How to look after your brake pads and rims (video)

Al Vines walks us through cleaning your brake pads and rims to ensure they perform to their maximum when you need them the most

What comes up, must come down. And when you’re descending that hill you busted a gut trying to get up, it’s reassuring to know that your brakes are in full working order.

If you need to give your brake pads and rims some TLC, take a look at the video above for tips on how to keep your machine in full working order.

>> Subscribe to Cycling Weekly this Autumn and save 35%. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<

All you need is some alcohol spray, paper towels, a file and a tiny screwdriver, and your brakes will be good as new.

>>> How to adjust your headset (video)

As you ride, and especially in the winter, your brakes and rims will pick up all sorts of dirt. As you use your brakes, tiny bits of the rim will find their way onto the pads, and brake pad dust will rest on the rims.

Simply wipe the rims down with the paper towels and alcohol spray to remove any dirt, then get your tiny screwdriver in the grooves of the brake pad to get rid of any grime.

>>> How to adjust your front and rear derailleurs (videos)

Then get your file – but not sandpaper – and rough up the brake pads to create a bit of friction on your rims.

Voila! Your brakes will be as good as new, and it only takes five minutes.