Over the years I’ve gone through a few different iterations of bar end plugs for the elastic found inside of pogies such as Moose Mitts and Relevate Designs’ Williwaws. While many of these pogies can be used with the elastic wrapped around the grip, I find this a bit uncomfortable and these iterations happened as I tried to get to something better. Previously attempts were a couple variations on road-type screw-tight bar end plugs with a stack of washers, but after one of these became stuck in my carbon bars during a crash on ice I went looking for something simpler and more robust. I also wanted to avoid the thin washers, as a glancing blow from one during a fall could easily result in a cut.
Shown above is my latest attempt, made from two off-the-shelf parts:
- ODI Aluminum End Plugs (Amazon: $15.67)
- .531 x .870 x 3/16 Nylon Flat Washers (Lowes: $1.28, P/N 423512, Photo)
This setup meets the following requirements and should be an improvement on previous designs:
- Easily removable, such as with a screw to tighten / remove.
- Resistant to being driven into the bar or bending during a crash or bike falling over in the wind.
- Must not have a sharp or narrow edge that could cut the rider.
- Compatible with a variety of bar wall thickness; including thick-walled carbon bars such as the Salsa Salt Flat.
To put it all together I disassembled the ODI plug (photo), slipped the nylon washer over the body of the plug (photo), reassembled the plug, then inserted the plug into the bar and and tightened it down like normal. The washer is perfectly sized to set in the recess in the bar end plug while spacing it out from the end of the grip/bar. This ensures there’s a slight gap left for the elastic (photo), keeps the plug from hammering in during a crash, and the rounded bar edges of the plug should minimize injury. It’s also just large enough that it cannot slip past the expander wedge of the bar end plug, which should make removal extremely simple.
Prior to this I’d tried the ODI plugs without a nylon spacer, leaving them set a little ways out from the bar (photo), but whenever the bar end hit the ground during a fall they’d push in and trap the elastic. An alternative would be the Relevate Designs Pogie Bar End Plugs, but at $10 (plus shipping) per pair they aren’t much cheaper and won’t as easily be removable. Being all plastic and press-fit they seem more likely to pull out or be damaged during a crash.