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Bicycle Brakes Standard

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Bicycle Brakes Standard

Old 01-05-20, 05:05 PM
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There is a lot to be said about having your dominant hand control the front brake. I rode for years as a right handed cyclist with my front brake lever on the right side. My right hand gave me much better control and modulation of the front brake. I was even able to sense when my back wheel was lifting off the ground and often made very fast stops from high speeds with my rear wheel not even touching the pavement These were not panic stops, I knew what I was doing and had the bike under perfect control. However, aero cable routing changed things. The sharp curve in the cable casing necessitated by running the brake cable under the bar tape to the front brake really ruined the brake modulation I had enjoyed with non aero brake levers. Too bad, I really enjoyed the feeling of fast descents where I could basically increase the tracking ability of my front tire going into a fast downhill corner with a subtle application of my front brake. My left hand lacks that ability. I believe that Sheldon wrote an article about that very thing: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/brakturn.html
One thing from the article is this: " The theory that seems most probable to me is that the 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 did this because I'm right-handed, and wish to have my more skillful hand operate the more critical brake."

I did this myself for many years with good results long before I ever had heard about Sheldon Brown

Last edited by alcjphil; 01-05-20 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 01-05-20, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix
My childhood bikes were only coaster brake equipped. Funny thing is on this morning's ride on my Schwinn, with a front caliper and coaster rear, I was mostly using the coaster brake only. Can't wear it out if I don't use it.
All the bicycles I acquired in Germany for myself and family were equipped with 3, 5 or 7 speed IGH, coaster brakes, and came with as standard front wheel rim brakes with the brake lever on the right side. Everybody in my family has had no problem at all with such a setup.
This Zero Seven and Ragazzi were Sachs Spectro 7 IGH:

The Kynast was a Sachs Penta Sport 5 Speed:

The rest all had Sachs Torpedo 3 speed IGH; the Pegasus was unusual in that it had 22" wheels which was perfect fit for my son when he was 7-9 YO.

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