Yes, you're seeing that correctly. It's a picture of a bike with no brake pads. A friend of mine posted this on Facebook the other day, after she discovered that someone had stolen her brake pads while the bike was locked up. I just had to mention it here, since it's both mystifying and egregious. I have so many questions swirling around in my head:
- Brake pads are among the cheapest parts on a bike. If you're going to steal parts, why go for the cheap ones?
- Is this person too afraid to go to one of the many Seattle bike shops and plunk down a few bucks for some pads? Stealing someone else's certainly seems like more work, so it's not a question of laziness.
- Are the pads being used right now on someone else's bike? Are they happy with the stopping power? The modulation? The pad compound?
Seeing this picture reminded me of a story that my high school history teacher used to tell about seeing parking lots full of cars without windshield wiper blades in the Soviet Union. There were severe shortages of wiper blades during the years of communist 5-year plans, so people either took their wiper blades with them, or had them stolen. Or so the story goes...
Which begs one final question: Is there a brake pad shortage that I don't know about?