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  1. #1
    Senior Member Bolo Grubb's Avatar
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    What can I use to clean my rims?

    What can I use to clean my rims?

    Simple green and cheap break pads do not get along well.

    Here is my story.

    I have a Mercier Aquila AL bike with mostly Tiagra. The brakes are Tektro with the Trktro pads that came with the bike.

    The front break started to squel a bit. So I came here asked some questions did some reading and felt I could fix the problem. When I cleaned the rims, I used Simple green and paper towel. Bad choice. The front break squeled like a banshee. I swear dogs miles away were cursing me for the noise the brakes now made.

    So I took it to the LBS. I explained what I did and asked them to adjust the front and rear brakes and to get rid of the squeling. The only way they were able to get rid of the noise in front was to replace the pads. On the back they were able to adjust the minor noise out.

    I thought ok so I just got a bad set of brake pads, no bigge. This was a month ago

    This last weekend the back brakes started to make a little noise again. No problem, they were adjusted just a month ago. So I thought just cleaning the rims would take care of the noise. Grabbed the simple green and paper towel and cleaned both front and back rims.

    No problem on teh front, still nice and quiet. The backs however scare dogs and cats for miles around. The only thing I can figure is the base/cheap model tektro brake pads and simple green do not play nice.

    So I am getting new brake pads for the rear, probably will get Ultegra pads as the LBS carries those and has some in stock that will fit.

    Should I continue to clean with simple green? Or is there a better way to clean the rims?

  2. #2
    Rebel Thousandaire Ya Tu Sabes's Avatar
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    Sandpaper.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bolo Grubb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ya Tu Sabes
    Sandpaper.

    That won't damage the rims?

  4. #4
    MTWThFMuter Jeprox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bolo Grubb
    That won't damage the rims?
    Use the finest grade sandpaper to clean the braking surfaces only (incl brake pads'). Soap and water are good for the rest of the rims and spokes. Try not to get water and soap on the hubs even though they are supposedly "sealed."

  5. #5
    Senior Member demoncyclist's Avatar
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    How about rinsing the Simple Green off with a good water bath? Use an emery board to de-glaze the brake pads, and the squealing should go away. The Tektro pads are crap anyway, so replacing them is a good idea. I use car wash soap in a bucket of water and a wash mitt to clean my whole bike, including the rims. Just use lots of water with no pressure (just let a hose flow) to rinse so you don't get water past the seals on your bearings, and wipe with a terry towel to dry. Then re-lube what needs to be lubed and you are good to go.
    DEMON

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Bolo Grubb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by demoncyclist
    How about rinsing the Simple Green off with a good water bath? Use an emery board to de-glaze the brake pads, and the squealing should go away. The Tektro pads are crap anyway, so replacing them is a good idea. I use car wash soap in a bucket of water and a wash mitt to clean my whole bike, including the rims. Just use lots of water with no pressure (just let a hose flow) to rinse so you don't get water past the seals on your bearings, and wipe with a terry towel to dry. Then re-lube what needs to be lubed and you are good to go.

    I can certainly try that. I guess I am just not in the habit of rising SImple green off. Everything else I use it for I just wipe it off with papertowel.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Lonestar1's Avatar
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    Use fine steel wool to clean the braking surface of your rims.
    "...You ask me what I like about
    Texas? Well I'd tell ya', but we could
    be here...all night long."

  8. #8
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    Oh, and rather than the horrible Ultegra brake pads, go for some Kool Stop salmon pads instead...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bolo Grubb
    I can certainly try that. I guess I am just not in the habit of rising SImple green off. Everything else I use it for I just wipe it off with papertowel.
    I'm a newbie when it comes to bike cleaning, but I have done more than anybody's fair share of cleaning with Simple Green while I was in the Navy, I can tell you that it *does* leave a residue when simply wiped off. If you do use Simple Green, you'll want to at least rinse with water after the simple green at a minimum.

    Simple Green is VERY strong, and if you use it on house paint (or submarine interior paint) you will see the paint color residue on your rags after you wipe. Unless you have road tar or grease or something really tough to remove, you may want to consider something more mild for general cleaning and then use light sandpaper or a green scrubbie pad for the braking surface of the rims.

    According to the car guys, Car washisng soap is milder than dish soap. Car wash soap is supposed to leave your wax on the vehichle, while dish soap is supposed to remove grease from dishes, pots and pans. They gear-heads suggest dish soap when they're trying to completely strip the wax off the car.

  10. #10
    8speed DinoSORAs Ed Holland's Avatar
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    I wash down my wheels using a dilute solution of washing up liquid in a bucket of warm water (dish soap/detergent) with a cloth just as if I was doing the dishes, same goes for the brake pads. This keeps the surfaces nice and clean & brakes nice and sharp. No need for sandpaper, steel wool or anything else in my experience.

    Cheers,

    Ed
    Get a bicycle. You will certainly not regret it, if you live.

  11. #11
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    Rubbing alcohol and those green scrub pads (the type for cleaning Teflon cookware).

  12. #12
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    well if the wheel is on alcohol really works well, just try not to get any on the actual rubber of the tire becuase it will eat away at it, not a huge amount but a repeated procedure of this, its just good to avoid. I use this cleaning brush, its got bristles like a tooth brush but its bigger, this works well to get off all the gunk rim brakes put on it.

  13. #13
    Senior Member SanDiegoSteve's Avatar
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    Every ride (or two) - whipe down rims with water and towel asI do the rest of the bike.
    Once a month or more: Emory cloth/super fine sandpaper on the rims. 220 grit on the pads.

    My braking is better and quieter when I do that. High speed braking, or repeated braking (downhill, riding in a lot of traffic) cann "glaze" the rubber, making it hard and squeeky. Just like adding the wrong chemical to it (Simplegreen in your case).

  14. #14
    Re Member steve212's Avatar
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    How about SUPER FINE steel wool? Is that safe ?

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