Tech Front and rear brakes reversed!?!?

OreoCookie

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#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?
 
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leicaman

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#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

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#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

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#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
 
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bloaker

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#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

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#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
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#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...
 
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wexford

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#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
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#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.
 
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baribari

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#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...
 

OreoCookie

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#15
I'll go on a business trip the first week of August, and I'll have the brakes switched. There were already quite a few hairy situations where I instinctively grabbed a bit of the wrong brake and pulled some nice skids.* (As a recovering MTBer that doesn't freak me out, but I prefer to do shenanigans deliberately rather than accidentally ;)) This is just too dangerous, especially if I need to reverse everything in my head when I get on my mountain bike. Thank you, but no thank you.

* Of course I am braking with both brakes, not just one.

@kiwisimon
Most people learn to ride a bike before they get on a motor bike. (Are motor bike brakes also reversed depending on where they are sold?)
 

kiwisimon

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#17
@kiwisimon
Most people learn to ride a bike before they get on a motor bike. (Are motor bike brakes also reversed depending on where they are sold?)
My brothers threw me on the farm bike at 8yrs old. XL100 and I could just reach the shift lever and the clutch, they negleted to tell me about brakes, I still have the scar on my hand from the barbed wire fence I went into. Panic throttle twist before I got the kill switch hit. All our pushbikes were coaster brake and I rode those from about 4 yrs old. Couldn't sit on the seat but kids will be kids.
Go for whatever is your default setting as when panic stops are required, you'll grab what you don't think about.
 

bloaker

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#19
You wouldn’t have a problem if your bicycle front brake is on the right. It’s the same as motorbikes
And this is where my experience on both motorcycles and mtbs comes to play...
My sport bikes rely heavily on the front brake (90+%) and mountain bike far less...
With my sport bikes, a handful of brake is required to slow a 200kg machine down for a tight corner.
On my MTB with a handful of front brake, I am flying over the bars or washing the front end out.
I can afford a handful of rear brake on the MTB (or road bike) and recover vs flying over the bars.

This is why I see no correlation between a MTB and motorcycle. I have never "accidentally" grabbed brakes on a bicycle thinking I was on a motorcycle and vice versa.

--------
Also all my MTBs are single finger braking. My Sport bikes were two finger with significantly heavier pull. Just never got them confused - even in a panic.
 

OreoCookie

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#20
And this is where my experience on both motorcycles and mtbs comes to play...
My sport bikes rely heavily on the front brake (90+%) and mountain bike far less...
With my sport bikes, a handful of brake is required to slow a 200kg machine down for a tight corner.
On my MTB with a handful of front brake, I am flying over the bars or washing the front end out.
I would add that with experience you learn to utilize the front brake, taking into account the terrain, surface, line choice and suspension (especially the fork).
I can afford a handful of rear brake on the MTB (or road bike) and recover vs flying over the bars.
Essentially this is why I haven't had an accident: right now I tend to grab too much rear brake, which “just” locks the rear wheel. But on a mountain bike losing traction in the rear is quite common, so I just stay calm and correct. I reckon I'd be much more screwed if I went the other way around: from a Japanese-style “reversed” brake lever setup, being used to a road bike, and the switch to a mountain bike with the brakes the right way around.[/QUOTE]