

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