Hybrids can give you the best of both worlds, but sometimes the flat handlebars vs drop bars can seem to leave you short.
Have no fear, adding bar ends can solve the issue for a reasonable price.
There are some quality options out there so let's look at two of the best bar ends for hybrid bike. If you're in a hurry I recommend Origin8's for drop bar conversions, and Profile Designs for Boxer Bar conversions
Product Comparison Table
Turns a flat bar into a drop bar
Turns flat bar into a box bar
Black & Silver
Who should NOT buy some bar ends for their bike?
If you have a hybrid bike but you're a casual rider, even this small cost is not worth the investment. A casual biker just needs something to get from point A to point B without any fuss. You won't ride enough for it to cause any aches and pains.
Buying any bar ad ons will change your biking style. If you're happy with the way your bike handles and there are no immediate questions in your mind about why your wrist or back hurts then don't buy this. A painless ride, is a good ride and there's no point in changing that.
Some Things To Look Out For
The clamp sizes on bar ends matter. The clamp is used to connect the ends to your current handlebars. You don’t want to buy the product the find out you can’t fit it to the bike because your handlebars are custom designed and not standard, so the clamp doesn’t fit.
Measure your handlebars first and make sure there's room to place the ends correctly. Double check things like gear placement, bar angles, and slopes. All of these will affect where the clamp can be placed and how far out or in the bars can slide for comfort.
Drop bars vs boxer bars
Know the reason you need handlebar ends. If you used to use a road bike before switching to a hybrid and you miss the posture drop bars bring then that's where you want to invest.
If, on the other hand, you're finding your body just aches a little more than it used to, or your wrists and hands hurt than the boxer bars will be better.
Make sure you buy what fits your needs, not just the option which looks stylish to you.
Alloys are made of varying qualities. While you're not going to be pulling any stunts or going off terrain often on a hybrid bike (At least you shouldn't be), you should be aware of how you personally handle your hybrid.
Are you heavy handed? Does it get bumped around at work? Are you going to be annoyed if it's scratched up or dented after a minor incident?
If the answer to any of these question is yes then look for a stronger alloy and read the reviews to make sure it's the quality you deserve.
Different handlebar ends
There are many types of ad ons out there, either on Amazon or at bike stores. I’ve already mentioned the difference alloys can make, and not just in the quality but in the weight.
Shop around if you're unhappy with the alloy any of these bar ends are offering. Just remember, the better the quality of metal the more likely the product will be on the expensive end.
You might not need bar ends at all, you might be looking for better handlebar grips. If it's a case of your hands being sore, fingers slipping or something similar, then it may simply be better to buy a good handlebar grip rather than changing your entire posture.
Remember, the bigger the change you make to your bike, the longer it will take to adjust your riding style.
It's also good to consider if the hybrid bike is the method of transportation for you. Maybe a mountain bike, touring bike or road bike are better suited for your needs. Making small changes to your hybrid won't help you if a bigger change is necessary.
For a little more advice on check out the video above by SickBiker
Origin8 Drop Ends
Origin8 is the manufacturer and they’re a decent cycling company with a lot of fans. They are based in America, and cater across the cycling community, from racing bikes, to urban cycling, and hard core mountain biking.
Although their team has been around for 30 years, they rebranded and refocused about 7 years ago. Their aim is to bring great design at an affordable price and with the best quality.
The Origin8 Drop Ends are worth buying if you miss your old road bike and the more aerodynamic posture it brings. If you want to keep the hybrid but have the very best of the road bike world then changing to a drop bar is perfect for you.
Bead finish is nice
The bead blast finish sounds impressive but is fairly standard. It does mean that these bars don't come with their own grips but provides a very smooth and flawless finish.
They also don't have their own stop ends, but it's a fairly easy job to remove them from your current handlebars and place those on to these.
In terms of grips, using tape will do the job just fine, or you can always pay a little extra to install your own grips. I personally think these drop bars are well worth the investment.
- Price, very affordable
- Provide a quality road bike feel
- Slightly smaller than regular drop bars
- Do not come with padded grips
What did reviewers think?
One individual tried to install the drop bars on a mountain bike which is very different to a hybrid. They therefore obstructed the gear change system. Many hybrids don’t have the gearing in the same position.
he gearing system on a hybrid should allow for the placement of drop bars without obstruction of other crucial components.
The same rider is also critical of the size of the drop bars. They are not quite the standard size you will find on a road bike, and if that's your expectation you might be disappointed. They’re a little smaller which can take some getting used to.
In general, most reviewers feel the drop bars are a great buy, the majority of problems come from attaching them to bikes which are not hybrids.
As always, I think they key is to examine your own bike and its needs, then buy accordingly.
Profile Design Boxer Bar
Profile Design are a great company with a reputation in the amateur and professional circuit. They are based in multiple locations throughout the world, including Taiwan, the U.S.A. and Australia and Europe.
They are major sponsors of some of the top cyclists in the world and are well known throughout the major championship events.
The Profile Design Boxer End bars have a slightly different purpose than the other drop bars.
They lift your bars upwards and are not aimed for speed, but better grip, posture, and maneuverability. Once again, you may want to install your own grips or use tape for a better hold.
Aluminum Construction Is Weak
The aluminum construction and matte black finish do lend themselves to easy scratches and the bars should, therefore, be handled with care. Of course, the price is great and I personally wouldn't expect a more quality finish while paying for something so cheaply.
Adjust For Extra Weight
The product weighs 170g and since these bar ends angle upwards, it can take a while to get used to. This is due mainly to the new riding position, although the weight will be felt most when turning.
I recommend taking the bike out for a test ride and not immediately going on a long journey with this one. Weight will affect the way you turn, brake and accelerate, so bear that in mind.
- Change posture
- Easy to adjust the angle
- No padded grips
- Cheaper quality
What did reviewers think?
This reviewer, Andy, believes that these bars are overall a great buy. He recognizes the extra weight they bring, but had some trouble shifting the position of his hands when it came to braking. He should have perhaps tried a few shorter runs before cruising somewhere that he might need to make a sudden stop.
Remember, any time you make adjustments to your bike it will take a while for you to get used to it. The reviewer is still clear though, the bars did exactly what he wanted them to. They allowed for more hand positions and different posturing.
This seems to be the general consensus of most reviewers. A few were surprised by the ‘hand gymnastics’ they had to perform in order to grasp the brakes correctly, but most appreciated the varying postures they could now assume on their bike.
I think that once again the lesson is make sure you know why you're buying these and you won't be disappointed.
Change Today Not Tomorrow
You’ve probably noticed a theme running through these reviews. Find out what you need first, but don’t put off tomorrow what you need to change today.
The frustration will only grow with time while a better posture, faster ride or firmer grip can be yours today if you make the change.
Image Credit Flickr Creative Commons - Daniel Oines