So I'm picking up a new 2011 Novara Transfer bike this weekend which has rim brakes. My current 16" folder also has V type rim brakes. I saw the biketudor video on changing brake pads and it helped a lot.
I'm big into the low-maintenance aspect of dutch style bikes so roller brakes would have been nice. But I got most of the features I want in my new bike.
How frequently do people change break pads? Is damage to rims more likely as break pads wear down to the shoe? I guess reversing the placement of the thin washers for the wide washers is typically done after the breaks are about half worn out. The wider washer set then makes up for the loss of contact that results from the break pad having worn down some and thus being not as close to rim. The wider washer set brings the pads back to the distance they were from the rim back when the rim was new. Is this a correct interpretation?
So as you can see, I'm just getting my feet wet with maintaining rim brakes beyond the basic level of adjusting the barrels near the brake handles - which only can do so much. Rim brakes can be plenty powerful and offer the advantage of being light weight. But they do quickly lose a lot of their effectiveness without regular maintenance. It gets annoying having to pull my brake levers all the way to get decent braking power - knowing that when new, they could stop me on a dime with just a small grab.
Those of you who maintain your rim brakes yourself - please chime in with some of your experience. Thanks.