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Do bar ends still have a place?

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Do bar ends still have a place?

Old 05-10-15, 10:14 PM
  #1  
Photogshooter14
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Do bar ends still have a place?

I remember using these things way back when I was a kid, thinking they were so cool. Now I almost never see them, be it in photos or in person. I know that companies still make bar ends, using cool materials like carbon fiber (Easton EC90 bar ends for example). I also know that one advantage of a bar end is to offer a different hand position for those longer rides. So in your opinion, do bar ends still have a place on the modern technologically advanced xc/am rig? I'm not looking so much for the, "do whatever works for you and screw what others think" type answers, I'm just asking as a general question. I saw some on a retail site and it got me thinking.
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Old 05-10-15, 10:37 PM
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You mean these?



Ignoring the tragic state of my shop -- they definitely have a place on my MTB. Granted it's a low-end hardtail - something I can beat the life out of on the rocks without throwing thousands of dollars at. But if I do feel like spending the cash on a high-end MTB some day, it will have bar ends. For me, it's the perfect hand position for leaning in on an incline or just taking some impact off my wrists.

I still see them all the time.
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Old 05-10-15, 10:40 PM
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I like bar ends over down tube shifters. Have never used brifters but am using a trigger shifter on my Pass hunter rando settup (along with a thumb shifter for the front). Years ago I raced criteriums with bar ends. I was the only guy I ever saw doing that.
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Old 05-10-15, 10:41 PM
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Yes those things. I don't think I've seen a single pair on a bike in at least a few years.
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Old 05-10-15, 11:07 PM
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They never should have been on a bike in the first place. Useless weight.
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Old 05-10-15, 11:23 PM
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I'm going to use Dura-Ace 7900 10 speed bar end shifters on a road bike I'm building for my son. I'm not installing them on the bar ends though, I'm going to use Paul Components Thumbies to install them on the handlebars. The picture below, from Paul Components, shows how they will be mounted close to the handlebar clamp but within easy reach of the rider.

For anyone scratching your head and asking why I wouldn't just get brifters, the answer's simple. Crashes. Crashes kill brifters, especially among beginner riders, faster than anything. I have the single-function brake levers to handle a crash. In fact, they've been pre-rashed just to ensure no one get's worried the first time the bike goes to sleep. (Oh, and there's also the cost element. I got a pair of 10-speed Dura-Ace shifters and the Paul Thumbies for under $100. That's pretty cheap for indexed 10-speed shifting.)

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Old 05-11-15, 12:09 AM
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Still use bar end shifters on both our tandem and my single racing bike.
Used STI for several thousand miles, it was too finicky (triple on tandem); also test rode the DI-2 electronic system when it first came out and it quit on us in the middle of a tough hill climb after only 1,800 miles of usage.
Switched back to 9 speed barcon shifters (Shimano) and works great.
First generation stuff usually has some issues and the prices can be exorbitant.
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Old 05-11-15, 06:55 AM
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The OP asks about "bar ends" not "bar end shifters". I presume he means those 'horns on a bike' pictured in Tekime's post which mysteriously became essential gear around 1990.....
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Old 05-11-15, 08:19 AM
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Yes, the "horns", not the shifters. I know that a lot of road bikes have shifters on aerobars and such, but I'm referring to bar end "horns" on mountain bikes. Way way back in the day, they seemed to be uber cool and everyone had them. Then suddenly they disappeared and now I never see them in use anymore. Yet oddly enough, big companies like Easton and Cane Creek are manufacturing them out of composite materials.
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Old 05-11-15, 08:26 AM
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Different hand positions are good for long rides. That's why they still make them.
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Old 05-11-15, 08:33 AM
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I understand the reasons why they are made, but I never see them being used anymore so I was curious if they still had places on people's bikes these days. A company can make a product, but it doesn't mean necessarily that customers will run out and buy it.
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Old 05-11-15, 08:42 AM
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when mtbing you should always have one digit on the brakes, even up hill climbs, can't get to the levers from the ends
also gets in the way on tight trails and something to impale you if you do an endover

but for long rides on relatively flat grades, they offer a nice hand position option

I still have them on an adventure bike, but it is a dying breed
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Old 05-11-15, 08:48 AM
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I use an old mountain bike with slick tires for riding gravel roads (a 1991 team specialized stumpjumper). I've used bar ends in the past but went with at trekking style bar as the extra hand positions are a definite plus. This is my set up. Or take a look at any of surly's offroad adventure set ups. This is a niche market but that's where hand positions make a real difference. The surlys don't come stock with bar ends but it's the same basic idea which is to maximize hand positions. So I think the answer to your question is they make sense depending on the kind of riding you do in Kuglutuk, Nunavut. I'll bet there are some awesome gravel roads where you live. There are a lot of gravel roads in Iowa as well but rolling hills in farmland are not quite as scenic as what you must see when you go riding.

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Old 05-11-15, 09:53 AM
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I ride more smooth, level, cross-country routes than rocky ones with jumps. I definitely like my bar ends for a change of hand position. Mine are adjusted to allow for a more upright seating position also, just to give some variety.
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Old 05-11-15, 11:35 AM
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If they work for you, they're relevant.

Who cares what the masses say.
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Old 05-11-15, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Different hand positions are good for long rides. That's why they still make them.
True but I never found I wanted a bar position further forward. Further back maybe.

Most of the ones you see on bikes being used for daily utility are sticking straight up to compensate for ill fit.
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Old 05-11-15, 02:23 PM
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I used them on my '96 Stumpjumper for years...really liked them too. On the trails I was riding at the time, which were not extremely technical trails, they were great for giving a different hand position (2 actually), but they gave me more leverage when going up really steep hill climbs. I distinctly remember using them to get up this one section of a hill all the time and they helped a lot.

I don't use them anymore on my modern full squish...just seems like the trails are more technical and I am always glued to the grips with a finger on the brake at the ready.
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Old 05-11-15, 03:38 PM
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I tried em, liked em, took em off for no particular reason,,

Because of this thread I may re-mount em for no particular reason.
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