Front brake on right or left?

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by rustychain

I have noticed a cult of people ( they tend to spell "tire" funny) that connect the front brake to the right hand brake lever. What is the advantage to doing this? Does it have to do with driving on the wrong side of the road? I want to replace my cables and housings so I am considering changing. I run Campy and will be going back to campy cables after a three year run on Nokon unless a better suggestion is made. So how should I setup my cables. Will I have to start spelling things like "tyre" ? :roll:
Last edited by rustychain on Sun Sep 02, 2007 12:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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by mzagorski

I run my front brake from the right lever... grew up in the UK, so not sure if that's how people do it there, or it it's just me?... I might have picked it up from my mountain bike racing days... I tried changing to the more common side but after a few weeks gave up as it just didn't feel natural to me.

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by Miller

Tony Rominger famously switched from left to right the day before the TdF and promptly fell off on a descent because of it. Do what you want to do - there is no correct way, only what works for you. Here in the UK it's normal to have right-front braking, although plenty people use left-front. Elsewhere left-front is predominant. As a right-handed person I prefer right-front. The main consideration is that you know which lever to grab when things are rapidly going pear shaped.

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by jrennie

When I first got a bike I was coming from a motocross background and put the brake on the right just out of habit(on the left now).

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by bluredvision

Well, the right brake is the more important and most used one, so it makes sense to have it under your more skillfull hand. Since I'm right-handed, I have right-front.

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by airsoft510

The only reason I would switch it would be so I can signal a left turn in traffic and still be able to stop with my right hand if i need too.

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by Rasmus

I wanted to try it out when I built up the winter beater. Now it just feels more comfortable to have the front brake on the right.

An old excuse for a right handed person to have the rear brake on the right, is to be able to use the strongest hand on the brake requiring the most force.
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by chrism

rustychain wrote:I have noticed a cult of prople ( they tend to spell "tire" funny) that conect the front brake to the right hand brake lever.

Yeah I'd noticed them too - they don't seem to be able to spell colour or aluminium either. However I think you're wrong - they actually seem to have the front brake on the left hand lever. Strangely enough, so do I - switched when I was rebuilding what was my only bike back then on a new frame when about 18, since the cable runs work better that way.

I think it's a historical thing - to do with the strange idea that you want to use the back brake not the front since the front will put you over the bars, and that you want to be able to indicate right (or left in the strange land where they can't spell) whilst using the back brake (don't really need to indicate left that much). It is though enshrined in law I think that new bikes have to be sold with the front brake on the right - at least that's what was claimed in this recent thread ... t=12542684

Oh, and I'm very unconvinced that hand strength or dexterity has anything to do with it - OK I'm more ambidextrous than most, but braking is hardly something that either requires fine finger control or lots of strength, and I find I'm equally adept with either hand.
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by Cheers!

If you ride a motorcycle the right hand controls the front brake. The left hand controls the clutch. Your right foot is your rear brake, and left left foot is the gear change.

If guys are used to riding motorcycles they usually run their front brake to their right hand.

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by zakeen

Front on left, that way you can brake and change gears down going into corners at the same time.

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by strobbekoen

Why would it matter ? left or right, right or left, left+right still do the same together. It's just whatever you're used to.

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by chrism

zakeen wrote:Front on left, that way you can brake and change gears down going into corners at the same time.

At least with STI I find I can brake front and back AND change down gears all at he same time.
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by =4cranks

Allegedly, to signal a flat, a RIGHT arm held high signals the team/neutral car that you want a REAR wheel. The mech knows which wheel to fetch. Of course, the left arm signals a front flat... The opposing hand of the raised arm has control of the good wheel. This is also why a sidepull front brake arm is biased for routing to the left lever. This system is obsolete since an entire bike is used for a star's flats.

My brakee lovin right hand demands RF on moto and lego. :twisted:
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by 1centaur

When I learned how to ride a bike in England as a child I was told the rear brake should be hit first and the front brake immediately after to avoid an endo. I learned to do that rear brake thing on the left and it STILL messes me up 40 years later in the US to squeeze left and get that front end instability rather than the gradual effect on the rear I am expecting.

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by michael

Miller wrote:As a right-handed person I prefer right-front. The main consideration is that you know which lever to grab when things are rapidly going pear shaped.

? very smart to brake front only..... you will be catapulted, that's why front=left.

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