Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Upstate New York
Originally Posted by Labarum
I am told that since I have never used anything but downtube shifters I will quickly adapt to either ergo or STI levers.
I think that's probably correct. They're both excellent products by excellent manufacturers, and despite the Mac-vs.-PC religious tone that sometimes permeates Campy-vs.-Shimano discussions, you're not going to go too far wrong with either one.
I went through this choice myself recently, and in the end I went with Shimano because I had a slight preference for the feel. It's sometimes said that Campy is better if you have larger hands and Shimano if you have smaller hands, so perhaps that was the reason... my hands are small.
It's good that you change hand positions on the bars a lot... I used to not do that enough, and I put myself through a case of handlebar palsy as a result. (Learned a lot about how my ulnar nerve works, but that was about the only upside.) It's just a guess, but somehow I doubt that a desire to ride with multiple hand positions would favor Campy much... no matter which style shifter you use, you've still got to put your hand in the right position to shift it.
Best thing, if you can manage it, is a decent test ride with each. Many bike shops will let you do this, and even if they don't want you taking a bike you haven't bought out on the road, they'll usually be glad to set it up on a trainer in the store and let you ride it to your heart's content. Selecting shifters is a lot like picking a bike frame... what matters most is how well it fits you, and the only way to be sure is to try it.