What happened to bar ends?

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  • What happened to bar ends?
  • Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    Nothing wrong with them…

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/nBgk6d]IMAG0216[/url] by ScotRoutes, on Flickr

    6079smithw
    Member

    Nice bike scotroutes!

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    Took mine off the geary bike earlier today to avoid catching on overgrown bushes, not sure I’ll put them back on. SS, though, definitely staying

    mcmoonter
    Member

    Use mine more than the grips.

    Premier Icon dti
    Subscriber

    Put them on last year – great for changing body position on climbs.

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    Wide bars is what happened.

    Lionheart
    Member

    A few pairs on bikes here so must have missed the memo as well – some of (if not most) of our kit is becoming distinctly ‘old school’!

    Lionheart
    Member

    We’ve even got a set of ‘egg’ rings!

    Premier Icon teethgrinder
    Subscriber

    I’d love a pair of welded Onza titanium L-bends

    I rely massively on them for long (esp hilly, and it always is) mtb treks. I’m sure it’s a fashion crime to mount them on riser bars but they function very well on straight too :-p

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    mcmoonter wrote:

    Use mine more than the grips.

    Pretty much the same for me too. I have a set of Dual Control shifters in the garage and I was wondering if I’d be able to change gear from the bar ends with them 🙂

    Premier Icon zippykona
    Subscriber

    Bush grabbers I call them.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    I only had some in the 90’s because of fashion/peer pressure. Never really knew what they were for but I tried to used them just to fit in.

    6079smithw
    Member

    I know they’re not fashionable anymore but when was that memo distributed? I had a long spell of not biking. Did/does anyone like them? Or what was wrong with them?

    Premier Icon nach
    Subscriber

    I had some on my last bike, which was 8 speed XC, and found them really handy. I’ve found the extra hand position nice on long commutes too.

    Now I’m on a ten speed with much wider bars, they’re really not necessary though. The bars give me any leverage I need.

    dooge
    Member

    Probably down to less racey positions on bikes. My Nomad is more sit up and beg than stretched and racey so maybe bar ends arent practical or fitting. As someone said above, wide bars also happened.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    I still like them on long rides just for the extra hand positions, it’s not that they’re better, they’re just different. But I think wider bars took away a lot of the point, I used to use them for honking up hills but that was mostly because we all had bars the length of a pencil.

    I think it caused some people physical pain when I took my lovely Soda with its 710mm risers and stuck cane creek ergo bar ends on it 😆 Gopping.

    skinnyboy
    Member

    I’ve got a stubby set of control tech ones on my hard tail, great for climbing as they always have been. Flatbars only though, they look gash on risers.

    Premier Icon downshep
    Subscriber

    Both my MTBs have risers and bar ends. I also wear lycra.

    Practicality and comfort over fashion.

    bigrich
    Member

    nuthin’

    they are ace on climbs.

    jekkyl
    Member

    Eff fashion, do what’s good for you.

    slackalice
    Member

    Lovely! 8)

    What happened to bar ends?

    MBUK decided they were too ‘jey’ [sic] perhaps?

    Premier Icon Pik n Mix
    Subscriber

    I love my power studs, as above I use them more than my grips.

    General rule on retrobike is they are fine for flat bars but a no no on risers. Nearly everyone has risers now so that’s what happened. 😉

    Or, geometry has changed, as mentioned above, so there’s less need for ’em.

    Still can’t beat mk1 X Light Stubbies in blue. 8)

    b r
    Member

    Note, all (almost) the bikes pictured above have older-geometry and narrow bars – therefore the bar ends are needed to get the right ‘hand-position’.

    Premier Icon NZCol
    Subscriber

    I use Ergon grips with stubby ends, the liftie in Whistler laughed at them as he took my bike off the chairlift…

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    I had some L bends in the 90s on my DB ascent, they never made it on to another bike after that though so I’d say they were drifting out of favour by about 95-96 perhaps…

    To a certain extent MTB “fashion” happened and their associations with XC racing when DH and trail type riding was more en-vogue and we were all fitting shorter stems and riser bars…

    TBH these days they probably wouldn’t be much use to me, except if I was building a MTB up for touring or bikepacking, I can see the benefits of having a flat bar with bar ends for churning out miles on a laden MTB…

    bigrich
    Member

    Note, all (almost) the bikes pictured above have older-geometry and narrow bars – therefore the bar ends are needed to get the right ‘hand-position’.

    not me!

    780mm bars, 70mm stem, 140mm Revs.

    what they do is enable you to open out your chest, change your stance and give you more leverage on the ends of the bars.

    Good for muscling the bike up the hill with a 1×10.

    I like what works.

    bencooper
    Member

    I don’t get this either – what they’re great for is rotating the wrist to a much more comfortable position. Ergon grips and the like help, but for climbing there’s nothing like having parallel grips to pull on.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    bencooper – Member
    …but for climbing there’s nothing like having parallel grips to pull on.

    Which is why dropbars are so good… 🙂

    (But a lot of faff to fit on an mtb)

    bencooper
    Member

    Which is why dropbars are so good…

    (But a lot of faff to fit on an mtb)

    True story: when I was young and foolish, John Tomac started racing with drop bars. I wanted to do that, so fitted drops to my British Eagle. Then I found that the STI brake levers were too far away, so I bent the brake levers to fit.

    A year or so later, I took the drops off and put flat bars back on – and of course the brake levers were now touching the bars, so I bent them back.

    First big downhill, pulled the brakes hard, and both brake levers snapped off. That’s when I learned about metal fatigue 😉

    bigrich
    Member

    Which is why dropbars are so good…

    (But a lot of faff to fit on an mtb)

    you’ve got a CX/gravel bike, surely?

    plus one
    Member

    Left in the 90’s thankfully 😉

    PhilO
    Member

    ….what they’re great for is rotating the wrist to a much more comfortable position. ….for climbing there’s nothing like having parallel grips to pull on.

    This.

    I find that without the option of turning my palms inwards I get something akin to Tennis Elbow. So I have Fleegle bars fitted with bar ends, and a second set mounted on the bend inboard of the levers. Fashion Police be damned, it works for me!

    As for the common ‘they snag on vegetation’ argument, I really don’t get this. They don’t make the bar any wider, and I’d rather smack a bar end into a tree than my knuckles any day of the week. 😉

    teasel
    Member

    As for the common ‘they snag on vegetation’ argument, I really don’t get this. They don’t make the bar any wider

    I’ve had a couple of falls as a result of them getting snagged on brambles and the like. I don’t know whether or not a non-bar ended bike would have fared better in the same circumstances but I haven’t had the same style of crash on the bike without them.

    I still use them for all the reasons given above and, as a few have mentioned, spend more time on them than the grips. Well, sort of palm on bar plug/fingers on bar end kinda style, if you get my drift.

    andyl
    Member

    I have bar ends mounting inboard of my grips. Reasons are snagging, risk of damaging the end of the bar if the bike goes down hard on the bar end and so I can use the brakes and shifters when using them. They feel great and put me in a nice position for slogging up climbs. My wrists are screwed from breaking them so i spend most of a ride on them, just switching to the normal grips when I am in twisty or downhill stuff.

    ti_pin_man
    Member

    bars were originally racey narrow and bar ends gave leverage and also different positions for long grinding climbs. They were essential, extra leverage on short climbs and extra positions for long climbs, where open chest position was often more comfy.

    Now bars have grown wider and wider and they largely cover these other positions. We are all unique, our bikes are also unique, so its no shock people still add them.

    I rebuilt a retro bike with original Answer Hyperlites recently and was quite shocked at the narrow low position… it brought back a lot of painful memories! I’m looking ofr matching Answer barends if anybody has any.

    m360
    Member

    Cane Creek Ergo bar ends are the way forward (and have been since the end of the 90’s). Wouldn’t be without mine.

    MrSmith
    Member

    Nearly every pic with them in this thread the bike seems to look more like a tourer/hybrid owned by the over 50’s than a MTB . Maybe that’s why MTB’ers who just rag their bikes round the woods/trail centres don’t see the need them?
    The MTB equivalent of the Zimmer frame.

    what they do is enable you to open out your chest, change your stance and give you more leverage on the ends of the bars.

    This (along with the comments re wrist-forearm rotation x100 – it almost eliminates arm-pump).

    I really enjoy climbing (handy, considering most of my longer rides are Exmoor, North Cornwall, North Devon etc) and climbing without bar-ends makes me walk sooner. That open-chested and slightly elated feeling when finally cresting (say) Dunkery Beacon out of Porlock Vale…difficult to describe, but is so much better than without them (I use Procraft Evo for trekking, bikepacking, climbing etc, not so much for local rides just leave em off. )

    Premier Icon BigDummy
    Subscriber

    Once the bars started to get wide, I couldn’t get on with them. I was trying to run Cane Creek ergos on a 710mm swept flat bar, and they just weren’t right any more. The big bars have made control in the steep stuff FAR better, so I use those rather than a narrower bar and bar-ends. If I was doing longer days and less bias towards the downs they’d come back out again.

    (or, in MBUK speak “they are too jey

    🙂

    core
    Member

    I used to like them when I was using my mtb 50/50 on and off road with a lot of long climbs, really good for varying hand position and preventing numbness, but now I ride more off road, with wider bars (740mm, as opposed to 640mm ish) I don’t feel the need for them, and do worry about catching the vegetation with them.

    The MTB equivalent of the Zimmer frame.

    Ah, I get it – long distance multi-day gruelling treks and mad climbs (as opposed to a couple of miles around a wood ) are for the elderly and physically impaired? No wait…

    Bar ends are for drunken grandads who lost their driving license so bought a stolen fullsuss 90s BSO with ends-of-shame inexplicably fitted to rusty risers – just to get to the dole office/Wetherspoons/off-license – also good for shopping bags not sliding off the bars and scattering precious tinnies all over the footpath.

    Other opinions may also (not) count…

    PS I’m not yet fifty but do have a hybrid tourer in the fleet, and custom tartan slipper SPuDs 😉

    Mikkel
    Member

    Ergon grips with bar ends on 3 bikes here.

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