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  1. #1
    I hate that name.
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    What are you cleaning rotors with?

    Man, I'm stumped. I've always used rubbing alcohol, at home and at work. I'm looking for something better. I'm not positive, but I think I may have contaminated my rotors (Shimano Icetech XT level) with something that the alcohol can't get rid of. My brakes lost the grabby feeling (current gen XT), so I cleaned rotors and pads with alcohol, with a bit o' sanding on the pads, no change in feel. So I replaced the pads (tried resin this time) and cleaned the rotors again, success for a couple rides, then back to feeling numb. That's where I am now. I've got 10 year old BB7s with worn pads that feel more responsive. Any ideas?
    Worked at Trek/Fisher dealer 2008-2013. Only a little biased.

  2. #2
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    Brake cleaner. Your pads are also likely toast, if you didn't get the contaminant off the rotor the first time.

  3. #3
    I hate that name.
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    Are we talking automotive grade?
    Worked at Trek/Fisher dealer 2008-2013. Only a little biased.

  4. #4
    psycho cyclo addict
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    What are you cleaning rotors with?


  5. #5
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    You can use automotive stuff if you want, though White Lightning's Clean Streak is far less caustic to you.

  6. #6
    > /dev/null 2&>1
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    Re: What are you cleaning rotors with?

    I say regular alc. does the trick. Those others are dirtier and toxic. Those are made to go on your car rotors which you will rarely go anywhere near with face or hands, maybe when you wash your car and get down there to clean the wheels.

    On your bike, your face and hands are routinely close to your rotors, removing wheels, throwing your bike on your roof rack, etc. I wouldn't use any of those car cleaners for that reason.
    ------------------------------------------------
    They're justified and they're ancient and they like to roam the land

  7. #7
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    Clearly, the alcohol didn't work...

  8. #8
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    I use automotive grade disc brake cleaner. For a few bucks it lasts for a while. Just spray it on a rag and use the rag (clean rag) to clean your rotors. It will remove paint and eat tires.

    Mark
    2012 XXL Carve Expert

  9. #9
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    The rubbing alcohol you buy at the shops is often around 70%. It doesn't work nearly as well as 90% or higher isopropyl alcohol. That works great. You should be able to get some at Walmart for $3, and some drug stores sell it as well.

  10. #10
    Never enough time to ride
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    Another vote for Clean Streak, I have been using it effectively in the shop for a while now. Does not seem to leave any residue behind.

    happy trails...

    squish
    Get out and ride!

  11. #11
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    clean streak, 90% rubbing alcohol and brake cleaner all work wonders for removing residues etc that find their way onto rotor surfaces.
    Dbl check the calipers for fluid leaks near the pistons, bleed screw port and brake line fittings for the slightest seeping fluid.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by nvphatty View Post
    clean streak, 90% rubbing alcohol and brake cleaner all work wonders for removing residues etc that find their way onto rotor surfaces.
    Dbl check the calipers for fluid leaks near the pistons, bleed screw port and brake line fittings for the slightest seeping fluid.
    I second that, it is amazing how little brake fluid can make you brakes almost useless.

  13. #13
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    I use isopropyl alcohol(90%)

    Works very well, after I landed sand the brake pads and do a new pad brake in. Never gives me any issues.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Learux View Post
    I use isopropyl alcohol(90%)

    Works very well, after I landed sand the brake pads and do a new pad brake in. Never gives me any issues.
    be careful with sandpaper / emory cloth as they contain adhesives that transfer to said surface.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by nvphatty View Post
    be careful with sandpaper / emory cloth as they contain adhesives that transfer to said surface.
    You sure about that? I just take the glaze of the pads, clean the rotors with 90% IPA, do a brake in and all is well.

    I don't see how adhesives from paper will ever transfer to pads.

    Maybe after sanding clean pads with 90% IPA to remove adhesives?

  16. #16
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    I've used mass airflow sensor cleaner. It's dries pretty quickly and doesn't leave any residue behind due to the nature of the part it's suppose to technically clean.

  17. #17
    loves me some carbon
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    Mud. Well, moist dirt really. Find some fine grained dirt, wet it if you have to, and rub it all over your rotors before doing some hard stops... Repeat. This has worked for me any and every time I've had contaminated rotors. And not just brake fluid either. Sometimes being on the hitch rack in the rain will get oil and road grime onto the rotors.

    I've heard cement dust works quite well too, but haven't tried it.
    Posting on the basis that ignorance shared is ignorance doubled.

  18. #18
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    ^^ +1 and its free!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Learux View Post
    You sure about that? I just take the glaze of the pads, clean the rotors with 90% IPA, do a brake in and all is well.

    I don't see how adhesives from paper will ever transfer to pads.

    Maybe after sanding clean pads with 90% IPA to remove adhesives?
    yessir I am. sandpaper/emory cloth are both comprised of tiny bits of sand or emory glued together to produce the products

  20. #20
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    Pure Acetone is my cleaner of choice.
    Cheap, easily obtained, and has many uses.

  21. #21
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    wd40 and duct tape








    I kid, ISO alcohol and or brake cleaner work well.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideitall View Post
    wd40 and duct tape
    perhaps a propane torch is in order.

  23. #23
    Trail Tire TV on blogger
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    Quote Originally Posted by nvphatty View Post
    yessir I am. sandpaper/emory cloth are both comprised of tiny bits of sand or emory glued together to produce the products
    this myth keeps coming up..
    the "adhesives" you speak of are dry particle... no sticky, tacky or transferable properties remain to them once they are dried in the factory. The metal shavings of the disc or pad from sanding is more difficult to remove do to static energy than anything from the sand paper. wipe off with a rag or water and they are gone. Concrete is an "adhesive" when wet.. not so much when dry...
    Going to try and bring Trail Tire TV back. go take a look... http://trailtiretv.blogspot.com/

  24. #24
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    Not sure if it has been said, but I use Denatured Alcohol. It's an excellent metal cleaner, evaporates fast and leaves no residue at all.
    Stay aware of those who hide in plain sight.

  25. #25
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    Re: What are you cleaning rotors with?

    Dishwashing liquid

    Sent from my GT-N7105 using Tapatalk 2

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