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Surgical spirit in place of isopropyl alcohol?

booktownmanbooktownman Posts: 151
edited July 2013 in MTB workshop & tech
Anyone know if I can use surgical spirit to soak rockshox fork foam rings in place of isopropyl alcohol?

Some google searches say it's the same stuff, others less conclusive.

Thanks in advance,

BTM

Posts

  • vanameesvanamees Posts: 75
    Most spirits contains some water, isopropyl spirit is water free.
  • thelonegrooverthelonegroover Posts: 1,073
    Surgical spirit is usually 70 to 99% isopropyl alcohol. I think you'd be OK to use surgical spirit. The remainder 1 to 30% is usually water.
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  • thelonegrooverthelonegroover Posts: 1,073
    Note, you shouls also be OK with methylated spirit.
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  • Chunkers1980Chunkers1980 Posts: 8,035
    The idea is you don't have water as that leaves a residue.
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    Note, you shouls also be OK with methylated spirit.
    Nope, never meths. Ever. Meths always leaves some kind of oily censored on your hands. The reason people specify Isopropyl is because it does not leave anything behind.
  • thelonegrooverthelonegroover Posts: 1,073
    cyd190468 wrote:
    The other good thing about isopropyl is that if it gets contaminated with water you can remove it by adding a bit of salt. The water forms a heavy saline solution with the salt that repels the isopropyl and sinks to the bottom of the bottle.

    So would that also work with Meths or surgical spirit?
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  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    But why would you. Seriously.
    Meths has additives to stop hobos drinking it. Don't use it.
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  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    cyd190468 wrote:
    The other good thing about isopropyl is that if it gets contaminated with water you can remove it by adding a bit of salt. The water forms a heavy saline solution with the salt that repels the isopropyl and sinks to the bottom of the bottle.
    Does that really work? I thought IPO was hygroscopic.
  • thelonegrooverthelonegroover Posts: 1,073
    Only because I already have some. If I had some isopropyl I'd use that.
    And, yes the above does work. You should get two distict layers. Only if water is present though!
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  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    Only because I already have some.
    Are you talking about meths? You use it because you already have some? what about butter, I bet you have some of that. Maybe try that too.

    I've had a spin on a lot of people's bikes, and virtually every bike which had "really good brakes" according to their owners, I found to be shockingly lacking in the retardation department (and if there's one thing I like, it's a good retard on a bike). They quite obviously had different expectations to me, of what a brake should be capable of.

    So, for that reason, I just flat out refuse to accept any of the myriads of ways that people proclaim "work", unless I've tried it myself, and it works. IPO works. After trying numerous other things over the years, many many many things in fact, over nearly 20 years of having disc brakes on bikes, I've found that ultimately, nothing else does the job without impairing their function in some way.
    And meths, is just about one of the worst things you could use, short of some kind of lubricant.
  • thelonegrooverthelonegroover Posts: 1,073
    I'm not sure meths is quite as bad as you make out. It was recommended to me by a motor bike enthusiast. Actually, my brakes work quite well. Front and back both lock up as expected. There may be small traces of oily compounds in meths, but I'm sure it's better than a lot of things for cleaning brakes.
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  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    I'm not sure meths is quite as bad as you make out. It was recommended to me by a motor bike enthusiast.
    Motorbike, and car brakes ≠ mountain bike disc brakes. On motorbikes and cars, enough heat is generated to burn away any oily deposits, and generally the braking systems have huge reserves of power, meaning that even if there is contamination causing a drop in performance, you'll be fine. You might lose (let's say, roughly) 10% of the car or motorbike's braking power, and be fine.

    MTB brakes run cooler because there's less energy to be dissipated, so any oily deposit does not get burnt off, it just lubricates the brakes. It's also entirely possible to find the limit of such a small brakes, since they are built to pretty strict weight limits.
    That's why we don't use copperslip, or automotive brake cleaner on them.
  • pesky_jonespesky_jones Posts: 2,890
    Motorbike, and car brakes ≠ mountain bike disc brakes. On motorbikes and cars, enough heat is generated to burn away any oily deposits, and generally the braking systems have huge reserves of power, meaning that even if there is contamination causing a drop in performance, you'll be fine.

    That's pretty clever. Never thought about that before but now that I do, there must be loads of contaminates on the road - oil etc. that would cause brakes to fail if it wern't for the high temperature evapourating them
  • I remember we had some surgical spirits in the house when I was a kid. It stank of oil of wintergreen (germolene smell) which means it's not pure alcohol/water and that there are lots of other things in there that you won't get rid of by evaporation.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 327
    Why are you soaking the foam rings in alcohol anyway? Shouldn't they be soaked in oil, or have I missed something?
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    To clean the censored out of them. You then soak in oil.
  • Kowalski675Kowalski675 Posts: 4,412
    I'm not sure meths is quite as bad as you make out. It was recommended to me by a motor bike enthusiast.

    I've lived my life on and around (motor)bikes for long enough to know that most people who ride them these days have absolutely not the first f****g clue how to maintain them. Not saying your mate doesn't, but most people who ride bikes these days are utterly clueless about how they work (many don't even know how to check their bleedin' tyre pressures...).
  • Kowalski675Kowalski675 Posts: 4,412
    On motorbikes and cars...generally the braking systems have huge reserves of power

    I take it you've never ridden a 600 Bandit in anger, lol? :lol::wink:
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    On motorbikes and cars...generally the braking systems have huge reserves of power

    I take it you've never ridden a 600 Bandit in anger, lol? :lol::wink:
    lol, fair point!
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    But he has ridden a fair few sheep, slippery when wet.
    I don't do smileys.

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