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Verdict: 
Formulated to be safe for your bike while cleaning things up a treat – and it's made locally
Weight: 
357g
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Fibrax Disc Brake Cleaner
8 10

Fibrax Disc Brake Cleaner is formulated to be safe on your bike, and does the business removing residues that will affect your brake setup. And if shopping local matters to you, the component formula and parts are all made within 40 miles of Fibrax's canning plant in Cheshire, close to its North Wales HQ.

Chances are you've ridden a bike with Fibrax products on board – brake blocks, disc pads, cables or other small bits and pieces. It has its own laboratory and material scientists, putting its various products through stringent tests to ensure they meet the appropriate standards.

> Buy this online here

Fibrax measures the braking force applied at the lever versus the resultant force slowing the wheel on a rolling road. As Fibrax has the ability to do bike-brake-specific testing, it can say that brakes cleaned up with Fibrax Disc Brake Cleaner deliver an 18% improvement in braking force compared to a 'contaminated' system. There were Newtons, Meters, miles-per-hour and other such boffinry involved in the discussion I had with its cycle sales manager Ellis Blackman, but the end result is that apart from not only making things look shiny, removing contamination actually makes you faster – because as any fule kno, to go fast you need to be happy you can stop fast too.

The Fibrax formula is designed not to degrade the material in the brake pad – apparently many disc brake 'cleaners' do degrade pad material by softening the top layer, which means pads wear faster. A bonus of not dissolving pad material is that the cleaner doesn't break down the embedded or 'burnt in' brake pad material on your rotor. This is an important point, as you need pad material on the rotor to give the pad itself something to grip. If you've ever ridden a brand-new disc brake rotor (or one that's had the rotor sanded back) you'll know how much better they are after they've been 'burnt in' by repeated hard decelerations to get the rotors piping hot and material evenly transferred.

Because the formula is safe on frames, tyres and paintwork, Fibrax recommends cleaning the brakes on the bike. First give the brake a blast, wait 10 seconds, then give it a second blast to wash off the crud that's just been loosened – similar to foaming bike cleaners.

Fibrax suggests you could clean the brakes after every ride, as the formula is safe and therefore application is easy.

> How to fit disc brake pads

Over a good few wintry months and through a full can of the stuff, I'm happy to report that it just works. The pressure is good from the nozzle, so while things won't look spotless on a mucky calliper, all the big, built-up stuff gets blown away. I noticed in very cold weather, if you applied the brakes immediately after a cleanup there was some squealing that did go away after a few hard stops. Experimenting with a brief blast from a hose to completely wash away all traces worked well, delivering squeal-free braking from go.

Out on the road, braking remained consistent, with noticeable improvements going from a filthy setup to one blasted clean. My fingers aren't calibrated to the extent that I'd swear it was 18% better, but things were clean, worked and I wasn't fearful my bike was being eaten by nasties.

At £6 for 400ml, the cleaner is priced about midrange. For that, you're getting made-in-the-UK properly-boffin-based cleaning that does the job and is friendly on your bike. Recommended.

Verdict

Formulated to be safe for your bike while cleaning things up a treat – and it's made locally

road.cc test report

Make and model: Fibrax Disc Brake Cleaner

Size tested: 400ml

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

It's for anyone using disc brakes - road or mountain bike.

Fibrax says: "Fibrax disc brake cleaner can improve braking performance by providing a deep clean of your brake system."

And it does just that.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Fibrax says:

Fibrax disc brake cleaner can improve braking performance by providing a deep clean of your brake system.

Our disc brake cleaner air dries without leaving a residue and is perfectly safe for use on plastic, rubber, titanium, carbon & painted surfaces.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well – things got clean and there was no degradation in brake setup.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The fact that it's totally bike-safe, so you can leave wheels on in use.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

It's a hard thing to quantify, with most disc brake cleaners being a muchness. But the bike-friendly and non-pad-material-dissolving nature of the Fibrax product, plus its local cred, make for a 4-star product.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 183cm  Weight: 72kg

I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, club rides, general fitness riding, mountain biking, Dutch bike pootling

13 comments

Avatar
severs1966 [391 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes
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Vejnemojnen [219 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

https://alkatreszek.hu/pfc105_sz

https://zsu.hu/webaruhaz/htmls/termekcsoport__Szerel%C3%A9si+seg%C3%A9da...

trw or berner for me. I buy them generally between 600-800 huf (roughly 1.5-2 gbp's) for a 500ml bottle.

 

does perfectly marvellous job.  1 and there is bulk discount, of course. But I've never paid more than 1000huf (3-gbp) for a bottle of 500ml disc brake cleaner..

Avatar
beezus fufoon [670 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

cleaning brake discs is a thing?! 

Avatar
horizontal dropout [288 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Hayes (disc brake company) say use isopropyl alcolhol and also warn against using disc brake cleaners. Isopropyl alcohol is half the price of the Fibrax and is readily available from ebay or pharmacies. Just sayin' 

Avatar
Yorkshire wallet [976 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes

Just use car stuff. If that's good enough for stopping over 1200kg then it's good enough for a bike.

Avatar
Nick T [1045 posts] 4 months ago
1 like
beezus fufoon wrote:

cleaning brake discs is a thing?! 

if people are stupid enough to pay £15 on a Mavic abrasive rim brake of cleaning block, they'll be stupid enough to buy this too

Avatar
KiwiMike [1282 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
Yorkshire wallet wrote:

Just use car stuff. If that's good enough for stopping over 1200kg then it's good enough for a bike.

 

This isn't a correlation between stopping power. Your car isn't made from lightweight materials subject to attack and ultimately possible failure from corrosive agents. Nor is it painted/finished in areas where disc calipers are located. Therefore more aggressive car/motorbike disc cleaners can't be recommended for your bike, hence specifically kinder formulas, like this one.

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guyrwood [755 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

I agree, just buy the cheap stuff from Screwfix etc Spray it on a cloth and clean your discs and there's no issues with it attacking paint or carbon etc

Avatar
horizontal dropout [288 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

No really! Just get isopropyl alcohol - safer than some brake cleaners (1) and cheaper.

(1) "Clean the disc and the hub-mounting surface with isopropyl alcohol (not disc brake cleaners)."

https://www.hayesdiscbrake.com/wp-content/themes/hdb/pdf/45-14550DEnglis...

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part_robot [174 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Wipe clean with isopropyl wipes. Apply liquid isopropyl alcohol liberally then set rotors on fire a couple of times. They'll be like new.

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iso2000 [71 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

From the article:

"A bonus of not dissolving pad material is that the cleaner doesn't break down the embedded or 'burnt in' brake pad material on your rotor."

This seems to make sense, won't isopropyl make the rotors too clean?

 

 

Avatar
TypeVertigo [314 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
beezus fufoon wrote:

cleaning brake discs is a thing?! 

I remember a couple of Hope engineers being interviewed on a video by Cycling Weekly, and they did say that strictly speaking, there is no need for rotor cleaning, because the braking action already cleans up the brake rotors as they sweep past the friction surface of the brake pads.

The only exception is if you've somehow gotten the rotor wet with oils, they say.

I tend to use car shampoo to wash down my bikes, and a bit of the stuff does end up on the brake rotors, slightly weakening the initial brake bite post-wash. I find it prudent to take a lap around the block and perform a burn-in procedure to get them back up to their old bite again. The job gets easier when the rotors have been wiped down with isopropyl alcohol (or even ethyl alcohol) prior.

Avatar
beezus fufoon [670 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
TypeVertigo wrote:
beezus fufoon wrote:

cleaning brake discs is a thing?! 

I remember a couple of Hope engineers being interviewed on a video by Cycling Weekly, and they did say that strictly speaking, there is no need for rotor cleaning, because the braking action already cleans up the brake rotors as they sweep past the friction surface of the brake pads.

The only exception is if you've somehow gotten the rotor wet with oils, they say.

I tend to use car shampoo to wash down my bikes, and a bit of the stuff does end up on the brake rotors, slightly weakening the initial brake bite post-wash. I find it prudent to take a lap around the block and perform a burn-in procedure to get them back up to their old bite again. The job gets easier when the rotors have been wiped down with isopropyl alcohol (or even ethyl alcohol) prior.

Ah, I see - I've been running hopes for over 10 years and they've been through some awful muck... I just had a quick look earlier to check because it simply hasn't occured to me as long as they work - sometimes I've had to rinse some grit out from between the pads and rotor.

I suspect that hairy arsed mountain bikers tend to be less fastidious about shininess!  1