Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In a recent edition of Cycling Plus (January 2009) they had a De Rosa on the front cover. The bike had Campy / 3T components and the Right brake lever was controlling the front brake instead of the rear. Is this common practice in Europe or was this done for the photo shoot? None of my bikes (build up by 3 different shops) were cabled in this fashion.

TIA
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
727 Posts
Most people are right handed. Therefore we the British rode (horses) on the left so that we had our sword arm free to meet oncoming adversaries. System worked well for centuries and with modern city riding (cycles) still has a lot to recommend it! :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,713 Posts
Not just Britain

Europe generally (even the countries where they drive on the "right" side).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
One thing for sure, would keep cable clatter down besides looking like a cleaner install.
 

·
So. Calif.
Joined
·
2,800 Posts
shifters?

Are the UK shift levers also "opposite" the USA? Or just the brakes?

Eg, is it
Left shifter -> rear brake + front derailler
or
Left shifter -> rear brake + rear derailler
 

·
Le Misérable
Joined
·
4,374 Posts
JCavilia said:
Europe generally (even the countries where they drive on the "right" side).
Reporting live from Europe to refute this claim: I've never seen a bike set up this way here on the continent, with the exception of a couple of motorcyclist friends of mine who started road biking after years of motorcycling and customized their bikes out of fear of going over the bars on a hard, instinctive left-brake grab. Other than that, I've never even heard anybody talk about it, let alone do it...and none of the bikes in the shops around here are set up like this. That's just me, one guy's experience (mostly in France, Spain and Italy) and I'm sure JCavilia knows people who have bikes like this, but I'm CERTAIN that it's not the norm.

Further evidence: when I bought my first Vespa here, as soon as the salesman found out I was a cyclist he made quite a production out of showing me, in the fashion that one demonstrates a new toy to a 3-year-old, that the left brake is actually the rear brake and vice-versa, "c'est L'INVERSE de votre vélo, monsieur, faites attention..." All of this, even though it's really, really hard to flip a 100+ kilo scooter on dry pavement no matter what brake you use to stop.
 

·
naranjito
Joined
·
785 Posts
Ibashii said:
Reporting live from Europe to refute this claim
+1

The only place in europe where right-front brakes could be considered the norm is the UK. Everywhere else is left-front, although obviously there may be a few people out there who prefer or need right-front for whatever reason.
Even when I still lived in the UK many years ago, I went against the norm and used left-front brakes. Many racers did this, because in the days of DT shifters, when taking your right hand off the bars to change gear, you were suddenly left with no front brake if you had right-front braking. Left-front braking meant changing gear and braking at the same time were no problem, something that can be very important in a race situation.

FWIW, I also ride a scooter, which has right-front left-rear braking, and have absolutely no problem changing between scooter and bike.

foz
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sheldon's comments make a lot of sense. Correct signaling of turns in the US is done with the left hand, the same way they teach manual hand turn signals for cars (using the right hand to signal a right turn on a bicycle is incorrect). So, the right hand should be available to brake the strongest brake, the front one. Simply have to apply correct braking technique.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
420 Posts
Motorcycle riders set up this way most of the time....

Left Hand = clutch
Right Hand = front brake

For the sake of consistency, a lot of motorcyclist/cyclists I know set up their bikes front brake / right hand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
653 Posts
585opti said:
Sheldon's comments make a lot of sense. Correct signaling of turns in the US is done with the left hand, the same way they teach manual hand turn signals for cars (using the right hand to signal a right turn on a bicycle is incorrect). So, the right hand should be available to brake the strongest brake, the front one. Simply have to apply correct braking technique.
I'm a bit confused by your statement. In the US, you signal with your left arm which leaves your right hand free, but most bikes are set up for the right brake to be the rear brake. So this means you are braking with your rear brake, not the front. This makes more sense to me, since most people think braking with your rear brake is better and won't cause you to go flying over the handlebars..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
livin4lax09 said:
I'm a bit confused by your statement. In the US, you signal with your left arm which leaves your right hand free, but most bikes are set up for the right brake to be the rear brake. So this means you are braking with your rear brake, not the front. This makes more sense to me, since most people think braking with your rear brake is better and won't cause you to go flying over the handlebars..
Just in case you are still tracking this thread...

If you modulate you brakes correctly there is a distinct advantage to having the more powerful brake when you need it. Generally I am on the hood of the lever and only have one or two fingers on the brake when I signal. Works well for me. Read the article by Sheldon and see what you think afterwards.

http://sheldonbrown.com/brakturn.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
Not just the UK...

Actually, it's not just the UK in Europe where riders set it up like that - it's quite popular with Italian riders as well. As evidence, I present:

Danilo Di Luca:


Mario Cipollini:


Gianni Bugno:


and of course, Marco Pantani:


There's more I could find, but you get the idea. And not everyone in the UK has them set up like that (me for one!).
 

·
chamois creme addict
Joined
·
1,479 Posts
Yes, I have even heard of it presented as "Italian" setup.

Strangely enough, I grew up on motorcycles. Starting riding a Honda Z50 at age 3, raced motocross from age 9 to 19. During those years I also did some BMX, and my BMX bike only had a rear brake and I ran it on the right. As I transitioned into MTB riding and racing post-motocross, I always ran rear brake right, front brake left. Then into road riding and racing. From my standpoint, riding a motorcycle versus a bicycle is just SO different, I never had a problem with mixing up the front brake location.

I seem to recall an incident in the Tour in either 1995 or 1996 where Tony Rominger swapped his brake setup mid-race. I think he had some tendonitis in one of his wrists, and decided swapping brakes would be better. He then crashed as a result of the swap and hurt his knee as well.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top