How To Clean Your Disc Brakes | Mountain Bike Maintenance



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Squeaky disc brakes are hated far and wide in every corner of the mountain bike community. There can be many reasons for a squeaky brake but the two most common causes are oil or some other contaminant making it’s way onto the pads and rotors and uneven ‘bedding in’ of brakes pads causing vibrations in the braking system. No matter which is the cause, your brakes are squealing and we want to stop that!

Follow the instructions in the video and your brakes will be screech free and squeaky clean in no time!

You don’t need tonnes of tools to carry out this job, just a few basics and some cleaning solutions! Here’s how to clean your disc brakes!

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You may have heard of some pretty funky ways of cleaning disc rotors and pads. From baking them in an oven, to covering them with alcohol and burning them over a flame. Whilst we acknowledge that these methods exist, we cannot recommend you try them for obvious safety reasons. Stick with this way…It’s the original and the best!

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27 Responses

  1. Global Mountain Bike Network says:

    Give us a thumbs up if you found this video useful!

  2. ralph marahay says:

    The easiest way to clean the break pads and rotor is to put alchohol in it. Isopropyl, ethyl or what not. Leave it for about a minute or so then wipe it with clean fabric. You'll see the grease come off. If you still hear some squealing, put some generous amount of alcohol and light it up.

    The science behind it is that oils and alcohol mix together.

    No need to buy diskbrake cleaners. I promise

  3. jon zylka says:

    Waaayyyy to much work. Just take some rubbing alcohol to the rotors and just replace the freaking pads. Why go through all the effort to clean shitty pads in the first place.

  4. nick de ridder says:

    what sandpaper grit did you use?

  5. 16pixelogo says:

    DO NOT USE YOUR EVERYDAY WD-40 ON BRAKES DEAR LORD!!!

  6. Henry C says:

    Can I use chain degreaser on the rotors and pads?

  7. Pieter gijn says:

    I have cleaned and degreased my pads and rotor. But my front brake still squeels like a pig after I bled it. Could there still be some air lift in the system?:/

  8. Blinky says:

    So uh i accidentally pured a whole needle full of oil on my rotor now wat :s

  9. Scott Bott says:

    One of the most irritating things I can suffer from while out mountain biking is getting a bike seat stuck up my ass. Do you have a video for that?

  10. Andrei says:

    Is it okay to wet disc brakes? I accidentally put water on it while cleaning ny bike

  11. eric camacho says:

    Hey doddy and follow you tubers. I was fixing a flat tire at work and I needed to clean my hands. I thought maybe I could use windex just to try if it didn’t work I just go wash my hands. It was funny because it worked. My hands are clean. It works better then any other hand cleaner in the market. I just want to share that.

  12. Joni English says:

    i am going to try spinning rotor on front wheel and using a orbital sander lightly 320 grit !!!!!!!

  13. Cameron Boyle says:

    So you just locked your bike and you go into a shop. You come back out and see that someone has poured oil on ur disc brakes."might be safer if I walk."

  14. carlosvaldesjc says:

    I thought wd 40 was a kind of oil

  15. vedat 69 says:

    I used wd40 for my disc brake rotors and now they dont break as good

  16. Dahyun Kim says:

    Hello , how many inch is the tire on 1:30minute please ? Is it 3inch ?

  17. charlsomon says:

    Hand sanitizer

  18. dW says:

    One qustion,im new into this mtb stuff and i spilt some chain oil on disc brake and it got on brake pads,can i clean brake pads if i take them out and clean them with brake cleaner or smth like that or do i need to buy new pads,sorry if my english is bad.Kind regards

  19. Crispy K says:

    Why do i read on most forums that you shouldn't use brake cleaner on bikes, they say it leaves some residue… Who should i believe? XD

  20. Hard Worker says:

    What grit sandpaper would you use.

  21. Lewis Plays says:

    I have a little scratch on my disc, would that do damage to my pads because its in the pads path

  22. norrie hunter says:

    can ordinary WD40 be suitable for cleaning

  23. Dr4g0nW00d says:

    GMBN The company that saves you money

  24. modeld80 says:

    Hi Everyone,

    My brake is making this weird bubbling noise and I dont know how to fix it. Sounds exactly like the video below.

    The front brake is affected with moderate braking, but the rear one works perfectly fine.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRGUJi-UQgg

    I have Sram Guide R 200mm , brand new bike ridden 50km still happening. Took pad off cleaned with isopropyl, cleaned discs too, no joy

    Please someone help!

  25. Jeffrey Ngo says:

    I thought I like your channel but you guys don't deal with big varieties issues like brakes, it's seem like you guys only deal with high end bikes only. WHAT ABOUT Rim brakes sweal

  26. Worm Waffles says:

    My brakes are weak now

  27. Gary Arnold says:

    all good tips but I find that WD40 Disc brake is not effective.

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