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  1. #1
    Gretassister
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    Left Handed Bikes

    I think someone should make left-handed bikes, with the chain rings and everything on the oppisite side. Because I am very left handed , I generally dismount and handle the bike to the right, often ending up with greasy legs.

  2. #2
    Senior Member cranky's Avatar
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    It's gotta be tough living in a backwards world...

    Though I dont know much about them, may I suggest a chainless bicycle ?

  3. #3
    Spoked to Death phidauex's Avatar
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    Fixed gear bicycles can be assembled either way, right hand drive or left hand drive. But since no one makes backwards freewheels, I don't think there is a way to do it on a 'regular' bike.

    I recommend a chainguard, one of the most useful inventions that no one seems to use.

    peace,
    sam

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    Senior Member cranky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phidauex
    Fixed gear bicycles can be assembled either way, right hand drive or left hand drive.
    It may be a smaller issue, but wont you have a pedal threading problem? The left crank arm being reverse threaded. If you switch them, the threading for both crank arms will be opposite and there'll be a tendency for the pedals to come loose. Or is it still the same? Too much for my little brain.

    Either way I'd hate to have a pedal come off on a fixed gear!

  5. #5
    Avatar out of order. MarkS's Avatar
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    I'm lefty. I mount from the left. I hold the left bike handle with the left hand and the saddle seat with the right. I pick up my right leg and swing it over the top bar. I put my right hand on the right bar. I proceed to bike. Should be even easier if you have a woman's bike. Probably the young'uns have a sportier way of mounting than that. In any event, it doesn't seem to require the fine motor skills that left/right handedness tasks like writing would.

    Then again, I'm nearly ambidextrous, so maybe there's something I'm missing.

    According to Sheldon Brown's logic, lefties should have an an advantage since bikes are wired with the strongest brake on the left side. But I signal with either hand, figuring that motorists won't have a clue what an upraised arm means.

  6. #6
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joyce Wasser
    I think someone should make left-handed bikes, with the chain rings and everything on the oppisite side. Because I am very left handed , I generally dismount and handle the bike to the right, often ending up with greasy legs.
    I'm right handed but I typically mount from the right. However it should be possible to develop the habit of mounting/dismounting on the left. In fact I would think it's an important skill to be able do either side. You might have to stop on a trail next to a mud puddle, or on a slope where it's not easy to dismount on one side, or next to a wall on your right where you want to lean the bike, and you should be prepared to go off the other side.
    Robert

  7. #7
    Spoked to Death phidauex's Avatar
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    I've gotten to the point where I can mount comfortably from both sides. Its a good skill to have. I mount a little better from the left side, but both work. I can even mount and dismount from the back on the fixed gears, and have occasionally dismounted off the front (unintentionally ).

    The pedal threading issue for 'left hand drive' fixies isn't a big deal. If you think about it, the threading on a regular bike is set up to loosen the pedals as you ride! This doesn't matter because the force of friction that the bearings exert on the pedal spindle is no where near the force of friction holding a well tightened pedal in place, but its one of the reasons pedal wrenches are so long, you need to get them pretty tight to begin with, in order to prevent them from popping off! But of course, that is easier than the opposite threading situation, where the pedals will tend to tighten themselves a bit. So if you do left hand drive, you won't have a problem with pedals coming off, but you may have the smaller, but annoying problem of having incredibly tight pedals. Just get a good coat of anti-seize or grease on the threads, and pack a big wrench.

    peace,
    sam

  8. #8
    Censorship Stinks! pcsanity1's Avatar
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    I am a lefty, I thought I picked cycling because it did not have a problem with left and right.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Just get a LHD BMX bike and quite whining.

  10. #10
    Can't touch this! FireTeamCharlie's Avatar
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    Left handed people like us are the superior race. Even though I use my PC mouse right handed, and a few other things, everything else is left handed.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireTeamCharlie
    Left handed people like us are the superior race.
    I got nothin'. My wife is a southpaw.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phidauex
    Fixed gear bicycles can be assembled either way, right hand drive or left hand drive. But since no one makes backwards freewheels, I don't think there is a way to do it on a 'regular' bike.
    Methinks there's no such thing as a left-side derailleur either.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by phidauex

    The pedal threading issue for 'left hand drive' fixies isn't a big deal. If you think about it, the threading on a regular bike is set up to loosen the pedals as you ride!
    No, it's not. Sheldon says:

    "The right pedal has a normal thread, but the left pedal has a left (reverse) thread.
    The reason for this is not obvious: The force from bearing friction would, in fact, tend to unscrew pedals threaded in this manner. The fact is, however, that it is not the bearing friction that makes pedals unscrew themselves, but a phenomenon called "precession".

    You can demonstrate this to yourself by performing a simple experiment. Hold a pencil loosely in one fist, and move the end of it in a circle. You will see that the pencil, as it rubs against the inside of your fist, rotates in the opposite direction."

  14. #14
    Just riding andygates's Avatar
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    I built my fixie left-handed (by mistake: was doing it nekkid and wanted to keep the transmission away from my knackers!). It ran fine but looked weird - as weird as a single-side fork or other freakbike stuff. Nothing unscrewed, but it was all done up tight and I'm a bit of a threadlock ***** these days. The one problem: I have Time ATAC pedals and I couldn't clip in 'cos they were facing backwards!

  15. #15
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jobyl
    No, it's not. Sheldon says:

    "The right pedal has a normal thread, but the left pedal has a left (reverse) thread.
    The reason for this is not obvious: The force from bearing friction would, in fact, tend to unscrew pedals threaded in this manner. The fact is, however, that it is not the bearing friction that makes pedals unscrew themselves, but a phenomenon called "precession".

    You can demonstrate this to yourself by performing a simple experiment. Hold a pencil loosely in one fist, and move the end of it in a circle. You will see that the pencil, as it rubs against the inside of your fist, rotates in the opposite direction."
    Another way to put it: As you drive your car or bike forward, the wheels push dirt backwards. If your wheel locks up while you're moving, it pushes dirt forwards. Similarily, as you drive your right pedal counterclockwise (relative to the clockwise-moving crank), the balls inside it drive the spindle clockwise, screwing it in tighter. If the ball bearing joint freezes up due to long neglect, then pedalling forward will unscrew your pedal.

    Robert

  16. #16
    Avatar out of order. MarkS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireTeamCharlie
    Left handed people like us are the superior race. Even though I use my PC mouse right handed, and a few other things, everything else is left handed.
    If you can do this, its actually a superior method -- you can surf with your right hand and take notes with your left. Same thing with using a keypad -- punch with your right, and jot it down with your left.

  17. #17
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    Careful of the chainring, it's not just dirty, it's sharp too. Just learn to mount and dismount from the left. I'm lefty and that is what I do. In fact I always try to stay on the left of the bike to avoid the dirty side.

    I would think switching the shifting and braking to the opposite sides of the handlebar would be easy. No?

  18. #18
    meb
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jobyl
    No, it's not. Sheldon says:

    "The right pedal has a normal thread, but the left pedal has a left (reverse) thread.
    The reason for this is not obvious: The force from bearing friction would, in fact, tend to unscrew pedals threaded in this manner. The fact is, however, that it is not the bearing friction that makes pedals unscrew themselves, but a phenomenon called "precession".

    You can demonstrate this to yourself by performing a simple experiment. Hold a pencil loosely in one fist, and move the end of it in a circle. You will see that the pencil, as it rubs against the inside of your fist, rotates in the opposite direction."
    The easy pedal remedy is to get a set of tandem captain (front) cranks as they have a timing ring on the left that goes back to the stokers timing ring. Many bmx crank-bottom bracket system are designed to run a spider on either side to accomodate left or right side freewheels.

    Left handed threading on left hand pedals was a Wright Brothers invention. Before that, there was a tendency for the left pedal to crank itself off in time.

    Right side freewheels/sprockets came about because with right hand threads on the freewheel and hub were standard and did not require the extra tooling cost for making left handed theading as would be needed for left side freewheel.

    There are bmx hubs and single speed freewheels available with left hand threads for left side mounting.

  19. #19
    Just riding andygates's Avatar
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    "There are bmx hubs and single speed freewheels available with left hand threads for left side mounting."

    Why? Just because BMXers are an ornery bunch?

  20. #20
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    No, so they can grind on the right side.

  21. #21
    MADE IN HONG KONG
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    Find 1/2 a tandem crank! Oh someone just said that.... Well OK, mount a reg crank th eother way and use eggbeaters. don't thing they care which way they are facing.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Wouldn't it be easier to just dismount to the left? And use a dry chain lube?

  23. #23
    Spoked to Death phidauex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Expatriate
    Wouldn't it be easier to just dismount to the left? And use a dry chain lube?
    You are in the Alt Bike Culture forum, remember? Its not about easy 'sensible' solutions, its about wild and wacky solutions, preferably ones that involve welding, grinding or at least sourcing obscure parts from distant corners of the globe so you can use them in a manner that the designer never intended, all to solve a problem that wasn't really a problem in the first place.

    peace,
    sam

  24. #24
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andygates
    "There are bmx hubs and single speed freewheels available with left hand threads for left side mounting."
    Yeah, I'm watching the X Games and noticed that Dave Mira's bike is a lefty.

  25. #25
    Can't touch this! FireTeamCharlie's Avatar
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    I noticed that when I was watching his BMX trick tips video. If I remeber correctly he grinded left, and di a few other things lefty, the 180s and stuff like that.

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