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One lever 2 brakes.

Old 04-23-21, 06:08 PM
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SkinGriz
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One lever 2 brakes.

Anyone have personal experience?
Seems like it would be a fun idea on a klunker or maybe urban MTB/bmx mix of a bike.

maybe shifter on the left, brake lever on the right.

Thanks.
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Old 04-23-21, 06:10 PM
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If anyone with experience wants to take the thread over to beach cruisers, MTB, bmx, vintage or whatever and expand their thoughts I would be grateful.
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Old 04-23-21, 06:14 PM
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Very common fix for Trike riders with one arm.
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Old 04-23-21, 06:48 PM
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I did it once after I broke my hand so I could keep riding on a road bike. But pain from vibration was so bad I stopped riding after a couple rides. As I remember the braking wasn't that great.
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Old 04-23-21, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Pridedog View Post
I did it once after I broke my hand so I could keep riding on a road bike. But pain from vibration was so bad I stopped riding after a couple rides. As I remember the braking wasn't that great.
True about the pain with arm injury with riding with road bike.

I found that riding a hybrid MTB with front fork suspension solved the problem. Ironically, flatbar is more painful to use than dropbar.

Perhaps, the best solution to those recovering from arm injury is use a short travel suspension fork on their road bike, wide MTB or gravel front tires too while they're at it.

One arm braking is scary. Been there when riding with broken arm. One solution is squeeze the top tube with your knees when braking with one arm for body stability so you don't excessively push the handlebar, also need to adjust the saddle into the nose up tilt, again for improving body stability when braking.
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Old 04-23-21, 07:47 PM
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I have built an old MTB for my daughter, she was born with only one hand. I used a grip shifter for the RD and a thumbie for the FD and a double brake lever for the brakes. It works her. Her arm is just below the elbow, I added a bar end on the left side so she can rest her shorty there. It works great and does not need much adjustment to work.

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Old 04-23-21, 07:52 PM
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That’s awesome!

Originally Posted by bwilli88 View Post
I have built an old MTB for my daughter, she was born with only one hand. I used a grip shifter for the RD and a thumbie for the FD and a double brake lever for the brakes. It works her. Her arm is just below the elbow, I added a bar end on the left side so she can rest her shorty there. It works great and does not need much adjustment to work.

I also toy with the idea for my daughters. The older one is not a natural with physical and mechanical things. So maybe to simplify for her. She has a hard time remembering things like “It’s not going to shift until you pedal.”
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Old 04-24-21, 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted by SkinGriz View Post
Anyone have personal experience?
Seems like it would be a fun idea on a klunker or maybe urban MTB/bmx mix of a bike.

maybe shifter on the left, brake lever on the right.

Thanks.
Before this thread dives down the rabbit-hole of what’s more comfortable to ride with an arm injury; what are you trying to accomplish by running both brakes off a single lever?
There’s a couple ways to do it; an in-line ‘splitter’ You see that often on tadpole trikes that have dual front brakes, as well as a rear brake.
There are also levers that can operate two separate cables, they’ll have two adjusters coming out of the ‘front’ these are usually found on adaptive bikes or other mobility devices.
Which one will work best for your application will depend on a couple form features of the bike, which we can’t see from here.

Same goes for a single left-hand shifter. Left shifters are for the front derailleur. If you want to shift a 1x drivetrain from the left side, you’re going to have to kludge up a friction thumb lever or twist shifter to make it work
Again, same question; why do you want/ need to make this work?
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Old 04-24-21, 06:50 AM
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Found at the local co-op. I did not buy it.

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Old 04-24-21, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Very common fix for Trike riders with one arm.
A few years ago I led a small group on an organized century. One the riders in my group was missing about half his lower arm and left hand. His Trek road bike components allowed him to operate both brakes and shift with his right hand. His left are rested on a padded riser elevated above the top of his bar.

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Old 04-24-21, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
Before this thread dives down the rabbit-hole of what’s more comfortable to ride with an arm injury; what are you trying to accomplish by running both brakes off a single lever?
There’s a couple ways to do it; an in-line ‘splitter’ You see that often on tadpole trikes that have dual front brakes, as well as a rear brake.
There are also levers that can operate two separate cables, they’ll have two adjusters coming out of the ‘front’ these are usually found on adaptive bikes or other mobility devices.
Which one will work best for your application will depend on a couple form features of the bike, which we can’t see from here.

Same goes for a single left-hand shifter. Left shifters are for the front derailleur. If you want to shift a 1x drivetrain from the left side, you’re going to have to kludge up a friction thumb lever or twist shifter to make it work
Again, same question; why do you want/ need to make this work?
Thank you.
My original thought was exclusively to have less going on at the bars.
I didn’t know what brifters were until joining this forum.
I can’t wrap my head around how the cable splitter would work for the front brake of a normal bike?

And I have zero drop bar experience.

Do they even make horizontal brifters?
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Old 04-24-21, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by SkinGriz View Post
Thank you.
My original thought was exclusively to have less going on at the bars.
Kinda like getting a 5-key keyboard so you don't have to type with both hands? I suppose you could have a dual-cable lever for brakes and an IGH for all of your gears. Not that big a deal for most of us though...
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Old 04-24-21, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by SkinGriz View Post
Thank you.
My original thought was exclusively to have less going on at the bars.
Again, why are you to reduce the number of things on the bars? Is it for looks, or for accessibility? Reducing the number of controls mean you'll have to potentially give up functionallity.
  • Single-speed, coaster brake would have nothing on the bars, like a beach cruiser.
  • Single speed, hand-brake, like a BMX would have brake levers, but no shifters.
  • Three-speed, single brake, like a 'Dutch' bike would have one shifter and one brake lever.
  • A derailleur bike can't use a coaster brake, so you'd need a shifter, and brake levers.
See where we're going here? The more functions you want, the more controls you're going to have to have; somewhere on the bike.

I would really not try to run both front and rear brakes off a single lever unless I had some sort of requirement where I can't use both hands. Even using a dual cable lever or a splitter, you're still going to have two cables coming off the handlebars.
The reason I wouldn't is that the front and rear brakes can have very different jobs to do in slowing and stopping a bike, getting both of them to work properly off the same lever would take a lot of tuning and tweaking, and the result would be brakes that work 'ok-but-not-great' most of the time.

I've got a pretty clean setup on my '76 Bridgestone, because it's an old road bike converted to 'path' use: I have a plain alloy riser, with just the brake levers on the bars. I kept the downtube shifters, so I still have the 2x6 gears, but downtube friction shifters are a whole other skillset.

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Old 04-24-21, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
Again, why are you to reduce the number of things on the bars? Is it for looks, or for accessibility? Reducing the number of controls mean you'll have to potentially give up functionallity.
  • Single-speed, coaster brake would have nothing on the bars, like a beach cruiser.
  • Single speed, hand-brake, like a BMX would have brake levers, but no shifters.
  • Three-speed, single brake, like a 'Dutch' bike would have one shifter and one brake lever.
  • A derailleur bike can't use a coaster brake, so you'd need a shifter, and brake levers.
See where we're going here? The more functions you want, the more controls you're going to have to have; somewhere on the bike.

I would really not try to run both front and rear brakes off a single lever unless I had some sort of requirement where I can't use both hands. Even using a dual cable lever or a splitter, you're still going to have two cables coming off the handlebars.
The reason I wouldn't is that the front and rear brakes can have very different jobs to do in slowing and stopping a bike, getting both of them to work properly off the same lever would take a lot of tuning and tweaking, and the result would be brakes that work 'ok-but-not-great' most of the time.

I've got a pretty clean setup on my '76 Bridgestone, because it's an old road bike converted to 'path' use: I have a plain alloy riser, with just the brake levers on the bars. I kept the downtube shifters, so I still have the 2x6 gears, but downtube friction shifters are a whole other skillset.

For me?

The only 2 reasons would exclusively be looks and just to experiment and try stuff. I am aware ultimately braking might not be as good.

I’m somewhat familiar with friction shifters.
My wife has an old Schwinn with friction shifters on the stem. I think I messed with them once years ago and would have to relearn if I was going to readjust or replace the cables.

Interesting stem. Do you think it makes life easier on your front wheel as well as your wrists?
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Old 04-24-21, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by SkinGriz View Post
For me?

The only 2 reasons would exclusively be looks and just to experiment and try stuff. I am aware ultimately braking might not be as good.

I’m somewhat familiar with friction shifters.
My wife has an old Schwinn with friction shifters on the stem. I think I messed with them once years ago and would have to relearn if I was going to readjust or replace the cables.

Interesting stem. Do you think it makes life easier on your front wheel as well as your wrists?
Not knowing how the rest of the bike is going to be fitted out, I can’t really see any real advantage. Maybe a single-speed, so you’ve only got a single lever on the bars. Again, expect to lose some brake effectiveness.
I tend to ride some unusual bikes, just with fairly conventional cockpits. To each their own, I guess.


As to the SoftRide stem; it’s an adjunct. I have the preload turned up fairly high, so it’s really only reactive for bigger bumps. I tend to ride ‘actively’ with my weight on my feet so that I can shift my balance from front to back. The suspension just kind of ‘takes the corners off’ of things, rather than soaking up impact.
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