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Which hand do you use to shift or drink?

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Which hand do you use to shift or drink?

Old 09-26-14, 08:04 PM
  #1  
Caliper
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Which hand do you use to shift or drink?

Just one of those things I was wondering about while riding today...

I'm right handed and always shift / grab water bottle with my left hand. Really clumsy using my right hand for the bottle, a bit less so shifting.

How about everyone else? One hand for shifting? Right hand for rear der and left hand for front? Does anyone else wonder about these things?
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Old 09-26-14, 08:06 PM
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I shift with one hand, drink with both.
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Old 09-26-14, 08:09 PM
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FD shifts with left hand, RD shifts with right hand. Drink with either.
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Old 09-26-14, 08:10 PM
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[h=2]Which hand do you use to shift or drink?[/h]
Yes.
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Old 09-26-14, 08:17 PM
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I use my right to shift - most times I just use my right hand to shift and drink. For most shifts I use my right hand to operate both downtube shifters. I have my brake cables swapped (Front brake right. Rear brake left) since I was so used to riding motorcycles. Having the rear brake on my left and using my right for off bar maneuvers gives me greater confidence in panic braking situations since I don't have to worry about flipping over the bars. Years of riding dirt bikes leaves me at ease sliding the back if I have to.

On a side not for some reason I also always unclip my right foot first, even if my right is my dominate/power leg.
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Old 09-26-14, 08:21 PM
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Forget shifting! Think braking. I had an accident while hydrating once. Afterwards I rethought my processes (or lack of them). I decided that while drinking from my water bottle.... it would be best if the brake I had access to was my rear brake.

As far as shifting my Vintage down tube shifter I will use ether hand (for ether front or rear) as the hand is only off the handle bar for a second or two.
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Old 09-26-14, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Antieverything View Post
On a side not for some reason I also always unclip my right foot first, even if my right is my dominate/power leg.
Oddly enough, I never even thought of it in terms of weak or strong legs. I got in the habit of unclipping with my left so that I'm not leaning over as much on highly cambered roads.
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Old 09-26-14, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
FD shifts with left hand, RD shifts with right hand. Drink with either.
+1
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Old 09-26-14, 09:08 PM
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Strange, I shift with my thumbs and drink with my lips....you hand drinkers are weird!
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Old 09-26-14, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
Forget shifting! ... it would be best if the brake I had access to was my rear brake. ...
I would disagree there, at least on dry pavement. On wet pavement or gravel I need both brakes together, but otherwise I use the front primarily, because it is so much more effective than the rear. See Sheldon Brown's excellent articles on braking.

American fear of the front brake led us to the current default configuration of left front / right rear, which is arguably not the best way to have done things for the right-handed majority.
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Old 09-26-14, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
I would disagree there, at least on dry pavement. On wet pavement or gravel I need both brakes together, but otherwise I use the front primarily, because it is so much more effective than the rear. See Sheldon Brown's excellent articles on braking.
I really like Sheldon Brown's stuff! And yes.... if I get my choice I also prefer both brakes. But I know for a fact that bicycles can be upended when emergency braking with only a front brake. But I do believe your advice is correct. Thanks!
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Old 09-26-14, 09:48 PM
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With DT or stem shifters I usually use right hand for both. Any other type of shifters, on a front and rear derailleured bike that would be insane.
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Old 09-26-14, 10:17 PM
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I stop to drink. Am ambidextrous but shift using the hand that's on the side of the bike where the shifter is.
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Old 09-27-14, 02:09 AM
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I approve of this thread on the basis it implies downtube shifters...Not so ambidextrous here. Most everything is done with the right hand when on and off the bike. Keeps the controlling left hand on the more powerful front brake, and with the right gives better feel for fine tuning shifters, less likely to drop whatever I'm handling, grab hold of posts during stoplights, clear debris from tires, control computer/gadget, feed oneself or take a feed in a race situation, make gestures kind and retaliatory, zip/unzip, just about everything with the right hand. Left toe strap with left hand though of course.

Even though I am very much right-handed in most things, my left hand is fully capable of squeezing tightly. I've not been persuaded by those who advocate for front brake on the right because it's the dominant hand. Is your left hand so feeble or your brakes so week that they require that typically slight advantage of handedness? Even though I am far more comfortable using my right hand, braking with the left doesn't feel like I'm sacrificing much, if anything.

Last edited by gaucho777; 09-27-14 at 02:15 AM.
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Old 09-27-14, 02:33 AM
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No but i come from riding motorcycles so i always switch front brake to the right.
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Old 09-27-14, 02:36 AM
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I have a (tadpole) recumbent trike with direct steering. Each brake lever controls the brake on its side of the mo-sheen, so it's safest for me to stop when I want to take a swig of my beverage. Not that I always do. Depends on traffic, mood, etc.
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Old 09-27-14, 03:21 AM
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I'm right handed with DT friction on almost everything I've ridden. I shift both front and back (edit: sometimes) and drink on the bike with my left. Left toestrap gets loosened at the stoplight or sign.

Edit:

Yeah I usually shift my RD with my right unless I'm also changing rings at the same time.
I had to ride this morning before I even remembered. Sometimes when you do things by habit you don't even stop to think about what hand you are using.

Last edited by Zinger; 09-27-14 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 09-27-14, 03:23 AM
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Front shift-Left*
Rear shift-Right
Drink-Right
Clip in-Right first
Clip out-Left first
Brakes-Slightly in on Left, then combine with Right (old motorcycle way)

My left hand doesn't work well enough to use for drinking while riding.
My right hand can't hold tools very well. You use what works in each situation.

*Piggy-back Suntours excepted. They are so easy to use without the DT in the way.
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Old 09-27-14, 04:02 AM
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Mostly right for everything including right foot first in and out. The exception is left for FD when not in combination with RD shifts. For some reason, I have always preferred front brake right side and convert all bikes to that configuration. Not always an easy thing to do. I also have MC riding history and practiced controlled stops the point of lockup on my CB1100F front brakes. Saved my ass multiple times.
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Old 09-27-14, 05:10 AM
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I go both ways. I seem to drink mostly with my left but shifting seems to go either way on indexing DT bikes, with friction I use the right more.
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Old 09-27-14, 06:48 AM
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Drink and shift RD with right hand. FD is left hand.
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Old 09-27-14, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Velognome View Post
Strange, I shift with my thumbs and drink with my lips....you hand drinkers are weird!
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Old 09-27-14, 06:55 AM
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Either or. I like to keep things interesting.

Usually shift with left (FD & RD), drink with right.
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Old 09-27-14, 09:15 AM
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Anyone ever successfully shift a brifter or gripshift with the wrong hand without crashing?
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Old 09-27-14, 11:01 AM
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Front shifting with the left, rear shifting with right, drink with right, front braking left, rear braking right, right foot in clips first, unless I'm leaving the garage and cars are in the driveway- then it's left in first. Stopping, I generally pull out my left foot, unless I go up to a curb, then it's my right foot to rest on the curb.

My left hand is kind of goofy, I got it caught in an old freight elevator door around 2 1/2 years ago- it doesn't work right and it hurts all the time- so it's a little weaker than the average non-dominant hand and doesn't like to have a lot of pressure on it.
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