Hmm, hadn't thought about that aspect. I don't think it would be an issue, but I just got another MTB bike that could maybe use the triggers off this bike.
I have a bike with grip shifters and I am not a big fan. I guess they work fine, but they are also the reason it doesn't get ridden much and will be changed in the future. Just don't do it for me. I also volunteer fixing old bikes and grip shifters are always the worst it seems.
I guess it will sit for a little while. Still trying to decide if the or my C'dale will be the bike that gets to see touring duty.
I have some thumb shifters around somewhere, not sure if the are friction or not. Might give them a try.