Riding without a pack is becoming more and more popular while finding sneaky ways to store kit on a bike can be massively useful for any bikepackers out there where storage comes at a premium. The carrying capacity of your handlebar is very easily overlooked and if you were to take full advantage of it, you'll save space in your frame bags and keep weight off of your body. Here are seven things you can store in your bar ends.
I apologise for teaching anyone to suck eggs but at the very least, you should be riding with the bar end plugs that have come with the bike, or your new grips. If you're a racer, you'll know that it's written in the rules of almost any race that you must compete with bar end plugs but even if you prefer a life free of race-tape, they're a must-have to avoid being core sampled.
It never hurts to sneak in a tenner and seal it with your usual bar end plug. You’ll never know how hidden cash could help, especially if you rock up to a coffee and cake stop having forgotten your wallet.
If you're worried about your cash making a break for it, fold it up and pop it into your bar end, covering it with a bit of tape to keep it safe.
Also, we all know that great feeling we get when we find forgotten cash and it weighs little to nothing.
Every cyclist knows the potential repairing power that comes with a bunch of cables ties. Let's face it, they can fix basically everything if you're creative enough. Fold them in half and they won't rattle inside your bar, and they weigh very little. It's all pros, no cons here.
If you ride with a flat handlebar, you'll have to find a way of securing your cable ties, otherwise, they might slip far into the abyss of your bar.
With riding without a pack growing in popularity, many brands offer multitools that can fit inside of your handlebar.
There are kits such as the Wolf Tooth EnCase System Bar Kit One that comes with almost everything you’ll need to sort any trailside mishap. If you’re after something more modular, then Granite Design’s Stash system is the one for you. A bit off topic, but we've got a review of Granite Design's Stash RCX multitool that hides in your steerer.
Plus, if you're forgetful having a multitool bolted onto your bike will mean that you've got one with you every ride, whether you think about it or not.
Along with tools, many brands are releasing tubeless repair kits that sit happily in the ends of your handlebar. These range from kits that are as simple as it gets, like the Sahmurai Sword, a reamer and insertion tool bonded to bar end plugs. Then they go right up to fancy CNCed goodness from the likes of Muc-Off’s Stealth Tubeless Repair Kit, which includes a reamer, insertion tool, and even a knife. They’re then stored in two CNC machined casings.
Usually found on touring bikes, bar end shifters offer robust and indexed shifting just at the end of your handlebar.
While cycling on the road, good spatial awareness could be the difference between a near miss or an accident. It may seem uncool to ride with a mirror plugged into your bar end but even the smallest glimpse of what could be overtaking you can be massively helpful in keeping you safe out on the road.
A must-have of any Shimano Di2 users looking to move the junction box into a more inconspicuous part of the bike is the E-Tube Frame or Bar Plug Junction Box. This one does exactly the same as your regular old junction box but it fits neatly inside of your handlebar.
This way, it's not as exposed to damage in a crash and it'll give your bike a sleeker look.\
Something that's died off just as fast as Pogs is bar ends, but we won’t judge you if you’re still rocking them. To some, they still have a place at the ends of their handlebar and fair enough. They offer more places to anchor your hands and for those with specific injuries, that can be hugely important.
These days, they come in much smaller, more ergonomic, and comfortable shapes. They're sometimes rubberized too for a dash of extra comfort.
This is one that’s more for the roadies but they could also be handy to those who find themselves cranking away in the dark with some road sections to contend with. An example is the Cateye Orb Bar End Set that simply push into the ends of your handlebar, helping you to be seen that bit clearer when you're out in the dark.
Well… Why not? Nothing sets off a few feet of air or a lightning fast descent like a pair of streamers. Just hold on while I go and grab my Spokey Dokeys.