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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 06-12-13, 01:15 PM   #1
5M177Y
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Swapping Left and Right Brakes

What's the best / easiest way to swap the brakes around (my new bike has left-front brake)? Take the whole lever off?
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Old 06-12-13, 01:20 PM   #2
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simply reroute the cables and you're done. it might look odd though
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Old 06-12-13, 01:21 PM   #3
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No, you don't switch the levers, just the cables. Many lefties and Europeans operate the front brake with the right hand, myself included. The lever action is the same, and you shouldn 't change the sides of the shifters. So just switch the cables.
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Old 06-12-13, 01:23 PM   #4
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I've never understood left hand front brake.

Doesn't make any sense.
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Old 06-12-13, 01:24 PM   #5
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No, you don't switch the levers, just the cables. Many lefties and Europeans operate the front brake with the right hand, myself included. The lever action is the same, and you shouldn 't change the sides of the shifters. So just switch the cables.
haha i'm a european lefty and i just use them the 'normal' way
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Old 06-12-13, 01:24 PM   #6
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simply reroute the cables and you're done. it might look odd though
Actually I think the look is cleaner as there is no crossover. All what you get used to.
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Old 06-12-13, 01:25 PM   #7
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So disconnect the cables at the levers?
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Old 06-12-13, 01:26 PM   #8
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Actually I think the look is cleaner as there is no crossover. All what you get used to.
cleaner? could be but these sharp turns won't do any good to your cables and brake performance
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Old 06-12-13, 01:28 PM   #9
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So disconnect the cables at the levers?
detach the cables at both brake callipers, remove the inner (steel) cable. route the outer cable form the right brake to the front and the outer from the left to the back. insert the inner and your done
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Old 06-12-13, 01:31 PM   #10
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detach the cables at both brake callipers, remove the inner (steel) cable. route the outer cable form the right brake to the front and the outer from the left to the back. insert the inner and your done
The front cable won't be long enough to reach the back brake, surely?
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Old 06-12-13, 01:36 PM   #11
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What part of dominant hand operates the rear brake is so hard to understand? And there are no sharp bends. You can put as much curve in as you like. Nagrom how can you argue that your way is the only way whether you are left handed or right handed? There is a clear difference. No, not all lefties have to recerse their brakes, but there is a reason to do so if they wish. Hey, I didn't make this up, it is well established.

Yes OP, just remove the cables from the levers and brakes and switch them to the other levers. Then reconnect to the same brakes and you are good. Same lengths may work.
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Old 06-12-13, 01:37 PM   #12
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The front cable won't be long enough to reach the back brake, surely?
No, you change the lever that each cablr is attached to, not the caliper. If you changed both, you would not have changed anything at all!
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Old 06-12-13, 01:37 PM   #13
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nope that's why i said insert, not reinsert. maybe i should have been more clear, my bad. you'll have to buy new cables and possible even new outer cables now i think about it. so you'd have to retape your bars as well
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Old 06-12-13, 01:43 PM   #14
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nope that's why i said insert, not reinsert. maybe i should have been more clear, my bad. you'll have to buy new cables and possible even new outer cables now i think about it. so you'd have to retape your bars as well
Retape bars yes, but shouldn't need new cables. The cable runs done "lefty" are shorter than "normal" because neither side crosses in front of the head tube.
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Old 06-12-13, 01:48 PM   #15
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You don't need to buy new cables, unless the ends are too frayed, or they're too short after you cut off the ferule.

The cable and housing that was running from the left brifter now runs from the right brifter and vice versa.

You will have to take the cable loose at the caliper, and completely unthread it from the brifter, and you'll have to take the housing off from under the bar.

The long housing and cable that used to run from the right brifter to the rear brake, runs from the left brifter to the rear brake.

The short cable and housing that used to run from the left brifter to the front brake now runs from the right brifter to the rear brake.

No need for new cables if they're in good shape.

And you don't switch which cable is attached to which brake, but you can't get the cable out of the brifter, intact, without taking it loose fromt he caliper.
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Old 06-12-13, 02:23 PM   #16
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I've never understood left hand front brake.

Doesn't make any sense.
For those of us who still use old school left-hand signals, right/rear is more stable. To each their own I guess - there's no right answer. I use V-brake pads on one of my road bikes. Works better than road pads *shrug*
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Old 06-12-13, 02:29 PM   #17
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I've never understood left hand front brake.

Doesn't make any sense.
Nagrom, I apologize. I misread your post and thought you meant you didn't understand RIGHT hand front brakes. My bad.
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Old 06-12-13, 02:36 PM   #18
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For those of us who still use old school left-hand signals, right/rear is more stable. To each their own I guess - there's no right answer. I use V-brake pads on one of my road bikes. Works better than road pads *shrug*
Hmm, I use front brake on pavement a LOT more - 90% of braking. So no problems there.

Still, the main reason I made front brake - right lever is that it's the same way on motorcycle. And it's a LOT easier to reroute cables on bicycles than on motorcyles. So right is front - intuitive for me. If it wasn't for that, I'd just leave it as it is and get used to it.
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Old 06-12-13, 02:38 PM   #19
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Hmm, I use front brake on pavement a LOT more - 90% of braking. So no problems there.

Still, the main reason I made front brake - right lever is that it's the same way on motorcycle. And it's a LOT easier to reroute cables on bicycles than on motorcyles. So right is front - intuitive for me. If it wasn't for that, I'd just leave it as it is and get used to it.
Doing it with one hand while you signal makes it less stable than using the rear brake one-handed. I have noticed that not a lot of roadies signal to begin with, so maybe it is a non-issue for most.
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Old 06-12-13, 02:47 PM   #20
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Doing it with one hand while you signal makes it less stable than using the rear brake one-handed. I have noticed that not a lot of roadies signal to begin with, so maybe it is a non-issue for most.
Yes, I 100% agree. I just brake carefully, gradually when using only one hand. No real issues - problems for me. On MTB, hybrid, or road bike. At least for me.
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Old 06-12-13, 03:42 PM   #21
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Like Slaninar, I prefer to run front brake on the right hand for continuity with motorcycles. I also feel the right hand, being dominant, is easier for me to modulate finely, allowing max braking while acoiding lockup on the front wheel, which if it were to happen would, of course mean a crash, whereas a locked rear wheel is just a slide.
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Old 06-12-13, 03:53 PM   #22
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Oh man, they're everywhere, they're everywhere those weird right hand front brake folks. Who knew?
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Old 06-12-13, 03:56 PM   #23
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Many lefties .... operate the front brake with the right hand, myself included.
Hi,

I'm a lefty and ideally the front brake would be on the left. In the
UK I just live with the convention of on the right, but it makes no
sense to change on the left for a lefty because your a lefty.

rgds, sreten.

The front brake is your best brake and should be controlled by
by your best hand, to encourage its use and feel. The USA
has it all wrong, but i can see moreorless how they got there.

Last edited by sreten; 06-12-13 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 06-12-13, 04:16 PM   #24
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No, you change the lever that each cablr is attached to, not the caliper. If you changed both, you would not have changed anything at all!
Haha yes, I realise that. It sounded like you were saying leave the cables attached to the levers and swap at the callipers.

Is it not possible to remove cable from lever by just slackening the cable up to the ferule, rather than removing the inner from the outer?
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Old 06-12-13, 05:21 PM   #25
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Haha yes, I realise that. It sounded like you were saying leave the cables attached to the levers and swap at the callipers.

Is it not possible to remove cable from lever by just slackening the cable up to the ferule, rather than removing the inner from the outer?
No. The inner has to be unthreaded from the lever.
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