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Thread: Brake Pad Toe

  1. #1
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    Brake Pad Toe

    I recently overhauled a 1979 Raleigh and outfitted it as a 'cross bike (sort of...I basically just put 'cross tires on it) for my girlfriend to have a bike to hit some of the local trails. Project went well, except for one thing: major whining and shuddering from the rear brakes. I went through the standard checklist...toed the pads in to various degrees, made sure the rim was true and braking surface clean, switched to a harder pad compound. The harder pad compound with a ton of toe-in helped, but still the whining and shuddering remained. Finally, as a last resort, I toed the pads out so that the lagging pad edge is what contacted the rim first. Result: clean braking and no sound/vibrations.

    I'm definitely happy with the results, but I am a little concerned about the stopping power of the brakes when toed out. Has anyone else had to resort to brake toe-out? And is braking compromised with this type of pad-to-surface contact?

    Oh, by the way, pictures of the project to come soon on the classic and vintage forum.

  2. #2
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    The front-brake does most of the stopping, while the rear-brake provides drag and stability so you don't fly over the handlebars. How much toe-out do you have on the rear brake-pads? A picture would help. But if it's working fine and you're able to stop, they are probably good-to-go.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  3. #3
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    When the lagging edge of the pad touches the rim, the leading edge is about 1.5-2 mm from it. Sorry about not having a picture, but I'm lacking in the camera department (girlfriend is a photojournalist, so I let her do the picture-ifying...and I'm also cheap and lazy).

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    I think the cause of the shuddering may be that there's play in the brake caliper. Try wiggling each pad in opposite directions to see if there is. If not, maybe the brake isn't secured tight enough against the frame.

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    On V-brakes, a toed pad will "go flat" on the rim with not much pressure on the levers, giving you full contact anyway. I have toed out pads many times and had great results. No noise and good braking. Not to worry. bk

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkaapcke View Post
    On V-brakes, a toed pad will "go flat" on the rim with not much pressure on the levers, giving you full contact anyway. I have toed out pads many times and had great results. No noise and good braking. Not to worry. bk
    Thanks for putting my mind at ease. And yes, I forgot to mention in my initial post that I did, indeed, have to tighten the calipers, but that alone did not remedy my problem.

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