In these days of STI and Ergopower, surely it’s just retro-heads who want bar end gear levers? Not so.
They’re essential for time-trialling as the only way to shift gear from the tri bars. But their durability makes them a good bet for touring too: there’s little to go wrong and if anything does, you’ve got friction shifting as a back-up.
The rear indexes with Shimano 8-speed cassettes – including Shimano MTB and compatible SRAM cassettes – and will work with any rear mech/cassette. Don’t knock 8-speed, either: chunkiness compared to 9 and 10-speed means longer wear life.
While shifters on the end of drop bars are slightly less convenient, upsides include price, weight and reliability. They make ﬂat bar to drop bar conversions cheap and easy too – just add Dia Compe 287V levers for V-brake bikes. The price includes cable stops and cables.