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Cleaning and Polishing Rim Braking Surface(9 posts)

Cleaning and Polishing Rim Braking Surfacecogmaster
Dec 8, 2002 6:02 PM
I am looking for some helpful proven suggestions to help clean the braking surface on a wheelset. The wheelset has about 500 miles on it and after riding on a wet and semi-muddy day, attained a sort of imbedded mix of material from both brake shoe and road debris. Cleaning with a cloth and cleaner did not yield any improvement and has not cleaned up after several hundred miles of riding. What is the best bet to get the rim looking new again.

re: Cleaning and Polishing Rim Braking SurfaceSkip
Dec 8, 2002 6:26 PM
Alcohol and a gray, fine, Scotch-Brite pad.
re: Cleaning and Polishing Rim Braking SurfaceBreakfast
Dec 8, 2002 8:15 PM
A very coarse steel wool will do wonders. Even emery cloth placed under the brake pads, held there, and pressure applied while turning wheels will re-finish braking surface well, however, it can be difficult to master a good technique.
why bother?Fez
Dec 8, 2002 9:13 PM
I understand the motivation to have a clean looking bike, but as far as the rim surface goes, I always find it to have a little brake pad matter in the grooves.

With a lot of elbow grease, I can polish out a lot of brake pad residue on my rims. But it comes back soon enough, so I don't really bother anymore.

Attempts to use something abrasive may not be the best thing to do. You could be accelerating the wear of the rim.
Maybe the guy WANTS to clean his rims! (nm)Breakfast
Dec 9, 2002 8:31 AM
re: Cleaning and Polishing Rim Braking Surfacedivve
Dec 9, 2002 4:24 AM
Mavic has a special overpriced abrasive rubber block for the job. It's part # looks very similar to those blocks that you can use to clean/brush up suede leather...maybe less harsh but they probably come in different grades as well.
re: Cleaning and Polishing Rim Braking Surfacepmf1
Dec 9, 2002 8:07 AM
I use a green abrasive pad and some dishwashing soap like Palmolive. You can get the pads at the grocery store or Home Depot (the latter are more abrasive). I also scrub my brake pads.

I do this everytime I clean my bike. Dirty rims/pads can cause annoying sounds and loss of braking power.
ScotchBrite and sandpaperbrider
Dec 9, 2002 10:20 AM
Scotchbrite on the rims, sand paper on the pads.

And as for the bloke who said "why bother":
Does improved brake performance and longer rim life count as worthy reasons?
ScotchBrite and sandpaperFez
Dec 10, 2002 7:22 AM
I clean my pads and rim surfaces. Yes, I like a clean rim and brake pad for optimal brake performance.

But I do remember a thread a while back that said not to use something too abrasive to get every last mark off because that could shorten the life of the rim.

Couldn't tell if the original question was about just general cleaning or getting every last mark off of the rim to make them look like new.