A month or two ago I bought the Coker Pi Bar… needless to say, it has taken a few falls, the bar ends are beat up and I (rather embarrassingly) admit that I accidentally stripped the thread in one of them.
I’m going to try to replace them tomorrow, as I may as well get new, sturdier bar ends and protect them well, right?
Leading me to my question… How do you protect your bar ends? I suppose that it doesn’t matter much if they get scuffed up a bit, but I don’t like deformity. I don’t imagine bar tape would help. I was thinking of rubber bar end casings. Has anyone tried this, and how has it worked?
Good question. I’ve always struggled with that and still don’t have an elegant solution. I use bar tape. It ain’t pretty and it usually needs to be replaced after a month or so. Let me know if you come up with something better. I’m always on the lookout for little rubber ends that would fit. Brycer uses a Delrin ball on his PBR grip. Something like that would be perfect if I could figure out how to attach one on each bar end. Here are some pictures to show my current set ups. Both recently (injury has left me with time to tinker) refurbished.
Before i had it, davidhood had wrapped in bar tape but recently I put on some flexible mountain bike grips from the bike shop I work at and I absolutely love them. Very comfy, I recently had a fall and barely any damage was done to the grip. I’ll try to get a picture up later.
Good point Kevin. The grips worked for me too. Check this picture. Note the use of the grip to protect the brake lever and absorb impact. It should also be pointed out that I hold on (and brake) with my left hand so the right hand grip is rarely used. Especially in MUni when I flail my balance arm.
I think I’ve found a solution to my problems. Zeus661 mentioned rubber hosing that he slipped over the ends, and they actually work quite well. Most inner tubes are the perfect size to slip over them, so I found one hidden away in my garage, with rusty old tires I used a few years back to teach kids how to change/fix a tire/flat. They were surprisingly easy to get on, feel very natural and comfortable and should withstand falls… and if one does get seriously damaged, I still have the rest of a 26" diameter inner tube to replace it with!
They’re on Specialized bar ends, but they’re basically the same as Pi Bar Ends, if a little longer. This should work on most ends, as long as they’re not ridiculously large; when the tube is stretched, it retracts to the shape of what it’s around.
Here’s some pictures:
Here’s an obscure, new note for protecting your bars/ends:
Be careful where and how you park! Yesterday, at the 10th Anniversary Rob’s Ride (25 people!) I parked my unicycle too close to the side of the trail. One of the cyclists on the ride, a guy on a bike, accidentally hooked his pedal in my handlebar as he was coming to a stop. I didn’t see what happened, but apparently it applied enough force to the bar, in what would be the downward direction had it been upright, that it broke the mounting piece. That’s the Nimbus Stealth handle seat base part, where you insert the tubes.
A freak accident? Perhaps, but avoidable. Be careful where you put your unicycle, becuase bad things can happen to it while it’s laying down, or attached to your car, etc.