Bar-ends are often misunderstood. Some people have them and some don’t. Often, riders just accept whatever their bike is fitted with. Whether you have bar-ends or not, read on to learn when you should or shouldn’t have them.
Promote a better climbing position.
Allows for easier breathing by opening up your upper body.
Some models can protect your hands from branches when riding.
Helps prevent fatigue by offering more hand positions.
Easier on the wrists during long rides.
Varying position of hands can ease pressure on your neck.
Additional weight (though negligible)
If you have a carbon fiber bar, you could risk crushing or cracking it.
Most models take up about 1.5cm of your handlebar space on each end. If you have wide shoulders, you may not like the narrower handlebar.
Increased risk of injury in a crash, eg bar-end getting hooked on a branch.
There is no “right” angle for installing bar-ends. A good place to start is to install them at 45 degrees. If you find your hands are too far forward, then you may want to rotate them up. And if you feel they’re too close, try rotating them down. If your bar-ends get too steep then they look goofy and pose an larger risk of causing injury. Position is all about personal feel.
If you have riser bars, don’t add bar-ends. The two just don’t go together. If you do, people will laugh and point 🙂