Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Why are v-brake pads so thin?

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Why are v-brake pads so thin?

Old 12-10-10, 03:53 AM
  #1  
TurbineBlade
Kid A
Thread Starter
 
TurbineBlade's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 1,778
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
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.


thanks,
TurbineBlade is offline  
Old 12-10-10, 03:58 AM
  #2  
dabac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,554
Mentioned: 46 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1041 Post(s)
Liked 233 Times in 173 Posts
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.
dabac is offline  
Old 12-10-10, 04:00 AM
  #3  
BCRider
Senior Member
 
BCRider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Posts: 5,466

Bikes: Norco (2), Miyata, Canondale, Soma, Redline

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
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.
BCRider is offline  
Old 12-10-10, 07:43 AM
  #4  
HillRider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 32,910

Bikes: '96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '20 Surly Midnight Special, All are 3x10. It is hilly around here!

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1691 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 572 Times in 422 Posts
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.
HillRider is offline  
Old 12-10-10, 12:10 PM
  #5  
FBinNY
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 35,964

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 125 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4368 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 40 Times in 35 Posts
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.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 12-10-10, 12:37 PM
  #6  
DannoXYZ 
Senior Member
 
DannoXYZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Saratoga, CA
Posts: 11,736
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 108 Post(s)
Liked 6 Times in 4 Posts
It's more aero and you go faster with slimmer pads.
DannoXYZ is offline  
Old 12-10-10, 01:27 PM
  #7  
fietsbob
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,599

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,322 Times in 832 Posts
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 ..
fietsbob is offline  
Old 12-10-10, 02:33 PM
  #8  
Alan@TreeFort
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 221

Bikes: 2010 Niner EMD, 2008 Surly Steamroller, 2007 Giant OCR.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
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!
Alan@TreeFort is offline  
Old 12-10-10, 06:59 PM
  #9  
SBinNYC
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 549
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
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.
SBinNYC is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
hhk25
Bicycle Mechanics
8
05-28-18 06:11 AM
Cafe
Road Cycling
39
11-13-14 09:57 AM
fotoflojoe
Bicycle Mechanics
4
08-06-11 05:55 AM
echo
Bicycle Mechanics
7
02-02-11 09:38 AM
Fleetdog
Bicycle Mechanics
22
03-12-10 01:43 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.