Back when mountain biking first started taking off, bar ends were a common sight on almost all mountain bikes. As the sport evolved, bar ends started to disappear. People removed their bar ends in favor of riser bars and regular flat bars. Why?

Some of the top World Cup xc racers still use bar ends with great success.  In fact, the top 3 women at the Beijing Olympic games had bar ends.  Why is that?  Leverage for more aggressive riding?  Another hand position?

Many riders bring up cosmetics reasons as well.  We have heard numerous riders state that you cannot run barends on a riser bar.  Well, you can.  Just ask 6x Leadville 100 winner Dave Wiens who personally prefers this set up.

So we ask this questions to you the readers:  Why do you use or not use barends?

The forum is now open…



  1. #1 reason…different hand positioning. Over the long haul having that different palm placement makes a huge difference, changing up the stress load on your forearms. Also, I’ve noticed that reaching out to use the bar-ends can change your back positioning as well…also, giving some super fatigued muscles the little break they need to recover.

  2. For me it’s leverage any time I’m out of the saddle or climbing. It might just be habit at this point, but I have a definite expectation for bar ends when I climb now. When they aren’t there I’m confused.

    I run one bike with flat bars and one with risers. I’ve never thought for a second about the difference between the bar rise and the bar ends.

    I have had the unfortunate hooking of the end on a tree, but that was my fault.

  3. this is the beginning of the ends.

  4. No barends (unless the ends of the ge1’s are considered bar ends)
    I run a riser bar…

  5. I love me some bar ends. I never made the switch to riser bars like some folks. I like the variety of hand positions and climbing leverage that bar ends offer. Until Ergon hooked me up with a set of GX1 Leichtbau’s for some cross races (I was using a mountain bike) I hadn’t rode without bar ends in over 10 years or more. I will say I got real used to not having them do to the lighter weight of the GX1s and the fact that I find with or without bar ends, the Ergon grips provide me enough hand positions to make me AND my hands happy.

    Having said all that- BARENDS on the endurance race bike fo’show


  6. I have to have bar ends on my mountain bike. Maybe it’s because I come from a lot of years of riding a road bike on the hoods, so that position is more natural. I just added the Ergon GC2’s to my new mountain bike a few months ago and absolutely love them! They are great for climbing and also offer great support when descending. Best grip / bar ends I have used so far. Keep up the good work!

  7. I only use bar ends for short track. I like the leverage for the shorter races. I don’t use them for cross country because I like to have my hands farther out on the bars when I’m descending.

  8. I don’t often use grips without bar-ends. I like them a ton for climbing and have never have a problem descending with them. I initially purchased the GC2 grips for endurance events and long recreational rides, but always use them racing XC as well. I can maybe see for weight purposes (I’m a weenie now) it might make sense to go without to save weight. But, for longer events or rides they are worth it! Riser or flat bar.

  9. I like them, but don’t prefer them.

  10. I wouldn’t race endurance distances without the bar ends for all the reason stated above. There is increased leverage for climbing and change in hand position is especially important during the 24s. I love the shape of the GX1 Carbon bar, it like it was molded from my palm.

    Eddie O

  11. I’m like most endurance racers,I like the different hand positions in those long 24 hr races and for climbing.If you ride single speed you know of all the climbing out of the saddle you do and the Ergon grips are perfect.

  12. My latest bike originally came with wide risers but I always felt they were a bit too “moto” for my riding style and didn’t help with climbing. So I swapped them out for a flat bar and some Ergon GR2 grips. Bliss!

  13. I don’t always use bar ends….but when I do I use dos…excuse me …2.

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