Bar End Shifter Service

This article will discuss bar end shifters, often found on the ends of time trial or triathlon handlebars.


Getting Started

Bar end shift levers are commonly mounted to the ends of time trial or triathlon handlebars (Figure 1). They are also found on drop style handlebars (Figure 2).


Figure 1. Bar end shifters on a time trial handlebar.


Figure 2. Bar end shifters on drop style bars

Bar end shifters mount internally to the handlebar using an expansion plug. Handlebars typically must have an inside diameter of approximately 19-21mm. The shifter body and bolt are made with a cone shaped end that push into a set of wedges (Figure 3). The wedges then expand and tighten inside handlebar.


Figure 3. The component parts of the bar end shifter


Figure 4. Securing the lever body

To access the mounting bolt, it is necessary to remove the shift lever. Insert a 6mm hex wrench through the lever body and into the back of the mount bolt. The hex wrench fits into the back of the mounting bolt. Turning bolt clockwise as viewed from end of lever frees bolt from the internal wedges (Figure 4).

To secure body, turn hex wrench counter-clockwise. This turn bolt to tighten it into the wedges inside of handlebar. When working with bar end levers, always remember the body acts as the nut. The head of the bolt is inside the lever, and the hex wrench is fitting into the end of this bolt (Figure 5).


Figure 5. Hex wrench turn cone-shaped mounting bolt


Figure 6. Secure shift lever parts to lever body

After securing shift lever body to handlebar, assemble shift lever parts to body and secure lever screw with screwdriver (Figure 6).

Install gear wire through lever and into housing. Housing must fully seat into lever body. Secure housing to handlebars with tape. This can later be covered with handlebar tape as desired (Figure 7).


Figure 7. Bar end shifter mounted to forward-facing aero bar extensions


Figure 8. Bar end shifter housing under handlebar tape on a drop handlebar

Handlebar tape may then be wrapped over the housing (Figure 8).

Shift wire may be removed or install with the lever mounted in the bar. Loose wire pinch bolt and free wire. Pull wire from lever (Figure 9).

Figure 9. Remove or install derailleur wire from bar end shifter as necessary