Richard Sachs talks about trimming brake pads for his cyclocross bikes so they’ll fit better. I have a bike with V brakes with exactly the same problem — I’ll have to try this out.
This video was shot by Nick Czerula as part of his 12 month project photographing Sachs at work. His book Richard Sachs – Bicycle Maker is available now for pre-order at bicykel.com.
This makes sense, since a friction force is proportional to the force exerted on the rim by the pad and the coefficient of friction between the rim and pad materials. Surface area is not part of the equation.
Besides, if the pads are toed-in, you don’t use the whole surface are of the pad anyway.
Ah, I didn’t know that about surface area. Thanks for the additional info.