Originally Posted by bellbound
What do you mean by they are the nasty integrated "STI" ones? What makes them nasty?
1. the brake lever blade is a shifter. You push it downwards to shift one way, and lift it up with the tops of your fingers (seriously, I am not making this up) to shift the other way. They were intended to be used with reverse-shifting "low-normal" rear derailleurs. Riding with that setup is a mind game on top of another mind game, I've tried 'em.
2. since it's a hydraulic system, you can't just go "haha, I'll stick some different shifters on there!" because the shifter is also the hydraulic brake lever. So now you need new brake levers and have to transplant hoses and bleed brakes OR buy a whole new brake system.
3. the XTR ones are also a pain to change shift cables in. Shimano's site has a FAQ devoted just to the task of getting the dasm lever open so you can get at the cable.
Also, those cranks have their own unique chainring bolt circle, so replacing chainrings will be tricky, not many choices. Oh and furthermore, those are the model of XTR brake calipers where you adjust pad-to-rotor clearance with little horseshoe-shaped shims, just a pure irritation to work on.
Last edited by mechBgon; 01-17-12 at 11:22 PM.