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reversing the brakes

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reversing the brakes

Old 09-06-09, 05:58 PM
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reversing the brakes

A little while ago I hurt my left wrist and now I can't stress it in certain ways without pain. One of the ways it doesn't take stress well is braking from the hoods, but I can ride without any pain. I'll get it checked out and see if there's anything I can do to strengthen it, until then I may just have my front brake work with my right lever.

Are there are any disadvantages to doing this on American roads? I realize it may take some time to get used to. Do any of you guys have your bikes set up with the front brake on the right lever?

edit
By disadvantage, I mean does it make handling any different with signaling your intentions in traffic or anything else related?

Last edited by hairnet; 09-06-09 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 09-06-09, 06:01 PM
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I do it that way, so my bike and motorcycle work the same way.....
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Old 09-06-09, 06:09 PM
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no disadvantage at all really. I do it that way on my cross bike.
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Old 09-06-09, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Wanderer
I do it that way, so my bike and motorcycle work the same way.....
Same here.
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Old 09-06-09, 06:12 PM
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i don't really understand what the connection is with which side of the road you drive on. i think that is the explanation sheldon brown gave.

right hand is stronger so it squeezes the important front brake. makes sense to me.
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Old 09-06-09, 06:15 PM
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it's fine.

there's also the option of a cable doubler (Problem solvers cable doubler 1:2) that allows you to use both brakes with one lever.
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Old 09-06-09, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by AEO
it's fine.

there's also the option of a cable doubler (Problem solvers cable doubler 1:2) that allows you to use both brakes with one lever.
Sorry, but that sounds like a really horrible idea for a road bike.
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Old 09-06-09, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by liquefied
Sorry, but that sounds like a really horrible idea for a road bike.
go break one arm and come back to me with the exact statement.
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Old 09-06-09, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by liquefied
Sorry, but that sounds like a really horrible idea for a road bike.
Agree

Originally Posted by AEO
go break one arm and come back to me with the exact statement.
Well you didn't preface it with a specific reason.
As for why "I" think it's a bad idea (in general) is that the brakes would need too much adjustment. And anything short of not having a "hand" available, I think doubling them up on a single is a bad idea.
Besides 85% of the braking force is on the front wheel anyway.
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Old 09-06-09, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by liquefied
Sorry, but that sounds like a really horrible idea for a road bike.
Originally Posted by AEO
go break one arm and come back to me with the exact statement.
Right, I've seen amputees with that king of setup. It's probably not ideal but it's a great solution for those who need it.
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Old 09-06-09, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by hairnet
A little while ago I hurt my left wrist and now I can't stress it in certain ways without pain. One of the ways it doesn't take stress well is braking from the hoods, but I can ride without any pain. I'll get it checked out and see if there's anything I can do to strengthen it, until then I may just have my front brake work with my right lever.

Are there are any disadvantages to doing this on American roads? I realize it may take some time to get used to. Do any of you guys have your bikes set up with the front brake on the right lever?
Hi,

No disadvantages of which I am aware. I have been using RH front brake for all of my years of racing on American roads.
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Old 09-06-09, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by SteelCan
Well you didn't preface it with a specific reason.
As for why "I" think it's a bad idea (in general) is that the brakes would need too much adjustment. And anything short of not having a "hand" available, I think doubling them up on a single is a bad idea.
Besides 85% of the braking force is on the front wheel anyway.
preface: slight disability in one hand, did you read the opening post?

it's more like 70% for an average rider, but 80% for a person who know what he's doing on ideal roads.

now come back to me when you're going down hill on a sandy patch of road. let's see how good your front brake is then

as for the needing 'more' adjustments, that's only partially true. once you set it and the cables stretch, there's no more maintenance needed than regular setups.
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Old 09-06-09, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by coasting
i don't really understand what the connection is with which side of the road you drive on. i think that is the explanation sheldon brown gave.

right hand is stronger so it squeezes the important front brake. makes sense to me.
Wait what? I could be wrong, but I think my right lever is set up from the LBS as my rear brake. I always seem to grab a ton of rear brake in panic situations with my right hand. I'm swapping groupsets and I'm considering swapping lever-brake from what it is now.

So, for clarification: the right lever is normally set up as which wheel's brake in the majority of cases?
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Old 09-06-09, 06:55 PM
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you can pull 0.7G with the front brake alone.

with the rear you can only get around 0.3G.
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Old 09-06-09, 07:06 PM
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Typical set up is:
front wheel: left brake lever
rear wheel: right brake lever

I've thought of switching this around when I change out the cables come spring because often when signaling which is supposed to be done with your left hand, I wish I had more braking power.
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Old 09-06-09, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by AEO
go break one arm and come back to me with the exact statement.
I've accidentally locked up the rear brake on a steep decent once and that is enough to know that using the two the brakes together is less than ideal. If you lack the ability to use one of the brake levers altogether then it's a different story. I would probably hook up an interrupter brake for the rear if that hand position works for the OP.
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Old 09-06-09, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by liquefied
Sorry, but that sounds like a really horrible idea for a road bike.
+1 miiiillion
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Old 09-06-09, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by AEO
you can pull 0.7G with the front brake alone.

with the rear you can only get around 0.3G.
which is why I never find myself using the rear brake
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Old 09-06-09, 07:52 PM
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Nothing at all wrong and, IMO, alot of good reasons to run your brakes this way. Most of them have been listed.

Originally Posted by AEO
it's fine.

there's also the option of a cable doubler (Problem solvers cable doubler 1:2) that allows you to use both brakes with one lever.
Welcome to my world. My last motorcycle ride ended poorly.



Originally Posted by liquefied
Sorry, but that sounds like a really horrible idea for a road bike.
Originally Posted by AEO
go break one arm and come back to me with the exact statement.
Originally Posted by SteelCan
Agree


Well you didn't preface it with a specific reason.
As for why "I" think it's a bad idea (in general) is that the brakes would need too much adjustment. And anything short of not having a "hand" available, I think doubling them up on a single is a bad idea.
Besides 85% of the braking force is on the front wheel anyway.
It is not ideal but it does work. After several years I'm not sure it's much better than running a solo front brake. I need to add that I'm the ultimate flat-lander here where I live. The very first time I coupled my brakes was the best job I've done. I've never gotten them quite that good since even though I'm more picky about measuring and whatnot now than I was then. Then it was just an experiment and when it worked I left it alone.

Originally Posted by Cleave
Right, I've seen amputees with that king of setup. It's probably not ideal but it's a great solution for those who need it.
Not an amputee but the left hand does very little. You've summed the situation up pretty well.
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Old 09-06-09, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by PurpleFender
So, for clarification: the right lever is normally set up as which wheel's brake in the majority of cases?
Just remember this little alliterated jingle, "right is rear."
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Old 09-06-09, 10:33 PM
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I run right front, and have since 1975. It isn't a problem. You can make a case if you are right handed it's better to have the "feel" brake on your dominate hand.

For one handed braking, I tried tandem lever with two cables for both for while, and it's a bad idea. You can't modulate the front rear to respond to different conditions. I found I was better off just using the front brake.
Later I got a cross lever on the right side just in case the front fails as I plummet downhill and would like to stop instead of die.
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Old 09-06-09, 11:10 PM
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Right-front is great. I actually preferred it when my bike was set up that way, but I've run left-front for the last few years, due partly to ease of setup and partly because I haven't had only one bike in awhile, so it's never been practical to switch my other (or multiple other) bikes over to match. The alternative is having multiple bikes with different arrangements. That was briefly the case for me when I was transitioning back to left-front. It was not good.

I'm tempted to make the switch from time to time, but between cable routing issues and just dealing with the aggravation, I've never really seriously considered it.
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