Well, I gave the "trekking" or "butterfly" bars a few rides to see how I liked them, and they just didn't work for me on this bike. The main reason is that it just felt like I was sitting too upright, and my hands felt too close in for comfort on long rides. As I thought about it, it made sense... I had designed the bike around the dimensions of my 1986 Miyata 1000, which has a short top tube by today's standards. That worked fine for me with the Miyata with drop handlebars. I'm long of leg and short of torso, so older road bikes with shorter top tubes fit me well... but the trekking bars have a much shorter effective "reach" than drops. If you look at them, you'll see the closest "in" position places your hands quite a bit closer than the top part of a drop bar, and the furthest "out" position really doesn't get you much farther than the "ramp" behind the brake levers on a drop bar. I've put up photos of both bar setups for comparison below.
The new bars are a Nitto B135 Randonneur bar, a drop bar designed for touring. You can see from the photos that the bar has a gentle sweep upward from the stem, and the drop portions flare out as well. It's fairly similar to the old Nitto Dirt Drop bars that I have on my Bridgestone XO-2, and lots of folks like the Randonneur bars for touring, so I thought I'd give them a try. So far, I like them! Very comfortable, and a graceful look to them that seems to suit this bike. And the position is MUCH better for me... I feel like I'm reaching just the right distance in all positions, and the bike's handling feels better as well, with more of my weight forward now.
I've also decided to try a different brake lever for a change. In modern road brake levers, I've generally stuck with the Shimano "aero" style levers, and I like them a lot. Beautifully made and a very comfortable shape, I'm very happy with them on my other bikes. But I had been wanting to try one of the other levers out there, and settled on the Tektro R200A levers. The lever body is wider and chunkier than the Shimano levers, and some people have a strong preference for one over the other. Maybe I'm not picky enough, but I find after several rides I'm just fine with either. One feature the Tektro levers have that the Shimano lack is a quick release built into the lever. For this bike it's not really a big deal, since cantilever brakes can be easily released for wheel removal, but I can see where it might be handy on other bikes.
In the "tried and true" realm, you'll see I've also installed "interruptor" or "cross" levers on the tops of the handlebars as well. This gives a second braking position, similar to that created by the old "safety" levers, but in this case, they actuall WORK, unlike the old style, which gave feeble braking at best.
Finally, you'll notice that I've once again gone with the Shimano bar end shift levers, in place of the Deore XT thumbshifters I used on the trekking bars. Thumbies don't fit road bars, and I really wasn't that fond of them anyway.
One last change I am contemplating before wrapping the handlebars... the black Salsa stem, while a very nice stem, looks kind of out of place on this bike, and I'm leaning toward a more traditional silver Nitto stem. The only downside to that is that they don't have the two bolt open face design that allows easy bar swaps. On the other hand, if I make sure I like the Randonneur bars before I wrap them, I really shouldn't have to worry about the open face stem any time soon. What do you folks think? Is it worth it to swap out for a silver stem, or should I just leave well enough alone? Hmmmmmm... anyone...anyone?