How To Grind Rims

Grinding rims is the fastest way to improve your braking power while simultaneously voiding the warranty on your wheels! Who needs a warranty anyway?! We all know what kind of abuse these wheels are in for - ground rims or not.

There are a lot of different approaches to grinding rims, but ultimately the two things that make the most impact are the angle at which you grind and the attachment that you use to do the grind.

How to grind rims

The first thing you need is an angle grinder and some eye and ear protection. You’ll also want to find a piece of cardboard or something similar that you can put on the ground to protect the rest of the wheel from scratches.

Prep your wheel by completely removing your tire and tube. Feel free to remove your rim strip as well, that way none of the metal shavings get caught up inside the rim. You’ll also want to find something to cover up the freehub with, that way the shavings from the rim don’t find their way into anything mechanical.

Set your wheel down on the ground and prepare to start the grind. I usually recommend a light pass on the rim to start - as you get more comfortable with the process, you can push a little bit harder. If you push too hard, you can damage the rim, so we want to start mellow until we get the hang of it. I also recommend starting at an extremely shallow angle with the grind, just to get started.


How to grind rims

Once you’ve got the hang of the grinding, you can make your grind a bit more aggressive by steepening the angle of the grind (I go directly perpendicular for mine). The idea of roughing up the rim is all about giving the pads more surface area to bite - so if you are grinding perpendicular to the rim, that’s about as opposite to the direction of the wheel’s movement as you can get.

Other riders have used some interesting cutting blades to get even deeper grinds, but this method should work well to get you started.

Another option that some riders add in after the grind is to rub roofing tar on the ground rims (I’m serious!). That also works quite well, unless it gets wet. Honestly, though, even without tar, a solid grind on your wheel should massively improve your braking power. Have fun and be careful!