1981 Gerber race bike modified for left handed / one handed riding [howto: brake lever]
Summer is coming and I now get back to street biking (not just off road riding). As changing gear levers can be a bitch, I decided to go with an old bike with frame mounted gear levers (rather than handle bar mounted levers). So I bought this 1981 Gerber race bicycle. Very elegant.
Original bike state
First attempt, brakes
As you see, two brakes are a problem as this blogger (me) will want to have one brake lever for both front and rear brakes. So question is how to set the bike up for one handed (left handed) braking with the least effort achievable.
So, how to fix this?
I ordered a Paul duplex brake lever - LINK
I used a special tool to force the clamp of the brake lever over the handle bar. This was necessary as this older Swiss bike's handle bar features a diameter that is just ever so slightly higher than the inner diameter of the brake lever clamp.
Here, the front brake cable is already in place.
Here, both front and rear cables in place.
I used Shimano cable sheaths as I had them lying around anyway.
Also, I have the bike mechanic change the rims to tubed rather than tubeless tyres. Until that is done, I decided that I might as well take time to get the brakes going. So, here we go.
Second attempt, handlebar, shifters, brakes
I used Shimano BR-R451 brakes for best performance, as the reach (distance between screw and pads) for this Gerber bike is just 1-2 mm more than the Shimano 105 which these days seems to be ubiquitous across bike shops. I now mounted a horizontal handle bar as the curved one gave me back aches with the prosthetic arm. Furthermore, I put the shifters up om the handle bar, by putting in a cable stop where the downtube shifters were.