You know the dust that's left on the rims' groove after a while, does it have any significance in braking or rim life? When washing the wheels I just realised that the dust must be coming from brake pads but couldn't figure out whether or not I should wash the wheels more often to keep it clean. Will I make the pads and rims wear out faster if I clean more often?

  • 1
    I certainly see no need to clean the rims unless they're badly dirtied by mud or tar or such. (Don't see much point in washing the wheels either. Or any part of the bike, for that matter.) Commented Oct 1, 2013 at 3:02
  • Right, I was looking for any reason for washing the bike J Starting with the wheels, being the easiest part to remove and clean. That said, I love a clean bike as much as I hate to clean one.
    – imel96
    Commented Oct 2, 2013 at 3:33
  • Took my bike to the shop for a complete overhaul a couple of years back. Got it back and didn't recognize it, it was so clean. It's only now beginning to look "normal" again. Commented Oct 2, 2013 at 10:42

1 Answer 1


Cleaning the wheels regularly will probably help the life if the brakes, but most likely only modestly. The most important reason to clean the wheels is to remove the road dirt/grime that builds up and can wear on the pads faster, but the brake dust most likely isn't causing undue wear.

Cleaning the rims shouldn't adversely affect the life of the rim if you are doing it correctly and making sure that the rims are dry after cleaning.

  • I agree that dirt/grime will cause more trouble than the dust. I'm just thinking if I clean the dust, will the pads just deposit more to fill the space left by cleaning and won't that wear out the pads faster?
    – imel96
    Commented Oct 1, 2013 at 3:00
  • 1
    The pads will wear at the same rate no matter what. It just will depend on where the dust gets deposited. If the grooves in the rim are clean, the dust will accumulate there, if they are filled with brake dust, then the dust will still be produced, but won't stay on the rim and will blow away. Either way the pads are being worn at the same rate.
    – sevargdcg
    Commented Oct 1, 2013 at 13:15

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