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  1. #1
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    Right lever -> Front brake

    Hi all,

    The more I ride on surface streets, the more I think about swapping my brake levers. EG so the Right lever stops the front wheel, and the left stops the back.

    The thought process matches Sheldon Brown's. EG Its easier to stop with the front brake, but normally you can't reach it when signaling.

    Has anyone else done this?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Kimmitt's Avatar
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    It's a trivial switch, so try it and see if you like it.
    I see unexamined people. All the time. I don't think they know they're unexamined.

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    Did it with my Trek Navigator and my Trek Multitrack and no problems.

  4. #4
    foolishly delirious RatedZeroHero's Avatar
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    I couldn't do it...

    I have always known it to be the opposite from my motorcycles...

    I would get seriously hurt on either the bike or the Harley...

  5. #5
    XR2
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    Because I ride motorcycles I always swap.Less thinking is a good thing for me.But I hear "man your brake is backwards" a lot.
    I owe-therefore I am.

  6. #6
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Same reason, to match my motorcycles.

    It's extremely easy to switch the cables from one lever to the other. 2 minutes, max.

    It's now easy to remember which hand does what.

  7. #7
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    Right lever for the front brake over here and I never used to think about it. Then one of my mates changed his over accidentally one day and it did not affect him at all- he just got used to it. Affected me though when I went to check his bike out and he got annoyed with the scratches on the frame when I pulled on the wrong brake and dropped his bike when the front wheel locked.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrimsonEclipse View Post
    In the left hand driving countries, the lever swap is normal, recommended, and in countries like New Zealand, required for sale with in the country.

    All I can suggest is when you do the swap, remember to train your mind too. (to avoid any over-the-bars situations.

    Cheers.

    CE
    If they drive on the opposite side of the road, and their brakes are on the opposite side, basically everything is opposite. Doesn't that mean that your signaling hand is now on the opposite side, so it would again be on the wrong side of the road?

  9. #9
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    I did it to match my motorcycle, and prefer it when signaling while braking.

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    Did it on my LWB recumbent (20" front wheel) and it works fine. bk

  11. #11
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    Don't know what problem signaling creates because I make right turns by signaling with my right arm and left turns with my left arm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    Don't know what problem signaling creates because I make right turns by signaling with my right arm and left turns with my left arm.
    ...I was just going to write this myself, after thinking about it. I tried doing arm signals for a while - no one seems to understand the "I'm turning right" signal if you do it with your left hand.

  13. #13
    foolishly delirious RatedZeroHero's Avatar
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    if you are signaling with both hands you aren't making legal signals...

    that is the point of this discussion...

    left and right turns as well as stop are supposed to be done with the LEFT arm...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by corkscrew View Post
    Its easier to stop with the front brake, but normally you can't reach it when signaling.
    Well, if you're going to be braking with only one hand on the bars (the one on the brake lever) do you really want to be hitting your front brake? I prefer to use the rear brake only when signaling or taking a drink precisely because it is the weaker brake and I don't need to brace myself. If I need to panic stop, it's both hands back on the bars and hit the front brake.

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    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
    If they drive on the opposite side of the road, and their brakes are on the opposite side, basically everything is opposite. Doesn't that mean that your signaling hand is now on the opposite side, so it would again be on the wrong side of the road?
    Nope, the road is on the wrong side of the bike .
    °Empty drums make a lot of noice... (Old Hungarian proverb).

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RatedZeroHero View Post
    if you are signaling with both hands you aren't making legal signals...

    that is the point of this discussion...

    left and right turns as well as stop are supposed to be done with the LEFT arm...
    Confronting another cyclist

    As far as which brake on which side is concerned, I don't think it should matter. If you're braking hard enough that skidding or endo-ing is a concern, you really should be finished with signaling and have both hands on the bars anyway. That means, then, that if you're braking while signaling, you're braking more lightly, and are well within your strength abilities of either hand.

    The most legitimate reason I've read yet for right hand-front brake is to match motorcycles. Other than that, and besides a few countries' requirement to sell them that way, it's just personal preference, and simply not worth discussing.

  17. #17
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    Somewhat off topic, but I ride motorcycle as primary mode of transportation and I never had a problem with brakes setup differently then on my bikes. Even when I was learning how to ride a motorcycle. Maybe because I already had a lot of experience with bikes, the brain just added motorcycle as a separate thing?

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  18. #18
    Tell a thousand lies... BurnMyEyes's Avatar
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    I toyed with the idea of swapping mine, but I decided that it would cause more problems than it's worth. If I ever rid a different bike, and forget to think about which hand is doing the braking, it wouldn't be too good.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrimsonEclipse View Post
    (to avoid any over-the-bars situations.
    brace yourself back with your arms and you won't flip over the bars regardless of how hard you hit the front brake. i've tried it several times in the parking lot - quite fun (but not good for my tires )

    i'm left handed so i'm happy that the front brake lever is on the left. for once we lefties get the consideration we deserve

  20. #20
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XR2 View Post
    Because I ride motorcycles I always swap.Less thinking is a good thing for me.But I hear "man your brake is backwards" a lot.
    I used to ride motorcycles too, it would seem weird to me to try and get the correct modulation of the front brake with the left hand.
    Quote Originally Posted by RatedZeroHero View Post
    if you are signaling with both hands you aren't making legal signals...

    that is the point of this discussion...

    left and right turns as well as stop are supposed to be done with the LEFT arm...
    I don't remember in the UK the weird (to me ) way of signaling that the US employs for cycling. We just pointed with whichever hand was appropriate.

    Edit: Apparently according to Wickipedia, the common US method of signaling a right turn is optional.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hand_signals

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by RatedZeroHero View Post
    if you are signaling with both hands you aren't making legal signals...

    that is the point of this discussion...

    left and right turns as well as stop are supposed to be done with the LEFT arm...
    Because? Why must they be done with the left arm?

    http://www.inlandempirecycling.com/C...nd_signals.htm

    I understand why the general rule was made but think about how signals have changed. A car blinks on the right side for a right turn and the left side for a left turn. The hand signals originally were designed because no one could see your right arm on a left hand drive car or your left arm on a right hand drive car. But on a bicycle you are signaling for more than just cars you are signaling for other cyclists.

    How do you signal for a car parked on you right with you left arm? If you signal for an object in the road on your left so that a car doesn’t think you are stopping? At night I have found cars understand a reflective glove or better yet lit glove on the right and left hand makes a far better indicator of your intended direction than a raised left hand.

    I have never been stopped for making my signals with the hand on the side I planned to turn on even when those signals have been made directly in front of a officer. But even if I did have to signal with my left hand I believe I can lower that hand before I have to make the turn in case I have to stop.

  22. #22
    lungbuster estabro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by corkscrew View Post

    Has anyone else done this?
    Tried it. Maybe it is more "logical" but erasing years of muscle memory isn't worth any "benefit".

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by RatedZeroHero View Post
    left and right turns as well as stop are supposed to be done with the LEFT arm...
    First of all, they are NOT. All places I bothered to look up this law for permit extending the right arm to signal right.

    Secondly, even if it were not legally recognized, why would you care anyway? It's clearly a signal that drivers and other road users are far more likely to understand.
    Stomping as lightly as I can...

  24. #24
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    As of 1 Oct this year Nevada law allows the use of the right arm to indicate a right turn for bicyclists.

    http://nevadabike.wordpress.com/2009...-turn-signals/

    If Nevada allows it then I suspect that most other states do also. Check your state laws.
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    I have bikes set up both ways and never had any problems.

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