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Does anyone else have "moto"/European-style brakes + rear shifter on the left?

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Does anyone else have "moto"/European-style brakes + rear shifter on the left?

Old 11-16-12, 07:57 PM
  #1  
agmetal
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Does anyone else have "moto"/European-style brakes + rear shifter on the left?

I use what I think is an unusual combination, especially for the US. I have an old 3-speed, and I've completely reversed the hand controls. I have my right brake lever controlling the front brake, left controlling the rear, and the shifter for my Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hub is on the left as well.

The reason for moving the shifter to the left was that I use my front brake primarily, and prefer to not have my shifting and braking done by the same hand, so that I can more easily do both at once, such as when approaching an intersection.

I've been looking at some new 3-speeds, like the Breezer Uptown, Giant Via 1, Raleigh Classic Roadster, etc., and all of them have a twist shifter, on the right. I'm curious as to whether anyone has swapped the controls around, and how difficult that is with a twist shifter.
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Old 11-16-12, 08:57 PM
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With a twist shifter, I think the only issue would be the shifting seeming backwards. I know that when I ride a bike with an Alfine/Nexus hub, the reversed shifting drives me crazy. If the bike you pick has a Sturmey Archer hub, you have a number of options if you want to swap, or with Shimano you just have the twist shift, or maybe the old thumb shifter.
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Old 11-16-12, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by agmetal View Post
I use what I think is an unusual combination, especially for the US. I have an old 3-speed, and I've completely reversed the hand controls. I have my right brake lever controlling the front brake, left controlling the rear, and the shifter for my Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hub is on the left as well.

The reason for moving the shifter to the left was that I use my front brake primarily, and prefer to not have my shifting and braking done by the same hand, so that I can more easily do both at once, such as when approaching an intersection.

I've been looking at some new 3-speeds, like the Breezer Uptown, Giant Via 1, Raleigh Classic Roadster, etc., and all of them have a twist shifter, on the right. I'm curious as to whether anyone has swapped the controls around, and how difficult that is with a twist shifter.
If you're using internal gearing, then why the need to brake and shift at the same time? You can just shift after you're already stopped.

I use euro style brakes, but the shifters are default orientation. Front brake primary, rear derailer primary, both on right hand. Hasnt been an issue.
One bike uses bar end shifters, so its easy to shift across the cassette fast before moving hand to brake lever when approaching intersection.
The other uses ergopower brifters, so one hand can do everything...


No reason you cant put your gripshifter on the opposite side.... you'll just have to read the display upside down.
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Old 11-16-12, 09:20 PM
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I haven't moved any shifters. But all of my bikes are set up (with one exception) with the front brake on the right. FWIW I drove a RHD car for several years and had no problem shifting with my left hand, then getting into a LHD car and shifting with my right.

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Old 11-17-12, 08:18 AM
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I run front brake on the right on all of my bikes, two of which have Sram twist shifters. I don't have any trouble braking and downshifting at the same time, which is accomplished by angling my hand the right amount before starting to brake/shift so that I'm sure to have enough range of motion to twist down through a couple of gears.

One thing to consider in all of this is that some shifters twist forward to downshift, which makes maintaining (and increasing) pressure on the brake lever while downshifting clumsy and awkward. It's much easier and intuitive to twist backwards to downshift and brake at the same time because you're pulling the brake lever into the bar at the same time.
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Old 11-18-12, 04:48 PM
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For me it has to be front brake on the right & always has been, in the 30 odd years of riding bicycles I've ridden motorbikes as well so the front brake has to be the same on the right, the other way round would be plain dangerous.
It's a shame the R/H/side isn't a standard for the front brake on bicycles.

Last edited by Freewheeler; 11-18-12 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 11-18-12, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Freewheeler View Post
For me it has to be front brake on the right & always has been, in the 30 odd years of riding bicycles I've ridden motorbikes as well so the front brake has to be the same on the right, the other way round would be plain dangerous.
It's a shame the R/H/side isn't a standard for the front brake on bicycles.

But it is the standard. Along with driving on the left side of the road. And the Metric system.
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Old 11-18-12, 08:01 PM
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The first time I made this modification for a customer, he promptly flipped over testing the bike, breaking his collarbone and suing the shop. That shop refused to perform this modification after that incident.
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Old 11-18-12, 10:13 PM
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Why the hell would he sue the shop if it was something he requested? It did definitely take me a little time to get used to the switch when I did it, but I was already anticipating the need to modulate the brakes, so I didn't flip over the handlebars.
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Old 11-19-12, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
The first time I made this modification for a customer, he promptly flipped over testing the bike, breaking his collarbone and suing the shop. That shop refused to perform this modification after that incident.
Originally Posted by agmetal View Post
Why the hell would he sue the shop if it was something he requested? It did definitely take me a little time to get used to the switch when I did it, but I was already anticipating the need to modulate the brakes, so I didn't flip over the handlebars.
It is the American Way... or seems to be, total lack of personal responsibility. BTW did you know you aren't supposed to iron your clothes while you are wearing them? This is also why things like Buckyballs are going away.

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Old 11-19-12, 09:11 PM
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I have my brakes reversed such that the right lever is for the front brake. The only reason I did this was because I didn't know buying a brake from Chain Reaction in Ireland meant that it would be reversed.

At first it did annoy me having to shift the rear derailleur and brake with the same hand, but it's been 6 months and I've gotten used to it. I have Shimano trigger shifters if it means anything.
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Old 11-20-12, 09:48 AM
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I have always put my front brakes on the right. That's just from my motorcyle riding days.

Really, who shifts and brakes at the same time?
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Old 11-20-12, 10:42 AM
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I used to put my mountain bike front brake on the right because I used to race dirt bikes and was used to that. Now I just leave it the way it comes and have no problems adjusting.
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Old 11-20-12, 10:52 AM
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Yea have several, my loaded touring bike, taking on get off and push routes,
it came in handy.. holding the rear brake, and catching my breath..


IDK, about the particular 3 speed,[ un stated] you are not stuck with the grip shifter,
just because it comes in the box the brands contract, assembly line put it on/in the carton.

SA has 3 lever choices.. + Sun-Race NIG redesign eliminated the in-between 2-3 error ..
so a friction lever will work.
IDK maybe the left for FD on a triple crank goes click with adequate cable pull..

2 cable grip shifter, like Rohloff , you just swap what each cable is attached to on the other end.

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-20-12 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 11-20-12, 11:09 AM
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Nothing "European" about it. All the bikes I've seen over here have the "right-rear", "left-front" setup.

And regarding braking and shifting at the same time, I do it daily during the commute. When I approach a red light, or busy intersection, slow down and prepare to accelerate again - I have to downshift at some point during braking. IGH users needn't bother, they can shift while standing still if they want to.
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Old 11-20-12, 04:05 PM
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Moto is often the label.
motorcycles use one hand-lever for the Clutch. the other the front brake ..
rear brake, is operated from a foot pedal, gear shift is on the other foot.
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