Earlier this year I acquired a second-hand Cannondale Trigger 2014, that was used just twice but standing around for quite some time. Today I wanted to change some things about the cockpit and as a part of it, tried to remove the grips. Not having seen any "sophisticated" end plugs ever I just untighted all screws and then tried to pull the grips and endcaps free - no luck. With admittedly few thoughts I kept turning the middle screw and managed to get it out all the way. Only later did I realize I probably shouldn't have done that. I can clearly hear the counterpart moving inside the handlebar. On the second grip I tried to do it right, but that just results in the middle screw being loose, the counterpart still being connected, but it's still mysterious how to get the entire plug out. The screw is the only thing I can pull on, but that just pulls in the counterpart and expands the plug, i.e. getting it stuck even more.

I can't find any specific details online or in the manual about this handlebar plug/cap or even any instructions, how to "normally" remove those types of plugs. I know options to remove them destructively, so that's not what I am looking for.

In "normal operation", how would you remove this handlebar end plug?

end cap top part end cap bottom part handlebar end with end cap partly removed handlebar end with end cap loosened but still on

  • I am assuming you loosened the bolts for the lock on grip? It's possible that the lock ons were put on tightly enough to "less round" your end opening. It may require considerable force to remove the parts inside the bar. I'd also some breakfree or something similar. I'd try rethreading the screw in partially, then love tapping it with rubber mallet to try and break up the plug stickion. Jun 19, 2018 at 19:08
  • I did, the plug stickion was already removed. The sticky thing was the "shaft" without anything in it to expand. Still puzzled as to why it was stuck that bad.
    – imsodin
    Jun 19, 2018 at 19:53

2 Answers 2


I went ahead and removed the end where the screw was already out forcefully, meaning putting two screws into the side walls of the plug and levering on them with pliers. Once the plug reached out of the handlebar, I couldn't lever anymore and just pulling didn't do the trick -> abused a wood drill bit to mill away enough material that pulling worked. Weirdly enough, there wasn't any clear signs of the device being "abnormally" stuck.

The principle is simple: A split shaft is extended by pulling in a cone like counterpiece to the screw. To undo it, you need to untighten the screw, then push it in to release the cone. The cone has at two points protroding features, which when not aligned with the slits in the shaft prevent it from extending the shaft. So if slightly turned, you can pull on the end cap to retrieve the entire thing. You can use the loosened grip to have a better handle while pulling. If, as in my case, that isn't enough force, use a flat plier to go in between handlebar/grip and end cap and lever the entire thing out.

If you have this end cap, replace it asap (or regularly remove it, maybe that helps). If you have any other cap with a screw in the middle (likely expansion type), I'd advice testing to remove it and if it works fine, hope it will work fine again once you need to remove your grips. If it doesn't work fine, replace it (it will be trash anyway).

inner workings of the end cap inner end inner workings of the end cap outer part

  • You have it correct. It uses the same principal as an older style quill stem.
    – mikes
    Jun 19, 2018 at 20:14
  • Or if you are using a set like it, don't krunk them into place. It's not at all structural and probably needs very little tightening in the first place to stay. Jun 25, 2018 at 23:57

Normally one would undo the bolt until it is loose then just pull or lever the whole unit out by the end-disc.

What you did is unscrew the bolt all the way, so the wedge fell off and is now rattling around in the bar. You cannot of course re-thread the wedge on the bolt.

The plastic plug is probably not stuck in the bar very firmly, you just need a way to grip it. Any tool that has a hooked end that you can insert through the bolt hole will probably get it out. You could probably fashion a make-shift tool from coat-hanger wire with a pair of pliers.

If the plastic plug is really stuck, and cannot be easily pulled out: you may find that you just need to break the adhesion between the plug and bar. Try gently tapping the plug in slightly with a punch (or screwdriver, length of wood dowel etc) and hammer.

Penetrating oil such as WD-40 may help, as may heating the bar with hot water or a hairdryer.

  • Yeah, unfortunately it is stuck pretty bad - I already tried using a hook. And pulling on the end disc transfers the force to the screw, with the (potential) problem I described above. On the second still attached end disk, it does not budge when pulling on the end bar.
    – imsodin
    Jun 19, 2018 at 18:49
  • What about a corkscrew?
    – Carel
    Jun 19, 2018 at 19:00
  • @imsodin see updates Jun 19, 2018 at 19:07
  • I guess I should have explained more extensively in the question, I was worried it would get too long: Apart from the heat option, I tried all of that (I am not sure whether heat and plastic go well together). Well I just decided to take the destructive approach and will soon post an answer with the findings.
    – imsodin
    Jun 19, 2018 at 19:29
  • 1
    A potentially semi-destructive method is to drive a long self tapping screw into the plug bolt hole, then use that to pull the plug out. Jun 19, 2018 at 19:32

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