the wings on brake cartridges

greenacre Posts: 20
edited August 2010 in Workshop
There is downward protruding wings on Shimano brake cartridges. I took off and forget which way they should face. I put the brake cartridges either way and both ways appear to break effectively. Does it really matter which way they face? Wings towards the front or back?


  • desweller
    desweller Posts: 5,175
    They're not wings. They're there to guide the wheel in between the brake blocks when swapping during a race. Are they replaceable pads or are you swapping the whole unit? If they are replaceable pad, you should install them so that the braking load doesn't pull the pad out of the holder (obviously this would be very bad).
    - - - - - - - - - -
    On Strava.{/url}
  • It was the best way to describe them. They are replaceable pad type with a little screw that keeps the pad secure.

    If just wheel guides, i point backwards for aerodynamics.
  • I see your point. They still very secure whether screw is at the front or at the back but best to fix so wheel rotation pushes the brake pad into the cartridge :wink:. 50mph downhilll pre corners really test them.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Closed end of brake shoes ALWAYS face forwards - there's no guarantee the little retainer screws won't vibrate loose and a fast downhill isn't the time to watch your brake pads shoot forwards for the sake of aesthetics.

    Only numbties would ignore this and in fact immediately qualify themselves for a Darwin Award!
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Is this the only reason why you can't use a front brake as a back brake and vice versa, unless you reverse the cartridges?
  • stokey1964
    stokey1964 Posts: 454
    front and back brakes are indentical APART from the length of the mounting thread. A front brake will always be much longer than the rear as it has to fit through the front fork.

    The pads will fit either front or back, just need fitting on the correct side to ensure the direction is correct. Even with non cartridge pads they normally have a direction arrow on them refering to the front of the bike or the words forward with an arrow

  • Hugh A
    Hugh A Posts: 1,189
    Depends a bit on the brakes - some are different front to back apart from the bolt and can even have different mechanisms. But as Monty says - they all need to have the cartridges in the right way round. Getting this wrong could be a very difficult learning experience.
    I\'m sure I had one of those here somewhere
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Campag went for weight saving in the form of dual pivot front / single pivot back brakes, which you'd be silly to swap round, even if it was possible.

    "But as Monty says - they all need to have the cartridges in the right way round. Getting this wrong could be a very difficult learning experience."

    -could also be a very short learning experience.