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Thread: Bar Ends?

  1. #1
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    Bar Ends?

    Does anyone use bar-ends anymore for riding or racing? I don't see them much anymore and 10 years or so ago they were on almost every mountain bike, now I hardly seem them.

    I'm asking because I"m attempting to get more serious about racing this year and I'm trying to determine if it is worth buying a pair or not. I'm unsure if they provide any increased control/handling while climbing and such. I'm not so much concerned with the fashion trend as if they look cool or not, rather trying to understand if they do help control or handle the bike better especially while climbing.

    I had a pair on my old mountain bike years ago but wasn't serious enough of a rider to be able to tell a difference or not.

    Also curious about Ergon grips. Anyone try those out?

  2. #2
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    No on the bar ends. Yes on the Ergons for long endurance rides.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in South West Utah

  3. #3
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    They were quite popular with 550mm wide bars, the advent of wider bars in the 660-685mm range has reduced the need for bar ends for climbing leverage for XCO racing. The Ergon grips are more useful for a variety of hand positions in longer races.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

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    I liked them, but I now don't have them on any of my bikes. I liked them for an alternate hand position to keep numbness out of my hands, but I've found if I just grab the ends of my bars/grips with my palms while climbing I get the same effect. Last time I used them I had cut them down to stubbies, with barely any forward bar. It is interesting how EVERYBODY used to have them, but nobody uses them anymore.

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    i used the specialized bar ends, i found they were really good, very handy for climbing and it felt like they improved performance, but that was 3 years or so ago so i dont know what they're like now.

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    For short (3 hour) XC races I don't bother with them. For ultras (6 or more hours) I will throw a pair on just for the extra hand positions on the sustained climbs. I ride Specialized Overendz now, but used to run the Singletrack Sollutions bar ends and loved them. I couldn't find them for a few years, but now can.
    "Don't take life too serious. You'll never get out alive."

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    Use them all the time for sustained and/or hard climbing efforts.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derkson91 View Post
    Does anyone use bar-ends anymore for riding or racing? I don't see them much anymore and 10 years or so ago they were on almost every mountain bike, now I hardly seem them.

    I'm asking because I"m attempting to get more serious about racing this year and I'm trying to determine if it is worth buying a pair or not. I'm unsure if they provide any increased control/handling while climbing and such. I'm not so much concerned with the fashion trend as if they look cool or not, rather trying to understand if they do help control or handle the bike better especially while climbing.

    I had a pair on my old mountain bike years ago but wasn't serious enough of a rider to be able to tell a difference or not.

    Also curious about Ergon grips. Anyone try those out?
    You won't really know unless you run a pair of them. Find a relatively cheap set and give them a go. I personally like them for climbing.
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    I can't imagine climbing out of the saddle without them. Plus they make it easy to flip your bike upside down to do maintence.

  10. #10
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    While I'm not a fan of bar ends I could see the advantage of extra hand positions in long races or out trekking. My normal race isn't long enough for my hands to bother me, so I don't bother with them.
    But.....to each his own. I'm not gonna make fun of someone else for having bar ends. Ok, maybe a little.

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    Does anyone find the larger palm area of an Ergon grip, such as a GS-1, can be used as a mini-end? Meaning, give you the "fingers outward" position that is so useful with a bar end. I really prefer a small bar end (2 finger), but, the GS series only has a 3 finger. I would like to know if i could get by without an end at all.

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    still using my 20yr old Onza barends

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by RojoRacing53 View Post
    I can't imagine climbing out of the saddle without them. Plus they make it easy to flip your bike upside down to do maintence.
    I've been thinking of trying some for that reason. I've recently started standing and mashing bigger gears on climbs. I love putting down the power that way, but while standing my hands are close to my hips, and I feel like I'm having to stay more bent over than I'd like. I could raise the bars, but I'm very happy with my current bar height when I'm not mashing.

  14. #14
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    I used bars ends for a while. tried big ones then tried and like the stubby ones.

    then...meh, I took them off and never looked back.

    they did help by giving me some other place to put my hands and that
    allows forearm and shoulders a bit of a break...but I discovered that if
    I can take one hand off and use it to squeeze my other forearm very
    hard and very quick...that does even more for 'partially rebooting' my
    forearm and I realized, bars ends were just added weight...

    what sealed the 'no bars ends deal' was I entered a CX race with my mtb with bar ends and rules were: bars ends have to go. after that i never was compelled to put them on again.


    if you like them, keep them.

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    Bar Ends?

    Quote Originally Posted by jetboy23 View Post
    Does anyone find the larger palm area of an Ergon grip, such as a GS-1, can be used as a mini-end? Meaning, give you the "fingers outward" position that is so useful with a bar end. I really prefer a small bar end (2 finger), but, the GS series only has a 3 finger. I would like to know if i could get by without an end at all.
    For me: no, because I can't put my thumb in a comfortable position when I grab the Ergon grips in the way you describe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimv View Post
    For me: no, because I can't put my thumb in a comfortable position when I grab the Ergon grips in the way you describe.
    Thnx.

    Thats what i was afraid of. I'm used to them on my SS and was wondering if i could get away from them for the geared bike. I don't think i can. The extra positions and grip force is worth it for the added weight.

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    I've used them for years, and will continue to do so.
    I just find they are so much better for climbing out of the saddle(I live in a valley with lots of steep hills) and I also like the added hand positions.

    I used to rock super long ones, now I am using the Titec carbon ones, and they only add 110g to the bike(nothing) and they are really nice to have.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveohio View Post
    I've used them for years, and will continue to do so.
    I just find they are so much better for climbing out of the saddle(I live in a valley with lots of steep hills) and I also like the added hand positions.

    I used to rock super long ones, now I am using the Titec carbon ones, and they only add 110g to the bike(nothing) and they are really nice to have.
    But...but,... do the pros run them??
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    No. Never have, and will likely not to ever try them.
    Have a hard enough time staying upright. And it's very scary to watch one get slammed,
    as they hook a sapling with one of their "antlers".
    YMMV - yet on tight singletrack they really svck sweddy ballz.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyin_W View Post
    No. Never have, and will likely not to ever try them.
    Have a hard enough time staying upright. And it's very scary to watch one get slammed,
    as they hook a sapling with one of their "antlers".
    YMMV - yet on tight singletrack they really svck sweddy ballz.
    In every single case where I have, or seen, a wipeout from hooking, the crash would have happened anyways.
    For a bar end to be able to hook onto something it would smash into your hand or handlebars anyways and if big enough, cause a crash.

    on the flip side, because my ancient Onza barends curve inward, they have protected me from a few crashes/scrapes by pushing the branches out and away from my handlebars, course doesnt protect my elbow/upper arm from said brush scrapes.

  21. #21
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    ^^^ this. The "hooking" situation would be the cause of 1 out of 100 crashes due to bars anyways. And i have had them protect my hand 9 out of 10 times. This excuse should really go away. Its a non to "struck by lightening" issue.

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    Ditto on the protecting the hands.
    I've never had any issues with them snagging brush or trees and I can't see how low the % chance of them possibly causing a crash would be.

    Multiple hand and foot positions is awsome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jetboy23 View Post
    ^^^ this. The "hooking" situation would be the cause of 1 out of 100 crashes due to bars anyways. And i have had them protect my hand 9 out of 10 times. This excuse should really go away. Its a non to "struck by lightening" issue.
    No doubt, you are WAY better than I, or do not ride the tight & twisty.


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    I have Ergons with the integrated stubby bar-ends on my gravel grinder. I also have longer bar-ends mounted inboard of the controls on that bike for more hand positions and getting narrow for aero. Looks a bit odd but it works really well for me. I had Ergons on my mountain bike for a little while but took them off because I didn't feel like I had as secure of a grasp as with regular grips.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyin_W View Post
    No doubt, you are WAY better than I, or do not ride the tight & twisty.

    that's funny. yeah i do remember hooking crap in vegetable tunnels and when you do hook a bar end you wreck -really bad- vs 'I got this'

  26. #26
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    Been using bar ends for about 20 years now and to be honest it kinda feels funny riding without them now.

    Advantages are:
    More hand positions for comfort
    I find climbing a fraction better using them
    Easier maintenance as you can just flip the bike upside down with it resting on brake levers of gear shifters
    I do find they offer a little more protection to hands if you get the ones that kink over slightly
    Less stress on my forearms as i find i don't have to grip as hard as there is no worry of the hand slipping off the end of the bar

    Disadvantages:
    Bit more weight
    Expense

    Can't think of one time over 20 odd years of running them where i've had them snatch a branch or anything.
    We took a wrong turn on last Sundays ride and ended up on a really narrow but very overgrown path, the bushes were thick on both sides and each end of the bars were brushing the bushes.
    I did end up being pulled into then a couple of times, but the mate i was riding with had just as many problems and he didn't have bar ends.

    No right or wrong, but for me i find them more useful than a hindrance so they're staying.

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    I use the ergons with the built in stubby bar ends on all of my mountain bikes. I first used them on my single speed to have something else to grab on to when leveraging up a hill. I then went back and rode my geared Spec Epic and missed having that extra hand position both when climbing and sprinting. So I got a pair for the epic. I'm building up a fatbike now and one of the first things I bought was another pair of ergons with bar ends. I don't think I could go back

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyin_W View Post
    No doubt, you are WAY better than I, or do not ride the tight & twisty.
    Flyin_W, this isn't a pissing match. I, and many others, have just found that the amount of times bar ends "hooked" something and caused a crash is minimal when considering the possibility that a crash would've happened even without them. I like bar ends. You don't. So, don't use them if you don't like them. But, don't try to state that bar ends cause crashes like its gospel when its not.

  29. #29
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    I found I had to ride with bar ends until I went from 680mm to 750mm bars. The wider bars give me a better hand position.
    Also on the 680's I needed ergon-style grips to stop the ulnar nerve problems, whereas on the 750's I have no problems.

    I've just (yesterday) bought some BBB tiny bar ends to try out just for the extra hand positions...

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    Re: Bar Ends?

    Quote Originally Posted by Derkson91 View Post
    .... trying to understand if they do help control or handle the bike better...
    jetboy, My post was in reply to the OP's original? I find it funny that bar end fanboi's say how they protect their hands, when I've witnessed friends chew bark by hooking a sapling. My experience does not support your statement, agree to disagree, and move on.

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    I used them for years and stopped for years. I re-started when I began racing hundos, and realized I missed them. I use the Ergons.

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    MarkinBaltimore, Appears to be an unhappy, ball-less sack of ****e.
    When disagreeing with someone's opinion, post to explain why - this IS the purpose of an open forum.
    To cast (-) rep without participating in the thread confirms that you are a true low-life.


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    Outside of pure downhill/am/ski resort type of riding, for most normal varied terrain riding where you want to put some real miles on they offer several practical advantages and it's kind of a shame they've gone out of style.
    -multiple positions really helps fatigue especially on roadie type rides
    -nice leverage for climbing
    -a carbon set weighs ~120g which can easily be negated by using non-clamp on grips and possibly narrowing your bar
    -key for me riding full rigid is I find it much easier and more secure to stay light on the grips with bar ends to maintain a more floaty type of style if that makes sense. I don't need an iron grip to keep my hand from sliding off.
    -even I still think they look a bit dorky if combined with a tall motox style riser bar but, hey, function over fashion

  34. #34
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    Bar ends and racing

    Here are my thoughts...lots o' them:

    1. For those who like to stand/mash during climbs whether SS or geared, they seem to provide an advantage. I use them while climbing and seated on super steep stuff too. Your triceps may really burn if they are not used to this at first..fyi.

    2. With the introduction of so many wide race bars, they do not provide the same advantage they did back in the 90s when bars were extremely narrow.

    3. They do hinder cornering a tiny bit, as you cannot use the full extent of your wide bars. Essentially you are making your descending bar width about 1" narrower when you add bar ends.

    4. You can get bar ends by the likes of Tune and be all World Cup-like and only add about 60grams to your bike. So, there is not much of a weight disadvantage.

    5. For endurance events, often racers will like to have bar ends so that they can have an additional place to rest their hands.

    6. I have used bar ends for over 20 years of racing. Occasionally, I will take them off to see if I like my wide Enve bars without them, but I always end up putting them right back on.

    7. There is a small learning curve when using bar ends for descending and climbing, so some people may give up on them too soon before seeing the advantages.

    8. I have a picture for a World Cup event in 2013. It is a mass start and in about 20 visible racers' bars, something like 14 had bar ends. They are not forced to use bar ends by their sponsors. During the World Cup races, you will see them using their bar ends quite a bit on steep climbs.

    9. In the good 'ol USA, there are zero "cool-points" when adding bar ends ")

    10. Bar ends allow your hands to be in a different position which replicates that of your hands being on the hoods while riding your road bike. To ME, it just feels more natural when climbing. I also like that while standing, the use of bar ends allows more length in the cockpit. I don't feel as scrunched and T-Rex-like when standing and using bar ends. Your body naturally wants to shift forward when standing during a climb. I like that the bar ends allow me to move forward over the stem a bit more.

    11. If you live in a region where you have extremely tight and overgrown single track, they may end up hooking on branches. Having said this, if you go with nubs, nearly any hook up wreck most likely would have happened anyhow without the bar ends. My bar ends barely go beyond my knuckles fwiw..

    12. It would be great to make the bar ends disappear on descents and re-appear on climbs..haha.

    In the pic I attached, you can see my Control Tech carbon nubs. The are super short, but totally effective. They have a great ergo feel to them and your pinky easily wraps around them where the bar and bar end meet. They are much more comfy than my Tunes, but about 50g heavier. Oh well...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bar Ends?-bar-end.jpg  

    Last edited by rydbyk; 02-25-2014 at 11:04 AM.

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    I just find it more comfortable to pull really hard when cracking the tall gears or the SS with is always tall. If I'm standing and pedaling then chances are I'm holding my ends and since I run such tall gearing on my SS I'm almost always standing.

    The only time I don't use the barends is when I have an obstacle to climb that chances are I will need to stab the brakes to make an adjustment. There's no way to use the brakes when holding onto the ends so your comitted to only forward movement.
    Bar Ends?-b0de3244-6ffe-49aa-82d1-54ba2df26974_zps5sbfilgx.jpg

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk View Post
    10. Bar ends allow your hands to be in a different position which replicates that of your hands being on the hoods while riding your road bike. To ME, it just feels more natural when climbing.
    For me this is always the #1 benefit of bar ends. It's a totally different, and much more ergonomic hand and wrist position for me.

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    Yes for endurance races and long rides with long climbs. I use the little pod-shaped Serfas ones that stick backwards a tiny bit too. I tried Ergons with integrated bar end and found the rock hard grips were a recipe for numbness. And that molded shape allows no flexibility in how you hold them. You can't alter the angle of your wrist because of the flat paddle area. I am astonished that so many people use those grips! They are terrible. I went back to my ESI chunky's and bar ends.

  38. #38
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    Im pretty sure they do (even for xc... chuckle)

    Quote Originally Posted by Crankout View Post
    But...but,... do the pros run them??
    Bar Ends?-4.jpgBar Ends?-5.jpgName:  6.jpg
Views: 789
Size:  91.4 KBBar Ends?-8.jpgBar Ends?-1.jpg

    Emily sure is a peach!

    (may not be the most current pics... but not much has changed I imagine)
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    Quote Originally Posted by strat819 View Post
    Emily sure is a peach!
    How short is she?
    Check her seat...

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    5'3" and winning on a 29'r...

    Quote Originally Posted by NordieBoy View Post
    How short is she?
    Check her seat...
    Bar Ends?-ew_dsc2211_670.jpg

    ... a peach! 2013 Canadian Nationals
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Train View Post
    Yes for endurance races and long rides with long climbs. I use the little pod-shaped Serfas ones that stick backwards a tiny bit too. I tried Ergons with integrated bar end and found the rock hard grips were a recipe for numbness. And that molded shape allows no flexibility in how you hold them. You can't alter the angle of your wrist because of the flat paddle area. I am astonished that so many people use those grips! They are terrible. I went back to my ESI chunky's and bar ends.
    Not everyone likes the same flavor coolade but you do have to get the angle you set the ergon grips(not bar ends) just right for you or they just won't feel good. It not a perfect grip, I think a ergon with some ESI padding in areas would be dope. I want to try some ESIs on my bike but honestly the ergon's just work so well I just haven't gotten around to it, I may wait till I completly wear off the gripping knurling on my current set then go ESI.

  42. #42
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    @strat819 You clearly have not seen the Emily Batty thread..haha. Head on over for a visit. You are not the only fan ")

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk View Post
    @strat819 You clearly have not seen the Emily Batty thread..haha. Head on over for a visit. You are not the only fan ")
    OH YES I HAVE!

    a peach i say... a peach!
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyin_W View Post
    No. Never have, and will likely not to ever try them.
    Have a hard enough time staying upright. And it's very scary to watch one get slammed,
    as they hook a sapling with one of their "antlers".
    YMMV - yet on tight singletrack they really svck sweddy ballz.
    This hooking reason, which many deny, is one of the reasons I went away from them. I was riding on a forest service road going around a truck rut. I was over in some flexible "green" limbs and it caught my handlebar. No big deal, I'm going slow. I'll just pedal on through. Well it got hooked on the end of my grip where it meets the bar end and it pulled the limb back and launched it into my face. I had a scar on my face for a little while due to this. Also weeds would catch in that same place and pull me off the trail. That is no longer an issue since I have help keeping the trail clear.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  45. #45
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    Used them back in the day and took them off as bars got wider. Smacked my hand on a tree while riding about a year ago and pulled a set out of the old parts box and put them on to help protect my hand until it healed up a bit. Really liked using them again - forgot how useful they were - and have now added them back on my bikes.

    I'm sure some people think they're out of style, but they work for me for many of the reasons listed above. Have proven to be really useful for endurance races for multiple hand positions.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCtrailX View Post
    Used them back in the day and took them off as bars got wider. Smacked my hand on a tree while riding about a year ago and pulled a set out of the old parts box and put them on to help protect my hand until it healed up a bit. Really liked using them again - forgot how useful they were - and have now added them back on my bikes.

    I'm sure some people think they're out of style, but they work for me for many of the reasons listed above. Have proven to be really useful for endurance races for multiple hand positions.
    The multiple hand positions is one of the things that I miss. I do like the grippy Cane Creek bull horns.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  47. #47
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Those are great, but so dang heavy. They are like bricks! What the heck are they made out of...solid steel inside? haha.

  48. #48
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    Nino seems to approve

    Quote Originally Posted by Crankout View Post
    But...but,... do the pros run them??
    Funny. True, seems that we often wait to see if the pros approve. Depending on the course, you can see nearly 50% of the pros using bar ends in WC races.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bar Ends?-bar-ends.jpg  


  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk View Post
    Depending on the course, you can see nearly 50% of the pros using bar ends in WC races.
    Really?
    In the last few seasons?

  50. #50
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Quote Originally Posted by NordieBoy View Post
    Really?
    In the last few seasons?
    Hmm. Depends on course, but there does seem to be less this year than past. Same bars, same riders, same bikes....less bar ends. Who knows?

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