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Cleaning Look labels etc.

2779 Views 11 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  skyliner1004
I have a naked carbon 2001 KG281 with the gray Look labels.

I'd like to clean off what little dried grease etc. if possible. Is there a safe method of doing it without damaging the labels?

Also, is it necessary to put some type of treatment on the naked carbon for protection.

I have read where some riders apply something to the frame - I don't want to change the shade too much if possible.

Thanks in advance.
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I don't have direct experience with 2001 Look KG281 in particular, but I have a 2004/5 KG481 "Jalabert" sitting here that I've been doing some work on... I just used Windex, Glass Plus or something like that to clean it up a bit.

Don't use acetone or fingernail polish remover or strong solvents like that.

Wash off any dirt or grit first, so that it won't scratch the finish.

The labels generally have a protective clear coat over them. With more recent Look models it's even more obvious they've built up a number of coats of high gloss clear coat over both the labels and whatever paint trim is on the bike.. But the older ones appear to have a protective clear coatings, too. (Note: the red paint on the Jalabert is not under the clear coat and has a white primer under it.)

One exception I know of was on the "Elle" (a womens' specific version of several models). On the more recent ones they put the Elle logo on top of the clear coat, so that buyers could easily remove the logo if they wished... Probably so a man who happened to find the bike a better fit would consider buying it.

Just don't use too strong a cleaner. Many automotive cleaning products designed for use with clear coat paint jobs should work just fine. You can also use many automotive waxes to add another layer of protection, once you've cleaned the bike up. I mostly use Mother's products, but there are many others that are also good.

Try any stronger cleaners on a hidden area, if you are concerned.
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Along the same lines, how do you guys get stickers off your bikes? such as the size sticker, and other small ones?

i have "goof off." is that safe on carbon?
I think Goof Off is pretty strong and I'd try to avoid it.

Try milder things first... "Goo Gone" is probable the mildest and works well.

For that matter, WD40 works pretty well removing the glue from stickers.
Is wd 40 safe on carbon?

WD40 is fish oil, I think. At any rate it's pretty mild. So, yes, it should be fine so long as you wash it off with a mild soap afterward. I've used it to remove handlebar tape glue from carbon bars without any problems.

Still, I think Goo Gone is orange oil and it's probably the safest thing to use. I'd still wash it off afterward.
Mootsie said:
WD40 is made of:
50%: Stoddard solvent (i.e., mineral spirits -- primarily hexane, somewhat similar to kerosene)
25%: Liquified petroleum gas (presumably as a propellant; carbon dioxide is now used instead to reduce WD-40's considerable flammability)
15+%: Mineral oil (light lubricating oil)
10-%: Inert ingredients

Well, whatever it's made of, it did no harm on carbon bars I de-glued with it.

I'd still try Goo Gone first... I think it's the mildest thing for the purpose... That still works well.

To remove the label initially, try some gentle heat from a hair dryer (emphasis on "gentle"). Don't use a heat gun... that would be too hot for carbon fiber materials. Carbon fiber is a plastic, after all. But some gentle warming with a standard hair dryer should help soften the glue and make the labels easier to peel off, and certainly should do no harm as carbon fiber is typically cured during manufacture with some low heat (under 150F, I think).

But some glue will likely still remain... That's where the Goo Gone (or WD40) comes in, to soften and remove the final traces of the glue.

I just looked on a bottle of Goo Gone and it just says "petroleum distillates"... so it's not orange oil. But, it's not very strong stuff, either. Do a sniff test... It's mild.

Yes, in some cases a simple automotive wax might be adequate to get the last of the glue off.

I would NOT use Goof Off (and similar) on carbon fiber/clear coat finishes. This stuff will soften and remove completely dried latex paint, which is pretty durable. Do another sniff test. It's pretty strong. I'd be afraid it might damage the finish.

Whatever you use, simply don't leave it on very long and be sure to follow up with some mild soap (dish soap?) and water to rinse it off promptly. Then dry, polish and wax the finish if you wish.

The logos, paint and artwork on most frames these days are protected under the clear coat (they certainly are on recent Look models, which is what we started out discussing here... with a few exceptions such as the Elle logo), so should not be effected in any way by these lawyer-label removal processes.

I feel confident that neither WD40 nor Goo Gone will cause any problems... But if it makes you feel better why not test it in a hidden place such as under the bottom bracket first? Maybe even remove the cable guide and test underneath that, where any damage from the cleaner would always be completely hidden.
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