CloseTheGap ErgoMyRide XC-M is an inner bar end that aims to give you an extra hand position for long days in the saddle. The bar ends certainly stand out and attract attention. While they are designed for marathon distance racing, the benefits can go far beyond one area of riding. If you find yourself riding and holding the section of the bars by the brake levers, the CloseTheGap ErgoMyRide XC-M bar ends are worth a look.
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CloseTheGap ErgoMyRide XC-M – Technical details and fitment
XCM is the UCI acronym for Cross-Country Marathon racing, a longer style of cross-country mountain biking that usually takes in around 50 miles (80km) worth of racing.
The ErgoMyRide XC-M inner bar ends are short (7.5cm from the centre to the tip) and designed to fit flat handlebars with a 22.2mm diameter. There may be limited placement options on very narrow bars but, for the typical 700mm+ widths, it should give plenty of options. With the design aimed at XC marathon events, speed and the ability to have a more aerodynamic position is likely to be a major design focus.
The XC-M inner bars have a hinged clamp and this makes fitting and removing very quick and easy. As a pair, they weigh 93g including the bolts, and are made from a composite material that has a very smooth finish.
Fitting is simple and they are suitable for all handlebar materials, although the use of carbon assembly paste is suggested for carbon bars. Correct fitment requires a torque wrench with the stated 3Nm given as the maximum tightening force.
The inner bars are only available in a single size and could feel small for riders with larger hands but, from personal use, I believe they will suit smaller and average-sized hands best.
CloseTheGap ErgoMyRide XC-M – Performance
After initially fitting them on the inside of the controls and nearer the grips, I moved them closer to the inside of the bar and this was my personal choice for most of the testing. One downside of this position was needing to move one hand slightly when using the SRAM GX shifter. For me, the inner bar position was both more comfortable and slightly more aerodynamic.
While testing, I entered a marathon event and I found myself using them in lots of situations - especially during flatter tarmac stretches within a small group. But I also used them on off-road sections where braking wasn’t needed and the surface was smooth.
Apart from racing, these grips will also benefit bikepackers or long-distance riders. In these scenarios speed is not the main focus and the change of hand position will increase comfort and reduce hand fatigue.
CloseTheGap ErgoMyRide XC-M – Verdict
CloseTheGap ErgoMyRide XC-M inner bars cost a penny short of £45 and with very few other similar options, the price is harder to compare. SQlab produces a few options, with the cheapest 411 version coming in at a similar price of £36. It has a similar shape and weighs 108g. They don’t have a hinged clamp, which is likely to make removal and fitting more difficult. The upper model, the 411 R Carbons are just 40g for the pair but they costs significantly more at £150. This version utilises a clamp that can flex and enable faster fitting and removal.
Throughout testing the ErgoMyRide XC-M inner bars, there were lots of curious looks and comments from people. Despite the name, the use and appeal will stretch far beyond just racing events. If you are a rider who often rides while holding on to the inner section of the bar to give yourself a different hand position, these inner bars will give you a significantly more comfortable position. I highly recommend them.