Rear brake on the left or right handlebar?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
hexhome
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Re: Rear brake on the left or right handlebar?

Postby hexhome » 9 Feb 2012, 12:44pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:The first thing I always do is check both brake levers on any bike.
At a standstill preferably...


Yes, but do you remember which way round they were when a bus swerves into your path?

hexhome
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Re: Rear brake on the left or right handlebar?

Postby hexhome » 9 Feb 2012, 12:46pm

reohn2 wrote:Thats a completely kettle of fish,motorcycles don't need pedaling so the feet are free for other things(rear brake and gear changing)whereas the lefthand is for the clutch,righthand is for front brake and throttle.A motorcycle would be harder to ride if the clutch was on the righthand :?


Agreed, my point is that there is a argument for standardisation unless controls need to be adapted.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Rear brake on the left or right handlebar?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 9 Feb 2012, 12:54pm

hexhome wrote:
[XAP]Bob wrote:The first thing I always do is check both brake levers on any bike.
At a standstill preferably...


Yes, but do you remember which way round they were when a bus swerves into your path?


Yes.
Although it helps that I tend to cover the front brake when I ride.

Similar to the way I drive a wrong side drive car - I take the first several miles with one hand on the gear shifter (else I end up with a bruised hand from hitting the inside of the door)
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

tooley92
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Re: Rear brake on the left or right handlebar?

Postby tooley92 » 9 Feb 2012, 1:12pm

hexhome wrote:
Ayesha wrote:Nah. You lay it down on its side with the rear brake ( RH pedal on modern bikes ).

Yes, but it might operate the front brake as well!



Oh yes, I was once caught out with that one on a test ride of a brand new Honda CBR1100 XX that had linked brakes, the front end decided to wash away from me whilst on a very greasy road whilst using the rear brake - thankfully only done at low speed and the bike didn't land on me!
Remember folks 'A pessimist is just an optimist with experience!'

snibgo
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Re: Rear brake on the left or right handlebar?

Postby snibgo » 9 Feb 2012, 1:24pm

My bikes have always been the conventional left-rear right-front. I'd have problems adapting to the opposite.

I'd prefer them the other way round, for the right signalling while braking situation, but anticipation generally solves that problem: I lose speed before I need to signal.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Rear brake on the left or right handlebar?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 9 Feb 2012, 1:30pm

snibgo wrote:My bikes have always been the conventional left-rear right-front. I'd have problems adapting to the opposite.

I'd prefer them the other way round, for the right signalling while braking situation, but anticipation generally solves that problem: I lose speed before I need to signal.

Shouldn't it be "mirror, signal, manoeuvre"?

Check, signal, then slow and turn?
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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Re: Rear brake on the left or right handlebar?

Postby Ayesha » 9 Feb 2012, 1:34pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:
snibgo wrote:My bikes have always been the conventional left-rear right-front. I'd have problems adapting to the opposite.

I'd prefer them the other way round, for the right signalling while braking situation, but anticipation generally solves that problem: I lose speed before I need to signal.

Shouldn't it be "mirror, signal, manoeuvre"?

Check, signal, then slow and turn?


That's right. Changing speed is a maneuver. ( for our American colleagues with front brake on the left ).

Eammno
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Re: Rear brake on the left or right handlebar?

Postby Eammno » 9 Feb 2012, 1:58pm

I tried swapping the levers to give better cable routing at the front (vee brakes).
First ride off-road I was over the 'bars on a techy down hill by pulling the front brake on by mistake!

snibgo
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Re: Rear brake on the left or right handlebar?

Postby snibgo » 9 Feb 2012, 2:17pm

Yes, I know about the flap-right-arm-up-and-down signal for slowing down. I don't use it because I doubt if the average motorist knows what it means.

If I want to tell someone behind me that I'm slowing down, I generally signal left. I wouldn't do this if approaching a left turn that I wasn't taking.

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Re: Rear brake on the left or right handlebar?

Postby Ribblehead » 9 Feb 2012, 6:35pm

resus1uk wrote:I don't like the coaster setup as back pedalling to set the pedals for easy push-off applies the brake. Then I have to push into traffic like a hobby horse. Is there a better way?


This is a similar problem to that of starting off on a fixed wheel bike with the pedals in the wrong position. The best method is to apply the front brake, then push forward and down on the handlebars so that the rear wheel is just off the ground. Once the rear wheel is raised it's easy to rotate the pedals to the right position. Of course, none of that is necessary if you stop with the pedals in the right position, preferably while doing a track-stand or leaning on a railing/lamp post.

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Re: Rear brake on the left or right handlebar?

Postby graymee » 9 Feb 2012, 7:05pm

To go back to the original question - do the pro teams insist that all team members have their bikes set up the same way? If the riders have their bikes set up depending on their country of origin they would need two different standards of spare bike. Alternatively, as most of the riders are probably used to front brake on the left, a British/front brake on the right rider would be be disadvantaged if the spare team bikes were set up only for the majority and their own bike was damaged.
I'm not old and cynical, I'm realistic!

Mattie
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Re: Rear brake on the left or right handlebar?

Postby Mattie » 9 Feb 2012, 7:32pm

Tigerbiten wrote:.......
There's no point in having any controls on the left after a Tiger ate my left arm ......... :P


Seen you on the tele !! :D

Doctor in the operating theatre asks asks if the arm will be along shortly - no, 'cause its inside a tiger !!

Shouldn't laugh, but some of it was funny !, I admire your sense of humour. Just don't let it happen again !! :mrgreen:

xpc316e
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Re: Rear brake on the left or right handlebar?

Postby xpc316e » 9 Feb 2012, 10:48pm

There have been some very sound reasons given in this thread for both variations being the correct option. The one about signalling is powerful, but I cannot think that the original bike makers were thinking about that particular reason when they made their decisions. For many years after the introduction of the bicycle I don't suppose there was much signalling being done - bikes were the fastest things on the roads, so fretting about signalling to following vehicles whilst descending hills probably wasn't in the forefront of many minds.

One reason not mentioned yet is the large proportion of us who are right-handed. If a front brake is not modulated well, it can put the rider over the 'bars and generally we have better fine motor control over our right hands. Applying the more powerful of one's brakes with one's more dextrous hand ought to be a safety feature.

I am also swayed by the logic that motorcycles have the front brake on the right. Many cyclists end up riding powered two-wheelers, and it must contribute to better control in moments of panic.
Riding a Dahon Jetstream P9 folder, a Decathlon Fitness 3 flat-barred road bike, a Claud Butler Cape Wrath MTB, a TW 'bents trike, a Moulton-based tandem, a Scott CR1 Comp, and the latest acquisition, a custom-built SWB, above seat steered recumbent.

snibgo
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Re: Rear brake on the left or right handlebar?

Postby snibgo » 9 Feb 2012, 11:06pm

xpc316e wrote:One reason not mentioned yet is the large proportion of us who are right-handed.

Yeah, that's another reason I'd like them the other way round, as I'm of the sinister persuasion. But I've become accustomed to using bikes, cutlery, scissors etc the "right" way (ie the wrong way for me).

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Rear brake on the left or right handlebar?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 9 Feb 2012, 11:29pm

xpc316e wrote:There have been some very sound reasons given in this thread for both variations being the correct option. The one about signalling is powerful, but I cannot think that the original bike makers were thinking about that particular reason when they made their decisions. For many years after the introduction of the bicycle I don't suppose there was much signalling being done - bikes were the fastest things on the roads, so fretting about signalling to following vehicles whilst descending hills probably wasn't in the forefront of many minds.

One reason not mentioned yet is the large proportion of us who are right-handed. If a front brake is not modulated well, it can put the rider over the 'bars and generally we have better fine motor control over our right hands. Applying the more powerful of one's brakes with one's more dextrous hand ought to be a safety feature.

I am also swayed by the logic that motorcycles have the front brake on the right. Many cyclists end up riding powered two-wheelers, and it must contribute to better control in moments of panic.


Doesn'e explain why so many foreigners set it up all wrong ;)
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.