Taping Bar Ends?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Taping Bar Ends?

    I'm new to riding a road bike. I'm riding a SS and it had flat mt. bike style handle bars on it. I have some bar ends on my mt. bike and have got accustomed to the way I hold the bars. The ones I have on my mt. bike are really small and kindof a squishy rubber material. However the new ones I got for the SS are a little bigger and have a little bit of a curve to them. Plus they are just metal. I was just wondering if that tape that people use on their bars is for grip or if it has some cushion to it? If so does anyone else tape their bar ends? Or should I just return them and get some drop bars? I'm commuting about 16 miles each way in a pretty much flat area. I've been riding mt. bike for 15 years but know absolutely nothing about road riding.
    Last edited by B1KER; 09-20-2011 at 03:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Bedwards Of The West
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    If you want to tape them, get 'cork' tape (actually fake 'cork' tape, but that word will imply that it has some squish). Most of the major brands do have some squish to them. You can also do a double layer of tape for even more squish.

    There's no rule saying you can't tape bar ends. for a similar set up though, you might consider 'bullhorn' bars. You can get mountain bike levers and shifters to work with most bullhorns. The other option is a full on road bar, but you're looking at new brake levers/shifters probably to make it all work. The budget solution is to tape your bar ends. Might be cool! You will not be able to remove your shifters or levers though once you tape.

    For my money, if I was riding 16 miles one way, I'd get drop bars. More hand positions and more ways to get out of the wind.
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  3. #3
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    I'm thinking I may try some drop bars. Worst case I'm out a little bit of money. I don't have to worry about shifters. I'm riding a Single Speed. I'm just trying to figure out what position setup works best with me. I know it took a little bit to get my last mt. bike dialed in. You know the normal stuff. What seat works, stem length, height. etc.

    I did consider the Bullhorn bars as well. That's actually what I was thinking of getting in the first place. Then I just picked up the bar ends because they weren't that expensive. However I got them at REI and just used them today. There is no reason why I can't return them. There is a the possibility of some wind and a co-worker was also telling me that once I get more accustomed to road riding that I may want to be in a tuck position to maintain a higher speed. So I'm trying to take all that into consideration. I just haven't ridden a bike with drop bars since before highschool. LOL, that was a long time ago. So I guess I've been a little apprehensive thinking that my back would get to me being bent over like that.

  4. #4
    weirdo
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    I really like drop bars, but CB is right in that you`d also have to change your shifters and brake levers, which means more money. And you need to consider that the shape of drop bars will move your hands forward a few inches in relation to your flat bars, so a much shorter stem will probably be in order. Although I`ve never used bar ends on flat bars, they do allow you to twist (or rather, untwist) your wrist with your palms facing inwards. That twist is what bugs me about flat bars now that I`ve gotten used to drops, so I`d guess the bar ends would be a pretty big improvement as far as comfort goes. Also of some use in keeping a little bit more aerodynamic since your elbows won`t be sticking out like chicken wings.

    And yes you can tape flat bars or bar ends- I have the modified flat bar on my recumbent taped. Cork is the thick, spongy kind, and gel tape is available, although personally I don`t like how gel anything feels. It all comes in a two-roll pack, and a single roll should be plenty for your proposed use. Note that some brands have a glue band on the inside, covered up with a peel off strip. If you don`t expose that sticky stuff, you should be able to wrap and rewrap several times with the same tape on a relatively straight run.

    If you still want to try drop bars, don`t let me stop you. It took me a while to get things dialed in since I had no idea where I was going to end up as far as location and rotation of the bars and the placement of levers, but it turned out to be worthwhile.

  5. #5
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    I ride a 29 SS with a flat bar to and from work everyday and on at leats one longer (20+ mile) ride a week. I have arthritis in my hands and wrists and was having a lot of pain and numbness from the hand position as well as the cheapo rubber grips that came on the bike. So I bought a set of ber ends and some cork tape and wrapped the grips and the ends. The cork tape is squishy enough that coupled with the rubebr grips on the main bar it's quite comfortable. It has taken a little bit of playing around to get the right angle on the bar ends but now that I've got that dialed in the pain is all gone and I only have a little numbness on rides over 25 or so miles.

    From an financial standpoint, which is always a concern for me, this was the way to go $15 for the bar ends on sale, $11 for the cork tape and about an hour of my time for the wrap job.

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