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Tech Changing brake levers

kurogoma

Warming-Up
Aug 18, 2020
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Hey Im just curious how many of yall coming from right side moving traffic countries. (americans, canadians etc.) If you have bought a bicycle in Japan, do you keep the brake levers the way they are? meaning right lever to front brake, and left lever to rear brake. or do you switch them left to front, right to rear? i always switch mine because in the past i have flipped my dumb self over the handlebars before. embarrassingly funny of course but annoying and potential very dangerous in traffic. On top of that, the cables look messy. Another thing is it seems Shimano for example actually designed the calipers to be front to left, and right to rear, yet 99% of bike shops here sell complete bikes flipped around due to japan being a left side traffic country, which is weird since obviously Shimano is a Japanese company. confusing as crap. SO i always switch the brakes to the “correct ;) “ way. ha
 

OreoCookie

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Dec 2, 2017
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Hell no! I switched them around real quick. I tried for a little while, but kept on “braking the wrong way around” .
 

joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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I have the opposite issue when I travel to North America. When I try to brake hard I typically end up locking the rear wheel which then starts coming around, until I ease up. The key is to release the brake when either the wheel locks up or the rear wheel starts lifting, regardless how the brakes are wired.

When you go over the handlebars it's not really because you brake too hard but because you either don't brace yourself properly (e.g. one handed hard braking) or you don't reduce brake force once you have slowed down enough for air resistance to no longer act against your body enough to keep your rear wheel grounded (you won't go over the handlebars at high speed if properly braced). This something you should really practice.
 

OreoCookie

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Dec 2, 2017
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Although I'd say brake technique and getting used to pedals that are reversed are two different things. I'd even say that getting used to the brakes the wrong way around (with respect to what they are used to) is arguably more difficult if they are already very proficient on the bike, because braking technique has been committed to muscle memory. Just imagine if you switched gas and brake pedals on a car and asked someone to heel-and-toe (who already knows how to heel-and-toe) — all your instincts are wrong.
 

kurogoma

Warming-Up
Aug 18, 2020
8
5
I have the opposite issue when I travel to North America. When I try to brake hard I typically end up locking the rear wheel which then starts coming around, until I ease up. The key is to release the brake when either the wheel locks up or the rear wheel starts lifting, regardless how the brakes are wired.

When you go over the handlebars it's not really because you brake too hard but because you either don't brace yourself properly (e.g. one handed hard braking) or you don't reduce brake force once you have slowed down enough for air resistance to no longer act against your body enough to keep your rear wheel grounded (you won't go over the handlebars at high speed if properly braced). This something you should really practice.
I was just going super slow on the sidewalk, like should have just stopped slow,strying to turn on my rear light on my seatpost.. with my left hand even though i should of done it with my right. but anyways i wasnt paying any attention to the front of me and a crack in the cement stopped me so i squeezed the left lever flipping me over.. which is why it was funny and embarrassing . good thing is i dont think anyone saw. and honestly while riding on with cars on the road, honestly i never hand signal because well 99.9% of nobody does here. so i switch em back to good ol american way. Now the funny thing about all this is.. well i have never ridden a motocycle here in japan(yet but i do want to get my license really bad)is that motocycles front brake is the right lever. and the clutch is the left lever. so its interesting on a motorcycle i am use to left being front but on a bicycle no. hah
 

kiwisimon

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Dec 14, 2006
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Now the funny thing about all this is.. well i have never ridden a motocycle here in japan(yet but i do want to get my license really bad)is that motocycles front brake is the right lever. and the clutch is the left lever. so its interesting on a motorcycle i am use to left being front but on a bicycle no. hah
In America is the throttle on the left? Same side as the clutch is on?
That seems kinda dumb given that most peoples dominant hand is the right which quite rightly (pun) you'd want controlling speed hence the front brake, the most important, on the right.

But there was always a reason America was kicked out of the commonwealth. Now I know, it was their messed up brake levers and driving on the wrong side of the road.
 

jdd

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Jul 26, 2008
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In America is the throttle on the left? Same side as the clutch is on?
Pedal order/arrangement is the same, clutch, brake, accelerator (L>R). And the shift pattern on the console is the same (manual), tho you do have to use your other hand.

Of course, I always turn on the wipers when I want to change lanes or make a turn... :ashamed:
 

jdd

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Jul 26, 2008
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I was talking cars. Two things that are reversed between here and the US are the turn signal wand and the wiper control.
 

joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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I was talking cars. Two things that are reversed between here and the US are the turn signal wand and the wiper control.
Since Japan drives on the left like the UK, Japanese cars manufacturers adopted the then current UK standard for the signal / wiper arrangement, which is an exact reversal of the arrangement in countries that drive on the right such as Germany, France and the US: Indicator on the door side, wiper towards the center.

Later, when mainland European manufacturers built cars for the UK market they kept the layout of their existing steering wheel, i.e. indicator on the left, wiper on the right. That became the new standard in the UK. That's why even Japanese models of BMW, Audi, etc. (which are basically the same as their their UK models) have their switches reversed compared to domestic brands such as Toyota, Honda, etc.
 

Winston Leg-Thigh

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Mar 31, 2015
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Since Japan drives on the left like the UK, Japanese cars manufacturers adopted the then current UK standard for the signal / wiper arrangement, which is an exact reversal of the arrangement in countries that drive on the right such as Germany, France and the US: Indicator on the door side, wiper towards the center.

Later, when mainland European manufacturers built cars for the UK market they kept the layout of their existing steering wheel, i.e. indicator on the left, wiper on the right. That became the new standard in the UK. That's why even Japanese models of BMW, Audi, etc. (which are basically the same as their their UK models) have their switches reversed compared to domestic brands such as Toyota, Honda, etc.
Whenever I go back to the UK I always go steaming round roundabouts with my windscreen wipers going for the first few days and spray the window when I'm flashing people (what?)
 
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kurogoma

Warming-Up
Aug 18, 2020
8
5
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when you look from the front face of the bike the caliper pull arm is on the left side rather than the right, so when routing brake cable from left hand lever its designed to have one curve. less friction = smoother braking and less wear. when the the cable comes from the hand lever the brake cable and housing have to curve more if not twice. same when viewing from the backside caliper arm is on left side. and even the frame is designed with the cable mounting holes on the left side of the frame. right hand cable smoothly routes back to the rear caliper better like it was designed too. from the left handle its gonna have a tight curve or two.

at the end of this you can do what ever you want with your bike. companies like tektro i think make calipers from either side.

i just think its weird that a japanese brand would design it to be the "american way" yet not route the cables that way in japan ooor make right side arm pull calipers for the japanese market.. if they do i just havent noticed and have only ever seen left side ones.
 
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