Originally Posted by GearNut
...always clean his rims with WD40 and make sure that they were well wiped clean afterwards. Miniscule WD40 residue left behind, but still there. No dressing on the brake pads although the calipers were tweaked a little so the rear of the pad would contact the rim slightly before the front of the pad would. I followed his advice and found that the braking sucked really bad.....at first. After 10-15 moderate stops they became very powerful and consistently reliable brakes.
That sounds like a good place to start. I think I've heard of that trick with the pads, now that you mention it. I suspect minimal exposure to WD40 could also help keep the pad from hardening as quickly (but I'm no pro in that field, it makes sense to me with what I understand of the materials and sciences invloved).