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Spacer Material: Does It Even Matter?

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Spacer Material: Does It Even Matter?

Old 06-28-22, 06:22 AM
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sjanzeir
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Spacer Material: Does It Even Matter?

So, let's say that you need to space a brake caliper away from an adapter or a mount because you'd like to use a larger rotor for whatever reason (say, from 160mm to 165mm or 170mm.) Would you rather use a spacer that's aluminum alloy, brass, or steel? Would you use one or the other just because you happen to have a few lying around? Does it even matter?
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Old 06-28-22, 06:40 AM
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dsaul
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Out of those choices, it doesn't matter. Use whatever you have on hand.
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Old 06-28-22, 08:09 AM
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Strength wise, it won't matter for a bicycle application. Aluminum has the advantage of being lighter if that matters to you.
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Old 06-28-22, 09:25 AM
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Titanium if it's going to show and you care about such things. Anything but cardboard will work just as well.
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Old 06-28-22, 10:01 AM
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Depends on the metal it's bolted on to help avoid galvanic corrosion. You can also grease the thing to further prevent galvanic corrosion.
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Old 06-28-22, 01:56 PM
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Camilo
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Aluminum cans (beer, pop, whatever) makes great spacer and shim material, sometimes in multiple layers to get the thickness you need. It's very easy to work with - you can cut it to shape with an ordinary kitchen scissors, or any scissors other than one you want to keep really sharp (i.e. sewing, hair cutting, etc). A dab of super glue will hold layers together if you need to.
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Old 06-28-22, 02:31 PM
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I'd probably use what ever I had on hand. Just so I could ride sooner. If the looks bothered me or it started to corrode at some point in the future, then I'd deal with it then and use some other material that might work better in the long run.
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Old 06-28-22, 08:34 PM
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I would just use the proper adapter generally from the manufacturer who made the brake caliper but North Shore Billet, Paul make really great stuff and work nicely. If I needed spacers I would probably use stainless steel spacers or aluminum if I had those on hand but generally I shouldn't have that issue if using the correct adapter.
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Old 06-29-22, 06:46 AM
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If you're spacing a brake caliper, I'd use only a monoblock spacer designed for this application. I think they're all aluminum alloy, but the material is less important than the structural rigidity here. The original post reads to me like individual spacers are being considered that would simply move the caliper further from the mount (such as small cylindrical spacers). This will create a lot of lateral load on the spacers and fasteners during brake application and I'd be concerned about failure here. Individual spacers will also likely not put the caliper in the best position relative to the rotor...most monoblock spacers rotate the caliper slightly in addition to moving it further from the mount, to ensure the swept area of the pads remains in good contact with the rotor's braking surface.
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Old 06-29-22, 08:00 AM
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If you use paper spacers, make sure to treat them with oil.
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Old 06-29-22, 08:17 AM
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I've been told that wax is better for treating paper spacers. Why do you think they came out with wax paper?
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Old 06-29-22, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
I've been told that wax is better for treating paper spacers. Why do you think they came out with wax paper?
The wax in that paper is just like the shipping grease on a new chain. It should be carefully removed with the solvent of your choice in an ultrasonic cleaner, then replaced with a less dirt attracting high temperature brake specific lubricant. If the lubricant doesn’t cost 2x more than it should the you’re using the wrong one.

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Old 06-30-22, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by jccaclimber View Post
The wax in that paper is just like the shipping grease on a new chain. It should be carefully removed with the solvent of your choice in an ultrasonic cleaner, then replaced with a less dirt attracting high temperature brake specific lubricant. If the lubricant doesn’t cost 2x more than it should the you’re using the wrong one.

No comment on wax but the chains and other parts you refer to indeed may be coated for shipping as in industry we store them in a warehouses for what can be extended periods of time and there lubrication needs are to be met when put in service. This is not the case with the high quality chains of Shimano, Campagnolo, Sram, KMC who have a vested interest in your finding value in their chains and so use high quality lubes and recommend you do not remove it. I suspect this is not the case with many "budget" chains offered today.
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Old 06-30-22, 08:06 PM
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While most of my posts are quite serious, I hope nobody takes that particular one seriously.
As for the religious matter of factory chain lubricants, I defer to the ZFC report.
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