First time posting in Mechanics thread. Always appreciate any advice I can get from more experienced wrenchers.
I just purchased my dream bike, an early 1990's Bianchi Alfana with a full Shimano 600 Tri-Color group. I believe it's currently stock, with 2x8 down-tube indexed shifters. I'd like to swap to STIs, but try to keep it as original as possible, and of course budget is always an issue.
Parts I can take from another bike and my parts bins include a set of Tiagra 3x9's, (newer) 105 front and rear derailleurs, a relatively fresh 9 speed cassette, and a new 9 speed chain.
Solutions I've envisioned
1. Install brifters with alternative cable routing a la Sheldon Brown and cross my fingers.
2. Swap out for 9 speed cassette and only adjust front derailleur with alternative cable routing. But then I might have a problem with running a 9 speed chain on a crankset that might be incompatible.
2. Purchase the new Shimano ST-R500 STI Flight Deck 2x8 Lever Set which should run fine with brazed on cable-stops. Relatively cheap using my own derailleurs if 600 isn't STI-compatible.
3. Treat myself to new/used Rival SRAM group (hard to justify)
I really enjoy the feel of the brake levers I have now over the Tiagra STIs. It appears as if the ST-R500s operate more similarly to what I have now. Is this correct?
Please let me know your thoughts. I'm sure this is more simple than I'm making it out to be and that a few other brains would be able to make a plan. I'd just like to get it right the first time.
I promise excellent before and after pictures if all goes well. Thanks!