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I think I caused a problem with my rear brakes. Wasn't happy with them so I tightened them up a little (I guess too much). Was going down hill at high speed (for me) to a stop sign and the brakes became noisy and caused a vibration. Checked them and the back pad area on the right rear shoe had lost material and looked granular. There was a black streak left around the rim on that side.

When I got back home I sanded the burnt pad smooth and cleaned off the black streak on the rim. Re- adjusted the brakes but feel that I've lost some braking in the rear. The sanded pad is now an 1/8" or more lowever then the pads in front of it. However, what I did stopped the noise and vibration.

Cannot find my instruction manual. Buried under something out in the garage probably. Should I just pop for new shoes and re-adjust them. The bike is two months old. When adjusting the brakes is there a rule of thumb as to how much distance between a brake at rest and the rim? I'm riding a Schwinn Trailways that I bought new in August. It has CStar brakes.
 

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Sounds like it was set where the pad wasn't contacting evenly across it's surface. Sounds like it was angled so the rear section of the pad was contacting first. This would cause a vibration like you felt and heard.
 

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Possibly the fixing bolt was loose and the brake shoe shifted position under heavy braking.

Here's a guide to servicing V-brakes. Link. I like the idea to use rubber bands as shims for adjusting toe in. I had not seen that before.
 
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