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Start by analyzing if your rotor is actually bent, or is the problem in the brake caliper. You can see that by spinning the wheel and looking at the rotor between the pads. If the rotor is straight, but you hear it touching the pads, your caliper is not aligned properly. If the rotor moves from side to side, then the rotor is the problem.

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The global mountain bike network guys have made a great video tutorial to tackle the problem - this video includes both fixes, rotor and caliper.

Centering the caliper

This procedure is really simple. You just loosen up the bolts that attach the caliper to fork a bit (just so the caliper can move). Then pull brake lever. When you do that, the pads will take a grip on the rotor, and since the position of rotor is fixed, it will automatically align the brake caliper.

Finally, tighten the caliper bolts. That's it.

Bike Brake Maintenance

Bend the rotor

​If the problem is bent rotor, you can simply try to bend it back. There is an actual tool for this cause, that allows you to have a nice grip on the disc, but you can also use a wrench. Bending the rotor with your hand might also do the trick if you don't need much force. 

Once you have located where the rotor pulls to right or left, just pull it the opposite direction on that spot. Instead of pulling or pushing too much at one time, try something closer to yanking. Also after just a few pulls, spin the wheel again and see if it's straight already. Pull too much, and you'll have the same problem the other way. 

It is possible, that the rotor has bent too much to be fixed and you have to buy a new one, but trying this doesn't cost you anything.


If you have a bent brake rotor or uncentered caliper, your pads will scrub against the rotor and slow down you bike, and what is worst - make a nasty, irritating sound.  If you spin the wheels and they are not spinning freely, either of these two might be the problem. Good news is, that this problem can be corrected without any costs, unless you have to renew the rotor.

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Fix bent rotor // Uncentered caliper