My primary bike is currently a rigid 26 inch commuter/trekker/backroad bike that I put together. I'm thinking that I'd like to keep it set up for dirty work and shorter rides on mixed terrain. I also started running studded tires in the winter, but the way last winter went I hardly needed them. I guess what I'm getting at is that I'm starting to look around for my next bike. One that can be set up to be a little lighter and faster on the road in the summer and used on nice days in the winter. It still has to be able to carry stuff and maybe do some shorter couple day trips now and then, and someday, well who knows? So basically my next bike will be a touring bike.
My problem is that so many complete touring bikes come with bar end shifters. I've read about the pros and cons of each style, but I've owned bikes with brifters and I know that is what I want. Heck I get tired of moving my hands to and from the bar ends on my current flat bar bike. Plus I sometimes climb standing and have to shift. And as I've said I want a bike that for now will be a little bit more set up for on road efficiency than what I'm currently riding.
At this point I'm looking pretty closely at the Nashbar touring bike and the Bikes Direct Windsor Tourist mostly because they both have brifters (of course there's also the price). Still I can't help but want to go a little bit above and beyond "this will do the job" and maybe actually buy myself something nice. The only other brifter equipped bikes that I've stubled upon are the dics brake Redline Metro's and some of the Salsa Vaya's. Of course I could just build a bike, but I just want to see if there is anything else out there?