This is rule number one and perhaps the most important! Keeping the Disc brake pads and rotors clean is essential for the braking mechanism to function well and offer optimal stopping power. To clean the brake pads, you need to remove them from the caliper and give them a light sanding with fine grit sandpaper - just enough to remove the shiny glaze from the surface of the pad. With regular usage brake pads can become crystallized and glaze over, this causes a brake squeal and a notable decrease in braking power. Lightly sanding them will return the pad to its original condition, thereby removing any impurities and improving braking power. When it comes to brake rotors, you’ll need to use a designated brake cleaner for bicycles, or rubbing alcohol. Use a clean rag to clean the rotor of any pad residue, oil or impurities. Check the surface for any nicks or sharp edges and if found, lightly sand them down to smoothen the surface - thus offering a uniform braking surface. Lastly, make sure that the disc rotor is straight. If it isn’t, use the designated tool to straighten it until no running occurs. Remember to always use a tool to do this and never with your bare hands as this could contaminate the braking surface.