New discovery: climbing easier with narrow bar & barends


Senior Retro Guru
Does anyone run a wide flat bar, with bar ends placed inboard of the controls? I became aware of this possibility (although it seems a bit obvious now) after looking into the various trekking flat bars on the market, which have various possible hand positions, like the Surly Moloko or the Jones loop bar. They look comfortable but at 45 degrees the sweep might be a bit much for me.



Some search results pulled up threads where people have simply taken a wide flat bar and fitted bar ends inboard of the shifters and brake levers. I'm going to give it a try when I find the right shape bar ends.

Amusingly, a company called SQ Lab have reinvented the bar end again, :facepalm: this time for mounting them right next to the levers, giving a similar position to old school MTB narrow bars with barends on the ends. One of their sponsored riders claims to have been able to do laps of an XC course using 14 W less at the same average speed.

It's hard to know what that means (and if it's real). Slightly better traction on climbs because pulling up on the barends pushes the rear wheel into the ground more? Being stretched forward more on the barends spreads the work across more muscles with lower back muscles contributing more, resulting in better efficiency and less fatigue? ... s-411.html


Old School Grand Master
Years ago the 'rule' for max. breathing efficiency was about shoulder width.

No accident retro flat bars are circa 560mm and road bars about 440 c-c. A more upright position is also favorable.