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Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Not just bike jewellery, but strong, well designed and made in the USA
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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
Easy to fit and remove, stay put.
The glass-filled nylon bung is a tough piece (but don't overtighten it). Should last for years.
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
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.
About the tester
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,