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Brake levers, right front (CPSC)
Last Post 08/18/2014 10:21 AM by Frederick Jones. 6 Replies.
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08/14/2014 01:06 PM
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 several wrecks."

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.




08/15/2014 06:37 PM
I think the brake that matters is the rear. Imagine having one hand on the brake while signaling a turn as you suggest. Do you want to slam the front brake? I think not.



08/15/2014 08:49 PM
Agree. Feathering the rear brake is an essential pack and group riding skill.


08/16/2014 01:49 AM
I suspect most of us reach into our pockets or grab WBs with our right hand. I almost always grab my WB with my right. So by that rational, the speed control brake should be on the left.



08/17/2014 11:49 AM
I'd never want the front brake under my dominant hand. it is already enough trouble on my motorcycle. I definitely sit on the other side of this fence.


08/18/2014 01:12 AM
I run the front on the right and have for years. I started the other way but when I had a motorcycle I changed my bike because I thought it made sense that both two wheelers have front right brakes. Long time ago but I recall that it a few rides to get used to it for regular riding but panic situations took a long time. Being a mainly off road er for so many years really taught me how to modulate especially in the v brake era. They call them linear for a reason I guess. I hardly ever skid now. Modern hydraulic disc brakes are so much better than rim brakes could ever be off road though. I pretty much use both brakes to control speed all the time. The only time I use just the rear is going off things. You don't want to land with any front brake on.


08/18/2014 10:21 AM
I had worried that learning to ride a moto fairly late in life might cause me to confuse the different brake lever positions in panic situations, but fortunately it hasn't been an issue at all. The environments are just so different, the correct reflexes kick in.
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