Shudder/rumble from my Rear Brake

This has been driving me crazy lately.

I have developed a shudder/rumble in my rear brake. It seems to come when the brakes are not on full stop. This is not the squeal you get from wet or dirty rotors or pads. This is more low and definitely like a vibration rumble. Frame looks ok. I have relatively new pads and a fresh bleed. The wheel seems to be seated properly. Caliper is tight as is the rotor. It’s there 80% of the time but seems to be only when scrubbing off speed. Once near stopping it goes away. It doesn’t do it at all when in the bike stand. Only when riding so that seems like only when it is under weight

Any ideas?

Bent rotor?
Flex in the wheel? (This one has happened to me under breaking load)
Loose Casette? (This one has happened to me).

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Wheel bearing? Or a pivot bearing maybe?

Check you shock and link pivots. Set on your rear wheel and push up, down and side to side with your seat. Try strong and light shakes and feel for any play.

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After you chek ur cabels it sounds like a gone rotor. Do you have a lot of miles on it?

Swap wheels with a friends rear wheel with the same size rotor and see if it still does it. That will narrow it down, anyway.

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Thanks for the reply guys.

the wheel is brand new with less that 10 rides on it.
I don’t think the derailleur is loose or it would be shifting like shit
Rotor are true
The bike is only a year old so the rotor should have lots of life left in it
I’ll check the bearings when I get home

Think I will take it to the shop tomorrow

I wonder if it’s a wheel bearing or hub adjustment issue.

SRAM brakes or shimano brakes? My Norco came with cheaper SRAM rotors and they would never keep quiet. I switched out my rotors for shimano mid-range SLX rotors and it’s been silent since.

Could always be nothing at all, just vibration at the right frequency to be annoying.

I once regreased every contact point and bolt on the front of my road bike over the period of a month or so trying to identify a creaking noise. Went over every inch of the frame and fork. Swapped the front wheel and it went away. Spoke nipples were the culprit. Still creaks, don’t care. Well, maybe care a little.

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You can feel the shudder being transferred into the seatpost and handlebar. Was worse last night. Definitely have to get to the bottom of it

Ugh, that would be annoying.

This would drive me crazy too. I have a few oddball ideas.

I had a similar issue (low vibration through to handlebars) on an old bike and the culprit was a loose wheel bearing. Seems unlikely though since your bike is so new.

I would temporarily try a different wheel first, if you have a spare one, to see if the issue is with the wheel/hub/etc.

Next I would sand the pads a little, to make sure they’re not glazed.

A long shot, but have you tried a different pad type? (metal vs resin). If you had the same issue with a different type, you could probably rule out the pads anyway. If the issue goes away, you at least know there’s an issue with the old type.

An even longer shot, if it was a wheel vibration frequency issue, you could change the frequency by changing the overall wheel weight, such as adding a tube to a tubeless tire, or simply changing to a lighter or heavier tire.

Another long shot, if your brake was overheating for some reason, you might get this type of issue. This can be improved/solved by upgrading to icetech type components, if your bike doesn’t already have it.

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Try a new rotor, Kirk. I had this problem on my Chromag. It had fresh pads and bleed, but the rear brake shuddered. The rotor looked fine, but was in fact pretty badly glazed. The problem went away immediately. It would be a cheap thing to try and you can always use a spare rotor even of it doesn’t cure the issue.


I just got a text saying my bike is fixed and ready to pick up. Couldn’t have been anything major or I would have got a call

I will let everyone know was was found and I appreciate everyone willing to offer an opinion.

If it is fixed I will celebrate by riding tonight, Saturday and Sunday


Remove pads, depress pistons and lightly grease them (piston surface)

Loosen caliper to frame bolts

Replace pads/wheel

Get the wheel spinning and slowly tighten your caliper bolts while depressing the brake lever. This should realign your pistons to the rotor.

I do this once a week, and swap pads front to rear every few weeks.


So what was wrong with it?

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They were able to recreate the noise (which was easy to do). Checked pads, rotors, caliper, wheel, derailleur etc. Tightened, adjusted and lubed and could not recreate the noise. Said it was fixed. Took it to the trail. Noise was gone. An hour into the ride it came back. Not as frequently but definitely still there. Because it came back after an hour perhaps the rotor/pads are heating up and causing the problem

Not sure what to do next.

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Are they SRAM brakes?

@bent6543 Shimano Deore XT

Replace the rotor.

If it’s not that, there’s a bearing contact point that’s vibrating. But the rotor is the cheapest, easiest thing to fix and a very likely culprit.

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