I'm 100% sure that my gear levers on the right side are for my front gears and the ones on the left side are for changing the rear gears.

After a muddy ride today it seemed that this changed. I was pressing the right levers to change the front gear and the rear gears started to change instead.

Is it possible? I know I have to take it for maintenance, but I wanted to check before so that the guys there wouldn't think I'm crazy.

My bike is Giant ToughRoad SLR GX 3 2018 and I had it for about 8 months during which it didn't have any issues.

  • 2
    After a muddy ride the chain might have just started jumping over the rear cassette which you mistakenly connected to your shifting actions. If you look at the shifters, cables that come from them and where these cables go to, it will become obvious to you what may or may not happen at shifting. Unless someone with godlike powers pranks you, but that explanation can just be applied to anything in life. Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 21:12
  • Someone could have, as a prank, swapped your levers (though it would have taken a bit of effort). And, for a very limited set of gear combinations, shifting front or rear may seem to produce the same "jump" in gearing. But in general, no, the shifting function can't jump willy-nilly from one side to the other. (Where did you buy the bike? Right=front & left=rear would be unusual in the US.) Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 21:45
  • 1
    Your left-hand shifter will have 2 or 3 detent positions, so it will click once or twice. The right hand shifter will have as many detents as your rear cassette has cogs, and will click one-less than that number. Start by washing your bike - that'll make the service guys happier to work on it.
    – Criggie
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 10:41

2 Answers 2


The standard setup is left for front and right for rear for gears.

For gears you would need special left rear and right front shifters, which are not manufactured. It is very unlikely that you had those, and they converted to normal shifters during one ride, at the same time as cables rerouted themselves.

  • i'm in the uk, couldn't it be different? Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 20:47
  • 1
    The brakes are some sort of island thing. Gears not, and cables spontaneously rerouting themselves very much not.
    – ojs
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 20:57
  • 2
    In my experience (with English-speaking western countries), brakes are swapped when the side of the road you ride on is swapped. So, rear brake on left if you ride on the left, and rear brake on right if you ride on the right. I don't know why this is so. Gears are not swapped. Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 21:07
  • 3
    Edited out the bit about brakes, as the suggestion they follow standard could put a reader in a dangerous situation.
    – mattnz
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 0:51

I'm really sorry to have to tell you this - you are in fact crazy ;-)

The left shifter shifts the front, the right the rear. The cables are completely separate and cannot interfere with ether other.

Even if the cables were swapped, the left shifter cannot shift the rear derailleur properly as it only has clicks for the front derailleur, and vice versa.

  • 4
    Think carefully: During your "muddy ride" did you fall and hit your head? Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 23:31

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