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  1. #1
    gone for a bike ride
    Reputation: culturesponge's Avatar
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    anyone else ride with the front brake on the right?

    when i'm not on my mtn bike my other transport is a motorbike with the front brake on the right, as far as i know virtually every motorbike manufactured now has the front brake on the right.

    so how come 99.9% of bicycles the front brake is on the left? makes no sense to me - especially for mountain bikes!

  2. #2
    rebmem rbtm
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    Quote Originally Posted by culturesponge
    so how come 99.9% of bicycles the front brake is on the left?
    I think that you might be a little bit wrong with that percentage.

    Bicycles in some countries come standard with the front brake lever on the right hand side.

  3. #3
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    Bikes in the UK have their front brake lever on the right and rear brake lever on the left as standard. I've never ridden anything else.

  4. #4
    ...idios...
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    "so how come 99.9% of bicycles the front brake is on the left? makes no sense to me - especially for mountain bikes!"

    As I understand it, it's a British thing to have the front brake on the right. They drive on the left in the UK, pass others on their right and so signal their intention to change direction with their right hand. It's safer to slow the bicycle with the rear brake when riding with only one hand on the bar because braking force is much less severe, and is also not connected to the steering (both literally and in the sense that we balance with both hands). It is the same logic which dictates that in countries where folk drive on the right and pass on the left, they would signal with their left hand and operate the safe rear brake with their right.
    Last edited by SteveUK; 05-09-2009 at 12:28 PM. Reason: spelling
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  5. #5
    gone for a bike ride
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    just seems totally daft to me...

    thanks, i'm not very good with percentages.

    just seems totally daft to me, with the majority of peeps being right handed and the majority of the braking done with the front brake - to then have the front brake on the left hand side!!

    stateside/at least california, all the bikes in the shops have the front brake on the left, even the downhill bikes.

    when i had a my S-Works Epic frame built up at my local Specialized dealer back in 2004 they flatly refused to switch the brake hoses so the front was on the right, like it was illegal or something?

    all sorted now though.

  6. #6
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    I ride with my front brake on the right - and I'm left handed. Maybe it is from riding dirt bikes as a kid, but I also put a front brake on my bike back then with the lever on the right. I feels better to me that way. The cable routing to the fork is also a little smoother this way, but that's just a bonus.

  7. #7
    I Am Specialized
    Reputation: mikkelz's Avatar
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    I switched to rear brake lever on the left and front brake lever on the right last year and haven't looked back. I much prefer having my right hand to spend the majority of it's time shifting gears and occasionally using the front brake.
    2009 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp | 2009 Specialized Roubaix Comp | 2008 Specialized Langster New York

  8. #8
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    I ride with the front brake on the right. It done often enough there's a term for it. It's called "moto style".

    For me it was simple, I have a motorcycle that can do 140 and I cruise at 60-70mph most of the time, even in traffic 45-55mph is common. My mountain bike might average 8mph if I'm gonna get mixed up on which side is the front brake, it's NOT gonna be my motorcyle.

    So I go "moto" without any second thoughts. I does drive my brothers crazy, especially when we swap bikes.

  9. #9
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    routing

    I ride this way too, but I haven't really figured out how to cable routing with my v-brakes decently... Avid ultimates can supposedly be changed to take the cable on the left side, but I don't want to shell out 80 bucks for Vs...


    Quote Originally Posted by culturesponge
    when i'm not on my mtn bike my other transport is a motorbike with the front brake on the right, as far as i know virtually every motorbike manufactured now has the front brake on the right.

    so how come 99.9% of bicycles the front brake is on the left? makes no sense to me - especially for mountain bikes!

  10. #10
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    I'm from England & when I moved to the US in '05 I tried riding with the American setup, but swapped back as it's easier for me not to have to think about it all the time. Front is right in my brain, always has been & always will be. It's also funny when a friend tries my bike!

  11. #11
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    Similar to the OP, my primary mode of transportation is a motorcycle. Although I've just returned to mountainbking after a long hiatus, one of the first things I did was switch my bike to moto style, as I had always done in the past.

    Just for kicks, however, when I upgraded my brakes a couple of weeks ago, I returned to the 'standard' U.S. style (not sure if that's the correct way to express it...) brake setup. Thus for, no problems, but I will probably switch back to moto style just because...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by culturesponge
    thanks, i'm not very good with percentages.

    just seems totally daft to me, with the majority of peeps being right handed and the majority of the braking done with the front brake - to then have the front brake on the left hand side!!.
    It's not a matter of good percentages, it's a made up statistic.

    NEway, there's nothing wrong with doing most of your braking with your non-dominant hand. It's not like your left hand is so weak you can't get max power. Modulation isn't an argument either - if you can modulate braking with your foot, a non-dominant hand shouldn't be a problem.

  13. #13
    Always Learning
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    I don't even think about it,
    on my Rockhopper its set up on the left
    and on my Suzuki its on the right.
    The Cure for Pain is in the Pain

    01' Specialized Rockhopper HT

  14. #14
    A mean teen...
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    I'm cack handed. I use my right hand for front braking whereas I'm left handed, and I use my left hand for quiet nights in.

  15. #15
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    Ironic-the OP'ers screen name and the fact he is finding out that some countries "do it differently"?
    Nobody cares...........

  16. #16
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    The downfall for me would be dual control levers. With the front brake doing most of the work, trying to shift and brake isn't a pretty thing. Most of the shifts are on the rear so why put most of the braking there too?

  17. #17
    Grams Light Bikes
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    I also have ridden motorcycles for decades, so moto style for us North Americans was the way to go. It is also big with the cyclocross crowd, if you dismount on the non drive side (most do so) and coast into barriers, having your left hand on the left will activate the rear brakes and theoretically give you superior control of the bike to take the edge off speed you may need to do, think endo if the front was on the left.

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