Bike brakes for people with one hand

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  • Bike brakes for people with one hand
  • Premier Icon billyboy
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    About three years ago I converted a bike for someone with only one functioning hand. I’m a bit foggy about the details because someone else got the kit and I just did the job. I’m convinced it was a bike with V brakes.
    Someone else who only has one fully functioning hand has just asked me about doing the same thing, either with V brakes, mechanical discs (same pull ratio) or with hydraulics for a mountain bike which he currently uses with only one brake. I spent over an hour researching it this morning only to come up with next to nothing…..phoned Hope, Madison (Shimano), Bob Elliot, Moore Large and Upgrade. All I found was a brake lever for cantilever brakes or road caliper brakes that’d pull two wires, but nothing else.

    If anyone has any pointers they’d be gratefully recieved.

    I’ve got my own brain ticking now…..road mechanical discs (Don’t they do them for STI levers which are canti/rd caliper compatible???)with that canti dual lever I found!!!!!

    Any other suggestions gratefully recieved……………

    Chap in my club only has one functioning arm (motorbike accident I think). Can’t remember his setup but I will try and find out.

    Premier Icon billyboy
    Subscriber

    The point being to try and get two brakes operating from one lever on the right…plus gears also on the right

    Premier Icon billyboy
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    That’d be great if you could find out for us Simon…cheers

    You can do it with hydraulic discs too. A mate of mine has it done with some Hopes, basically a splitter in the brake hose – gives 50:50 front rear bias. Think he might have got Hope to do it though. He runs one shifter upside down and seems to do the job pretty well.

    Premier Icon billyboy
    Subscriber

    Cheers Remoterob…I had found that but dismissed it as it was road caliper orientated…but now my brain has started to fire up a bit I might try contacting them tomorrow and have a chat about the possible applications

    Taff
    Member

    Search on here-I’m pretty sure this came up a few weeks ago

    remoterob
    Member

    Cheers Remoterob…I had found that but dismissed it as it was road caliper orientated…but now my brain has started to fire up a bit I might try contacting them tomorrow and have a chat about the possible applications

    Read the .pdf on the site, they work with “cable-operated brakes: calipers, cantilevers, V-brakes,drums or disks”

    That’d be great if you could find out for us Simon…cheers

    Not been out with the club for a while but see plenty of the riders in the shop. Will see if any of them know.

    druidh
    Member

    Mark at The Bike Chain in Edinburgh was able to put a hydraulic setup together for a one handed recumbentist – IIRC it was Magura parts. Drop him an email or call him to find out the details?

    Premier Icon billyboy
    Subscriber

    Cheers Surroundedbyzulus

    I thrashed that one out with Hope….they have tried it but the master cyclinder/reservoir is not going to hold enough fluid to serve two brakes….they reckon it’d work for a short while but that once the pads wore a bit you’d need to top the fluid levels up in order to provide enough fluid to fill the extra space needed to push all four pistons out the further distance it increasingly required.

    meehaja
    Member

    back in the day I had a BMX lever that pulled 2 cables… like a gyro cable (that would also work) but tidyer.

    Not sure how this would help as both breaks would come on at the same time & pressure. I would think I’d opt for 2 lever on one side of the bar if I were in the same situation, one on the inside, one on the outside, so I could pull both levers with one hand, or feather either the back or front with a finger each way.

    That said, I’m sure the singletrack mind can come up with a tidier soloution?
    heres the lever I thought of…
    http://www.sourcebmx.com/product/components/bmx-brake-levers/odyssey-m2-lever/7741.shtml

    Premier Icon billyboy
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    Thanks Druidh…I’ll try that

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
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    Chap who rides around Tod uses two brake levers on the same side combined with a Gripshift.

    Could you combine Gripshift and STI’s t give a full range?

    Might be worth a go.

    There was a chap posting on here( or his wife) last year with only one hand – but he put two levers on one side IIRC

    I have seen a bike with cable discs done with two brakes off one lever – using a lever that pulls two cables. She used a bigger disc on the back so it always locked the rear first.

    Very possible with hydros as well but it would be a 50 / 50 split. either a t piece in the line or run two lines of one double length banjo.

    There is an organisation called national association of bikers with a disability who do this for motorcyclists – they might be able to help as well

    Premier Icon billyboy
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    meehajah

    Had thought of that but got dragged down by the thought that the pull ratios of BMX brakes were different to Vs and ordinary mechanical discs….don’t think you could use with a v brake lever…could be wrong….ta anyway

    St john street cycles have twin pull brake levers

    You would need th check the cable pull but one of these with avid cable discs of the right sort would work fine

    http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/twin-pull-v-brake-lever-left-prod21413/

    Premier Icon billyboy
    Subscriber

    Brilliant Jeremy….Ta…I’m sure I used something like that last time…just couldn’t find it again…that’d do Vs and mechanical discs.

    Nice one

    Its possible to mount both levers on the same side.

    On some Maguras the bleed nipple is the same thread as the hose fiting, so you can daisy chain them together. This should work with HS33 rim brakes, but you would have a lot of lever travel, or a system very sensitive to wheel wobble

    Premier Icon kiwijohn
    Subscriber

    My mate just use 2 levers & a shifter on the right with a rest for his stump on the left.
    He’s a bike mechanic & downhiller who’s now running it on an XC bike as well.

    Premier Icon turboferret
    Subscriber

    I can’t seem to find any decent photos at the moment, but have a look for off-road/DH wheelchairs, as I’ve seen a few which have fully independent hydraulic discs all round. They have a pair of levers on each end of the bars, and it’s not a bodged setup.

    You can just about make out the pairs of levers on each side in the picture above.

    Couple more shots

    Cheers, Rich

    i have done this on a few sets of hydro’s

    you have 1 lever going running to the front brake then another hose attached at the caliper bleed nipple. (need to remove the nipple) to the rear brake. you bleed both brakes as a single system.

    seem to work for the guy i did it for. also on the older gen hs33 i think you can run 2 hoses from the lever. i cant remember how you bled it though. i think you pushed it in from the caliper and had the hose bolt slightly lose so it weeped out.

    please feel free to email me. (im away in belgium 1st thing tomorrow and scotland the week after)

    running the hydros like that would work – I am fairly sure hopes have the same threads for the bleed nipple as the hose as well

    I just checked – hopes do have thesame thread for thebleed nipple adn hose connection so could be set up to run two calipers off one lever. You will end up with a long throw lever tho

    Premier Icon njee20
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    We did it for a chap using 2 Juicy Ultimate levers on one side. Worked surprisingly well.

    Premier Icon phil56
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    Very possible with hydros as well but it would be a 50 / 50 split. either a t piece in the line or run two lines of one double length banjo.

    To get the correct balance you could use a brake proportioning valve in the hose to the rear brake – we use these in race cars all the time.
    This is the cheapest one I could find
    Brake Proportioning valve

    thomthumb
    Member

    sustrans or the CTC might be able to help.

    know clive (CTC – i think) used to post on here and run disabled biking from alice holt forest in hampshire – he moved on but i’m sure someone replaced him.

    Premier Icon billyboy
    Subscriber

    Bloody brilliant guys….thanks

    Ooh, there was a lady on here who’s hubby suffered the loss of an arm, I can’t remember who it was though. I think Bullheart knows her so I’ll see if I can get him to contact her to hopefully offer her views; I seem to remember they had to adapt her hubby’s bike’s brakes.

    TN
    Member

    hi. I am that wife… 🙂

    J just uses standard Avid Elixirs with both levers and both gear changers stacked on the right bar, much like in merchant-bankers photo above.
    We only did it as an interim measure while we investigated more elegant solutions but it worked so well for him that he stuck with it.

    There is a huuuuge thread (or there used to be?) with some brilliant recommendations, if you search for “one armed cyclist”.

    Also, check out Hopey steering dampers. They have been the singlemost useful addition.
    Those and armoured shorts… :S

    Good luck with it.

    Hows he getting on TN? Well I hope.

    crmcc
    Member

    This is the nicest looking solution i have seen.
    http://www.mtb-amputee.com/images/Oli%20Sparrow02.jpg
    Not sure if they have a working model though. Lots more ideas here
    http://www.mtb-amputee.com/bikemodifications.htm

    TN
    Member

    Hi TJ. He is having a minor cycling break at the mo. The intruder has come back in his lung so waiting for surgery in the next few weeks, but then I am sure he will be back with gusto (after a bit of getting fit again)

    wish him luck please.

    Premier Icon 18BikesMatt
    Subscriber

    I’ve not read every post so not sure if this has been put forward yet, couldn’t see it skim reading. How about using one of the v-brake levers that pulls two cables run into one of the new cross adapters, like the hope one. Would give full power on two brakes, normal lever travel, no bleeding difficulties and use all standard off the shelf parts. It also wouldn’t be stupidly expensive

    As far as shifters is concerned, I would try a front grip shift with one of the adjustable (prob XTR as it has easiest adjustment) rear shifter both mounted on right hand side. May struggle to get everything in a workable position but it’s worth trying.

    Matt

    geebus
    Member

    I’ve seen either a converter or a specific dual v-brake lever – basically instead of the cable going in to the lever, there’s a bit of metal that holds a cable above and below the lever.
    Seen this used on electric bikes and ones with small ‘ICE’ engines added.

    Ah, not quite the same as what I was remembering, but – http://www.sickbikeparts.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=23&products_id=41

    sandyl
    Member

    In bike polo we use either diy levers where a hole is drilled through a lever and a shelf pin is the inserted through this. In each end of the pin is a hole where you thread a brake cable through. You then use what is called a bmx london mod to hold the barrel adjusters.

    Or you can buy these Levers from ebay there are also short pull versions around if you look for them.

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