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Elitewheels Carbon Rim Brake Care & Maintenance

Carbon rim brake wheels has a more delicate brake surface that require more care and maintenance than aluminum wheels.

Clean brake pad and rims clean,maintenance frequency depend on your riding style,geography and local climate,Elitewheels recommends that you keep brake pads and rims clean every ride or every 2-3 months,stones, glass, and other debris from the road can sometimes get embedded in the compound of your brake pads. If you don’t notice it, this can damage the rim – gouging the braking surface – and affect the braking performance.

You need to remove the wheel to get a proper look at the surface of the brake pad. If you spot anything stuck in there you need to take it out with forcep or other proper tools.

Normally check and clean your rim and brake pads every 2-3 month or as needed,debris is usually generated between brake pad and carbon rim brake track surface,which cause abrasion and wear on brake pad and rim surface,This is most commonly visible on alloy rims as a grey dust or dark discoloration on the braking surface; similar to the dust that may accumulate on the surface of your car’s rims from braking over time.Carbon wheels is darker in color, usually do not show this as easily. Small stone,metal and other road debris is picked up on the road as you ride.especially wet or harsh weather riding condition,they can come from anywhere or anytime on the road,Regularly cleaning your wheelset will improve you braking performance and greatly extend brake pad/rim surface longevity.

Elitewheels recommending steps to cleaning your rim brake carbon wheels:


1.The Rim Cleaning

Clean the rim use a clean rag with mild degreaser or Isopropyl Alcohol in a well ventilated place,we suggest to wear safety glasses and rubber gloves,Removing the tires from the rim would be much easier to clean.


  1. Brake Track Cleaning

Use gray, ultra-fine-abrasive pads like Scotch-brite pad and Isopropyl Alcohol, remove the tires to access the entire braking surface easily if you are going to clean the brake track, Run your fingers along the wheel’s brake surface feeling for width variations or changes in roughness,changes in feeling along the brake track may indicate areas with glazing.

Clean the brake track along the top 10-12mm of rim brake track circle.  Remove all discoloration, smears and rough areas,Focus on the rough feeling patches or those with obvious discoloration and very-very lightly scuff with the abrasive pad in the rotational direction along the brake track  of the rim. Please be careful not to use excessive pressure when cleaning your wheels as it is easy to remove more than surface contamination and damage the braking layer molded into the rim.

After you have cleaned smaller/obvious areas of your rim, start at the valve hole and continue around the entire brake trake of the rim lightly scuffing the surface. You will detect dark grey dust accumulating on your abrasive pad. Rotate the pad to a clean section and continue cleaning. Perform this brake track cleaning on both sides of the wheel. After you’ve completely cleaned the brake track, with the abrasive pad, wipe down the surface with a small amount of Isopropyl Alcohol on a clean cotton rag. You may need to wipe down the rim numerous times until you no longer see dark grey deposits on your cleaning rag. You may also wipe down the entire rim surface with Isopropyl Alcohol; it will remove most-all road debris and oil from your hands that has deposited on the wheel, but should not damage surface.


3.Brake Pads Cleaning.

Inspect the brake pad surfaces, front and rear, for embedded debris. Remove any small embedded particles in the pads with a mild point tool. If the brake pad surface on your SwissStop Black Prince carbon pads or any other carbon wheel specific brake pads have smears/wears or appear shiny they may be glazed and will need cleaning.

To clean brake pads, use 120-grit sandpaper to scuff the brake pad surfaces. Preferably use wet/dry sand paper with a small spot of water where you are cleaning the pads. After sanding, use some hand soap and warm water to wash the pads off. Finish by drying them with a clean towel.


Additional Information:

Not all rims are the same. some manufactuer make thinner brake side wall in order to reduce rim weight but we make a sufficent thick sidewall to make the wheel more durable and provide extra longevity to our rim brake track, all our carbon rim brake track are underwent extensive lab test mimicing real riding environment up to industrial standard to make sure it have a better performance under different weather condition.

You should pay special attention to our Elitewheel carbon rim brake wheel braking surface,only use brake pads specific for carbon rim brake surface,the brake pads which we have provided or brake pads speciafically recommended by manufacturer for carbon rim brake usage,like Kool stop dura 2 carbon red,Shimano Dura-ace inserts for carbon rim,Swissstop flash pro blace prince,etc.

Brake pads tend to wear faster and under wet condition,carbon rim brake perform weaklier than aluminum rim brake.

In addition,carbon rim brake surface are sensitive to high temperture,don’t leave your carbon wheel outside in hot weather or inside your car and during steep descents you should try to avoid constantly applying the brake, This may cause rim to overheat, damaging the carbon fibres.we recommend to apply the intermittent braking force to avoid overheat.

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