The simple way SRAM could silence your disc brakes

Patent proposes rubber damper that sits between rotor and spokes

Anyone that’s ridden disc brakes will be familiar with the unpleasant squealing and grinding noises they can make when ridden in the wet. Even when used in dry conditions, disc brakes can transmit fairly intense vibrations through the frame.

This patent from SRAM, filed in September 2017, proposes a solution where a rubber block acts as a simple damper, transferring vibrations from the rotor to the spokes.

There is a number of different embodiments of the design described in the patent.

The most interesting of these shows a hollow ‘frusto-conical’ (what a great word) rubber O-ring that sits over the axle of the hub and contacts the inside edge of the rotor and extends upwards, past the flanges of the hub to contact the spokes.

A further embodiment shows the rubber block moulded to fit the shape of a disc rotor
A further embodiment shows the rubber block moulded to fit the shape of a disc rotor

Further illustrations show how the outboard face of this conical damper could be moulded such that it interlocks with the cutouts of the rotor. A further version shows the inboard face of it moulded in a shape, not unlike a wavy-washer, which is designed to interlock with the spokes.

The patent stresses that while the illustrations may show a road bike, the damper could be applied to bicycles of any type, including mountain bikes. Likewise, although the patent only shows a front wheel, the device could also be used on the rear.

This is a pleasingly discreet solution to a relatively annoying problem — albeit one that most have been happy to live with so far — and unlike many of the patents that we report on, is one we wouldn’t be surprised to see come to light.

What do you think of this simple disc brake damper? Is it a cool solution to an annoying problem? Or are you quite happy with your rim brakes thank-you-very-much? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Jack Luke

Staff Writer, UK
Jack has been riding and fettling with bikes for his whole life. Always in search of the hippest new niche in cycling, Jack is a self-confessed gravel dork and thinks nothing of bivouacking on a beach after work. Also fond of cup and cone bearings, skids and tan wall tyres.
  • Discipline: Long days in the saddle by either road or mountain bike
  • Preferred Terrain: Happiest when on a rural road by the coast or crossing a remote mountain pass. Also partial to a cheeky gravel adventure or an arduous hike-a-bike.
  • Current Bikes: Custom Genesis Croix de Fer all road adventure wagon, Niner EMD 9.
  • Dream Bike: A rigid 44 Bikes Marauder, all black please.
  • Beer of Choice: Caesar Augustus
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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