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I've built the bike you are describing.

Here's the highlights/lowlights.

Thumbshifters on midge bars- lead to a fairly cramped cockpit- the steep ramp on the midge bars meant that when you've got your hands on the brake hoods, you're pretty much JAMMED into the hoods. However, after I got used to it, it wasn't too bad.

Even with the cramped handlebars, I'd go with thumbshifters again in a heartbeat. Thumbshifters in friction mode are INCREDIBLY forgiving- it doesn't matter if you haven't lubed the cables in months and there's currently a shell of ice one inch thick on your rear derailleur, they will shift. And, when you are in rough, bumpy, uncomfortable situations, they are easier to use than bar ends.

Fenders and v-brakes= problems with fitting. I ended up having to cut out bits of the side to make it work. Not a problem with cantis.

Good luck- the world needs more practical bikes that don't cost over 3 grand...
 

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plus, if you're touring in the woods, brifters are gonna last about one endo on the rocks.
 
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