Bar ends, which are upward extensions placed on the ends of the handlebars of a mountain bike, can enhance your riding experience in many ways. Bar ends are useful in providing leverage when you rise off the saddle to accelerate, and also allow for more comfortable and relaxed positioning of your arms and hands.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Bar ends
- Allen wrench set
- Water and dishwater soap
- Heavy-duty scissors or utility knife
Start to install bar ends on your mountain bike by loosening all of the brake and shifting levers that are currently attached to the handlebars. Slide the hardware toward the center of the handlebars, taking care to remember the position and angle of each lever for re-assembly. You may want to use a pencil to mark the hardware location on the handlebars.
Remove the existing handlebar grips from your handlebars before you install the bar ends on your mountain bike. This can be done by sliding a small screwdriver underneath the rubber of the grips, taking care not to scratch the handlebars. Squirt a little water or even liquid dish detergent between the grips and the handlebar, and they should slide right off.
Cut about an inch off the end of the grips with a pair of heavy-duty scissors or a utility knife. Rinse any remaining soap or lubricant off the grips and let them dry. Some grip manufacturers actually score the diameter of the grips for this purpose.
Slip the grips back onto the handlebars in a slightly inward location to facilitate the installation of the bar ends.
Install the bar ends to your mountain bike according to the manufacturer's directions. In most cases, the bar ends can be installed by merely tightening the hardware with an Allen wrench. Tighten the bar end assembly until it is tight enough to withstand the force of all your weight without shifting on the handlebars.
Slide the grips and the brakes and shifting hardware back into place, and tighten accordingly. Test the brakes and shifters to ensure that everything is working correctly. Sit in the saddle and yank back on the bar ends one more time to check on the tightness of the installation.
Tips and warnings
- While bar ends provide more advantages than disadvantages to mountain bike riders, they do pose the risk of wrapping around tree branches or other obstacles on the trail, causing a possible fall.