left hand side front brake?

pbamf Posts: 69
edited December 2009 in Road beginners
Just purchased a new groupset and I thought if I am going to do it do it now. Why does the front caliper look like the cable needs to go to the left side not the right? Apart from learning to change the way you brake are there any more disadvantages, because it looks a lot neater than having the cable doubling back on itself.


  • All my bikes have left lever = front brake.

    It's the way it's meant to be set up. The UK just wanted to be different.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Side pulls are designed to be lefthand front - it's just archaic UK standards that require them to be set the other way - longer more contrived cable runs for starters. I have all mine LH front
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • andrew_s
    andrew_s Posts: 2,511
    In almost all of the world, the back brake is on the same side of the bike as the kerb. We ride on the left, so it's back brake on the left. Most of the world drives on the right, so brakes are made for a back-right setup.
    Supposedly the rationale is so that you are using the brake brake when indicating to turn across the traffic. If you brake hard with only one hand on the bars you'll likely be off, and you can't brake very hard with the back brake.

    It's illegal for a shop to sell a bike with the brakes the other way round, but OK for you to swap them after purchase. If you want a new bike set up front left so you don't have to retape the bars, you've got to buy a nearly-a-bike (no pedals or whatever), technically speaking. Presumably a LBS will ignore this, but mail order won't as you might be Trading Standards.
  • Smokin Joe
    Smokin Joe Posts: 2,706
    andrew_s wrote:
    In almost all of the world, the back brake is on the same side of the bike as the kerb.
    Tell that to the Aussies, the Zealanders and the Japs :wink:

    Both my bikes are LH front, smoother cable runs and no rub on the headtube from the rear cable.
  • All yank bikes come that way. It's the best way. You'll get used to it!
  • hopper1
    hopper1 Posts: 4,389
    If I changed now, it would be disasterous... :shock:
    Start with a budget, finish with a mortgage!
  • John.T
    John.T Posts: 3,698
    My Trek Madone 5.2 has far better cable runs with the back brake on the left. The cable runs round the head tube and never comes near to rubbing it.
    Back in the 50s most caliper brakes were made the other way round from now. The Japanese were the first major makers to have them the present way, and they drive on the left.
    Oh sod it. have them how you like. As long as you are comfortable with it it does not matter. I have front on the right as that hand is stronger and has better feel.