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29ers Forever
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3,639 Posts
Hear me out...

I want to put a 70mm stem/760mm low rise bar on my hardtail, as well as my old bar ends.
My thought is that this setup will benefit me trying to get used to riding a singlespeed, since my normal 800mm bar width is not comfortable on long climbs as it is.

However, I don't think bar ends are really a thing anymore, but other than the potential to impale you, have they died out due to the fact that handlebars have just gotten so wide?
I used to run bar ends on a 735mm bar, back in 2015, so it will be strange, but I did a bit of pain-induced buying after a crash on Saturday and pulled the trigger on all the parts I want to convert my hardtail to singlespeed.

I'm glad I already have a couple sets of bar ends, because I can't seem to find any for sale online (but no one wants to buy my new-in-bag 2005 era Bontrager bar ends I have no use for either)

Do you use bar ends? What bike do you ride and what kind of riding do you do?
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ya like dags?
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I don't know the exact reason they died out, but I'm sightly convinced that it's partially to do with the fact that trails only seem to get more technical. Riding tech trails with those things was goofy.

All of the people I knew that had bar ends got rid of them for the same reason. The reason being they were tired of getting made fun of.
 

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29ers Forever
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3,639 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't know the exact reason they died out, but I'm sightly convinced that it's partially to do with the fact that trails only seem to get more technical. Riding tech trails with those things was goofy.

All of the people I knew that had bar ends got rid of them for the same reason. The reason being they were tired of getting made fun of.
It is fair that bar ends and tech/flow trails don't mix well. Though I rode plenty of rock rolls and root and rock gardens on my old XC bike.
I always used them to help with climbing. Back when I was pushing a 34x36t gear ratio (yikes) on a 1x10 I felt like out of the saddle pedaling was just so much easier when I was out on the bar ends. Since then I've gotten more interested in downhill/enduro style riding so of course the bar ends went away, but I'm thinking of giving them another go...

And I won't mind if people make fun of me, I'll be a downhill rider on a singlespeed, with tan sidewalls, baggies, and an oversized riding pack. I feel like bar ends would be the last thing anyone would make fun of me for.
 

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Sneaker man
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3,801 Posts
I have them on one bike still, its the bike that if I know I'm not doing too much more tech descending, and lots of easy trails and climbing, its perfect...but it is also an old 90's bike with a 660 bar and 120 stem and 80mm fork.
I did try on newer bikes, but putting them on a bike with 760 bars and 50 stem, its just wonky, your arms are way out wide and its no good.
 

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29ers Forever
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3,639 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Needed them on my 26" HT (better climbing properties)
Haven't missed them on my 2021 SJ due to improved geo.
Steeper seat tube angles will definitely put you further into the "middle" of your bike and balance your body position while climbing. I see how modern geometry would for sure make them obsolete, the same with long stems.
 
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29ers Forever
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3,639 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have them on one bike still, its the bike that if I know I'm not doing too much more tech descending, and lots of easy trails and climbing, its perfect...but it is also an old 90's bike with a 660 bar and 120 stem and 80mm fork.
I did try on newer bikes, but putting them on a bike with 760 bars and 50 stem, its just wonky, your arms are way out wide and its no good.
To me now, 760mm bars seem so narrow, but I could totally see your point that it's too wide. I tried a 70m stem and a 780m bar on this bike before because I kept looping out on climbs, but that felt really strange too.
I only plan on riding the SS around my old stomping grounds- places where I used to ride with bar ends with no problem. There's no way I'd put them on my full suspension bike or any sort of aggressive trail bike, but maybe it'll work out...
 

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Uncle
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4,379 Posts
Wider bars with more sweep, and longer cockpit length drastically reduced the need to get out over the front wheel. I used for a while (on a 630mm wide bar in 2005) a set of STS plastic bar ends that were about 3" long total:
1941005

They worked well to provide a way to hold the... ends of the bars (go figure). The advantage was that the different hand position that these provided made it easier to keep your self over the bike - less body deflection from L-R, if that makes sense. But that only helps if your hands are at shoulder width or so. Beyond that width, I don't think the leverage in this position would be optimized.

That all said, if you're interested in running wide bars (780+), you could dry running the bar ends inside of the grip position - if you can figure out a way to ensure your controls are in a good place too. This could work if the geometry permits (shorter WB, 68+ HTA, etc). Just depends on what kind of bike you're building.
 

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slow
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1941036


I am still a shameless bar end user in 2021, so I am used to the ridicule and sneering from other riders. I've used them on almost every bike I've owned since 1990. I'll ride anything except huge gaps and drops, but I ride everything on 2008-2012 XC 29ers with 710mm bars and 80-90mm stems. Bar ends add climbing leverage and additional hand positions for my preferred type of riding, which is usually 3-4 hour loops with 3000-4000' of climbing and descending and will often include some paved or gravel connectors. I also tend to stand and push harder gears rather than sitting and spinning.
 

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Self Appointed Judge&Jury
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Barends died out lonnnnnnnnng before bars got wider. Barends died out in 2000. Bars only got wider in the last several years.

 

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Out spokin'
In cog? Neato!
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I employed bar ends from when Onza first introduced them until just a couple months ago. I absolutely loved them even as I endured ridicule & shame. I loved the hand positions (mine were “L” shaped — I even had 4 sets custom made for my mtn bike fleet.)

But in February of this year I finally gave them up. I let the stigma get to me. I had a new frame on order and I simply could not do that to Canfield (put bar ends on a Lithium) even if I was personally willing to appear homeless.

I made the leap — I’m now bar end free. Though I can’t deny that I miss them. I still don’t know why bar ends fell into disfavor. They work as well on wide bars as they do on narrow ones. Whatever. I’ve been assimilated.
=sParty
 

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Years ago, had bar ends. Reached for them on longer non tech climbs. To this day, many years later, I still grab the ends of my (now much wider) bars as though bar ends were still there. Turning my wrists perpendicular to the ground gives me a little more leverage for those long boring climbs.
 
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