Originally Posted by fietsbob
'ultegra' is the 8 speed . 'dura ace' the 9 speed version. about same quality ,
the detents are closer together on the 9 speed
8 speed just added a cog to the 7 speed spacing.
There isn't really any levels of bar end shifter. Shimano makes one for each index system (7,8,9,10 speed) at 'Dura Ace' level. Of course, because there is nothing to compare it to, it doesn't mean much. Just make sure you have one that indexes with your cassette..
Also, make sure that you have the 'road' Belleville bar, VO makes two versions, and bar end shifters will only work on the 'road' diameter bar.
You shouldn't have any trouble with taping, the Belleville isn't a moustache bar; they have one primary hand position at the sweeps, they aren't really made to be held on the straight section. Just route the bar end cable under your grips (or bar tape) and you should have a nice graceful arc.