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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 10-08-09, 09:03 AM   #1
bluenote157
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why are brakes on cx swapped? right lever for front brake..

I know this isn't always the case, but I've seen and read a lot about this. Is it because the front brake should require the use of your dominant hand? I would think that the left lever should operate the front brake so that you can dump gears if you have bar ends??

on another note..anyone race with moustache bars? I know that barends for risers are prohibited but are moustache bars?
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Old 10-08-09, 09:09 AM   #2
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its because some people like to be able to brake with the rear brake while dismounting to slow themselves down rather than using the front brake and popping the rear end up by accident.
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Old 10-08-09, 09:09 AM   #3
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its because when dismounting lots of people like to be able to use the left break to slow down
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Old 10-08-09, 09:10 AM   #4
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ahh.. i see.. thanks
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Old 10-08-09, 09:14 AM   #5
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There's also a lot of guys that just prefer moto-style brakes (i.e. left-rear) in general.

I think it's preferable having left-front. You can scrub speed just fine going into barrier sections. Also, while shouldering the bike you can do the PRO trick of squeezing the front brake to help pull up the rear.

Moustache bars are fine for local cross races. Mtb bar-ends are prohibited because they face forward.
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Old 10-08-09, 12:06 PM   #6
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That is, if you dismount to the left side and shoulder with right Right. Moto style is nice once you get used to it anyway (I won't go back)
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Old 10-08-09, 02:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by flargle View Post
I think it's preferable having left-front. You can scrub speed just fine going into barrier sections. Also, while shouldering the bike you can do the PRO trick of squeezing the front brake to help pull up the rear.
This is how mine is setup. You shouldn't brake much going into barriers anyways...given they are on a strait away. Just like flargle said, brake with the front (left or right depending how you get off) as you reach for the down tube and it pops right up. It's actually pretty easy to do with about an hour of practice...and I am NO pro.

Last edited by hocker; 10-08-09 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 10-18-09, 01:59 PM   #8
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Your bike is an Anglophile

Everyone in the UK, rides with the right lever operating the front brake. Just accept your bike's Anglophile habits, don't try and Americanize it. In time you will learn to love your bike for what it is and at same you can learn to sing "God save the Queen", wave the Union Jack and drink warm beer.

Enjoy.

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Old 10-18-09, 02:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by kennykaos View Post
its because some people like to be able to brake with the rear brake while dismounting to slow themselves down rather than using the front brake and popping the rear end up by accident.
norms seem to grow in strength, but i like to see folks bucking such trends...i would think you would want to use that front brake as you jump off (and still rolling) to POP that back wheel up and you don't have to completely lift it onto your shoulder....

but what do i know...especially about the moustache bars...
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Old 10-18-09, 02:14 PM   #10
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I think it's preferable having left-front. You can scrub speed just fine going into barrier sections. Also, while shouldering the bike you can do the PRO trick of squeezing the front brake to help pull up the rear.
oops, already mentioned.
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Old 10-18-09, 03:29 PM   #11
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All bikes should be right front-configured. It's a better brake to use, as you can still pedal even when trying to slow down. You can only "slam" the right brake, and I rarely slam a brake unless I'm in traffic. Braking isn't on-off, but more like a clutch. You brake slowly, and anticipate a stop, not skid as you decide last minute about that barrier.
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Old 10-20-09, 08:16 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Jack's ABC View Post
Everyone in the UK, rides with the right lever operating the front brake. Just accept your bike's Anglophile habits, don't try and Americanize it. In time you will learn to love your bike for what it is and at same you can learn to sing "God save the Queen", wave the Union Jack and drink warm beer.
I found this out when renting a mountain bike in Christchurch, NZ. For the first ten or fifteen minutes I could not figure out for the life of me why my rear wheel kept skidding out. It wasn't until I had to carry the bike over a fence barrier and squeezed the left to stop the front wheel from rotating that I caught on to what was happening. By the end of the four hour ride I was braking without having to think about it.

Of course the next week in Queenstown the shop I rented from (Vertigo Bikes) switched the cables before I picked up the bike because I was an American. It took another ten or fifteen minutes of riding to relearn that the left was front.

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All bikes should be right front-configured. It's a better brake to use, as you can still pedal even when trying to slow down. You can only "slam" the right brake, and I rarely slam a brake unless I'm in traffic. Braking isn't on-off, but more like a clutch. You brake slowly, and anticipate a stop, not skid as you decide last minute about that barrier.
I'm sorry, but I don't see any of your reasoning as to why right-to-front is better. I think everything you have said would apply whether the front brake is connected to the left or right lever.


After my experience in NZ, I think it's more a matter of what you are used to and what you find comfortable. A list of pros & cons could probably be made for both setups.
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Old 10-20-09, 09:39 AM   #13
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It's so you can brake and signal at the same time.


Wait, I thought I clicked on "Commuting."
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Old 10-27-09, 01:08 AM   #14
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>For the first ten or fifteen minutes I could not figure out for the life of me why my rear wheel kept skidding out.

Heh, I brought a european bike back to Australia once, got it serviced, and the LBS owner almost refused to let it leave the shop without "fixing" the brakes, because it was "dangerous". I eventually persuaded him that switching the brakes from the way I'd been using them for the last year was probably more dangerous...
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Old 10-28-09, 07:58 PM   #15
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My beater / college campus lockup bike has the brakes flipped. Not intentionally though. I totally had a dummy moment and didn't realize what I'd done til I had the bars wrapped. Then I put off fixing it for another day. That day never came and it's still like that. I personally have no problem switching but the brakes on that bike BLOW and it has steel wheels with chromed braking surface so it's pretty damn near impossible to accidentally endo it by clamping the wrong lever. Pretty much any stop of any importance on that bike is a double lever squeeze with all your might and I pretty much accept that any kind of emergency evasive stop may require a Flintstone moment.
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Old 10-29-09, 05:18 AM   #16
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so if you run a moto brake set up what do you do about your shifting? for instances if you use brifters do you push them outwards? and would the left/rear brake be your RD? or do you go all out and switch your internals so your levers push in wards to shift... Oooooorrrrr do you just not run motto brakes with brifters? im thing its the later statement.. imput?
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Old 10-29-09, 05:28 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by nelzar13 View Post
so if you run a moto brake set up what do you do about your shifting? for instances if you use brifters do you push them outwards? and would the left/rear brake be your RD? or do you go all out and switch your internals so your levers push in wards to shift... Oooooorrrrr do you just not run motto brakes with brifters? im thing its the later statement.. imput?

You are thinking way too far into this. The shifters don't change. You can't swap internals. You just swap the brakes, the shifting doesnt change. I run moto-style on all my bikes
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Old 10-29-09, 06:01 AM   #18
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so if you run a moto brake set up what do you do about your shifting? for instances if you use brifters do you push them outwards? and would the left/rear brake be your RD? or do you go all out and switch your internals so your levers push in wards to shift... Oooooorrrrr do you just not run motto brakes with brifters? im thing its the later statement.. imput?
Ahahahahaha. Dude, you just switch the brake cables. The brifters stay where they are.
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Old 10-29-09, 12:54 PM   #19
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Ahahahahaha. Dude, you just switch the brake cables. The brifters stay where they are.
Can you imagine using Shimano brifters with the brake cables facing outward. They'd be snagging on everything.
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Old 10-29-09, 02:02 PM   #20
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Can you imagine using Shimano brifters with the brake cables facing outward. They'd be snagging on everything.
Shifter cables.
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