…or you know, the limit screws.
wow, you're like some sort of bike mechanic guru.
For what the original poster is wanting to do STI makes sense but for touring bar end shifters make a lot of sense. There is just so much less that can go wrong.
Yeah, STI's do tend to break once in a while… I just can't stand bar end shifters. And if your STI did blow up a pebble or a piece of wood jammed in the right spot can lock in an easy enough gear to get you to the next bike shop. :p
A touring bike won't necessarily make the best commuter, and vice versa.
I opted for a flatbar bike for my commuting duties. It's 8spd, with hydro disc brakes, alloy frame/fork. All durable stuff, and discs just make sense in this climate. Obviously being an mtb'er factored in to the flatbar choice a bit, but I am comfortable on drops as well. The fact that I can ride heads up with fingers on brake levers is a much more secure feeling.
I don't like the sherpa's bar end shifters. Not my bag and annoying IMO. You can find deals locally on Cannondale touring bikes which come with STI shifters, MTB drivetrains and hubs.
About my style of bike… there are a few things to expect. The pricepoint for my bike included a really thick handlebar which basically had zero vibration damping. Really a fail when your hands are in one position all the time. It was also suuuper narrow. So I ditched it for a wider, thinner walled bar. This helped… but I wasn't done.
I switched to Ergon grips with integrated bar ends. VERY good ergo grips (distribute force over the width and length of the hand more evenly) and having the option for different hand positions is awesome when you take the long way home. I would not even think about doing a tour of any kind without having at least a couple of different hand position options.
I also had to change my stem out for something shorter/higher rise. Expect to have to do the same sort of fit adjustments as this is important on a bike you're spending a lot of time on…
Last thing I can say is if you're riding year round, maintain it religiously. Mis-shifts, rattles, and creaks are SUPER annoying when you're just trying to get from a-to-b.
I could probably climb most of the road on my dj bike… 32/15 singlespeed (I would be huffing a taking breaks, mind you.) Never had an issue on the heaviest of my FR bikes (45+). Some days I just don't feel like pedaling tho, so walking it is.
lol - ICBC. Saw their ad on hockey night tonight… fair my ass. ICBC can suck my balls.
and to comment on your problem - sounds like you will likely be called the faulty one. Unless of course your 'self-admitted idiot' actually steps up, or you can prove that you were far, far away from being too close.
edit: if you end up up shit creek, I would suggest paying for the damage if it's not too bad. It's that or 5 years of ultra high payments.