My 105 9-sp brifter on my brevet/commuting/light touring bike is dead. I'm considering making a few changes and want to know what others think of them.
My primary change is to use a handlebar bag and eliminate the interrupter levers. I want to do this to have an easier spot to hold my maps/cue sheets, hold my headlight batteries (2 sets of 4-D-cells total of 16 hrs runtime), spare helmet light batteries (up to 3 sets of 4 AAs for 6 hrs of runtime) and keep glove/head-warming stuff & snacks right up front so I don't have to dismount to get them out of the rear pack. I'm thinking of getting an Arkel big bar bag.
Here are the options:
1) Just replace the brifters with shimano 9-sp brifters (eliminate interrupter levers & try to fit a handlebar bag in there by using 2 rollamajigs to direct the shift cable down right off the shifter).
2) Replace the brifters with ergo-shifters (I like the feeling on my hands better, and like the front derailleur trim), use a j-tek shiftmate, install handlebar bag with no worries.
3) Replace brifters with bar-end shifters and ergo brake levers. Again, no handlebar bag worries.
4) break the bank and go for a full-on dedicated bike with all the bells and whistles.
If it were your bike, what would you do and why? They are all well within my budget constraints (except option 4 ), so I'm looking for opinions on functionality, reliability and ease of riding. Right now I'm thinking of going with option 2 because I like having the shift levers avilable from the hoods, but most of my riding is from the bar top, so I'm not sure if its that much better than having the bar-ends. I'm leaning away from option 1 because I've had some issues with trim driving me nuts (and not because I'm crossing the chain).
Otherwise, my bike setup is thus:
Kona JTS, triple setup with 28-38-50, 11/32 cassette. 105 triple FD, XT long cage RD (not rapid rise). Shimano canti brakes. Rear rack/fenders and battery powered lights.