Lately, my bar ends have been causing my hands to go numb. My extremely rigid aluminum fork is probably to blame since it doesn’t dampen vibration like my old SID fork did. Since there are no decent grips on the market for bar ends (other than some slip-on types made of neoprene), I decided to make my own.
I got the idea after seeing a lot of guys using alternative handlebars on their bikes and being forced to use road bike bar tape, as it’s impossible to slide grips onto most of these bars; the Titec H-Bar is a good example. I bought some Easton bar tape–black, of course–and used Elmer’s spray glue to bond it to the bar ends. Bar tape has only a quarter-inch wide strip of 3M adhesive running down the middle of it, and that wasn’t going to be good enough in my opinion.
After wrapping the bar ends and trimming the edges, I used some elasticized shoe laces to add pressure while the glue cured overnight. The tape also came with some nice, larger-diamter end plugs that I used to replace my smaller ones. The extra size helps protect the edges of the tape a litter better, and the plugs weigh 3 grams, the same as the smaller ones.
I finished by wrapping a piece of wide electrical tape around the end of each bar end, as a means of keeping the bar tape from coming loose.
Overall, the tape adds a nice amount of padding, plus gives more grip, so hopefully my riding gloves won’t slip on them anymore. It also added only 3 grams of weight to each one, so I can live with that.
Edit: Two years later, the bar tape is still holding up and I’ve had zero issues with it.