I use my hybrid bike for commuting and casual trips, and comfort is important to me. I am therefore looking to upgrade my handlebar to the bullhorn type, as this greatly increases comfort and reduces strain on my wrists. However, well-made handlebars can be quite costly, and I see that "extension grips" exist that can just be put on a regular handlebar.

Obviously the handlebars need to be trustworthy, and not be prone to "slip" as I put my weight on it. Can the less expensive extension grips do the job, or should I opt for a whole new handlebar? I value comfort and safety more than price, but if all else is equal, price triumphs, obviously. The kind of extension grips I am looking at are attached at the bottom of this question.

If I opted for a whole new handlebar, I would still need to get one of these ergonomic grips for the horn-part of the handlebar, as the handlebars sold seem to mostly just be the metal bar itself. So I am leaning toward just getting grips to equip on my current handlebar, provided that they last and are safe to use.

So, will such handlebar grips provide me with long and safe service, or is really a whole new handlebar the only way to go? Preferably I want something that can be re-used when I someday buy a new bike.

enter image description here Source: http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/se/en/ergon-gp5-grips/rp-prod35359

2 Answers 2


I'd give the bar ends a try. They give you a hand position or two more depending on model, and they're relatively inexpensive. Plus, I've never had slippage with my Ergon GP3's -- the clamp mechanism is excellent.

With new bars, you have to make sure that the clamp diameter of the stem matches the bar's clamp diameter, and the grip area diameter matches the shifter + brake clamps. There are some that 23.8mm (mostly used for road bars) and others with 22.2 mm (mostly used for flat bars) for the grip area.

As for bullhorns being bare metal, you wrap them in bar tape, just like drop bars for the road.

I'd also play with other adjustments on the bike, such as saddle position, bar height and stuff (an adjustable stem or quill stem if you have one makes this easy). You may be riding in a bad position or something which is causing the discomfort.

  • 1
    Anecdotally, I'm still getting daily use from some Onza bar ends from circa 1994... and while the forces involved would seem to make slippage a potential (and scary) issue, in practice a bare aluminum-on-aluminum contact provides a solid grab with surprisingly little clamping force, much less than what the clamps are capable of. Mar 30, 2016 at 8:11
  • Yeah. Bar end grips aren't new tech -- they've been tried and tested for decades.
    – Batman
    Mar 30, 2016 at 8:28

If comfort is your main goal go the grip extensions. Bullhorn bars are not designed for comfort. They are mean to give the rider a more aerodynamic riding profile to increase speed. That's one of the reason they are so popular in tri racing bikes.

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