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Brake cleaner

JamesBrckmnJamesBrckmn Posts: 1,360
edited May 2010 in MTB workshop & tech
I am looking for somehting to clean my brake discs/pads and make them quiter and more powerful (they are juicy 3's with sintered pads on g2 rotors). I have heard you can use IPa, whatever that is, and i have tried meths, and although it made them powerful, they were very squeaky and loud. i know there are also things you can buy, but what is best, for preferably less than £10?
thanks

Posts

  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    why do you want to clean your brakes?

    have you got something on them?
    or....

    water works well for normal dirt.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • ilovedirtilovedirt Posts: 5,798
    I use muc off disc brake cleaner, it's about £7 a can, i use it after most mucky rides and it works well if you're a plonker and managed to contaminate your pads/rotors with brake fluid like i did! Well worth the money, IMO. Even if your pads aren't contaminated, it just keeps the brakes nice and clean and working well.
    Production Privee Shan

    B'Twin Triban 5
  • JamesBrckmnJamesBrckmn Posts: 1,360
    they aren't contaminated, but there a bit squeaky and not that powerful, they've been better before, like when i put meths on they were really powerful, and i was wondering if i could get that sort of power increase with out the loud squekyness of meths. i'll check out that muc off stuff
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    sounds like they are contaminated.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • ilovedirtilovedirt Posts: 5,798
    nicklouse wrote:
    sounds like they are contaminated.
    +1

    get some disc brake cleaner, give the rotors and insides of the calipers a good clean and change your pads.
    Production Privee Shan

    B'Twin Triban 5
  • The Big CheeseThe Big Cheese Posts: 8,651 Forum Tart 2010
    +1 for the muc-off stuff. Worls a treat and is also a de-greaser so can be used on other parts of the bike as well.
  • mferebornmfereborn Posts: 480
    Mototr vehicle disc brake cleaner is brillianbt and relatively cheap, comes in an aerosol can but dont do it inside the hosue! :O

    Also to stop the brakes squeeking put copper grease on the piston side of the brake pads to stop the high frequency vibrations that occur under friction/braking.
    The Frog: Lapierre Zesty 214 2010 - Upgraded - W.I.P
  • 5xcr5xcr Posts: 195
    hi,

    I use isopropyl alcohol for my pads and rotors, works a treat and less than a tenner at MAPLINS.so just google and see.

    5xcr :wink:
    12hr days 5 days a week riding to work and back and still the energy to ride 2 other days
  • stubsstubs Posts: 5,001
    5xcr wrote:
    hi,

    I use isopropyl alcohol for my pads and rotors, works a treat and less than a tenner at MAPLINS.so just google and see.

    5xcr :wink:

    Even cheaper here
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/IPA-ISOPROPYL-ALCOHOL-ISOPROPANOL-1-LITRE-min-99-pure-/140359565639?cmd=ViewItem&pt=UK_BOI_Medical_Lab_Equipment_Lab_Supplies_ET&hash=item20ae150147[/url]
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • BG2000BG2000 Posts: 517
    My local pharmacy sells a 1/2 litre bottle of medical grade Isopropyl Alcohol for £2.99. It's a 'behind the counter' product. Just tell them you're cleaning jewellery or something.

    I get an old T-Shirt, slosh a load of IPA onto it, and rub the hell out of the rotors every now and again, until they're shiny silver.

    Commercial products may work, but you're paying for packaging, and additives. This is the pure stuff.
  • Matt 24kMatt 24k Posts: 186
    Automotive brake cleaners tend to make your brakes very sqeaky. It's something to do with the other chemicals that they add which a bicycle disc does not get hot enough to burn off. IPA works fine for me, just don't go into your local pharmacy looking like a wino if you are trying to buy it.
  • Dirtydog11Dirtydog11 Posts: 1,621
    stubs wrote:
    5xcr wrote:
    hi,

    I use isopropyl alcohol for my pads and rotors, works a treat and less than a tenner at MAPLINS.so just google and see.

    5xcr :wink:

    Even cheaper here
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/IPA-ISOPROPYL-ALCOHOL-ISOPROPANOL-1-LITRE-min-99-pure-/140359565639?cmd=ViewItem&pt=UK_BOI_Medical_Lab_Equipment_Lab_Supplies_ET&hash=item20ae150147[/url]

    +1 just ordered some from the local chemist and they want £5.00 for 500ml.
  • JamesBrckmnJamesBrckmn Posts: 1,360
    i think i'll try IPA then, thanks for the ebeay link i'll buy it from there. but does IPA increase braking power much and does it make them squeak?
  • BG2000BG2000 Posts: 517
    i think i'll try IPA then, thanks for the ebeay link i'll buy it from there. but does IPA increase braking power much and does it make them squeak?

    IPA is simply cleaning away dirt and any embedded deposits from the brake pads. It's got nothing to do with brake performance, apart from the fact it's a good chemical to clean rotors with. Pure IPA cannot make your brakes squeek as following any cleaning, it evaporates away. So it doesn't leave any residue of its own. But if you don't clean thoroughly it could spread contamination.

    Read the FAQs and other tips on disc brakes. You need to understand how the brake pads actually transfer material to the rotors during the bedding in process, and it's the contact between these two 'prepared' surfaces that leads to efficient brakes. If this is done properly with correctly setup components, then there's no reason why it should squeek.

    Don't forget, it's very difficult to achieve a disc brake that doesn't squeek from time to time, depending on the conditions (freezing temperatures, damp/foggy, high temperature from heavy braking etc...). But if it squeeks in all conditions, it needs sorting out, as it's bloody annoying !!
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    BG2000 wrote:
    You need to understand how the brake pads actually transfer material to the rotors during the bedding in process, and it's the contact between these two 'prepared' surfaces that leads to efficient brakes. If this is done properly with correctly setup components, then there's no reason why it should squeek.
    sorry but the temps reached in Cycle brakes do not get high enough for this to happen.

    yes bedding in can create a nice heat soak through the pad but the main issues are to get all the surfaces parallel so you have full surface contact.

    OP be aware that some cleaners can leave the brakes feeling "mushy" for a few applications.

    also many car brake cleaners contain light lubricants which help stop corrosion of the cast discs and drums, which then gets burnt off under normal use. But on a cycle things dont get hot enough soon enough and this can contaminate the brakes.

    Also the use of "Copper paste" on the backs of some makers pads is not recommended as the backing plates have holes in them and the carrier liquid can get drawing into the friction material which reduces braking power.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
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