I bought a bike from the UK. The brakes and shifters are on the opposite sides. I want to change it so the front brake is on the left and the rear is on the right, Same thing for the shifters.

I have Drop bars and Ultegra Shifters. Is this a difficult project?



  • 1
    Why??? (The brakes are no problem. The shifters --- BIG problem.) May 31, 2013 at 23:06
  • 3
    FWIW Many people right-handed folks prefer their dominant right hand on the front brake, myself included. Do whatever is most comfortable, but try it out for a bit (you may like it.)
    – WTHarper
    May 31, 2013 at 23:29
  • 1
    Yeah, just my two cents, I always move my front brake to the right because that's where it is on my motorcycle, and confusing the front brake for the rear brake on a motorcycle could be a fatal mistake when switching between my bicycle and my motorcycle. Jun 1, 2013 at 4:22
  • 1
    Are American shifters the other way around? I've never come across a left/rear right/front setup.
    – alex
    Jun 1, 2013 at 9:53
  • I would rather focus on using the road sides correctly as US is for right-hand drive. If you change your shifters, there is a risk that you would get the shifting wrong and cause problem to yourself as well as the other road users. Have you ever heard of changing steering wheels for cars when going to US from the UK? Make your life easy. To support the comment by @DanielRHicks No need to change brakes. I strongly suggest you get the roads right rather than changing shifter positions.
    – ha9u63a7
    Jun 5, 2013 at 20:22

2 Answers 2


Kind of what Daniel said, brakes are easy. Sit down and think about it for a minute, all you have to do is switch the cables. Run the front cable to the left and run the rear cable to the right.

If you want to switch the shifters you will probably run into some trouble. You won't be able to just switch the cables, you would have to get shifters that work on the opposite side. I would just forego that goal if I were you.

  • 3
    Yeah, the problem is that front and rear shifters are different -- different # of stops, different cable motion per stop -- and "brifters" are designed to be pressed inward, so they can't be swapped left for right. You'd need new ones. Jun 1, 2013 at 4:12

Before going further, ask your self this:

You need to drive your UK-purchased car in the US now. OMG, US is right-hand drive but the UK is left-hand. you now need to change the position of my gear and streering wheels to the other side.

Does this sound logical to you? Does it make your life comfortable? Are you gonna buy a new car now?

Same logic my friend. As @DanielRHicks and hillsons said, brakes are not needed to change. I would rather focus on using the road sides correctly as US is for right-hand drive. Unless there is any law about changing the shifter positions, don't do it. Just ride as you would ride, but try to get the road side correct.

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