Brake Splitter

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daddig
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Brake Splitter

Postby daddig » 6 Nov 2018, 3:23pm

Is it possible to buy an adaptor of some kind which allows for one brake lever to operate both front and back brakes simultaneously?
I'm finding it difficult and occasionally impossible to operate my front brake with any force due to arthritis, so riding the bike is becoming problematic!
Mike G

iandriver
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Re: Brake Splitter

Postby iandriver » 6 Nov 2018, 3:32pm

This does come up from time to time. Things like this are out there https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/brake-lever ... ars-right/

Much discussion about legalities and some ideas here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=116920
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tatanab
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Re: Brake Splitter

Postby tatanab » 6 Nov 2018, 3:37pm

Years ago Mafac and others made brake levers to take two cables, useful for tandems. However, trying to balance a front brake and a rear brake operated by one lever is very difficult and probably not recommended. I did it with two front brakes ok, it just gave a rather heavy lever action which would not be good for arthritis. There is also the legal requirement to have independent brakes i.e no single failure leads to loss of all braking. How people like our Paralympic riders get on I do not know. May I suggest that you are an ideal candidate for hydraulic brakes?

daddig
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Re: Brake Splitter

Postby daddig » 6 Nov 2018, 3:44pm

Tanatab.
Thanks for your reply! Just to clarify, if I went to hydraulic braking would that give me a usable braking system for both hands. As therein lies part of my problem in that it has happened on long rides I have found it difficult and sometimes almost impossible to operate the front brake lever?
Mike G

tatanab
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Re: Brake Splitter

Postby tatanab » 6 Nov 2018, 3:53pm

daddig wrote:if I went to hydraulic braking would that give me a usable braking system for both hands.
I believe haydrulics give you a ligher action. No personal experience other than motorcycles. If you expereinece probelms only with front braking, how about changing your levers over front to back, a loss of some rear braking would not be a problem.

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Mick F
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Re: Brake Splitter

Postby Mick F » 6 Nov 2018, 3:59pm

Can't help specifically, other than what's been said, but years ago I was at Carlisle YHA and a chap was riding End2End and he only had one arm.
His bike was modified to operate everything with one hand. Right one if my memory serves me correctly.

Sorry, can't remember the mechanical details, but I was fascinated and pre-occupied that he could get on and off and ride effectively with only one arm.
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andrew_s
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Re: Brake Splitter

Postby andrew_s » 6 Nov 2018, 4:09pm

The front brake always does the bulk of the braking, so your brakes should be set up so the front brake is operated with your best hand.

Quite apart from legality, operating both front and rear brakes with one lever is fundamentally a bad idea, as weight transfer means that the rear wheel locks up well before the front wheel is braking as hard as it might (or, alternatively, the rear wheel never does any useful braking).
Once the rear wheel locks, you have to ease off the front brake to regain directional control.
As well as limiting sudden stops due to something like a car pulling out in front, you may have difficulty going down steep hills without losing control.

If you want to use a single hand, it's better to arrange two levers so that the index & middle fingers operate the front brake, and the ring and little fingers the rear.

thirdcrank
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Re: Brake Splitter

Postby thirdcrank » 6 Nov 2018, 4:25pm

I know it's not the question, but if you are considering changes like going hydraulic, have you thought about a coaster (back-pedal) brake? That would use your leg strength. You can get this type of hub with hub gears.

pete75
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Re: Brake Splitter

Postby pete75 » 6 Nov 2018, 4:57pm

If you go for hydraulic brakes this might do the trick. For cable brakes 1 into 2 cable splitters are available. When V brakes first came out some bikes had a device fitted in the middle of the outer cables to reduce bake pressure. This compressed when too much pressure. I've got some in the shed - my son's Dawes KaraKum came with them fitted. If you take teh cable splitter one lever route fitting one would moderate the braking force on the back wheel. No use to me so if you do need one let me know.

zenitb
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Re: Brake Splitter

Postby zenitb » 6 Nov 2018, 10:04pm

tatanab wrote:
daddig wrote:if I went to hydraulic braking would that give me a usable braking system for both hands.
I believe haydrulics give you a ligher action. No personal experience other than motorcycles.....


Certainly on flat bars hydraulic disc brakes have a lighter action than cable rim brakes - no cable friction. You can also get "4 finger" hydraulic brake levers in the Shimano T series of components ... the longer leverage makes the action even easier... I have these on my "trekking" bike.


https://bike.shimano.com/en-US/product/component/deore-t6000/BL-T6000.html
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4 finger lever deore.JPG

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Brake Splitter

Postby Cyril Haearn » 6 Nov 2018, 10:09pm

thirdcrank wrote:I know it's not the question, but if you are considering changes like going hydraulic, have you thought about a coaster (back-pedal) brake? That would use your leg strength. You can get this type of hub with hub gears.

Plus One, I have a back-pedal brake, never use my hand brake except to test it occasionally
Coaster brake might not be so good if you go down hill a lot :?
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Brucey
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Re: Brake Splitter

Postby Brucey » 6 Nov 2018, 10:59pm

someone here (apols but I forget exactly who) showed pictures of one of their vintage bikes, which has an extremely unusual thing. It was a rim brake that was actuated via a backpedal mechanism. This was an idea that never really took off but for some applications I think it deserves another look, if only because it offers a foot-operated brake that will work with derailleur gears.

IIRC inside the BB shell there was a sprag clutch that engaged with the middle part of the BB spindle; this worked a bell-crank through a slot on the BB shell and this (very simply) pulled a rod brake onto a westwood type rim. There would be a fair bit of engineering required but there is no reason why a similar mechanism couldn't be adapted onto a different BB type and used to pull a cable instead.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Brake Splitter

Postby [XAP]Bob » 6 Nov 2018, 11:17pm

Indeed with the modern fascination with 1* drive trains it becomes quite easy - put a freewheeling sprocket as a chain guide at the top of the chainring, when you back pedal the sprocket is rotated backwards, directly pulling a brake cable...

Could probably rig something similar on the non drive side just off the square taper that is showing...
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LinusR
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Re: Brake Splitter

Postby LinusR » 6 Nov 2018, 11:18pm

daddig wrote:Is it possible to buy an adaptor of some kind which allows for one brake lever to operate both front and back brakes simultaneously?
I'm finding it difficult and occasionally impossible to operate my front brake with any force due to arthritis, so riding the bike is becoming problematic!


You don't say what type of brake lever you are currently using. Is it a traditional drop handlebar lever or a flat bar lever? Some are easier to use than others depending on your dexterity. I have hydraulic brakes on my (flat bar) mountain bike and they work with very little effort and much better in the wet.

Brucey
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Re: Brake Splitter

Postby Brucey » 6 Nov 2018, 11:28pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:Indeed with the modern fascination with 1* drive trains it becomes quite easy - put a freewheeling sprocket as a chain guide at the top of the chainring, when you back pedal the sprocket is rotated backwards, directly pulling a brake cable...


if I understand you correctly that would work with an IGH but with a derailleur setup the chain would be pulled tight through the derailleur. I'd assume that it'd work better if the freewheeling sprocket were mounted on the lower chain run? Probably you would have to have a hub (or other spindle mounted on bearings) mounted there too, with a bellcrank attached to it....?

cheers
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