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Wolf Tooth Alloy Bar End Plugs

7
£23.00

VERDICT:

7
10
Not just bike jewellery, but strong, well designed and made in the USA
Neatly machined
Won't fall out
Made in America
Very expensive
Weight: 
18g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

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The Wolf Tooth Alloy Bar End Plugs are smart-looking accessories that fit securely and add a dash of bling. They're expensive though, as they're made in the USA rather than China.

When I reviewed Wolf Tooth's Supple Lite Bar Tape, my one minor criticism was that the bar end plug wasn't large enough to properly disguise the exit point for the tape.

These Alloy Bar End Plugs cure that, though of course they add considerably to the already-quite-expensive-enough-thank-you-very-much price of Supple Lite.

> Find your nearest dealer here

For the record, these plugs are made from not one, but two types of aluminium; a machined 6061 cap and a 7075 bolt, the latter screwing into a tough nylon expander bung.

It ensures a firm fit whatever thickness of bar tape you're tucking into the bar end; Wolf Tooth says it's good for an internal diameter of anything from 16 to 21.5mm. They worked well with both the road bikes I tried them on, and they're easier to get in and out than some wedge designs I've tried.

> 13 of the best cycling drop handlebars – how to buy the perfect bars

Of course, you can match them to any bar tape brand you fancy; they come in eight anodised colours, including the black shown here. The machining detail is clean and the graphics are tasteful enough not to lower the tone of your bike.

Value

At £23 they're 2-3 times the price of any anodised plugs you can turn up on eBay, and LifeLine's Alloy Screw-In Bar End Plugs are £3.99. Even Supacaz's anodised Star Plugz, which are considered higher end, can be had for £12 in the UK.

Overall

So yes, the Wolf Tooths (Wolf Teeth? Wolf's Tooth?) are expensive, but they're very well built and make nice presents, and you don't want to give cheap gifts, do you? Besides, you may find the price worth paying for a product manufactured in the USA rather than under some murderous totalitarian regime. Get 'em while democracy lasts!

Verdict

Not just bike jewellery, but strong, well designed and made in the USA

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Wolf Tooth Alloy Bar End Plugs

Size tested: One Size

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Says Wolf Tooth Components: "Alloy Bar End Plugs are precision engineered and machined using lightweight, durable 6061-T6 aluminum. They are compatible with mountain and road bike handlebars thanks to an expanding wedge that makes a secure fit for most inner bar diameters. Available in a variety of anodized color options that match Wolf Tooth headsets, stem caps, seatpost clamps, bolts, and more."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Works with mountain and road bike handlebars. The expanding wedge makes a secure fit for most handlebar diameters.

Compatible with handlebars measuring 16 mm to 21.5 mm inner diameter.

Use a 3 mm hex tool.

Weight: 17 g for set of two

Alloy plug diameter: 26.6mm

Material: 6061-T6 aluminum cap, black anodized 7075 aluminum bolt, glass-filled nylon expanding wedge

Made in the USA

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Easy to fit and remove, stay put.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

The glass-filled nylon bung is a tough piece (but don't overtighten it). Should last for years.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
9/10
Rate the product for value:
 
3/10

Well of course there's much cheaper out there. Are you cheap, punk?

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

I tried these on a couple of bikes; they were easy to get in and out and stayed put.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Large diameter cap makes a good job of covering the end of the bar and any unsightly bar tape creases.

Works with thick or thin bar tapes

Stays put

Range of finishes

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Not much. If someone was buying them for me I wouldn't mind about the price.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

They're two to three times the price of any anodised end plugs you can turn up on an eBay search. Even Supacaz ones, which are considered a higher-end American brand, can be had in the UK for £12.

On the other hand, they'll be durable enough to transfer between bikes or keep using when the time comes to re-wrap your bars.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Maybe

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

There are plenty of comparable products out there, many at half the price or less. This particular design of nylon wedge is easier to get in and out of the bar ends than some I've tried, though, plus they look smart, fit securely and are big enough to properly cover where the tape wrap emerges. If you fancy some bike jewellery that's not been churned out in the Far East, they're good.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 54  Height: 6'2  Weight: 73kg and holding steady

I usually ride: Cannondale CAAD10   My best bike is: Tomassini Prestige

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,

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