I posted the following on the I'm sure many of you have seen this by now
thread but expanding on this theme would be serious hijack."I have felt for a
long time that new bikes should have right-front so we learn from day
one right-front. Then we have our dominant (and usually more skilled)
hand on the brake that matters when we are signalling a turn or stop.
I learned left-front like 99.9% of Americans and by the time I realized
that was backwards I was so well trained that switching would be
Then I got thinking: this is where the Consumer Protection and Safety Commission could make a simple ruling that would 1) in the long run, save crashes and improve riding safety and 2) be a short-term curse and long term benefit for the bike industry. The ruling could be as simple as "All bikes are to be set-up at the factory or for the showroom floor with the right brake lever operating the front brake. Upon sale, the customer may request that this be changed. If so requested, the swap is to be done without charge.
This would get new riders starting out with right-front braking and developing good habits. Bike shops would hate it. Currently swapping cables, buried as they are under the tape, is a b**** and on a new bike, often costs the shop a set of bar tape. But if this was a permanent mandate? It wouldn't take the bike manufacturers very long to figure out a really good way to swap cables, perhaps with easy to run cables and housings with a break and coupling near the stem. Now, as a bike owner, wouldn't that be pretty nice? You could lift off your entire cockpit and drop on another! Oh yeah, there are those brifter thingies. Well, some of us can, anyway.