somehow the alloy braking surface of my rear wheel's rim has got a series of quite shallow lacerations, less than a mil' deep bunched quite closely together (the effected area is no more than 1/8 of the rim).

When I brake (side pull road bike brakes) I can hear it making a different sound on each rotation has the damage goes past the pads.

The wheels are Reparto Corse's which came with my Bianchi, they are new and have less than 1k miles (probably way less). And they are fine in every other respect.

So I guess my options are:

  • Leave it and let it smooth out with use. May take some time and wear down brake pads faster.
  • Lightly sand the worst offending parts with high grit abrasive paper.
  • Fill the damage with expoxy (or similar) then sand.
  • Replace the rim (would it worth the labour cost?)

So are any of these good options or do you have any idea what you may also do?


  • 1
    Are these scratches along the direction of rotation or at right angles to it? Oct 16, 2013 at 14:34
  • @DanielRHicks at right angle to the direction of rotation.
    – 111111
    Oct 16, 2013 at 15:23
  • 2
    Its a couple years later now - what happened to your wheel rim and the damaged braking surface? Did you do anything about it or just ride it as-is?
    – Criggie
    Oct 19, 2015 at 1:01

1 Answer 1


You've hit the major repair options in your question. I've heard of people filling in spots on a fork stanchion before and having it work OK, so I'd assume a rim would probably work too. The only difference might come from when the rim heats up due to braking, the filler could expand/contract differently than the rim material and get dislodged again.

I wouldn't recommend sanding as removing more material will make the braking surface uneven anyways. If it were me, I'd leave the damage as is and only address it if it starts to cause the brake pads to wear very quickly.

  • Your brake pads will do a great job at smoothing everything out. All rims will wear out over time, but if it's shallow scoring you won't have any problems.
    – WTHarper
    Oct 16, 2013 at 15:18
  • @WTHarper yep, it's just whether or not it's worth taking some emery paper to the peaks of the scratches so a). the pad won't wear so fast b). shards don't get stuck in the pads and do further damage
    – 111111
    Oct 16, 2013 at 15:24
  • It couldn't hurt. You're not going to be able to damage the rim unless you have above average hand-sanding endurance.
    – WTHarper
    Oct 16, 2013 at 15:26
  • @WTHarper I think my best course of action is to ride it for a 100mi (1 week) or so and see whether it wears down the pad fast and see if it's got any better, if not lightly sand the peaks.
    – 111111
    Oct 16, 2013 at 15:31
  • 2
    If you decide to sand, what I'd do is stick bits of emery paper behind the brake pad and squeeze, as you rotate the wheel by hand, back and forth going several inches beyond the problem spot. Oct 17, 2013 at 0:41

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