How to Maintain the Sidewalls of Your Wheels

Hi, this is Sam Frost with ROL Wheels! After riding a set of wheels for some time, you may experience a decrease in braking performance. Check to see if you have an accumulation of brake pad residue on the sidewalls of your rims. Today, I'm going to show you how to restore the original braking performance of the machined sidewalls of your wheels.

Remove the wheels from your bicycle, and your tires from your wheels. Using some 220-grip emery cloth or sandpaper, you can resurface the sidewalls of your rims.

It's not necessary to go any deeper once you've removed the black residue. Complete this process on both sides of both wheels and notice the nice even tone of aluminum on the brake surface of the rim sidewall.

While you have your wheels out of your bicycle, use the same emery cloth or sandpaper to resurface the brake pads, being careful not to contact the finish of your frame. Having removed any glazing from your brake pads, you may now notice small silver flakes embedded in your pads. These filings can be picked out with a fine-point awl or a sharpened spoke, the method used frequently in bike shops.

Now that your wheels and brake pads are free of residue and debris, reassemble your bicycle and click here to see more tech tips, or email us at