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Why are v-brake pads so thin?

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Why are v-brake pads so thin?

Old 12-10-10, 03:53 AM
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Why are v-brake pads so thin?

I was just wondering if there's a reason behind this. I was thinking of using cantilever pads on my v-brakes b/c they have a lot more rubber there and seem as if they'd last a lot longer.

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Old 12-10-10, 03:58 AM
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V-brake pads tends to be longer too, which makes it possible to have both decent life and a sleek design simultaneously.
Maybe they also figured that replacing pads or adjusting pads is pretty much the same chore, so that people might prefer to throw new pads on there while they're still at it.
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Old 12-10-10, 04:00 AM
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Depending on the rim you may find that the thicker pads cause the brake arms to end up angled out too far. On a lot of rims thicker pads don't work due to this.
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Old 12-10-10, 07:43 AM
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Some of the newer cantilever brakes (Shimano's BR-R500 for example) now use V-brake pads and holders. It makes the original set up and alignment easier and changing the pads only requires slipping out the old and in the new with no realignment.

I believe BCRider is correct that thicker pads on V-brakes could cause arm angularity problems when used with the wider rims common on MTBs.
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Old 12-10-10, 12:10 PM
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As BCrider and Hillrider said, the pads are designed around the distance from the mounting face of the brake arm to the rim. If you wanted to be a perfectionist you'd either thicken or thin the pads or, add or remove washers to compensate for various widths of rims. The makers also considered a bunch of factors that are easy to miss, such as the clearance between the fork blade and rim since most of the shoes extend back into the fork.

The typical pads are sort of the best compromise, or least likely to cause complications. On some bikes you could easily go thicker, though I'm not sure that thicker inserts are available for the holders used with V-brakes.
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Old 12-10-10, 12:37 PM
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It's more aero and you go faster with slimmer pads.
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Old 12-10-10, 01:27 PM
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If your setup uses a bunch of spacers between the Pad
and the mounting slot on the arms of the caliper,
then you may be able to fit some thicker brake shoes on ..
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Old 12-10-10, 02:33 PM
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My understanding of it is because unless you ride a TON and do a lot of braking, chances are your brake pads will become firm and hard before they wear down completely. It is very bad for your rims to run brake pads that have dried out. Basically, the hardened pad wears down on the rim, causing flakes of aluminum break off and get stuck to the pad. The pad then becomes more abrasive, digging further into the rim, and acting more like sand-paper then a soft piece of rubber, completely destroying the rim. I've seen this happen several times, especially on bikes that had been set aside for years and then ridden extensively.

So... they are generally narrower so that they will wear down before they get too hard, that is if you ride the bike regularly. It might cost you a little bit to switch out the brake pads every couple months, but is much better than having to switch out your wheels due to worn rims!
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Old 12-10-10, 06:59 PM
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This is only a guess.

If the brake is not aligned to compensate for brake pad wear, the vertical position on the rim that the pad hits it will change. The more wear, the further down (towards the hub) the pad will strike the rim. If this process is allowed to continue without repositioning, it is possible for the brake pad to completely miss the side of the rim and slip beneath it. This will invariably lock the wheel with generally disaterous results to the rider.

This will not happen if the pad is sufficiently thin. The shoe will hit the rim alerting the rider to replace the brake shoes. It also sells more brake shoes. I presume this solution made both the lawyers and the manufacturer happy.
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