Tech Front and rear brakes reversed!?!?

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
225
81
48
41
#1
I recently got a road bike, and I noticed that compared to my mountain bike the brake levers are reversed: on my mountain bike, the right lever controls the rear brake and the left lever controls the front brake. On my road bike it is the other way around, and it is at times disconcerting. Does that have to do with different cultures (roadies vs. mountain bikers) or with Japan being a country where people drive on the wrong side of the road?
 
Last edited:

leicaman

Maximum Pace
Sep 20, 2012
2,434
2,125
133
Asakadai, Saitama
#3
Japan have it right. They drive on the left and have their front brake on the right lever. Americans, as always have it the wrong way round. Driving on the right, left lever controls the front brake and don’t get me started on inches, ounces and pounds 😜😂. Just switch the brakes on the bike so they are the same. Would hate to ride one bike one way and the other bike the opposite way around.
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
225
81
48
41
#4
Hmm, good to know.
I thought the only country that has front on the left is the US
Nope, also in Germany, and I reckon Europe - UK the right lever controls the rear brake. Since I almost always brake with both brakes I didn't realize this right away, but yesterday it had rained in the morning and during my evening ride I lost traction in a tight turn on the still wet road surface — I had applied too much force on the rear brake. Ugh, I guess I will have to have that fixed. :)
 

leicaman

Maximum Pace
Sep 20, 2012
2,434
2,125
133
Asakadai, Saitama
#5
Hmm, good to know.

Nope, also in Germany, and I reckon Europe - UK the right lever controls the rear brake. Since I almost always brake with both brakes I didn't realize this right away, but yesterday it had rained in the morning and during my evening ride I lost traction in a tight turn on the still wet road surface — I had applied too much force on the rear brake. Ugh, I guess I will have to have that fixed. :)
Nope, in the UK , the right lever controls the front brake. In continental Europe a lot of countries have their right lever controlling the rear, but not in the UK
 
Last edited:
Likes: Kanamori2017

bloaker

Maximum Pace
Nov 14, 2011
1,446
1,082
433
Miura, Japan
#6
I am all for Right Rear... Brakes/R.Derailleur & Left Front... brake/F.Derailleur
I am always amused with people saying that they ride motorcycles so they do right front so it is the same.
I have never once thrown my leg of my bicycle and mistaken it for a motorbike. Not once... not even drunk... not saying I have ever ridden drunk...
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
225
81
48
41
#7
@bloaker
Yes, exactly, and I had assumed that this is the logical approach anywhere.

Regarding motorcycles: I have never ridden one in my life (as the driver, as a passenger once), and given that I am a father now, I have no inclination to pick up another hobby. (A bike is fast and dangerous enough.) So that isn't exactly a problem for me.
 
May 22, 2007
3,540
1,343
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#8
I reckon Europe - UK the right lever controls the rear brake
Not UK.

The left lever controls the rear brake in countries where you drive/ride on the left side of the road, i.e., Japan, UK, a few others.

The reason - to be able to give hand signals and still have one hand on the 'most important' brake.

Do tell me if you see any muggle cyclist here ever give a hand signal. I'll call the press...
 
Likes: thomas

wexford

Maximum Pace
Jul 3, 2012
976
587
113
Tokyo
#10
My rear brake is on the right and front is on the left on both my bikes. I used to use them the other way but like to have the front brake handy when I’m changing down gears or snapping a photo or indeed signaling. That said I still have to think about it sometimes as I grew up using the brakes the other way.
 
May 22, 2007
3,540
1,343
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#11
The guys I ride with do, but none of the people on mamacharis. ;)
The guys I ride with do, too. But it may just be that they've spotted an unusual bird, or a beer machine.

"Look, an eagle!" (Everyone following turns right.)

Sometimes while commuting I find myself riding behind a peleton wannabe who, once he notices me, starts indicating/instructing me with his club's aero version of the Masonic handsignals. While I appreciate the gesture (ho-ho!), I'd prefer he keep his hands on the bars. I'll make my own decisions.
 
Likes: Kangaeroo

baribari

Maximum Pace
May 28, 2010
375
55
48
Fukushima
#12
I think motorcycle style is the world standard, and reversed style is the traditional American way.

That said, the entire reason it is reversed is based on flawed reasoning; they wanted people to keep their hand on the rear brake when doing turn signals since people used to think using the front brake was dangerous because you can flip over the handlebars. But you can't stop worth a damn with just the rear brake.

My bike was built in the US the traditional US way, but the other day I rented a road bike and it was done the international way.

It's a pretty simple change, though...