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  1. #1
    Junior Member thetroutguy's Avatar
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    bar ends-do I need them?

    I have ordered a new mountain bike and I am contemplating some accesories. I am fairly new to the game here. I read or heard somewhere that if you have a riser bar you don't need bar ends. In fact I even remember something about people pointing and laughing at people who use them with riser bars. True? Why? Also, how important is a computer? They sure seem like a good training tool. Plus it would be good incentive to know how many miles or how fast you went. Just weighing my options and hope you can set me straight. Thanks!

  2. #2
    A Heart Needs a Home Rich Clark's Avatar
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    Bar ends give you another place to put your hands, which can be really useful on longer rides. And they're sometimes helpful when you stand and climb a very steep grade. These factors exist whatever type of bar you use.

    Who cares what some people laugh at? I used to have a hybrid and I put bar ends on that. It looked very weird, but it worked for me.

    Computers are entirely a personal preference thing, IMO. For some people they're an incentive and useful training tool, as you say. For others, focusing on the numbers gets in the way of having fun riding. If you buy one, IMO there's no reason to get anything fancier or more expensive than, say, a Cateye Mity 3 or something similar; spend $20 max.

    RichC

  3. #3
    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    You've got to get a computer so that you can bore your wife and family by telling them how many miles you've ridden

    Sorry darling...

    Richard
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

  4. #4
    WallaWalla! Rotifer's Avatar
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    If you are new to the sport it is all about comfort ... the more places to put your hands the better. Plus, they will protect your bar when you wipe out!
    Jeff

  5. #5
    Im not wearing any pants! adaze's Avatar
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    no bar ends - they sux - and you dont really need them. dont get them, ride quite a few trails, of varying difficulty for a few weeks, if you find you are having difficulty climbing or are getting real sore arms then maybe consider them. they arent hard to fit - so this is the best way to do it. if you get them straight off youll never know what your bike is like without them

    computers r useful, and r quite cheap.
    Last edited by adaze; 05-20-02 at 10:08 AM.
    If God were a brake he'd be a Avid Speed Dial Ultimate

  6. #6
    WallaWalla! Rotifer's Avatar
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    I disagree. I no longer use bar ends but they can be very nice when your arm and back muscles have yet to develope.
    Jeff

  7. #7
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    i just put a 2" DH riser bar on my hardtail but i get good leverage from it and im not gonna put my bar ends back on although with a straight bar they are pretty nice. i had a set of specialized ones that were really nice but with the riser i really dont think i need em anymore. plus in a bad wreck they tend to find really soft spots to jab you in. and they hook small trees and things as well which will cause a REALLY BAD WRECK if you are going fast. its personal opinon though. IMO i would get them for a straight bar, probaly not for a riser cuz you dont need em quite as much.

  8. #8
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I absolutely need bar extensions to give my hands much-needed additional positions, including with neutral wrist orientation. I set mine about 1 cm inboard from the ends of the bars. Not having bar extensions is inviting carpal tunnel syndrome.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
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  9. #9
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    i put bar-ends on my new '02 Specialized FSR XC which has a riser bar but not very much(maybe 1-2")... plus i have bar-ends on my old hard-tail now commuter which does have a riser bar.

    i'm not sure how high of riser bars you're talking about, but i find the extra leverage of bar-ends necessary when climbing trails of 20% or more to keep the front end on the ground... when sitting you can move your hands forward, push down and crank. when standing i also like the bar-ends... i guess if you only do downhill or minor hillclimbs then they're not necessary. i've also heard the 'bar-end not necessary w/ riser' thing, but as far as i can tell, with the geometry of most XC bikes you still need them... downhill bikes is another story where i guess bar-ends are just another potential source of injury...

    then for touring, commuting and longer rides i also like the multiple hand positions.
    why drive when you can ride?
    now a fully certified German MTB Guide! (DAV)

  10. #10
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    bar ends are not necesary. but if you want more stuff on your bike, and also more weight, and spend money, use it.

  11. #11
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    I've been riding for a little over a year now and I've found that on long rides, whether i'm on trails or just street, that my fingers start going numb from my hands staying in one position on the handle bar. Maybe i'm putting too much weight on my hands or something but thats just how my bike is set up, I have to lean forward quite a bit. I just recently added bar ends to my bike and so far I have yet to get numbness in my fingers and hands while riding long distances. for 10-20 bucks I think they're a great option if you aren't worried about crashing downhill and getting one through a lung

  12. #12
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    My bar ends saved my ass.

    Hard bail when some trail debris got swept up by my front end and caused my front tire to lock up. I rode the frt end straight into the ground and right onto my back. Judging by the bend this put into the bar end. Folded it over to the point of almost touching the back of my hand, I guess the rock or whatever it hit would have crushed my hand which was on the bar at the time of the crash.

  13. #13
    It's the fight in the man Rich's Avatar
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    I like bar ends I must admit

    I tend to switch around with them on and off the bike for a bit of variety.

    Currently I'm running Carbon handle bar set up, so will keep them off, but they'll be going straight onto my Fiances bike.

    Is that not true love?

    Rich
    Making New Zealand a safer place :)

  14. #14
    Member russhawk's Avatar
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    I love having bar ends on, I have moved them so when I am riding normally, they are an inch away from my wrists, so when I go DH'n i rest my wrists there for added support, and to remind me not to lean too far forward while DH'n. If you are not too sure of your riding, then I would not recommend doing this, but so far it works for me, and haven't sprained my wrist on any falls. And to add, I think bar ends look cool anyhow, at least they look better than some of the 10 speed handlebars they got coming out these days. (this is my opinion only, no hate mail please). And it makes it a little easier when you have to turn the bike over, it gives it a few more inches, less for us old fogies to bend over.
    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy! **Dr. Dimento

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    bar ends are good for climbing...

    excuse my newbieness... but what is a riser bar?

    i'm not kidding..
    i won't deny it i'm a straight ridah

  16. #16
    Member russhawk's Avatar
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    tfunk, to answer your question, sheck out this website
    http://cambriabike.com/bars&ends/hanbarsr.htm
    that should answer your question
    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy! **Dr. Dimento

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    Originally posted by russhawk
    tfunk, to answer your question, sheck out this website
    http://cambriabike.com/bars&ends/hanbarsr.htm
    that should answer your question
    thanks that's what i thought they were but i didnt want to assume anything... so why are they important? what do they do?
    i won't deny it i'm a straight ridah

  18. #18
    Member russhawk's Avatar
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    tfunk, i think the only reason they make them is to set bikes apart from one another, and to give some extra lift. If all bikes looked the same, we would look like japan and china. Most add ons, though they may add strength, less weight, or what not, are generally to make the cosmetic appearance of the bike look better. We are a vain society, and looks most of the time win out to performance.
    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy! **Dr. Dimento

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    Originally posted by russhawk
    tfunk, i think the only reason they make them is to set bikes apart from one another, and to give some extra lift. If all bikes looked the same, we would look like japan and china. Most add ons, though they may add strength, less weight, or what not, are generally to make the cosmetic appearance of the bike look better. We are a vain society, and looks most of the time win out to performance.
    haha if that's the case... then forget it. i am trying to build a lightweight/quality/inexpensive bike that's conservative in style but capable in function... something simple and light... like how they were in 1995 hehe
    i won't deny it i'm a straight ridah

  20. #20
    Scooby Snax
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    Thetrouguy, I have bar ends, im somewhat of a newbie, but its because of comfort.

    Some will argue that you need to suffer, not so.

    Working hard and suffering are two different things.

    Save your wrists, and you will be able to ride longer.

  21. #21
    Velolutionary IowaParamedic's Avatar
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    I was having a problem with hand numbness. I added bar ends and it helped with that problem.
    -----------------------------------------------
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  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    i took my friends heavy ass barends and put them on my boulder... feels good IMO
    i won't deny it i'm a straight ridah

  23. #23
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    tFUnK,

    riser bars, although also now a 'tendy' look, do also have a function. i'm not a dedicated downhiller, but more of an XC racer, but here's what i know...

    basically riser bars allow for different geometry usually on downhill or freeride bikes that allow you to sit a little further back and more upright as you hands sit higher than with a normal straight bar. i think you can get almost the same affect with a riser stem and straight bar, but i think the riser bar is used b/c it's easier, cheaper and looks cooler (mabye there's a strength issue too, but don't know). another use is that you can use a smaller frame and a long seat post and then a riser bar b/c otherwise the bar would be much lower than the seat which is OK for road, but generally bad for off-road handling.

    so since your hands are higher on the riser bars the 'word' is that you don't need bar-ends sicne the main function of bar-ends was for more climbing leverage by moving the hands up and forward... i have slight risers on both of my XC bikes and still have bar-ends for the added climbing leverage... but then i doubt most downhillers or freeriders often do the 20%+ grade climbs that i do...

    anyway, if your front-end is coming off the ground while climing a steep hill (probably only on a really steep hill or with straight bars) then you probably NEED bar-ends. otherwise, if you want the extra hand postions they are also nice (i use them for touring)

    as to the 'danger' of bar-ends, i have always like the 'L' bars that come forward and then curve to the middle. i see a much less chance of landing on these than on regular bars. and my bar-ends have many times saved my hands in a crash or an impact with a tree - about the only negative other than an almost neglibigle weight unless you're a pro-racer, is that you can get then bar-end on the outside of a tree or pole and then you crash really fast - another reason i like those that turn a little end b/c mine usually deflects a tree outward, although i have wrapped a tree a few times, but i probably would have wrecked with a straight bar anyway...
    why drive when you can ride?
    now a fully certified German MTB Guide! (DAV)

  24. #24
    WallaWalla! Rotifer's Avatar
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    The best explanation yet, this one should be published. Oh, and I've wondered what your story is Nathank .. are you in the military?
    Jeff

  25. #25
    bac
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    Senior Member bac's Avatar
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    One other benefit of a riser bar is that it allows one to move the location of the bar by simply adjusting the bar in the stem clamp.

    For example, if you want the grips closer to your body - simply losen the stem clamp and twist the bar back. These riser bars allow for this type of adjustment without having to purchase (or invert the old) a new stem.

    Oh yeah, and they look keeewl.

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