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Strange Brake Wear?
#1
It's been a while since I've looked at my 1981 Free Spirit Pinnacle (27" road bike), but I can recall the last time I rode it I almost had some "close calls" because the brakes were gone.

However, on closer inspection, it looks like (to me) that there is plenty of "padding" on the brake pad. The only issue is there is a groove wore into the pads. None of the brakes stop.

Front brakes
[Image: YDBCW7iSWDILsjkp4dg1a8DdVS5X6puWvttkYvjf...32-h767-no]
Link (for in case the image doesn't show)
Rear brakes
[Image: DNibBvYnrbnH7BcOvtikLyhE7DkFM0oBfOSFUuuQ...32-h767-no]
Link (for in case the image doesn't show)
A closer look (rear)...
[Image: RUKhteR1whXT3QyI0ycrsmOFnBGU6RmAx_EO7jDg...64-h767-no]
Link (for in case the image doesn't show)

What could be causing this? I'd like to figure out the culprit before I replace the pads.

Also: is there a special type of brake pads I need to buy? I measured them and they're 1.5". I've never purchased brake pads on my own (always had the LBS do that - before they closed up shop), so I'm not really sure what I need to look for. Is there any special method of replacing brake pads?
-Garrett, Boonville, MO
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