"Right Rear", right?

Aug 17, 2007
121
0
36
Yotsuya, Tokyo
#1
Well...

I must be slow on the uptake, as it only just occurred to me that this truism is not so true over here in Japan. Like my wheels, I s'pose. I checked the brakes on both the bikes I bought here and realized that they are both "Left Rears". Really. Is it the case with all bikes in Japan, or is it just coincidence? Certainly, my Canada-kara Toreku is "RR".

I guess I must have figured this out intuitively, but never thought much about it. You just sort of instinctively realize that too much right hand is not productive, and switch over, rather like you do when driving a car (although, once in a while I end up turning on the windshield wipers when I only mean to turn).

Just an idle observation during a break...:rolleyes:
 

AlanW

Maximum Pace
Jan 30, 2007
1,214
436
103
Tokyo
#2
UK Too

We Brits run our front brake on the right too, in fact the British Standard BS6102 for bicycles requires it.
Seems to match the side of the road the country drives on: Japan, UK, Aus, NZ all run the front brake on the right; USA, Canada, Europe all run the front brake on the left.

I find it impossible to swap - my poor brain just cannot deal with the brakes being the "wrong way round" after so many years of conditioning. Almost crashed a rented mountainbike in France because I messed up the braking going into a downhill turn :mad:
 
Aug 17, 2007
121
0
36
Yotsuya, Tokyo
#3
Thanks, Alan

Interesting. Yeah, I had a feeling it had something to do with the side of the road you drove on.

I'm intrigued by the British Standard: I wonder if you can get a fine for swapping your brake leads? And how many would-be Dick Dastardlys have sought glory and a podium place by surreptitiously switching the brake cables on a rival's bike?

When I first came to Japan in the nineties, I remember being surprised that although the steering wheel, gear knob and signals had shifted sides, the brake, clutch and accelerator remained staunchly traditional in its set-up. A bit silly, really, but I was a lot younger then...:eek:
 

WhiteGiant

Maximum Pace
Nov 4, 2006
1,192
240
93
Kita-Ueno
#4
Set-up...

I'm not really sure if there are laws about it, but I remember taking my "naked" frame into my Japanese LBS, and he specifically asked me which side I wanted my rear-brake on!
I think I just told him to do the "normal" set-up, and now my rear brake is on the right; front brake on the left... my other right.
Even though I am actually left-handed, and some people have advised me to "move my rear brake to my stronger hand", I've never locked up the front brakes by accident - I still always seem to skid from the rear (maybe weight balance???).
The only time it becomes an issue, is on high-speed descents! I have to consciously make sure I'm using the rear (right-hand) brake on the down-hills.

I'm pretty sure your LBS should be able to set it up for whichever way you're comfortable with.
T
 
Aug 17, 2007
121
0
36
Yotsuya, Tokyo
#6
Ah, Sheldon "Front Brake" Brown...

Yes, interesting. Didn't know about motorcycles as I've never graduated from bicycles (actually, my wife says I can't have one... Little does she know they're no less dangerous than road bikes here in Tokyo!). But, as the Late Great Man said, right ought to control the primary brake, which he effectively argues is the front one.

Thanks,
 

Wolfman

Speeding Up
Jul 31, 2007
631
18
38
Suginamiku
#7
My current set up is certainly different from how it was when I was an old boy. To be honest, I never really paid much attention to it; more recently I've been consciously battling against thinking that my right brake is my front brake. I'm still looking down sometimes to check.....

Like AlanW, the neural networks seem to be set in concrete on this issue.
 
Jan 14, 2007
2,516
213
83
Noda
japanichiban.com
#8
My Fondriest was an import and it is set up left front.
My Trek was assembled in Japan and it is the reverse.
My Fondriest was also re-assembled after upgrading all the components at the same shop as my Trek so I wonder why they didn't make them the same.

This hasn't caused me any confusion but I've been meaning to set them up the same but just haven't gotten around to it.
I'm left handed and don't seem to mind which is which. I guess I'm bi-lingual as far as brakes are concerned and don't even think about it. Just go by feel.

I'll probably set it up to have front brake on the right as I actually prefer using the front brake and if I'm having a drink or signalling or taking a photo with my left then the front brake should be in control?
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,681
494
103
Japan
#9
one train of thought is that when derailers came out, they were on the right side of the frame which is the chain side. they were friction shifters and required the hand to be off the bar a lot longer than with brifters. the euro racers used the left hand to control the main brake (front) while they were changing gears or doing other right handed stuff. the tradition carried on even after brifters become the choix du jour.
 
#10
Where brake

Good thing it's easy to swap em. I don't think it matters so much but I run right rear. Theory is in a panic stop I nail both brakes as hard as I can but as am right handed get more power to the rear thus keeping my wheels on the ground.

Another theory for the reverse would be more braking power on front wheel so apply more horsepower there.