Duplex lever lets disabled cyclists activate both brakes with one hand


August 12, 2011

Paul's Duplex lever allows disabled cyclists to activate both brakes with one hand

Paul's Duplex lever allows disabled cyclists to activate both brakes with one hand

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While commuter bicycles can generally get by with a rear-wheel-only coaster brake, mountain and cyclocross bikes require both front and rear brakes - along with the hand levers used to activate them. Although this doesn't pose much of a challenge for most riders, it does for those who only have the use of one hand. One possible solution is to use a system that joins both brake cables to one common end, which then goes into a conventional lever. Another solution, however, is to use Paul Component Engineering's dual-cable Duplex lever.

The Duplex was originally designed for bicycle polo players, who needed to keep one hand free for swinging their mallets. It's basically just one brake lever, with two cable inputs. Individual barrel adjusters allow riders to adjust the reach of each brake, so they can either engage simultaneously, or one a little before the other. Ideally, it would be nice for riders to be able to modulate between front and rear as each situation dictates, but it's hard to picture how that could be done using just one lever.

The aluminum lever's choice of two pivot points lends it to use with short- or long-pull rim brakes of almost every style. It will also work with mechanical disc brakes, but not with hydraulics. As is the case with regular levers, a reach adjust screw determines how far the lever sits from the handlebar, to accommodate different-sized hands.

Another nice feature of the lever is the fact that it is completely symmetrical, so it can be used on either the left or right side of the handlebar. The few similar products in the marketplace, such as the Pyramid dual lever, must be purchased side-specific.

The Paul Duplex lever weighs 94 grams (3.3 oz), comes in anodized black or silver, and is available online for US$63.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

It wouldn\'t be too difficult to set the leaver on the other side to tighten one cable.


This is nothing new, I\'ve been using brake levers for tandems or tricycles for years. 2 cables come in, and each is adjustable separately. I don\'t think I\'ve ever paid over $30 for one, but this does look swooshier.


A far better idea for this would be to use a balancing lever. Once the proportion of front to rear braking has been established it will not require further adjustment. Even using separate adjustment thimbles this idea is not going to be easy to set up.

David Goadby

Yeah I ordered two from Pyramid for $20, for use on bike polo bikes. Small question, what\'s a guy with one hand gonna be doing trying to ride singletrack at 30mph? Or cyclocross..

Doug Gibson

Perfect for cell phone users!

Doug MacLeod

@Doug Gibson, Oh I dunno maybe because he wants to?

Michael Whitman
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