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24 posts • Page 1 of 1
In the interest if science I have just swapped my brake lever cabling so it's now left front and right rear. Reasons:
1) for some reason every frame maker sets up their cable stops for this configuration so the cable routing is cleaner (and hopefully smoother)
2) I only have one shifter, on the right. It is tricky to downshift and brake at the same time with one hand.
3) ability to signal a right turn and brake properly at the same time.
I will of course have to remember to pull the correct lever from now on after years of doing it the other way... Wish me luck!
FYI bike is a flat bar with hub gear and twist shifter
I made that change earlier this year for my bikes. I still gave a tendency to do a small lock-up with the rear wheel when stopping. I'm still hoping to "unlearn" that behaviour.
Why did I change? Indicating for right turns while trying to slow with only the rear brake - it just didn't work for me.
I suspect the reason for the different sides between Europe and Australia may be to permit you to with using one hand for hand signals while the other hand brakes on one wheel.
About half my bikes have the front brake on the left and the other half have the front brake on the right. Doesn't seem to worry me.
A helmet saved my life
Spot on Mike, the logic is that overcooking the braking using the rear while signalling causes a lower risk of dumping the bike.
I run RHF and haven't had a problem. I typically signal twice for rights, a ways back and just before turning. Main braking takes place before and between the signals and I control brake with the rear while signalling to prevent acceleration on descents.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
Every summer I see over 100 Aussies get on our hire bikes with euro set up... They comment at the initial set up and you never hear any more about it. No one dies .
MTB is different... You rely much more on front or rear brake in different amounts.
I am pretty euro now but still have my brakes set up for the colonies
you don't really need to signal left but you definitely do for a right hand turn.
I've been riding along Regent street heading south and as I was working my way over to the right hand lane to turn right into Lawson St, the truck in front of me decided to slam his brakes on. I grabbed a fistful of rear brake with my left hand and did a nice little sideways drift up the road while I tried to get the bike back under control and slowed. Yes I did stay upright but I think I ended up with a few more grey hairs. If my left brake had been the front instead of the rear there is no way I would have stayed upright. It was raining at the time and the road was slippery to say the least.
So would I have died ? no would i have had a close encounter with the back of a truck at 30+ kmhr - yes
It'd be interesting to see how i'd cope but unfortunately i've spent to many years riding motorcycles with the right hand front set up so i wont change. Last thing i need is to stuff up in the middle of traffic or while flogging it in the twisties.
I know some people are of the opinion that the right brake is normally the one people grab for in a panic situation and they cable that up to the rear as a locked rear wheel is better than over the bars...
Not sure I agree with the theory but it was an interesting perspective.
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so, to clear this up, you can all brake hard enough with one hand off the bars, such that the rear brake power only is no longer sufficient?
I can at best do some light braking, anything harder and I'll probably turn to one side.
Yes, you are going to die! Everyone does at some stage. Your choice of braking controls shouldn't speed up the process.
bychosis (bahy-koh-sis): A mental disorder of delusions indicating impaired contact with a reality of no bicycles.
The thing for me is that my front brake is a disc and works well with light single finger application, while the rear is a v-brake and is much harder to control both in power and modulation
As I'm right-handed, I'd rather have my most coordinated hand deal with the brake that is more likely to lock the wheel. Braking well is important to me too.
FWIW I haven't ever had an OTB that wasn't assisted by a bus, pot-hole etc.
I have had a few low-side crashes from skidding the front wheel in low grip situations (oil, ice, gravel etc) however they tend to happen so fast that no amount of modulation will save it. Those crashes tend to remove skin from the back of my hand because my hands are still on the bars/hoods when they hit the ground.
Since I now do a significant proportion of my riding on tandems it really doesn't matter which way the orientation is, since there are similar levels of traction available from both wheels.
I had the euro setup on my first race bike, raced in my first criterium, took my right hand off the bars to downshift with the downtube lever while simultaneously grabbing a handful of front brake into a hotdog U turn. Front brake grabbed, threw the wheel sideways whereupon the bike stopped and threw me onto my head with a spectacular somersault. It took about 0.003 seconds to happen. Don't brake with one hand, back or front!
Well I didn't die yet after the first commute! Definitely will take time to adjust though, it's not so instinctive any more. Definitely need a new cable for the rear brake though too...
It still baffles me though, as per my first post, that those frame makers based in RHD countries (Aus, NZ, UK, etc) don't move the cable stops/frame entry holes around to better suit the cable routing of a right-front/left-rear brake. It looks so much neater when the cables can bend gently around the head tube, not get knotted trying to stay on the same side as the lever.
That's the exact reason all my bikes including the MTB's are right rear. Clean cable lines as you say & if the bike allows it I cross the gear cables over under the head tube to achieve the same effect. I don't have any frame rub stickers except on the SuperSix as the cable stoppers are too high on the down tube to perform the cross over.
Clean rub free lines
Gas propulsion.......it's natural don't fight it.
Long long ago, I had a MTB fork that used a weird cam-rocker thing to actuate the cantilever brakes. Yes, that long ago.
It was very sensitive to cable routing, and clearly worked better with Euro/US brake cable routing. So I switched and trained myself to ride Euro.
I rode that way for about a year, and got well and truly used to controlling front/rear balance as you do on a MTB.
Eventually, I switched back (and re-trained), and realised that I was now able to do "stoppies" again. I just have better fine motor control in my right hand to modulate brake pressure more precisely. I hadn't really noticed that I was any worse with left-front braking... I only noticed after switching back.
You're unlikely to die of Euro-brake. If you're habitual brake balance adjuster, you'll get used to it. If you just squeeze both levers and not pay much attention to what happens, you might not even notice the difference.
that cable routing above is much nicer.
unfortunately my new bike won't allow crossover underneath as the cable stops are on the side of the frame. The under bar tape gear cabling makes it harder as well.
my current plan is to move over to nokon type cable which worked really well on the flatbar for cable routing as it is much more flexible.
Ah yeah, disc on the front, drums in the rear. I have the same setup and it works well for me, although I don't have a -15% grade to stop before turning right... I always complete my braking before I have to turn in so it doesn't really bother me too much. I do adjust my rear brake every week and make sure my wheels are true though, so it works pretty well, a couple of drips of lube down the noodle helps keep the cable moving well through the bend.
What bothers me, is a muppet installing a 200mm rotor on the front and then realising, a year later when a colleague pointed it out, that the front forks are rated to a max. 160mm rotor.... That wasn't on the spec sheet when I looked at it
Nah, a c. 1995 Marzocchi something or other that had much more lateral and torsional travel than it had vertical travel.
Control of the rear brake with the left lever, front with the right lever isn't a European setup in its entirety. That is the Italian way of setting the brakes up. In France, Belgium and Holland,the cable routing is the opposite, left lever to the front brake, right to the rear brake. If you take a look at photos of how most Italian riders, especially from the 70's and 80's where visible cables were the norm, you'll see this arrangment in practice. Equally, you'll see that most French, Belgian and Dutch will run them the other way.
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