Adjust Your Bike's Bar Ends For Better Biking
To a vast number of mountain bikers, bar ends are a necessary part of their riding equipment. Bar ends are the extended parts of a bike that resemble a bull’s horns, hence they are also known as “climbing horns.” Bar ends may not seem so important to the ordinary person, but to the serious biker, bar ends play a crucial role in having a comfortable and powerful riding experience.
Why Your Bike Needs Bar Ends for Better Driving?
Unknown to many, the bar ends have a number of functions in bike riding. These functions include weight support, leverage, hand positioning, faster riding, and lifting.
When riding on a paved road, the biker usually leans forward, putting pressure on the front wheel of the bike. The opposite happens when riding uphill, during which weight is placed on the back wheel and causing the front end to lift. In this case, the bar ends assist the climb by moving the weight of the biker forward while keeping the front of the bike firm on the ground at the same time.
Furthermore, when you grasp bar ends, you are able to put more pressure on the bike pedals. This technique is also called “mashing the pedals,” where your bar ends act as leverage while riding uphill. Leverage is needed to keep your bike going especially on steep climbs, during which your heart rate increases and your speed goes down.
When a biker’s hands have been under pressure and placed in the same position for a long time, this causes the hands, fingers, and wrists to go numb. Fortunately, bar ends can help solve the problem by allowing the biker to constantly change their hand positions while driving. This lessens the pressure on their hands, and the rider can even stretch his back as he leans forward while holding the bar ends.
For avid bikers, standing while pedaling gives an exciting rush as it enables them to get off the saddle and relax the backside. This is made easier with use of bar ends, which enables you to go fast even from an aerodynamic position. With your hands on the bars, you can simply relax while your body is positioned upright.
Another function of bar ends that is often overlooked is how it helps when you need to make some repairs or change your tires. While you are doing some repairs or changing a tire, the bar ends aid in keeping the bike from falling as you work. Moreover, they provide additional protection to cables, grips, and even electronic devices that are attached to your handlebars as you go biking.
Installing Bar Ends on Your Bike
- If you are planning to install bar ends on your bike, you will need to use a hex wrench. Begin by moistening your grips, moving them up the handlebar by 3/4 inch, then sliding the bar end, bolt side facing down, onto the handle bar. Before you tighten the bolts, make sure that the curvy sides are positioned inward and that the angle of the bar ends match on both sides.
- Generally, bike riders prefer to place the bars at a 90-degree angle from the steering tube. This tube angles forward at about 15 degrees, so the bars themselves are angled from the ground at about 20 to 30 degrees. The bar ends can actually be positioned at any angle that you want, although bike riders tend to use one of three basic positions.
- For riders that prefer to be in an upright position while sitting on their bikes, the bar ends should be turned upward. This allows them to relax while riding at their own pace.
- For bike racers, on the other hand, the bar ends should be turned downward. By doing so, they can easily change into a tucked seating position, which they need to ride fast during a race.
- Meanwhile, for those who go biking to relax and race only occasionally, they can opt for a more neutral angle. This way, they can transition smoothly from an upright to a tucked seating position, and vice-versa, depending on the situation.
Additional Benefits of Bar Ends
- Aside from the functions presented, bar ends also give some additional benefits. For one thing, they can help protect you from getting caught in branches, bushes, and trees while going for a ride in the countryside. In case of a bike crash, the bar ends can also protect the handle bars, shifters, and brake levers from getting badly damaged.
- Bar ends can also do wonders for your biking performance, as it can help you sprint and accelerate more quickly. Moreover, bar ends can also help strengthen your uphill climbing ability.
- Furthermore, bar ends can be associated with some health benefits. Since they are able to provide alternative riding positions, bar ends help prevent over fatigue to your neck, shoulders, and back. They also protect your fingers from getting snagged by a tree branch or a shrub.
Bar Ends: Pros and Cons
- Despite their many uses, not all bikers agree on using bar ends. Hence, the advantages and disadvantages of bar ends should also be taken note of.
- One disadvantage of bar ends is the possibility of getting your bike hooked with another, especially during a close race. In this case, the bar end could snag the handlebars of another bike and cause an accident. Bar ends also have the potential of getting snagged or caught on a tree branch or bushes while riding a mountain bike.
- However, bar ends can still act as protection during accidents. When a biker suddenly slips, the bar ends can protect his or her hands from sliding on the ground. In this case, instead of the biker getting hurt, it is the bar ends that take the brunt of the impact.
Ultimately, the question of whether or not to use bar ends really depends on the type of ride, condition of the road or route, and traffic congestion. If you like to ride in groups, then you should be careful to avoid getting snagged with another rider. Meanwhile, if you prefer to ride solo or with just a few friends, riding a bike with bar ends should not pose any serious problems.
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