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  1. #1
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Hi,
    when I brake it sounds like I am using an abrasive pad.
    I tried wiping htem down with a paper towel, didn't help much. Guess I
    need to use some cleaning product that doesn't eat rubber for breakfast.
    So... when it's spring and your wheels get dirty every time you ride. how do you get the crap off?

  2. #2
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    You can easily clean the rim with a sponge or brush with your favorite bike cleaning solution. The pads can become embedded with abrasive junk. If using a rag or toothbrush doesn't get it, you can remove the pads and rub them lightly on a piece of sandpaper set on a flat surface. Something like 220 grit should do it. Then clean off any residue.

  3. #3
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    I just use a paper towel. 2 or 3 quick runs around the rim. A spray of alcohol on the towel and one more time around. And for the pads the same thing. Dry towel to break off the major dirt, and a little isopropyl alcohol to get rid of the fine stuff
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  4. #4
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    One more vote for isopropyl alcohol on the braking surfaces of the rim. If the pads are fairly clean, they shouldn't need anything.

    Isopropyl can eat rubber, so I'd leave it off the pads. If/when the pads get glazed, a couple clean, steady passes with a flat mill bastard file will take care of 'em.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Avalanche325's Avatar
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    A Scotchbrite pad works great on machined braking surfaces. Then a wipe down with rubbing alcohol.

    Sandpaper is the only thing that I have found for pads.

    Geeze Neil, what did that file do to make you so mad .

  6. #6
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    You can easily clean the rim with a sponge or brush with your favorite bike cleaning solution. The pads can become embedded with abrasive junk. If using a rag or toothbrush doesn't get it, you can remove the pads and rub them lightly on a piece of sandpaper set on a flat surface. Something like 220 grit should do it. Then clean off any residue.
    Careful. A lot of people's favorite cleaning solution is WD-40

    Use a quick clean-evaporating solvent like alcohol (either isopropanol or ethanol - denatured of course) or acetone.
    Stuart Black
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  7. #7
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neil0502
    One more vote for isopropyl alcohol on the braking surfaces of the rim. If the pads are fairly clean, they shouldn't need anything.

    Isopropyl can eat rubber, so I'd leave it off the pads. If/when the pads get glazed, a couple clean, steady passes with a flat mill bastard file will take care of 'em.
    2-propanol (isopropyl aclohol) shouldn't eat rubber in the concentrations any normal person would be using. Soak if for a couple of weeks, maybe but just for wiping it down, it wouldn't dissolve it.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  8. #8
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    2-propanol (isopropyl aclohol) shouldn't eat rubber in the concentrations any normal person would be using. Soak if for a couple of weeks, maybe but just for wiping it down, it wouldn't dissolve it.
    Cool. Thank you. I'm happy to stand corrected on that one.

  9. #9
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by late
    Hi,
    when I brake it sounds like I am using an abrasive pad.
    I tried wiping htem down with a paper towel, didn't help much. Guess I
    need to use some cleaning product that doesn't eat rubber for breakfast.
    So... when it's spring and your wheels get dirty every time you ride. how do you get the crap off?
    You can also get that sound when the brake pads are not installed such that the whole pad does not touch simultaneously on braking - IOW, improperly angled brake pads.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  10. #10
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Thanks guys,
    Skydive, if the sandpaper doesn't do it, I'll have them adjusted.

  11. #11
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by late
    Thanks guys,
    Skydive, if the sandpaper doesn't do it, I'll have them adjusted.
    From my experience, if you can't fix it with sandpaper, then the pads are simply misaligned. I know how maddening the noise is - especially when you are riding with a group, and you are the only bike that makes noise at stops.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  12. #12
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    If you're not hearing a squealing, I'm still going to guess it's not the pad alignment but glazing on the pads. Try that flat file thing.

    Was the bike sitting for quite a while? From your original post, it sounds like it may have been. It's more likely that they got glazed over the winter than that they went out of toe just sitting there.

  13. #13
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    Nothing beats Scotchbrite for rims; I tried alchohol rubbing till I was blue in the face.

    When trying to sand the pads, use a small sanding block to keep things square.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by skydive69
    You can also get that sound when the brake pads are not installed such that the whole pad does not touch simultaneously on braking - IOW, improperly angled brake pads.
    Huh? I thought they were supposed to be "toed in" as to have the front of the pads hit the rim before the rear of the pads. That is the normal script for eliminating brake squeal.

  15. #15
    Year-round cyclist
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    Quote Originally Posted by late
    Hi,
    when I brake it sounds like I am using an abrasive pad.
    I tried wiping htem down with a paper towel, didn't help much. Guess I
    need to use some cleaning product that doesn't eat rubber for breakfast.
    So... when it's spring and your wheels get dirty every time you ride. how do you get the crap off?

    It might be silly, but I don't really care.
    Sanding the rim might help if there are deep grooves in it, but otherwise, I think you are solving the problem in the short run, but creating a bigger one in the long run. Usually braking a bit while I sink my rims in a deep poodle is enough to remove the sand off the rims.

    On the other hand, there might be some sand and rock imbedded in the brake pads themselves. These grains won't come out too easily. The solution is either to remove the pads, pull the grains by hand and reinstall the pads... or to change the pads. If you do so, Kool Stop Salmon are very resistant and good for the rims.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  16. #16
    8speed DinoSORAs Ed Holland's Avatar
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    The best approach (IMO) to wheel cleaning is a bucket of soapy water and a cloth. No abraisive agents wearing down my precious wheels... The same approach to pads works well until there is material dug into them - these can be picked out, or the pads changed.

    Cheers,

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

  17. #17
    Get the stick. darkmother's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like you've got dirt and aluminum embedded in your brake pads. The best way to deal with this, short of replacing the pads, is to file them down. Remove the pads, and file the braking surface unti the surface layer of pad has been removed. Reinstall.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by late
    Hi,
    when I brake it sounds like I am using an abrasive pad.
    I tried wiping htem down with a paper towel, didn't help much. Guess I
    need to use some cleaning product that doesn't eat rubber for breakfast.
    So... when it's spring and your wheels get dirty every time you ride. how do you get the crap off?
    Yeah with a ****ing cloth

  19. #19
    lithium_lee
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    Wise up Mark, bring it to Gibsons. You could hose it down dude

  20. #20
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    dip**** can't even clean his own bicycle lol (wan*er)

  21. #21
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    sorry i sometimes take massive fits and start yelling at the screen i'm so sorry if i offended anyone

    Sorry lithium_lee

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    Careful. A lot of people's favorite cleaning solution is WD-40
    Actually, WD-40 works pretty well for cleaning brake pad residue off rims, rubbing alcohol works, Simple Green works, acetone works, Coleman fuel (white gas) works, etc., Of course, once that's done the WD-40 should be cleaned off, but even if it's just wiped off leaving a little residue, it's not the big bugaboo a lot of people make it out to be. At least I haven't been able notice any difference. Just about the best thing I have found for cleaning the braking surfaces of rims is a Scotch-Brite pad and spit. Followed by wiping down with a reasonably clean (not oily) rag. For removing the glaze from the pads I like to do what neil0502 suggested and use a file.

    One thing I have found out is that sometimes temperature will cause brakes to squeal. I had one set of $5 pads that would howl like a banshee when I first started my commute in the morning, but not do it later in the ride, or on the afternoon ride. All the cleaning in the world with different solvents and cleaners didn't help, toe in didn't help, flat pads didn't help, I finally figured out it was the temperature. Anything above the low 50's and they didn't squeal.

    I like spit as a cleaning solvent, the price is right, you never discover you've run out when you need it, you never forget where you put it and it's never out of reach.

  23. #23
    BloomBikeShop.com BloomBikeShop's Avatar
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    Spray simple green on the rims. Spin the wheels, lightly applying the brakes. Then wipe it all off.

  24. #24
    BloomBikeShop.com BloomBikeShop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterRun
    One thing I have found out is that sometimes temperature will cause brakes to squeal. I had one set of $5 pads that would howl like a banshee when I first started my commute in the morning, but not do it later in the ride, or on the afternoon ride. All the cleaning in the world with different solvents and cleaners didn't help, toe in didn't help, flat pads didn't help, I finally figured out it was the temperature. Anything above the low 50's and they didn't squeal.
    I have a similar experience with my bmx bike with chrome plated rims. Anytime my bike goes from the cool basement to the warm outdoors, the brakes squeal like mad from the condensation. That is, if they work!

    They squeal when they're clean, too.

  25. #25
    the slow guy
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    Back in my flatland freestyle days I found that Simple Green on a thin rag worked wonders. I'd also use the rag on the brake pad pulling into the pad.

    Nowadays I just use a little warm water on a paper towel. I'm not looking to lock up my wheels like back when I did tricks, so I've not really had to clean my pads.

    Good Luck!

    Ben Adrian

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