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Brake Cable Routing Question.

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Brake Cable Routing Question.

Old 03-15-09, 09:38 PM
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Brake Cable Routing Question.

In a recent edition of Cycling Plus (January 2009) they had a De Rosa on the front cover. The bike had Campy / 3T components and the Right brake lever was controlling the front brake instead of the rear. Is this common practice in Europe or was this done for the photo shoot? None of my bikes (build up by 3 different shops) were cabled in this fashion. All my bikes have the right brake lever controlling the rear brake.

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Old 03-15-09, 10:28 PM
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The left lever/front brake is more a US thing...
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Old 03-16-09, 05:43 AM
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Some people call that "moto style", because motorcycles have the right lever controlling the front brake, and the left lever controlling the clutch. It isn't common, but it is a matter of preference.
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Old 03-16-09, 07:29 AM
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Look at all the pro pics. Most everyone is Right/Rear. With the exception of the Aussies (most notably Cadel Evans)

Really its a preference. But I have found as long as your brain is trained to pull the correct lever, it makes no real difference. Switching back and forth is the hardest.
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Old 03-16-09, 07:32 AM
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As always, the late, great Sheldon Brown has all the answers for you. Everything below is quoted from this page of his.

"Which Brake Which Side?

There is considerable disagreement as to which brake should be connected to which lever:
  • Some cyclists say it is best to have the stronger right hand (presuming a right-handed cyclist) operate the rear brake.
  • Motorcycles always have the right hand control the front brake, so cyclists who are also motorcyclists often prefer this setup.
There are also observable national trends:
  • In countries where vehicles drive on the right, it is common to set the brakes up so that the front brake is operated by the left lever.
  • In countries where vehicles drive on the left, it is common to set the brakes up so that the front brake is operated by the right lever.
The theory that seems most probable to me is that these national standards arose from a concern that the cyclist be able to make hand signals, and still be able to reach the primary brake. This logical idea is, unfortunately, accompanied by the incorrect premise that the rear brake is the primary brake.

For this reason, I set my own bikes up so that the right hand controls the front brake, which is not the norm in the U.S.

I also do this because I'm right handed, and wish to have my more skillful hand operate the more critical brake."
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Old 03-16-09, 07:53 AM
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I have my bikes set up the "conventional US" way with the left lever operating the front brake. Since I'm left-handed, I wind up with the front brake operated by my stronger hand.

However, these days with double pivot calipers and V-brakes, the hand force required to lock either or both wheels is well within the stength of either hand for most riders so the stronger hand operating the front brake isn't much of an advantage. I also wonder if most rider's strong hand is any more dexterous then their weak hand
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Old 03-16-09, 01:44 PM
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I think Italians and the British route the right lever to the front but the Americans and French route the left one to the front. So it doesn't seem to hinge on which side of the road we drive on.

I really don't think it's a big deal. Do what you like. I grew up with the left on the front, so I prefer to stay that way. Be wary, though, when you borrow someone's bike, and give a warning to anyone who borrows yours, if your bike is done in the way that's non-standard for your country.
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