I have received a set of new MicroShift 10 speed bar end shifters. Quality wise I would put them a grade or two under Shimano's. They work well enough and they have a friction mode that, for me, is easier to work than the Shimano.
What I like
- V-Brakes without Travel Agents
- the V-Brakes open to pull a wheel using the brake lever release retaining the brake set up
- to me the XT FD is smoother and easier than the Sora FD I was using
- for me replacing a derailleur cable is easier than with the Shimano 10 speed STI.
What I don't like is my knee hitting the left bar end. I will probably cut the handle bar ends back to reduce this problem. ( have done this before)
I rode the Trans Am Virginia-Colorado with this set up (9 speed) without any memories of issues so will probably stick with it for the 10 speed. I am hoping to do the Astoria to Pueblo in 2016 with this set up.
Thanks for all of the suggested alternatives.