Both brakes off one lever

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Carlton green
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Re: Both brakes off one lever

Postby Carlton green » 3 Apr 2020, 1:54pm

My thanks to Tatanab and Brucey for their helpful comments towards me, information is always appreciated.

Whilst out this morning I was thinking of the OP’s situation and had a few thoughts.
# Is it possible to have some form of ‘surgical glove’ that adds a thumb?
# Whilst not within the law I’d be inclined to try running both front and rear brakes off of one lever and to manage any kickback (for this special disability case) as and when it happened. Obviously that’s not meant to be a recommendation and it is for others to make their own decisions.
# Back peddle brakes have some disadvantages but for all that they are very popular on the Continent and I miss mine. Also, in snowy and icy conditions I find braking with the back wheel safer than braking with the front - if the wheel that steers you locks or slides then a tumble is far too likely.
# On drops bars you might be able to manage by squeezing the lever between your fingers and the palm of your hand - that’s difficult for me to trial/model but something similar seems to work for me.
# The back brake works from the left (damaged) hand but back brakes typically provide much less than half of the total breaking force. I wouldn’t gladly be without a back break but - particular if the front brake(s) was (were) good - wonder if I could ride a bike where the back brake was there almost purely for show ...

offroader
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Joined: 18 Dec 2018, 4:47pm

Re: Both brakes off one lever

Postby offroader » 3 Apr 2020, 3:26pm

Would a cyclocross style interrupter lever be more usable?
Or maybe a aero bar lever used upside down in the end of the drops activated with the palm?

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foxyrider
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Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Re: Both brakes off one lever

Postby foxyrider » 3 Apr 2020, 4:00pm

Brucey wrote:
Also legally speaking on a bicycle I think the brakes ought to be fully independent or something; there may be a three-brake workaround for this, whereby you have a pair of brakes operated from one system which you use most of the time, and a third independently operated 'emergency' brake that you don't normally use.


Over the years of working in the trade i've been involved with a two for one brake set up several times for variously disabled riders, arm/hand amputees, severe arthritic issues etc, etc. Such adapted bikes fall outside of BS so no issues with having to set up 'dead' brakes to comply. Braking is relatively straightforward compared to making a gearing system that works (especially when its the RH that is out of commision!) We've used a variety of different workarounds, BmX cable splitters, dual cable levers and so on.Of course, one way to add some peace of mind would be to use a back pedal retarder but clearly not suitable in the OP's case.

Would a bar top lever work? i've found i get more bar grip and just as good braking from that position.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

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Mick F
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Re: Both brakes off one lever

Postby Mick F » 3 Apr 2020, 4:13pm

Some years ago, I rode LE to JOG and back again, and whilst in Carlisle YHA on my way back to LE, there was a chap in there on his way to JOG.
We were putting our bikes in the bike shed, and he only had one arm.

I was tired, so didn't chat too long, but his bike had been modified in the braking department. Both brake levers were on the right .......... as he had no left arm. Straight handlebars, not drops.

I really do wish I'd taken more notice of how the system worked ........... but it DID work, obviously.
Mick F. Cornwall

rjb
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Location: Somerset (originally 60/70's Plymouth)

Re: Both brakes off one lever

Postby rjb » 3 Apr 2020, 5:01pm

Sjsc do dual cable pull brake levers.
Here's one but they may have others.
https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/brake-lever ... ever-left/ :wink:
At the last count:- Peugeot 531 pro, Dawes Discovery Tandem, Dawes Kingpin, Raleigh 20, Falcon K2 MTB dropped bar tourer, Longstaff trike conversion on a Falcon corsa. :D

rjb
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Location: Somerset (originally 60/70's Plymouth)

Re: Both brakes off one lever

Postby rjb » 3 Apr 2020, 7:41pm

These on flebay may be useful and a bargain price as meant for a minimoto.
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre ... 2717890678 :wink:
At the last count:- Peugeot 531 pro, Dawes Discovery Tandem, Dawes Kingpin, Raleigh 20, Falcon K2 MTB dropped bar tourer, Longstaff trike conversion on a Falcon corsa. :D

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andrew_s
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Re: Both brakes off one lever

Postby andrew_s » 3 Apr 2020, 10:43pm

Front and rear levers working off one lever is never going to work well.
If the rear brake is doing anything useful in a normal stop for junction type of braking, it will just lock up the rear wheel when you try to brake hard or on a steep downhill. You basically can't balance the effort put into front and rear wheels because the required balance depends on gradient and how hard you are braking.

It's better to have two levers on the same side of the bike, maybe set up so index and middle fingers work the front brake and ring and little fingers work the rear brake.

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Tigerbiten
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Re: Both brakes off one lever

Postby Tigerbiten » 4 Apr 2020, 12:47am

It was the front-back balance that put me off 1 lever->2 brakes.
In the dry you want mostly front or the back wheel skids.
But in the wet then mostly front can be lethal if the front wheel skids.
With care you can probably get enough experience to make it work, it's just getting that experience while staying in one piece.
One reason for the trike is that if I skid a wheel under brakes, I cannot fall off ...... :D

The OP basically has 3 options.
One system:- 1 lever to both brakes. It's simple and easy and can be made to work. But probably not 100% road legal. Don't crash or you may get the book thrown at you, less compensation or worse.
One and a half systems:- Two independent brakes but it's iffy if you can use them both at the same time/power. It's a work around for the above single system. My trikes setup like that, both front brakes are off a single lever while the back brake is only used as a parking/drag brake.
Two full systems:- front brake and back coaster, twin levers on a single bar or even mod a lever to make it easily usable by the OP bad hand fall under this category.
I wonder if a suicide lever would work well with modern brakes.

Luck ...... :D

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RickH
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Re: Both brakes off one lever

Postby RickH » 4 Apr 2020, 1:54am

andrew_s wrote:Front and rear levers working off one lever is never going to work well.

It doesn't seem to have stopped Dame Sarah Storey winning a shed load of cycling events, including bunch road racing, with both brakes operated off the right lever.

kangaroo
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Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 9:06pm

Re: Both brakes off one lever

Postby kangaroo » 4 Apr 2020, 11:58am

It sounds as though you have sufficient grip to hold on to the handlebars and I wonder if one of those intermediate type brake levers ( as shown on the ladies' bikes on the current Cycle magazine cover) would be useful. I doubt that any of us delicately nips the handlebar and brake lever between the thumb and first two fingers- the action's more nutcrackers than tweezers. You would need to rotate the lever to a more horizontal position to brace the heel of your palm against the back of the bar so that on braking you decelerate at the same rate as the bike!
If this is a possibility, you could experiment with a lever intended for flat bars and a length of cable without much interfering with the present set-up
The main obstacle might not be in mastering the new technique but in unlearning the old one, especially in an emergency where instinct takes over.
Best wishes.

9494arnold
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Re: Both brakes off one lever

Postby 9494arnold » 4 Apr 2020, 9:58pm

It's eminently do able.
I did my Bikeability Instructor Training with a guy who only had one arm.
All the controls were on the right hand end of the bars, I Think the brake levers were arranged so as you could grab one (the rear) or 2 together. Standard thumb shifter for rear gear, front changer was a twist grip style .
That was on flat bars. (The BMXers use a small lever which you might utilise? )
If you are on drops then interrupter levers would be a good shout to try (I have a pair if you want them, but you will need modern brakes with a spring in the Lever. I believe the twin cable levers you have been offered are for older style brakes where all the spring is in the brake. )
I have also found a ratcheted thumb lever which as has been suggested can be utilised as a 'Drag' Brake.
You push the lever with your thumb and it stays where you put it until you move it again. Tandems often used to have this so as you could concentrate on steering when descending . You will be using a gear cable but I never saw one that failed.
I have half promised this to another poster but if he doesn't want it you are welcome to it.
Often used with a third brake mounted in front of the rear brake bridge , generally with Cantilevers or V brake on the rear fork.
Or a hub brake?

9494arnold
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Re: Both brakes off one lever

Postby 9494arnold » 5 Apr 2020, 9:01am

Another thought occurs to me (two in two days! )
If you are on dropped bars, supporting your upper body weight might become an issue effectively on one arm .
How about triathlon style additional bars for when you are riding straight , you can rest the weight on the elbows and
forearms .

9494arnold
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Re: Both brakes off one lever

Postby 9494arnold » 6 Apr 2020, 7:30am

The other gent has deferred on the Suntour Lever so if you want it just drop me a PM.