Why are front brakes on the right in the UK?

It's never good when you find out which way round the brakes are on a fast descent - but why is it ever different, anyway?

(Image credit: Daniel Gould)

Bike launches are the biggest offenders. Which side the front brake is on is sometimes a bit of a Russian roulette which will depend upon the origin of the mechanic who built the machine.

Most bikes that come in to the Cycling Weekly office for testing will be set up under British Standards - that means that the front brake is on the right and the rear brake on the left.

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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan the Editor of Cycling Weekly website. An NCTJ qualified traditional journalist by trade, Michelle began her career working for local newspapers. She's worked within the cycling industry since 2012, and joined the Cycling Weekly team in 2017, having previously been Editor at Total Women's Cycling. Prior to welcoming her daughter in 2022, Michelle raced on the road, track, and in time trials, and still rides as much as she can - albeit a fair proportion indoors, for now.