Brake levers - which way round.

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by Will1985, 2 Mar 2008.

  1. Left

    1 vote(s)
  2. Right

    1 vote(s)
  1. Will1985

    Will1985 Über Member

    South Norfolk
    I've just been on the CampyOnly site and read about which way round the brake levers should go. An American said that it is illegal in the States to buy a bike with the right lever connected to the front brake, but the CPSC allows you to change it yourself later.

    I cast my mind back to testing and subsequently ordering my bike in Italy. The one I tried had the front brake on the left which felt distinctly odd so I asked for it to be changed to the right just like my other bike. Now logic says to me that in a country where you drive on the right, you would want the front (as a primary brake) to be on the right in order to let you use the left hand for signalling across the road...and obviously left-front for the UK.

    Is there an accepted norm? What do people do here? All I remember is that motorcyclists have right-front, and some of the pros do too, notably Cipollini.

    Which way do you have your bike set up?
  2. I think this is the reason for our right hand front brake. I recall riding my dad's MTB in Bahrain (after, ahem, some drink had been taken) and attempting to slow down gently using my left hand and finishing up faceplanting the tarmac because the brakes were the other way round from what I was used to!
    I suppose it's not such an issue for motorcyclists as (a) they don't have to signal in the same way we do and (;) they have a clutch and a brake controlled by hand, rather than two brakes.
  3. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    i got my mtb mail order from germany and first thing i did is swapped the brakes round.
    Too used to it being rear left, front right to want to try it the other way round.
  4. You were in Bahrain? My father worked for ALBA and lived in Awali. I learnt to drive his works Mazda pick-up in the desert. We used to go and stand by the airport fence and watch Concorde take off/land C.1977.
  5. yenrod

    yenrod Guest

    A good while back when I was part of a cycle gang of mates one of them decided on doing this forsomegodamreason and actually got into it !

    How, I dont know, but i couldnt do it - supposedly the cables run better or something but thats for another life ! ;)
  6. OP

    Will1985 Über Member

    South Norfolk
    Well that is a pretty conclusive result - perhaps a more international forum might give a few more votes for the left!!
  7. longers

    longers Veteran

    ACF did something similar recently and the results were very different.
  8. I was at school there in the mid eighties, at the American school in Manama. My dad worked for BAPCO, indeed still does, and we lived in Awali too. I'll be staying there when I go out for the F1 in April. Bahrain has changed beyond all recognition since the eighties, but Awali is still like a little piece of the 1950s.;)
  9. You need t be able to scratch your bo!!ocks at any time even while you are slowing down, so rear on the left if right handed.
  10. Dave5N

    Dave5N Über Member

    R=Front; L=Back. I believe this is standard here now. Certainly how I coach.

    My older English bikes both are set up t'other way round.

    Gear levers always seem to be standard as well - R=rear, L=Front
  11. Rob S

    Rob S New Member

    Looks like I'm in the's front=left for me. You can see it should be that from the design of the caliper ;)
  12. yello

    yello Legendary Member

    There's no "don't know" option!

    I am sure 3 of my bikes are one way and the other is the other way... but I'll be darned if I know which! I work it out when I ride.
  13. mondobongo

    mondobongo Über Member

    R=Front L=Rear thats how mine have been for the last 5 years since I got back into bikes.
  14. mr Mag00

    mr Mag00 rising member

    Deepest Dorset
    r=rear for me im right handed, i use my rear brake more than front ,which according to another thread on here i seem to be in the minority. as am right handed and figure i have more ability to moderate the brake with the right hand, thats my thinking.
  15. Jacomus-rides-Gen

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Guildford / London
    This is actually a misnomer, purported by legislators who have never actually ridden a bicycle.

    Luyckily, whilst their logic is backwards the result is correct.

    The most important signal for a cyclist in a country that drives on the left, is a right turn signal. If you were to be in a situation where you need to signal and brake at the same time you do not want to be using your front brake.

    You can use the rear brake fairly safely one handed, but using the front brake creates a strong turning force on the bars.

    Thus it is good for bikes in the UK to have the front brake on the RHS, from a lazy braking sense. Really you should not be signalling at the same time as braking.

    IMO it makes the most sense to have bikes with a right handed front brake, as most people are right handed. This gives the majority the best control over the best brake.
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