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Cable Routing and Wrong-Side Sidepulls

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Cable Routing and Wrong-Side Sidepulls

Old 10-22-16, 02:17 PM
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Cable Routing and Wrong-Side Sidepulls

This is a pretty common thing, and always annoying:





Left lever front, right lever rear. Front caliper with cable on left. Braze-on cable guides for rear brake slightly right of center underneath top tube.

My best guess is some huge part of the cycling planet runs right/front left/rear, in which case everything works out. Be that as it may, how do you guys run your cables when the situation above presents itself? More or less as I've got it pictured or...?

It doesn't cause me any issues, really. Just looks... off, ya know?
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Old 10-22-16, 02:25 PM
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Looking at the photo, your brakes are period correct for your frame, as indicated by the right side cable braze ons.

I have no idea if there's an official standard, and if so when it switched, since I have brakes with either orientation.

The fix for yours is very simple, route the front brake cable to the opposite side of the stem, and the rear forward of the bar. This keeps both nicely away from your hands and will relieve stress on the rear when the bars are turned full tight.
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Old 10-22-16, 02:36 PM
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Your bike is precisely the mirror image of my 1962 Bianchi Corsa, whose Universal sidepulls were the mirror image of your Weinmann/Diacompes, and whose rear cable guides were brazed onto the lower left side of the top tube. It came with same-side cabling, exactly the mirror image of what you show. Schwinns were set up more like your bike, with left front / right rear and Weinmann-style sidepulls.

I guess I don't see a problem. Use longer cables and cross them over, as is common practice today, or just keep them as-is, depending on your own preference for brake parity.
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Old 10-22-16, 02:36 PM
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I have one bike with Dia Compe 500G sidepulls that are reversed like that. I chose to run the levers left-rear, right-front.

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Old 10-22-16, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Vintage_Cyclist View Post
I have one bike with Dia Compe 500G sidepulls that are reversed like that. I chose to run the levers left-rear, right-front.
Looks good to me.
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Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger (2), S/N 42624, 42597
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Old 10-22-16, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Vintage_Cyclist View Post
I have one bike with Dia Compe 500G sidepulls that are reversed like that. I chose to run the levers left-rear, right-front.
Hijacking my own thread here... I've been wondering what the "G" on these calipers is about. Do you know?
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Old 10-22-16, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
Your bike is precisely the mirror image of my 1962 Bianchi Corsa, whose Universal sidepulls were the mirror image of your Weinmann/Diacompes, and whose rear cable guides were brazed onto the lower left side of the top tube. It came with same-side cabling, exactly the mirror image of what you show. Schwinns were set up more like your bike, with left front / right rear and Weinmann-style sidepulls.

I guess I don't see a problem. Use longer cables and cross them over, as is common practice today, or just keep them as-is, depending on your own preference for brake parity.
Exactly. The routing is correct as is. It's the mirror image of virtually every Italian racing bike of the pre aero era. We are just not use to seeing it. Going right/front (called "Italian style" when I was a mechanic) with 'regular' sidepulls results in the same routing. IMO routing in front of the bars is never correct.

Gratuitous well known C&V racer:

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Old 10-22-16, 03:15 PM
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I can rationalize this for Japanese brakes, as Japan drives on the left side of the road. Consequently, cyclists signal with their right hand and the right brake lever typically operated the front brake. It made sense to have the cable anchor on the opposite/non-drive side, for the front caliper. Certainly, that's the typical set-up in my pre-boom, Japanese literature.
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Old 10-22-16, 03:38 PM
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I rented a bicycle in Tokyo last month. The shop owner made a point of telling me that brake cables in Japan are the reverse of the USA and to pull both brakes evenly to avoid confusing myself. He was correct. I have heard that British bicycles are similar.
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Old 10-22-16, 03:49 PM
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Whether brakes are set up left hand front or right hand front differs country by country. Left hand front as in the US in by no means universal.
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Old 10-22-16, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by J.Oxley View Post
Hijacking my own thread here... I've been wondering what the "G" on these calipers is about. Do you know?
I sold hundreds of these brakes BITD. As far as I know it was just a model designation. For all we know it stood for "good." It might also be because they were copies or analogs of Weinmann 500 brakes and they felt they couldn't just call them "500".

BTW - year later they brought out a nicer mid level brake and called it simply "G", so maybe "G has some significance to somebody at DiaCompe.
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Old 10-22-16, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
... Left hand front as in the US in by no means universal.
... but it is far more common than right-front, and the CPSC at least tried for that standardization.

I always liked centerpulls and top tube brake cable clips, because it was trivial to set up a bike either way.
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Old 10-22-16, 05:41 PM
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Left front is far more common and in fact the unofficial standard in the US, though a lot of racers (and motorcyclists) prefer to set their bikes right/front.

However, my point was that right/front is standard in many countries around the world, outside NA and the jurisdiction of the CPSC. Off the top of my head: UK, Australia, Italy, Japan. Probably lots of others. IIRC France is left/front.
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Old 10-22-16, 05:51 PM
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Given that the overwhelming majority of people are right handed, right-front brakes make more sense to me. I wouldn't be surprised if the unofficial standard of right-rear/left-front arose from discussions, where it was felt people were too stupid to differentiate their brake motions with their shifter motions and would get themselves confused as to which lever controlled front and back. Or perhaps it's evidence of some sinister plot by the left-handed among us!
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Old 10-22-16, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
... but it is far more common than right-front, and the CPSC at least tried for that standardization. ...
The CPSC standard of left front, is partly an accident of history a d circumstance. They wanted a standard because of concern over people riding bikes that were reversed and having an endo if/when applying the front when they thought it was the rear. (I don't see it as an issue, but endos were common back then, and it was a concern for the CPSC).

So, they needed to set a standard and it was a 50/50 toss up ---- EXCEPT, that a segment of youth bikes were set up with coaster brake and front caliper. Some of these were 3-speed, and so had the trigger on the right, and putting the brake lever on the left made sense. That group where right front didn't make as much sense, tipped the scales and left front became the standard.
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Old 10-22-16, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Exactly. The routing is correct as is. It's the mirror image of virtually every Italian racing bike of the pre aero era. We are just not use to seeing it. Going right/front (called "Italian style" when I was a mechanic) with 'regular' sidepulls results in the same routing. IMO routing in front of the bars is never correct.

Gratuitous well known C&V racer:

Well there ya go then.
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Old 10-22-16, 07:39 PM
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I set up my obscure 60s Raleigh Sports the same way so my vote is to keep it as-is.
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Old 10-22-16, 07:44 PM
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Isn't that that guy from Hogan's Heros?
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Old 10-22-16, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
Isn't that that guy from Hogan's Heros?
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Old 10-23-16, 06:57 AM
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Back in the early 50's the hot aftermarket ticket was a Weinmann side pull front brake on our balloon tire bikes. They were always right front.

I did a header the first day I got my "3 Speed English Racer". That was about 1952 or 53 and it had left front. I was going down a steep gravel alley and....

After riding motor cycles I never could get used left front.

I was in Japan in 1964-65 and bought a Bridgestone randonneur 10 speed with Weinmann center pulls and Huret derailleurs. It had right front so the comment about left front in Japan isn't completely accurate. The attached pictures show my bike plus a 1967 ad for a similar model with right front. (The 3rd cable was for the 3 speed rear hub - I had an early 30 speed)

Most of the bikes in Japan were rod brake single speed 50 lbs. behemoths, copied directly from British bikes of the early 1900's. I can't remember which side controlled the front brakes but they may have been left front???

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Old 10-23-16, 07:54 AM
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This must be the reason they invented centerpull brakes…
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Old 10-23-16, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
Isn't that that guy from Hogan's Heros?
Stalag 17 Racing Team?
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Old 10-23-16, 05:15 PM
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I always thought that a left hand front brake was to allow the right hand to operate the right down-tube shifter.


The British still drive on the wrong side of the street.
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Old 10-23-16, 05:36 PM
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I run right/front, left/rear on my bike. Being right handed and having the most powerful brake in my dominant hand just seems to be common sense.

Pic of bike:

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 10-23-16, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
The CPSC standard of left front, is partly an accident of history a d circumstance. They wanted a standard because of concern over people riding bikes that were reversed and having an endo if/when applying the front when they thought it was the rear. (I don't see it as an issue, but endos were common back then, and it was a concern for the CPSC).

So, they needed to set a standard and it was a 50/50 toss up ---- EXCEPT, that a segment of youth bikes were set up with coaster brake and front caliper. Some of these were 3-speed, and so had the trigger on the right, and putting the brake lever on the left made sense. That group where right front didn't make as much sense, tipped the scales and left front became the standard.
That may be true, but CPSC started in 1972. My English Duneault (sp) had left front and that was 1965 as did my '67 Peugeot UP-8. My friend's dad's Allegro was the same as I recall. (Now, this might all be the work of The Bicycle Exchange in Cambridge, MA which assembled all three - I think, I can't swear to the Allegro but they did carry them.)

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