Cleaning the brake area on a RIM

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Cleaning the brake area on a RIM

Postby sandman » Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:02 pm

Hi ALL

I've changed over to Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels and put new brake pads on, equiv to an Ultegra/Dura Ace level. As I like to look after the bike, I was looking for some tips and techniques to keep the braking surface clean. Last night I used a bucket of luke warm water, some wax n polish car wash, a kitchen scour pad ( not too aggressive) and wore my fingers down getting rid of the marks.

Is there a better method, tools, cleaning agents for this job ?

Cheers..Pete
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by BNA » Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:16 pm

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Re: Cleaning the brake area on a RIM

Postby jasimon » Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:16 pm

sandman wrote:Hi ALL

I've changed over to Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels and put new brake pads on, equiv to an Ultegra/Dura Ace level. As I like to look after the bike, I was looking for some tips and techniques to keep the braking surface clean. Last night I used a bucket of luke warm water, some wax n polish car wash, a kitchen scour pad ( not too aggressive) and wore my fingers down getting rid of the marks.

Is there a better method, tools, cleaning agents for this job ?

Cheers..Pete


I don't know if it's better. But I have used a rag and some turps/meths and run the rag around the rim. I had been experiencing some grabbing or uneven braking due to some kind of gunk somewhere on one of my rims and this fixed that up nicely. Using one of those green kitchen scourers should work - I've heard of people using fine sandpaper on the rims and blocks as well.

The wax n polish does not sound good on the rims - you don't want them to be waxed or polished.
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Postby Boognoss » Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:35 pm

I've used some of the aerosol alloy wheel cleaner (for cars) on my rims and that foam cuts through the brake dust like no-one's business. You just leave the foam on for 30 seconds and wipe off. All the gunge wipes off too. So far no damage to the alloy on the Blade's wheels, I haven't needed to do the Corsa yet.
2011ish Avanti Quantum (DIY), 2010 Specialized Tricross, 2010 Salsa Casseroll

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Postby stevos » Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:36 pm

also wondered the same thing however i have carbon rims with alu braking surface so dont really want to put turps on them?
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Postby thomas_cho » Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:57 pm

A bike shop once recommended to me alcohol swabs. The ones used to clean wounds, I think they contain 90% iso-propyl alcohol.

Methalayted spirits supposedly wear the rubber of the tyres.

I just use green scrubbing pads, cut them to size, jam them between the rim and brakes, and ride it for a short distance, while applying gentle pressure on the brakes.

Inspecting and cleaning the brake pads is a must as well. Sometimes there are bits stuck in the compound which can cut into the rim.
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Postby Kalgrm » Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:40 pm

Iso-propyl alcohol is available in Bunnings near paint thinners, solvents, etc. It's great for rims and disc rotors.

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Postby jasimon » Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:57 pm

thomas_cho wrote:Methalayted spirits supposedly wear the rubber of the tyres.


Given that methylated spirits is ~99% ethyl alcohol and 1% methyl alcohol I would be surprised if it has any substantially different effect on rubber than iso-propyl alcohol. (What's a carbon and a few hydrogen atoms between friends after all?)

At any rate, meths on a rag is recommended in a bike book I have - doesn't mean it's accurate, but it is in print which gives it a minimum level of veracity.

In any case, one wouldn't want to tempt fate by rubbing it on the tyres.
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Postby Mulger bill » Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:40 pm

thomas_cho wrote:A bike shop once recommended to me alcohol swabs. The ones used to clean wounds, I think they contain 90% iso-propyl alcohol.


Yep, works a treat. Only a few seconds work and they're gleaming.

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Postby mikeg » Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:45 pm

The need to frequently clean the braking surface, and pick out bits of rim from the brake pads is dependant on the brand and quality of the braking materials used.

The original brake pads on my Specialised Sirrus Pro had me removing rim chips every few rides. After replacing the pads with some salmon Kool-Stop pads and having done at least 4000 kms on them, there is no grinding from rim chips, because they don't collect bits, and the rims stay clean. I have also put Kool-Stops on the road bikes brakes, with the same good result for the fewer k's that I have done on it, but with about 500 km, the rims are guite clean. Wiping a finger on the braking surface results in a clean finger.
IMHO I believe that the rims will last longer not having flakes and chips continually being removed from the braking surface.
Mike G.

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Postby il padrone » Tue Jun 10, 2008 8:16 pm

thomas_cho wrote:Methalayted spirits supposedly wear the rubber of the tyres.


Methylated spirits doesn't have any harmful effects on the rubber o-ring seal on my Trangia stove burner :?
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Postby Blaze » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:52 pm

mikeg wrote:The original brake pads on my Specialised Sirrus Pro had me removing rim chips every few rides.


I noticed the same thing on my Pro when I washed it on Sunday.. I have a set of new Pad coming in the mail...
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Postby Aushiker » Wed Jun 11, 2008 12:23 am

il padrone wrote:Methylated spirits doesn't have any harmful effects on the rubber o-ring seal on my Trangia stove burner :?

Good point ... maybe bike tires are not rubber :)

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Postby toolonglegs » Wed Jun 11, 2008 2:29 am

clean rims :roll: ...whats that.Brake Clean I think is safe on most things...not sure about Carbon or more so the clear coat.When I used to road race motorbikes I would use it on the new tyres to clean of the slippery new surface....bike tyres are a bit thinner I suppose.
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