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What brake cleaners are actually safe to use?


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Talking Magura disc brakes here, I'm scared to death of getting any fluids on my rotors and pads (other than water) for fear of contamination because I've had my fair share of that in the past and it's a pain in the ass. But sometimes I feel like my brakes could do with a clean so can anyone confirm if there are any brake cleaners that are 100% safe for use on Magura discs and pads specifically on a low rpm trials bike that never puts heat into the brakes? I use isopropyl when cleaning the calipers after bleeding but wondering if anything is actually rotor and pad safe.

Edited by Rip
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Industrial isopropyl is absolutely fine for rotors and pads. I've used the 70% stuff and 99% stuff in the past with good results. Don't forget to clean the inside edges of the cut-outs in the rotor as dirt/contaminants can stay trapped in those pockets.

For contaminated pads, I've found that just using alcohol is not enough to get rid of brake squeal if it's deeply contaminated. Use sandpaper, then wipe away with alcohol, repeat if necessary. Boil the pads or blowtorch 'em as a last resort. Contaminated disc pads are trickier to 'save' than rotors, usually. Sometimes even all these steps are not enough to save disc pads from howling, in which case it's new pads time. 

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My Isopropyl is 99.9% apparently. If I do get any contamination I'm just binning the rotors and pads and replacing them because I've never successfully managed to save any. Just thinking more along the lines of general maintenance and cleaning. 

Edited by Rip
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Probably because there aren't any trials specific brake cleaners out there because the whole disc brake trials market is very small compared to other cycling disciplines. Trials bikes don't get any heat into the brakes so can't burn off any residue left by cleaners, a dedicated trials cleaner would probably need to be formulated that didn't leave a residue. That's my best guess anyway. 

Edited by Rip
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This might be very bad practice, but when I feel my brakes need to be cleaned I wash my hands and carefully fold a paper towel as to not touch the center, and put water on half it, and then spin my wheel and wipe each side of the rotor with it. I start with the wet side then go to the dry side and it gets a lot of black schmuck off. For the pads I carefully take them out and put them on a clean baking sheet face up and put them in the oven at around 350F for a few minutes, or until the pad changes color/smokes for a bit. After this I usually need to bed them in for a few minutes but they feel better afterwards. I've done this a handful of times and never ran into any issues but I do it carefully.

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ever since I only do my usual practice, bit messy  but did worked for me. Sand paper, dish washing soap (reliable one) and fire. I've learned this way back when doing service for some DH and Enduro bikes in Singapore. Then applied on any bike I have now, works fine so far. Anyway, will the metallic pads gives advantage of not absorbing much fluids than organic pads? I have been re-using my pads many times, everytime I accidentally spill brake fluid on those.

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