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View Poll Results: Do you switch brakes for cross racing?

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  • Yes (reversed)

    12 63.16%
  • No (traditional)

    7 36.84%
Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Junior Member tneedham's Avatar
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    reversing brakes for cross racing?

    I am curious what the percentage is of cross racers that reverse their brake levers (the left lever controls the rear brake, and the right lever controls the front brake) ?

  2. #2
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    I do.

  3. #3
    Senior Member JimmyMack's Avatar
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    all of my bikes are reversed

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyMack
    all of my bikes are reversed
    +1

  5. #5
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    Why?
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
    1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho
    Why?
    Why reversed on the cross bike, or on all the bikes?

    On the cross bike, it works to your advantage because you commonly dismount on the left side. Your right hand is (should be) resting on the top tube before you dismount. If you're coming up to a barrier too fast, having the rear brake lever on the left side allows you to slow your speed without risking a front wheel skid, which could cause you to lose control.

    -- A quick side-note: One argument against switching the brakes is that if your right hand is resting on the top tube, then you are pinching the rear brake cable, and you won't be able to operate the rear brake anyway. However, the plastic straw-shaped housing over the exposed portion of the cable (which you should add if you make this modification) allows the cable to slide underneath the weight of your hand. --

    As for all the bikes, well, it's very confusing (at least for me) to remember which hand operates which brake unless they're all the same.

  7. #7
    Portland, OR i_r_beej's Avatar
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    I don't "reverse" my brakes for 'cross. If i were to do that i'd need to switch my other bikes as well-- so it's probably just sheer laziness on my part that i don't even bother doing it since i'm already used to the way things are.

    I'm quite aware of the justifications given for right/front and left/rear brake lever set-up. But in the end, i think it's really just a matter of personal preference.

    I would propose that braking before a transition is rather inefficient and perhaps indicates that technique needs to be improved upon. At least in my experience i've discovered that my transitions were faster and smoother when i properly judged the approach and didn't use brakes at all.
    Despite the fact that I constantly recommend Kool-Stop brake pads-- no, I don't work for Kool-Stop. (Although their factory is just a few blocks from my house!)

    I ride drop bars off-road. (The excellent On-One "Midge.")

  8. #8
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    I don't "reverse" mine...too handy to tap the front brake with your left hand to tilt your bike into a carrying position.

  9. #9
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    All my brakes are moto.

    Walleye's right about the advantage of doing it the other way. But has probably never had a guy crash in front of him while rolling up to a barrier and instinctively grabbing a fist full of front brake while standing on one pedal.

    Ron

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by lunacycle
    Why reversed on the cross bike, or on all the bikes?

    On the cross bike, it works to your advantage because you commonly dismount on the left side. Your right hand is (should be) resting on the top tube before you dismount. If you're coming up to a barrier too fast, having the rear brake lever on the left side allows you to slow your speed without risking a front wheel skid, which could cause you to lose control.

    -- A quick side-note: One argument against switching the brakes is that if your right hand is resting on the top tube, then you are pinching the rear brake cable, and you won't be able to operate the rear brake anyway. However, the plastic straw-shaped housing over the exposed portion of the cable (which you should add if you make this modification) allows the cable to slide underneath the weight of your hand. --

    As for all the bikes, well, it's very confusing (at least for me) to remember which hand operates which brake unless they're all the same.
    where can you get that tubing from?
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  11. #11
    Senior Member JimmyMack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho
    Why?
    I read the Sheldon Brown article on braking for beginners when I first got back on the road bike. It reads that the front brake is the most powerful brake to use, and all beginners should learn how to use it. Controlling the front brake with my left hand was a constant exercise in dexterity and grip strength. So, I just decided that I would switch everything and become an expert with the front brake. It worked well for me and never switched back. All the bikes are like this now.

    When it came time to race cross, it made more sense when dismounting on the left. If I came into a barrier too hot, very often my first season, I could grab a fist full of brake with the left. No worries about the dreaded endo, and I had the strength in the right hand to control my braking for the remainder of the course. With the ergo setup and single chainring. My right hand controls everything in the cockpit of my machine during the race.

    If you are constantly endoing due to heavy braking try reversing the brakes. You may just love it, and feel the need to do this on all your bikes.


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRLski
    where can you get that tubing from?
    I don't know, they came stock with my bike. They're like thin plastic straws -- not particularly rigid, but better than the three or four little donuts that you usually see attached to the cables. I would imagine that your LBS would have some spares sitting around.

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