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  1. #1
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    One Handed Braking?

    Hi Everyone,

    Ok here is the problem, my wife is missing 3 fingers on her left hand. So she has her index finger and thumb. Last year I went in search for a solution and got some advice from Man w/ one hand. He has a thread describing his setup.

    Codes are strong, levers are tight & solid.

    She rides with juicy 7 brakes with 160mm rotors. So I took the left hand brake and flipped it upside down and put it on the right hand side. Similar to his setup. This works great. Basically the rear brake is the one furthest forward and set to maximum braking without skidding when it hits the bars. So she can just grab a big hand full and steer without skidding. Then she uses her index finger to control the front brake. She finds this really good as she can now grip the bars and steer while braking.

    This has developed into the next problem, she is going faster which is good, but with all the braking on her right hand it cramps up.

    So I've thought of 2 options to fix this and thats why I'm looking for some opinions. The cheap fix is to get her bigger rotors, 180mm, 205mm??? Or the more expensive route is to get Freeride or downhill dual caliper brakes, and again 180mm or 205mm rotors. I don't mind this option as my brakes are pretty old and I've been eyeing up her juicys...

    She rides a Turner Burner with an XT / Mavic 317 wheelset. So its a XC bike, I've heard that there are problems if you put too big of a rotor on a xc wheelset. I doubt that she would have problems with this since the downhills scare her and is relatively slow. The goal is to keep her hand from cramping so that she can have fun not a bigger brake to go fast thing.

    I was considering the Avid Code, but is there a better Freeride/DH brake out there?

  2. #2
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    The Magura Gustavs are super powerful, but also have great feel and control- she could probably run 190 front and 160 rear with those, the levers are quite long though if that would be a problem. Lots of other strong brakes around, Codes, Hope V2 etc. Formulas new 'the one' is supposedly a downhill brake but is also a fair bit lighter than those already mentioned. Juicys are normally pretty good power wise though so it might be worth trying bigger rotors if you want the cheapest option, good luck.
    You can't make a racehorse out of a donkey, but you can make a fast donkey.

  3. #3
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    Hi,
    happy new year!
    the Formulas might not be the best option, as they tend to fade a bit.
    you cold get just the Code calipers and combine them with the juicy levers. Works really well and the lever feel would stay the same, just with more braking power/heat resistance.
    Big rotors are really good against fading though.

    One side note/question?
    Iīve heard about hopey steerer dampers, they could be a useful product for one handed riding?
    I donīt know how they work exactly, but they do reduce the handlebar/fork from getting knocked from side to side.



    Greetings Znarf

  4. #4
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    Have you tried routing both cables to one lever? It would eliminate her ability to modulate independently, but there would be a lot less work for her hand.

  5. #5
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    "Have you tried routing both cables to one lever? "

    This seems like the ideal solution, although it would be difficult with hydraulics becuase a single lever piston would not be able to displace enough fluid to operate two calipers effectively. It might be possible to fit a lever that would not ordinarily match up but which displaced a suitable amount of fluid to operate two calipers, but it might take some investigations. It may even be worth contacting a few manufacturers to see what they could suggest.

    To the OP, is learning to brake with the left hand completely out of the question? I was think about this on my way to the store earlier and realised that there are times when my own weight and position of my palm/ball, combine with the grip I achieve with my thumb, means that I can steady myself and operate the rear brake with just my index finger. Positioning the lever as far inboard as possible would give the rider adequate leverage on the lever.
    .
    .


    What luck for rulers, that men do not think - Adolf Hitler

  6. #6
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    Maybe she could ride a fixed gear?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveUK
    "Have you tried routing both cables to one lever? "

    This seems like the ideal solution, although it would be difficult with hydraulics becuase a single lever piston would not be able to displace enough fluid to operate two calipers effectively. It might be possible to fit a lever that would not ordinarily match up but which displaced a suitable amount of fluid to operate two calipers, but it might take some investigations. It may even be worth contacting a few manufacturers to see what they could suggest.

    To the OP, is learning to brake with the left hand completely out of the question? I was think about this on my way to the store earlier and realised that there are times when my own weight and position of my palm/ball, combine with the grip I achieve with my thumb, means that I can steady myself and operate the rear brake with just my index finger. Positioning the lever as far inboard as possible would give the rider adequate leverage on the lever.
    I had orginally tried this. I got a set of Hope C2 brakes which came with the pro lever. So I connected the rear brake to the bleed valve of the front brake. It didn't work that well since there was no way to control the brake independantly.

    When we put the Juicy brakes on she was trying to brake with her bad hand. But her index finger is a bit shorter on that hand. So when she braked her finger was on the brake lever and just her thumb on the bars. She never really had that good of a grip on the bar. Now she can just grip with that hand and control the bike. The Ergon grips have also helped alot.

    I like the idea of just putting a larger rotor on the front and seeing how that feels. Its not alot of cash and may be all she needs.

  8. #8
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    I think jumping to a larger rotor up front and even the rear if she uses it a lot is the first place to start. The larger rotor will have more stopping power and dissipate the heat quicker. You should also try changing pads to a DH compound.

    One of the guys at the shop with one arm has a DH bike with Saint brakes and weighs about 250 and he does just fine. If the rotors don't do the trick the idea of changing to the Code calipers would be the next thing to try. Adaptors, hoses, levers, etc all stay the same.

  9. #9
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    I think larger rotors will help for sure.

    Additionally, some women have smaller hands - thinner/smaller grips are sometimes more comfortable and prevent cramping as well.........

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breakurnees
    Have you tried routing both cables to one lever? It would eliminate her ability to modulate independently, but there would be a lot less work for her hand.
    You defintiely don't want to do this to a master cylinder designed around one caliper. Too much fluid expansion and the brake will begin to lock up.
    You do have an option like this however. Magura makes a set of brakes for industrial trikes (I think based off of the Gustav platform), two calipers, one master cylinder. They'll likely be a bit of a pain to find stateside, but enough pleading with the folks over there should be able to make something happen. The only down fall I see is modulation between the two calipers, something you might be able to adjust using the old business card trick in the rear caliper to set more pad gap and hence less engagement. Arduous perhaps, but viable.
    I've set up two mechanicals off of one lever before so that's always an option, as low tech as it sounds... Plenty of cable splitters out there and much easier to dial the appropriate level of engagement on the back end. Just my two bits.
    You are not what you own.

  11. #11
    Meh.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtn_man2
    I think jumping to a larger rotor up front and even the rear if she uses it a lot is the first place to start. The larger rotor will have more stopping power and dissipate the heat quicker. You should also try changing pads to a DH compound.

    One of the guys at the shop with one arm has a DH bike with Saint brakes and weighs about 250 and he does just fine. If the rotors don't do the trick the idea of changing to the Code calipers would be the next thing to try. Adaptors, hoses, levers, etc all stay the same.
    The Code hose is different than the Juicy.

    The wheelset should be able to take a larger rotor without any issues, it's the frame/fork that you've got to check. The frame's stays may not offer adequate clearance for a larger rotor. And the larger rotors may over stress the disc tabs on the fork.

  12. #12
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    what about going with different pads? Galfer makes some really nice pads for the juicies... Maybe going with organic pads might help with the power too...

    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/149...e-Pads-Red.htm
    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/158...Pads-Green.htm

  13. #13
    not so super...
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    Try the larger 185mm rotors front and rear. Most forks will easily handle the 185 rotors and the Burner will take the 185 as well (maybe even a 200-203. They fit my Spot which has a similar rear end).

    Goodridge sintered pads work well with the juicy brakes too.
    Nothing to see here.

  14. #14
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    Is going to V-brakes out of the question?
    If not I think you could use a single lever into that adapter thing that BMX guys use...one cable in, 2 out. Just a thought.

    Lou.
    04 Stumpjumper FSR Pro
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  15. #15
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    Whilst I don't have any real ideas to help your better/less better half I would like to put my 2c in about a couple of posts above.

    I don't think going to cables will do any good. You tend to need to pull cables harder to get the same stopping power.

    DH pads wont make the brake easier on the hand. I'm guessing here but I think DH pads can just handle more heat just like race car brake pads. No good until they are up to temp.
    Not that all teenagers are evil mind, just most of them.

  16. #16
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    Take a look at this set up I have in my tandem.


    And works extremely well.


    I'm sure a set of hydrolic levers like the Formula oro can be set up in similar way since the reservior can be flip upside down,


    I'm sure I have a report somewhere let me look for it and I post a link here..

  17. #17
    The plough
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    Well there is also this: http://www.hygia.com.tw/products_det...id=184&pid=734

    One lever controls two calipers, factory original, not a kludge.

    I use Hygia Elite brakes on my bike and they work very well even with single finger braking. This may imply that their dual actuation setup may also work.

    V.

  18. #18
    Meh.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gumbymark
    Whilst I don't have any real ideas to help your better/less better half I would like to put my 2c in about a couple of posts above.

    I don't think going to cables will do any good. You tend to need to pull cables harder to get the same stopping power.

    DH pads wont make the brake easier on the hand. I'm guessing here but I think DH pads can just handle more heat just like race car brake pads. No good until they are up to temp.
    Pads can make quite a difference... It can improve modulation... or it can have a higher coefficient of friction and be grabbier.

    I've ridden EBC reds, they grab like bubble gum on hot asphalt.

    So different pads could allow her to brake later or for shorter durations.

  19. #19
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    This is out there and probably not cost effective, but Machine one lever to operate both masters. I race cars and thats how they work. If you had masters that could adjust pad contact you could adjust the rear to hit first or any way she likes. To that you could adjust the bias with the rotor size and pad material. What about a motorcycle lever. Brembo make a bunch of different sizes for the left and right side. I'm sure you can come up with a master size that might work. Just brain storming....

  20. #20
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    Just thought of something else. One of my friends only has a working left hand. He has been racing motorcycles for years. He put his throttle, front brake, and rear brake on his left hand. The front brake is a normal lever and he uses and thumb lever for his rear brake. Motorcycle bars are the same size as MTB bars so the clamps should work. Check these guys out it may help http://www.gptechllc.com/productsthumbrakes.htm

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmills416
    Just thought of something else. One of my friends only has a working left hand. He has been racing motorcycles for years. He put his throttle, front brake, and rear brake on his left hand. The front brake is a normal lever and he uses and thumb lever for his rear brake. Motorcycle bars are the same size as MTB bars so the clamps should work. Check these guys out it may help http://www.gptechllc.com/productsthumbrakes.htm
    Where's his clutch? Right foot since the rear brake is no longer there?

  22. #22
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    I think he actually did the set up this way: Throttle left side, Clutch - Left Hand, Rear Brake - thumb brake, Front Brake - right foot, Shifter - Left foot. He rode Ducati's with electric shifter's and slipper clutch's so he only used the clutch to get the bike rolling.

  23. #23
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    Maybe far-fetched but...

    What about a coaster-type rear drum brake for the rear wheel? I doubt that you could get one with a quick release, but that may be an acceptable trade off. Also, I don't know how well these perform compared to modern brakes, you don't want to end up with a huge mismatch in the braking power between wheels.

    Edit: Of course the real issue is getting a cassete or freewheel to work with it. Maybe not such a good idea!

    Walt

  24. #24
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    Internally geared hubs

    have integrated coaster brakes on some models. Harris Cyclery offers some old stock Sturmey-Archer internally geared hubs with a coaster brake:

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/s...cher-hubs.html

    Look toward the bottom of the linked page.

    The SRAM 9-speed internally geared hub comes in a coaster brake version.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/sram.html

    It runs ~$350 though

    The Rohloff hubs appear to offer coaster brake versions, but the web page at Harris is not explicit. Again, they are expensive. (But 14 speeds!)

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/rohloff.html

    The Shimano Nexus has a coaster brake:

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/shimano-nexus.html

    I would strongly recommend talking to someone who is knowlegeable about your wife's expected useage before purchasing. Some of the pages above have disclaimers about the suitability of the coaster brake hubs for some uses.

    Good luck!
    Walt

  25. #25
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    Dude

    Give one set to the guy on the back.

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