Product Reviews April 26, 2012

Hope Handle-Bar Ends

This may prove to be a product review too far. Having recently tested the limits of my literary skills and the patience of my readers with a review of Charge's Spoon To saddle, I now wonder if it's possible to write a review about a pair of handlebar ends? What possible interest could I find to write a review on this, the most peripheral of cycling paraphernalia? Well, let's find out. 

I wouldn't say I'm OCD or even border line, but there a some things that I am pedantic about. These things need to be 'right' because otherwise they do bother me. Having my Hi-Fi set up correctly is one thing. Having my cameras working is another. And making sure my bike(s) are just right also fall into this category. Given this, you can imagine how irritated I became having returned from a ride only to find my bar-tape slowly unravelling and the hollow end of my handlebars staring at me. At the very least, it's aesthetically displeasing; irregular, if you will. And it's happened a couple of times. 

During the most recent 'deep' service of the Specialized I had the gear and brake cabling replaced and with it the handlebar tape. The bike is now fitted with Jagwire cable and sports white Pro bar tape. It looks smart. Unfortunately within a couple of rides I'd already lost one of the bar ends. It must have just popped out and of course I didn't notice it. John gladly replaced it, only for the same thing to happen a coupe of weeks later.......Time for a plan 'B'. 

Theres not a massive amount to choose between one pair of bar ends and another other than the type of material you want them made out of. What attracted me to Hope's Bar Ends is that they come in a number of different colours and being a sucker for most gimmicks, this immediately caught my attention. The blue version perfectly matches the colour scheme of my road bike, so I was headed towards a simple decision. I would go so far to say I'll probably buy a white pair for the Day One. They are CNC turned, have 'Hope' stencilled into the end and weigh next to nothing (although slightly more than the plastic versions I keep losing). They function via an expandable diameter, so as you tension the fixing (with a 6mm Allen key), so the centre gets larger and fills the gap between the bar end and the bar tape. Spare inner rubber inserts are provided. If they take 2 minutes to fit, you'll be doing something wrong. In fact you'll probably spend more time searching for your Allen keys than you will attaching these bar ends.

So there you have it, a review about a pair of bar-ends. Whatever next? You can purchase Hope Bar Ends from wiggle.co.uk for about £15. Plastic bar ends are significantly cheaper but don't look nearly as good. And after all that's what it's all about! 

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