Apologies for the all-caps. It's just the angle of this toe-in only conjures up one thing: the image of Macho Man Randy Savage yelling "extreeeeeeeeme" while eating jerky.
Up front, the question is this: is the amount of toe-in I'm about to describe normal in anyone's opinion, or is there any reason why you would want to toe the brakes so aggressively? The bike is a Surly Cross Check, and the brakes are Tektro Oryx with threaded posts (the ones that are adjustable in all directions, not the Shimano-style ones). Levers are Tiagra brifters. The root cause of this whole deal was that the Kool Stop Thinline pads with the regular compound that I recently installed wouldn't stop shrieking under braking, no matter what I did to adjust them.
Anyway, so my LBS sucks. On the recommendation of a friend, I decided to try another shop about a 15 mi ride away. I figured I'd get my exercise and then, hopefully, deal with the horrible shriek from my brakes.
So I get to the shop, and it seems really legit: folks seem to know what they're talking about, the wrenches are battle-scarred and greasy, etc. I hand the bike over to one of them, explain the issue, and watch him re-toe the brake pads. I take it out for a test-ride, and everything works great--no shriek, no noise, and the bike stops great.
But then I get back into the shop, and I see the pads are at this ridiculous angle to the rim--like maybe 6 or 8 degrees. In fact, the angle is so extreme that even under the heaviest possible braking pressure, the rear 2/3 of the pad makes no contact whatsoever with the rim! (See the pics: one with no pressure, and one during light braking.)
I had always heard you're supposed to have about a business-card's worth of clearance between the rear of the pad and the rim when you first apply the brakes. But this mechanic is one that my friend, who knows her stuff, recommended by name; he's a custom frame-builder, has loads of experience, etc. That plus the fact that I've been looking for a shop for some time, and this was the first shop where people talked to me like a human being of some worth, even though my bike isn't the most expensive, high-tech machine out there, made me not want to second-guess the guy.
So again, has anyone ever seen or heard about this degree of toe-in? I really, really want to trust this mechanic and his non-jerky, laid-back-but-legit-seeming shop, but if it turns out that the man can't do a simple brake alignment, should I bother giving him something more complex next time around? My instinct is to trust this guy and his work, so I suppose a secondary question would be, why on earth would you only want 1/3 of the pad touching the rim, even under the heaviest of braking?
Just FYI, I was able to control speed and stop with no issues at all on my ride home.
Thanks, all. Happy Thanksgiving!