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  1. #1
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    US vs European Front and Rear Brake Preferences

    I had a question about US vs European Front and Rear Brake Preferences. From what I can tell from pics on international biking websites, many European riders run the front brake on the right side and the rear on the left side. Is this a fair observation?

    I personally prefer it that way too and run my brakes that way, as I raced ( and still do some) motocross for 20+ years. Motorcycles run the front brake on the right side, so that is what I am use to. The negative is that your front brake is then on the same side as the trigger for the rear derailleur, which keeps your right hand very busy with braking and shifting. I would like to switch my front/rear triggers, but from what I have been told there are not kits to do it.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by vs779
    I race mx also but have no issue with my front brake on the left but a few others I know have made the switch. Just make sure if you do the switch you tell someone before they ride your bike I have seen more than one cartwheel.
    I think the OP was referring to switching his shifters so that the rear shifter was on the left, keeping the front brake on the right.

    I don't know about triggers, but I'd imagine that you could switch sides with gripshifters.

  3. #3
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    I race mx also but have no issue with my front brake on the left but a few others I know have made the switch. Just make sure if you do the switch you tell someone before they ride your bike I have seen more than one cartwheel.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by moto377
    I had a question about US vs European Front and Rear Brake Preferences. From what I can tell from pics on international biking websites, many European riders run the front brake on the right side and the rear on the left side. Is this a fair observation?

    I personally prefer it that way too and run my brakes that way, as I raced ( and still do some) motocross for 20+ years. Motorcycles run the front brake on the right side, so that is what I am use to. The negative is that your front brake is then on the same side as the trigger for the rear derailleur, which keeps your right hand very busy with braking and shifting. I would like to switch my front/rear triggers, but from what I have been told there are not kits to do it.

    Thanks!
    I think that in Europe mainly the UK guys run the front brake lever on the right side.

    Stefan

  5. #5
    local trails rider
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    In the On-One bike option list, in UK, you have the options:

    Rear brake LEFT - like normal
    Rear brake RIGHT - like the Euros

  6. #6
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    In the On-One bike option list, in UK, you have the options:

    Rear brake LEFT - like normal
    Rear brake RIGHT - like the Euros

    ditto!

    for Brant the UK way is "normal"

    at least they offer the alternative for the rest of us

  7. #7
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by moto377
    I had a question about US vs European Front and Rear Brake Preferences. From what I can tell from pics on international biking websites, many European riders run the front brake on the right side and the rear on the left side. Is this a fair observation?

    I personally prefer it that way too and run my brakes that way, as I raced ( and still do some) motocross for 20+ years. Motorcycles run the front brake on the right side, so that is what I am use to. The negative is that your front brake is then on the same side as the trigger for the rear derailleur, which keeps your right hand very busy with braking and shifting. I would like to switch my front/rear triggers, but from what I have been told there are not kits to do it.

    Thanks!

    as sstefanov said, it is most opular in the UK and also among motorcycle riders that like a "consistent setup" on their bikes

  8. #8
    I-S
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    Note that new bikes, from the bottom end (supermarkets, sports shops) upwards all come with the front brake on the right, so that's how people learn, and tend not to change away from.

  9. #9
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac Sibson
    Note that new bikes, from the bottom end (supermarkets, sports shops) upwards all come with the front brake on the right,
    Maybe they do in UK. Elsewhere, more likely not.

  10. #10
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    Thanks, I thought in the UK (from pics I've seen) many ran their brakes:

    Front Brake - Right Hand
    Rear Brake - Left Hand

    I just picked up a 2008 GT Marathon Pro and will be switching brakes around as with my previous bike.

    Thanks!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
    ...idios...
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    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 bith 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.

    It's illegal in the UK for a retailer to sell a bicycle with the front brake lever on the left.
    .
    .


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

  12. #12
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    there should be some sort of kit somewhere? you should try asking your local bike store

  13. #13
    used to be uno-speedo....
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveUK
    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 bith 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.
    I never thought of it this way. Makes sense though. Another fine British invention

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