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an old issue of bicycling did a full study on the size and shape of brake pad fins and determined their impact on the aerodynamics of a bicycle. from what i remember, the fins had a positive impact and accounted for an extra 1.2 mph in ideal conditions.
 

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thr0ttles said:
an old issue of bicycling did a full study on the size and shape of brake pad fins and determined their impact on the aerodynamics of a bicycle. from what i remember, the fins had a positive impact and accounted for an extra 1.2 mph in ideal conditions.
I find that extremely hard to believe. I have also heard that a certain aero seatpost could add 2 mph. And certain wheels 4 and the right handlbars.....pretty soon I should be able to ride the local TT with an average close to 37.
 

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you guys are silly

those 'fins' as you call them have nothing to do with aerodynamics or guiding in the wheel, They are for 'toeing' in the brake pads, there is a tool made to fit over that fin-like tab that acts as a lever to gently bend the brake arm to contact the rim at an angle (i.e. toeing the pad)
 

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i think you're thinking about something else

kenyonCycleist said:
those 'fins' as you call them have nothing to do with aerodynamics or guiding in the wheel, They are for 'toeing' in the brake pads, there is a tool made to fit over that fin-like tab that acts as a lever to gently bend the brake arm to contact the rim at an angle (i.e. toeing the pad)
the tabs that are being refered to, are for wheel changes. If that's how you set the toe in on your pads, you must have arms like barry bonds.

obviously the post on aerodynamics was sarcastic....
 

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Define fins

If you're talking about the (very rare) finned brake shoes (I think Kool Stop used to make these), they were a marketing gimmick to make you think that somehow you could cool a thick rubber pad by increasing surface area on the side opposite the contact/heat generating point. If you're talking about a small protrusion on the lower part of the pad that points away from the rim, these are wheel guides, to help you get the wheel between the brake pads quickly when slapping a wheel into the frame. Some brakes have this feature as a separate metal structure, while others have the concept built into the brake pad.
 

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yeah right said:
obviously the post on aerodynamics was sarcastic....
finally...someone with a sense of humor that hasn't been deadened by too much time in the saddle.
 

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Unless I'm reading all of this incorrectly, Kaboom's question refers not to the pad, but to the shoe (which you slide the pad into). It's a good question - I don't have the answer, but I've got a feeling he's talking about the shoe and not the pad.
 

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thr0ttles said:
finally...someone with a sense of humor that hasn't been deadened by too much time in the saddle.
Alright, you got me on that one, but you gotta admit, there is not shortage of ridiculous (but serious) claims out there in the cycling press.
 

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I am ideed asking about the shoe. excuse me if i wasnt clear.
 

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Kaboom said:
I am ideed asking about the shoe. excuse me if i wasnt clear.
The molded plastic fins, like in an Ultegra brake pad, are wheel guides. They are swooped and wing-looking to make them look cool. Not even Shimano claims any aerodynamic reasons.

Somebody mentioned the pads with the black, finned aluminum holders. These were Scott-Mathauser pads, for the Scott Superbrake, a unique "scissor" actuated road caliper brake from the 1980's. These were fantastic brakes, if you had fairly strong hands. The ones I tried had great modulation and a ton of power. But they had very stiff springs, so hand effort was higher. Quite heavy as well. Bicycle Guide liked 'em, Bicycling didn't, IIRC.

--Shannon
 

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Kaboom said:
I am ideed asking about the shoe. excuse me if i wasnt clear.
Well, some one-piece pads have the wheel guide fin molded in, but the other fin is a flared extension of the pad towards the back of the bike. These are common on Ritchey cartridge pads and to a lesser extent on Kool-Stop pads - the marketing text is that this acts as a 'squeegee' to remove water and debris from the rim just before the 'meat' of the pad squeezes the rim, thus improving braking.

Funny, I rode in monsoon conditions for 5 hours on Saturday with my Kool Stops and didn't feel any advantage of the 'fin'....
 
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