Hi Zebra. I can only speak from my experience. I've never owned a drop-bar bike till I bought my Trek 920 tour bike. I felt stretched out with drop bars, in spite of fitting a shorter stem. My bike's STI shifters were not very slick from to get go. I took it back to the bike shop and they made some adjustments which improved shifting, but it didn't last. Downshifting was especially lazy and I was forever busy tinkering with the barrel adjusters. The bike's brakes were particularly problematic. I experienced bad binding problems on a super hot day (41 degrees C), gravel road dusty conditions and 30km from home, having already done 45km. Afterwards, I tried out all the suggested remedies, but did not not do a full brake bleed. It is a new bike and maybe there was air in the system which expanded during the hot conditions. This would probably have cured the brake binding issue, but I had had enough. So, I cannot comment on the shifting drop bar setups on other bikes I am sure that these work perfectly. I can however compare friction lever shifting to all the other flat bar shifters I've experienced, and I would say that it is the slickest shifting I've experienced to date. I wouldn't hesitate to change to friction shifters on my other bikes when the index shifters eventually fail. Friction shifters are super cheap and there is hardly anything that can go wrong with them. The additional advantage is that they shift anything and don't require any setup, besides adjusting the limit screws on your derailleurs.