What is the purpose of this small block on a handlebar?

Small rectangle on handlebar

This article on "bicycle archeology" (in Dutch) describes that they have almost completely disappeared, and are found only on very old bicycles. It does not really describe the purpose, except indirectly that "nowadays we don't care about scratches". But I fail to see how this block would prevent scratches.

What is the purpose?

  • 1
    When I used Google Translate it described it as a block to prevent scratches. – Jason Aller Feb 21 '15 at 3:02
  • It would help to know the age and style of the bike, and maybe have a picture of the whole bike. – Daniel R Hicks Feb 21 '15 at 12:59
  • All I can figure is that it may have mated with some part of a standardized bike rack. – Daniel R Hicks Feb 21 '15 at 13:07
  • 3
    If you have buildings made of brick and no bike racks and you routinely lean the bike against the brick walls the chrome handlebars would get scratched at the exposed curve unless a "bumper" was placed at the apex of the curve. – Jason Aller Feb 21 '15 at 17:10
  • 1
    As for the name of the thing, the article just calls it a "blokje", which means roughly "little block" or "little cube". – user18460 Feb 22 '15 at 21:20

My bikes had one. You would simply put your bike against the wall with just that "thing" and your saddle touching the wall.

It would prevent scratches and made sure your bike doesn't fall.

That thing was made of some sort of rubber/plastic so your handlebars wouldn't simple "slide" down the wall making your bike fall when you put it against it.

Also. Because of the rubbery consistency of the "thing" you could put your bike against a wall in weird angles that would otherwise cause your bike to fall.

  • Did you have a word for the “thing”? – gerrit Feb 22 '15 at 2:23
  • Not really no. When I grow up (in the Netherlands) it was just there, on most city bikes anyway. It is 3:25 am here now though. I will see if I can find out what the official name for that thing was tomorrow. AFAIK they don't make them anymore. – Elmer Feb 22 '15 at 2:24

You can easily find a scratch prevent parts for cars. (Simply google it, if you didn't see one yet).
For bikes. This place on handle bar can be easily scratched by touching walls / falling and scratching ground.

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