Singin' dem ole bar end blues.....
I have a new Co-Motion Americano (nice!!) which I spec'd with Dura-Ace bar end shifters, Race Face Deus crank (46-34-24), XTR rear derailleur, 9 speed chain and an 11-34 cassette. While the bike is still new to me, I am not convinced that I'm going to be happy with the shifting system. A friend with a Co-Mo tandem has Ultegra STI shifters, 10 speed chain, XTR rearr derailleur and 11-34 cassette- and he just finished an 1800 mile tour along the west coast with no problems.
I am very interested in converting to STI (I know all of the arguments for bar ends- but they seems to be a really slow and inefficient way to shift to me) but only if I can maintain my current gearing (I plan on loaded touring and live in a very hilly area....so gearing, at the end of the day, makes all of the major decisions around here). My LBS seems disinclined to configure the bike like this- he says it won't shift properly, but my buddy's experience belies this.