Done most of my touring mileage with downtube shifters (no indexing). I liked them once I got used to shifting without falling off or wobbling.
That said, I've just moved onto Campy Ergos and I think you'd have to pry them from my dead hands. They make hill-climbing a lot easier IMO. I always lifted a bit with the downtube shifters because of the way I had to adjust my position when shifting.
I voted for bar end shifters but that is probably the only ones that I have never toured with. I did so because I now have bar end Rohloff shifters installed that I do intend using for my next tour. They replace Campy Ergo shifters that I really never liked but I did Like the Sun Tour "butterfly" shifters a lot when I had them. So far I like the Rohloff the best of of the lot!
I am using shifters mounted on my handlebar stem, the rear shifter is indexed. My bike is a 1980's Fuji with Shimano 105, seems to work OK for me but I think the downtube position would be much more suitable.
I moved from downtube shifters (indexed) to bar-end shifters (also indexed) 6 months ago. I think the bar-ends are a wonderful improvement. I also have STI shifters on my training bike but so far I think the bar-end shifters are best of all, certainly for touring anyway.
I´m building up a hack-bike for the winter. Have a set of old Shimano 7-speed down-tube shifters, and a rear wheel to mach, that I would like to mount to the stem like Jonuck!
Do you Jonuck, or any one know if such mountings is still made, by what company and where I could buy one?
I have tried every kind of shifters for touring and would say that the it all depend on what style of touring you prefere. But I think that low-tec barend and the old XT-thumbshifters are still my favorits.
I am however planing to build a lightweight fast training and touringbike with STI-shifters to...