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Disc brake cleaning.

Old 03-31-08, 07:17 PM
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thedon
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Disc brake cleaning.

I got about 200 miles on my disc brakes, need I clean them?

I have some Clean Streak stuff that I use on my chain that says it can be used to clean disc brakes, should I try that?
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Old 03-31-08, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by thedon View Post
I got about 200 miles on my disc brakes, need I clean them?

I have some Clean Streak stuff that I use on my chain that says it can be used to clean disc brakes, should I try that?
No squeeks and good stopping = no worries.

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times Denatured Alcohol is the way to go for cleaning disc brakes. Nearly all the disc brake manufacturers suggest it or Isopropyl (rubbing). I prefer the Denatured as it works faster (and makes a good fuel for the fondue pot)
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Old 03-31-08, 07:48 PM
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they never need cleaning if you ride only on road
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Old 03-31-08, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
they never need cleaning if you ride only on road
Not so, there's plenty of oil and crap that can get kicked up in there in the rain.
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Old 03-31-08, 07:53 PM
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I like to use a good automotive disc brake cleaner the first time. Even before the first ride to get all the manufacturing oils off. Put it on a clean white paper towel and rub the disc. ( Both sides. ) I also fold the towel up and rub it between the disc and the brake pad, cleaning the pad. Then again with rubbing alcohol.

I hope this helps.

Ciao,
Timothy
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Old 03-31-08, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by tim24k View Post
I like to use a good automotive disc brake cleaner the first time. Even before the first ride to get all the manufacturing oils off. Put it on a clean white paper towel and rub the disc. ( Both sides. ) I also fold the towel up and rub it between the disc and the brake pad, cleaning the pad. Then again with rubbing alcohol.

I hope this helps.

Ciao,
Timothy
I never suggest automotive cleaners for bike parts
https://www.bikeforums.net/showpost.p...2&postcount=10
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Old 03-31-08, 08:39 PM
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I've blasted my Shimano 535 calipers with BrakeKleen and it was fine. For this use I just remove the tube so there's no highly directed spray onto the piston seals. The BrakeKleen sure rinses away the winter commuting gunk in a blink. I then do the same thing with paper towel as tim24K above suggests with repeats until no stains are coming off the discs.

I did this rather gingerly the first time as I was worried about paint and the seals. I tried a little on paper toweling first and no issues. Then I sprayed on a little and it was fine again. Now I don't mind cleaning them well with it.

It's still wise to test it on your own parts first through. And I do not recomend letting it get on your tires as it does cause some black to come off the rubber material on tires. I was worried that the piston seals would be affected as well but I didn't find anything at all wrong in this case. The calipers just worked a lot better and without stickiness or dragging when done.

Anyway as always YMMV. It works great for the 535 parts and I've used it about 4 or 5 times over the past couple of years. But there's always a chance that some parts won't fare so well.
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Old 03-31-08, 09:54 PM
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Grab your rubber gloves, a bottle of dawn and a clean towel. I have it on good evidence and advice that this is a good method for cleaning rotors.
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Old 03-31-08, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Raiyn View Post
[color=blue]No squeeks and good stopping = no worries.

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times Denatured Alcohol is the way to go for cleaning disc brakes.
Yes, yes, yes.
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Old 03-31-08, 11:58 PM
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+1 on alcohol, either denatured ethanol or isopropyl. At work we clean parts that are going to go into the diffusion bonder (high vacuum and elevated temps) or the cleanroom (duh, it's clean) with 98% isopropyl alcohol because it's one of the few solvents that doesn't leave a residue. Denatured ethanol is cheap, easy to get, and reasonably safe to use. There's really no reason to use anything else.
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Old 04-01-08, 07:38 AM
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My bike's at about 2000 miles, plus whatever the last owner put on it, and the brakes have never been cleaned to my knowledge. Somehow, they're getting along just fine.
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Old 04-01-08, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
they never need cleaning if you ride only on road
Really?


About 800 miles, strictly on roads. Roads with plenty of salt and sand and muck. The salty water got inside and the heat from the pads caused it to recrystalize. The back pad adjuster was completely frozen up. I had to get the pads out and powerwash the calipers. Luckily the Avid BB7 is pretty tough; there was no damage to anything inside, just a lot of crap in there keeping the adjusters from moving right. It took a few minutes with toothbrush and a screwdriver to scrape things down a bit and all was well again.

The brakes were still working fine but man they were really filthy. When I couldn't move the back pad adjuster I figured something was up.
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Old 04-01-08, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
Really?


About 800 miles, strictly on roads. Roads with plenty of salt and sand and muck. The salty water got inside and the heat from the pads caused it to recrystalize. The back pad adjuster was completely frozen up. I had to get the pads out and powerwash the calipers. Luckily the Avid BB7 is pretty tough; there was no damage to anything inside, just a lot of crap in there keeping the adjusters from moving right. It took a few minutes with toothbrush and a screwdriver to scrape things down a bit and all was well again.

The brakes were still working fine but man they were really filthy. When I couldn't move the back pad adjuster I figured something was up.
What the hell kind of road surface treatment does your city use?
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Old 04-01-08, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by kill.cactus View Post
What the hell kind of road surface treatment does your city use?
Salt. Also 4 miles each way is on gravel; when that's wet, it flings up a clay/sand mix. What "city"? This is out on county/state roads.

Most of what I dug out of there was salt crystals.
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Old 04-01-08, 02:22 PM
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You guys from the northeast and upper midwest seem to think that everybody has to deal with salt. Some of us live in areas of the country where road salt is used once a winter if at all.

Four miles of gravel doesn't meet most cyclists' definition of "on road," anyway. :-)
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Old 04-02-08, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by aley View Post
You guys from the northeast and upper midwest seem to think that everybody has to deal with salt. Some of us live in areas of the country where road salt is used once a winter if at all.
Truth be told, I've come across more salt issues here in FL than I ever did in MN.
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Old 04-02-08, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by aley View Post
You guys from the northeast and upper midwest seem to think that everybody has to deal with salt. Some of us live in areas of the country where road salt is used once a winter if at all.

Four miles of gravel doesn't meet most cyclists' definition of "on road," anyway. :-)
You guys in the south seem to think that NOBODY has to deal with salt (judging from the "if you only go on the roads you don't need to clean your pads" comment). I can tell you that the pads would look the same without the gravel, because they do NOT use salt on gravel; it turns gravel into a horrible swamp that even cars can't drive on. All that salt (which is most of what was in there) came from paved roads.

This is like the people who live in big cities insisting that anyone who doesn't ride with a $100 lock is just an idiot. We all work in different environments. There isn't enough money in the world to make me live someplace like that, but I realize that others do.
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Old 04-03-08, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
This is like the people who live in big cities insisting that anyone who doesn't ride with a $100 lock is just an idiot.
I resemble that remark
I don't consider St. Pete to be a "big city" (I live fewer than 10 miles from the center of downtown and I actually have a yard.) but the fact remains that cable locks are inadequate for anyone who doesn't live in BFE. I grew up in a town where one of those kiddie combo dog chain style locks would be overkill. To this day you could leave a bike out anywhere and it wouldn't get messed with. The point being - more people live in larger places (possibly a reason as to why they're larger places) and therefore need a better lock than what Opie Taylor would need for his fat tire Schwinn.
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Old 04-03-08, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Raiyn View Post
I resemble that remark
I don't consider St. Pete to be a "big city" (I live fewer than 10 miles from the center of downtown and I actually have a yard.) but the fact remains that cable locks are inadequate for anyone who doesn't live in BFE. I grew up in a town where one of those kiddie combo dog chain style locks would be overkill. To this day you could leave a bike out anywhere and it wouldn't get messed with. The point being - more people live in larger places (possibly a reason as to why they're larger places) and therefore need a better lock than what Opie Taylor would need for his fat tire Schwinn.
Yes, I know. I still don't know why people in bigger population centers put up with that crap. I've seen the videos; people clearly stealing a bike, and people just walking on by. You reap what you sew.
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