Jamis announced their 2013 Hudson Sport and Sport Deluxe with Slidepad single lever brakes.
A single lever controls both front and rear brakes. The cable runs from the lever to the rear brake. when the brake pad hits the rim, the brake pad moves forward which, turn, pulls the cable for the front brake.
Hudson Sport was designed to ease the transition from non-cycling to cycling for those who haven’t been on a bike in some time. The townie-style bike features a laid back seat tube and lowered bottom bracket height allows riders to position their saddles for efficient leg extension and still easily reach the ground while seated for balance when stopped. The longer chainstays and wheelbase in tandem with the lower center of gravity offers a very smooth, stable ride.
Although this geometry makes it difficult to flip over the handlebars, Jamis goes a step further with the Slidepad brakes. Slidepad’s idea is to remove the fear of end-over crashes. The video shows how it works.
Experienced cyclists often pooh-pooh the idea of this single-lever system. Something like this can come in handy when I’m riding fast while shooting photos, and there have been a few occasions where braking both wheels with one hand can come in handy. Or I could just get a coaster brake bike with a front hand brake.
Besides the Slidepad brakes, the Hudson Sport features ProMax forged alloy direct pull brakes and Tektro alloy comfort lever; a seven-speed Shimano twist-shifting single chain ring drivetrain is available on the Sport and the Nexus 5-speed internal geared hub upgrade on the Sport Deluxe. The Hudson Sport’s lightweight aluminum frame is available in six sizes, including two step-through. It comes with Jamis Sport Comfort tires with whitewalls or skinwalls, and the Jamis Comfort Sport seat with memory foam and synthetic suede top, and a near all-alloy parts reducing weight, adding value and is rust proof. The Sport Deluxe (MSRP $ 550) is available in Azurite Blue, Candy Apple and Gloss Black and the Step-Through in Cucumber, Grape Jelly and Tiger’s Eye. The Sport (MSRP $465) is available in Candy Apple, Electric Blue, Gloss Black and Tiger’s Eye, and the Step-Through in Daiquiri Blue, Lemonade, Pearl White and Sage.
A much simpler way to convert a bike without getting the whole complicated slidepad involved is a dual brake lever like the one found here: http://www.boxwoodbicyclepolo.com/brakes.html. I put one on my mtb which was being used for both mtb and polo, and can ride around using two levers, or swap the rear cable in the dual lever for polo games. It’s not necessarily beginner friendly, as it does need some adjustment (think 80% rear, 20% front) to work best.