Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mushroom Picking Season?

Portland Design Works Bamboo/Cork Bar-End Plugs
Just got these in the mail and they looked so ridiculously season-appropriate that I had to share! One of the cutest bicycle accessories I've seen in some time and certainly worth the $10 price tag, these tiny objects are cork and bamboo bar-end plugs from Portland Design Works. They look like miniature mushrooms and are so nice that I almost don't want to install them on my bike.

I like to use wine corks to plug the ends of handlebars, preferring their organic warmth to the cold look and feel of plastic and metal plugs. But I ran out of corks and didn't want to have to drink more wine - so I looked around online and found these delightful creations. They are practically weightless, if you care about that sort of thing, and are made in both drop and upright handlebar diameters. Just lovely all around.

Since my Rivendell no longer has bar-end shifters and my other roadbike is a fixed gear, I will probably order another set and install these on both. What are you using for bar-end plugs these days? I've tried lots of different things at this point, but keep coming back to corky/woodsy stuff - it just feels nicer.

35 comments:

  1. I have a drawer full of bottle corks if anyone wants :).

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  2. You do realise that people are going to take you up on it!

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  3. All my bars are upright nowadays, and I use the black rubber/cork grips from Velo-Orange. They are darn comfy.

    Except, one bike has reversed brake levers (so no bar-ends there), the tandem has bar-end-shifters in front, and the cargo bike has a hub-bub and a grip-shift sticking out of it.

    I did use corks for a long time before I went upright. How do those mushrooms do when they get wet?

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  4. I use Velox rubber compression plugs. They're about as un-sexy as bar-end plugs get, but they stay put and do their job well. My wife's bike gets corks.

    As for cork supply, I'm with Somervillian. I save them for some reason, and end up giving them to someone who figures that he or she has a good use for them.

    -Matt

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  5. I think Velox plugs are way sexy!!! Especially if you can get the colored ones!

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  6. 'But I ran out of corks and didn't want to have to drink more wine'

    Blasphemous! :-D

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  7. "Some Bicyclist stole the cork from my Lunch!"

    -with apologies to WC Fields

    These are cool.

    I've used whittled wine cork recently and liked the feel. I've also seen whisky corks used; they often have a wooden cap on the cork.
    Of course, that means you need to a) buy expensive single malt and b) drink it all before you can put the cork in your bar ends.

    Such a thing would cut into my bike budget. ;)

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  8. Okay you got me, the Velox are not bad either!

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  9. I have those on one of my fast bike. For contrast.

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  10. I don't see why not, they are certainly light.
    Your bike's name is Onna?

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  11. That's a silly girl's name.
    It's Nancy.

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  12. I stick corks in my bar-ends. My nephew saw them and made sure to point them out to me. He couldn't imagine how wine corks, of all things, could have gotten into the ends of my handlebars! Such a strange juxtaposition, from his point of view - wine and cycling.

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  13. dr, they do fine. I just pick them out, dry them off, saute w/evoo & garlic. Delish.

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  14. Cepes the size of Pluto. In France. Only with butter. Yes. With Corey's single malt later. Keep the cap for full circle effect.

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  15. I'm not a fan of Velox plugs. I have a stash of chromed Cinelli plugs(plastic)that I usually use.

    Nitto just introduced some beautifully machined aluminum/steel plugs, heavy but gorgeous.

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  16. those look neat, but there's one part of your post i didn't understand:

    didn't want to have to drink more wine

    there's always time for wine! :)

    i recently saw these red nitto bar ends, and love the matching look.

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  17. Velox plugs are so chic. I can't help but feel the wine-cork thing is goofy, though your execution has me reconsidering.

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  18. I recently installed cork in the ends of my mustache bars because everything else kept falling out!
    http://anniebikes.blogspot.com/2011/09/cork-bar-end-plugs.html

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  19. I'm confused. I don't understand the statement "have to drink more wine".

    I put the brown leather grips from Linus on my smugfiets. I like the fact that they do not have a metal or plastic ring at the end, just some nice stitching holding the end part on. Also, very affordable. Worth checking out when looking for grips for upright bikes.

    Dan.

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  20. I knew that somehow there would be a morel to this story.

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  21. schmancy! i'm pretty content with wine corks, i especially like when the cork has a logo of some sort printed on the end.

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  22. Damn, mushrooms are one of my favourite foods - this is making me hungry.

    With metal bar-end plugs, as well as metal edges to some leather grips now on the market, the feel just really makes my hands feel cold and unpleasant. Of course I don't really touch the plugs that often when holding the handlebars, but still.

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  23. Didn't want to have to drink more wine?

    I'd prescribe a bicycle trip to Bordeaux!

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  24. Well, it's tough putting all these bicycles together - could end up a drunk by the end!

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  25. Somervillian, anything good? The plastic plugs in the end of my moustache bars are entirely too dull.

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  26. I was about to buy those same plugs but then I ended up ordering some stuff from Rivendell and took them up on their free wine corks. So that's what I use right now.

    I had the metal plugs before and they look clean and all but the cork really does add character.

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  27. Harvey's Bristol Cream Sherry stoppers. very elegant!

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  28. I like the Velox plugs so much I started a flickr group

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/velox/ 

    Champagne corks work good, too. Or in my case, beer.

    http://www.fixedgeargallery.com/2004/achtem30.htm

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  29. Here's a contrarian viewpoint for you...

    Why use an end plug at all?

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  30. @Sigivald

    Subcutaneous sample collector?

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  31. I missed something.
    What shifters do you have on the Sam these days?

    Jay

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  32. @Sigvald - one of our local bike group is an anaesthetist at the local hospital and has had to dig handlebars out of several kids this summer. In the unlikely event that you do get tangled up with your bike, blunted corked bar ends are preferable to sharp, hollow metal tubes.

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  33. Okay, that's a good reason - or at least a good reason to chamfer the edge a bit if you don't cap.

    But my bike is an ancient frame and I'm the sort of person who has no compunction at all about taking a file or a grinder to my toys... not exactly a majoritarian position.

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