My daughter received a brand new bike. It came preassembled. The brake pads are oriented vertically. Is that correct?
Your intuition is correct those pads are not right.
- take it back and let them straighten the pad.
- Use a 10mm wrench, loosen the nut, turn the pad and set it to the correct height and tighten the nut.
If they did this wrong it would make me nervous that there are other things they missed.
No. To exert the correct amount of braking force, the whole of the brake pad should contact the rim. When your daughter pulls the lever, only the top quarter of each pad will contact the rim.
Presumably your daughter bought this bike at a department store. Employees there don't specialize in assembling bikes. It could be that the person there thought this was actually the correct way to assemble brakes, or that this error simply didn't get noticed. This is not to blame the person at the store; they tend to be poorly paid and have multiple demands on their time, plus their employers don't find it worth it to train them sufficiently to assemble specialty items correctly. Bikes, even children's bikes, are pretty complex objects, and assembling them well is not easy. I would recommend taking this to a bike store for a once-over.
The pads are installed incorrectly.The need to be oriented so that as much pad as possible rubs on the wheel when the brakes are applied. The pad also cannot contact any part of the tire. Care must be taken to orient the pads in the right direction. These pads don't appear to have a forward indicator but they do appear to have a "V" pattern on the braking surface. They are typically installed so point forward as an arrow. I would recommend bringing the bike to your local shop for a once over. If the assembler was incapable of installing the brakes correctly who knows what else was assembled incorrectly.