I'm thinking of upgrading to 10 speed form my trusty 9 speed Dual Control setup on my 29er bikes. Basically, I'm looking to gain lighter cassettes in XT grade and get that 36t cog in back.

I like my Titec H-Bars (the Jeff Jones style ones) and my Dual Control levers work really well with this. I love this setup, but I see the sunset on 9 speed parts coming up. I also use one of those 36t Ebay Pie Plate cogs behind my current XT cassette (and drop the 11t). It's sort of a hack, and it works well, but it's heavy as heck.

I climb lots of steeps, sometimes with a load (kids in trailer, panniers, etc), so I'm using a stupid low gear of 20X36 on my 29er FS bike. I'm running an M950 XTR crank with 5 arm compact chainrings, 20/30/42. IMO, this is an awesome setup that I've been happy with, apart from having to scrounge around and hoard 94mm chainrings.

So yeah, I know... I love my stupid low gears, and I don't need to be talked out of them. I'm not in great shape, and I want to ride everything, not walk.

So, my question to you all is, do the newer XT/SLX/XTR shifters and brake levers play well with H-Bars if I have to dump my Dual Controls?

Is there any way to hack my 9 speed Dual Controls to 10 speed, by say, using parts from 10 speed road levers?

Is there any way to hack 20/30 tooth rings on to a modern crankset and be 10 speed compatible? FWIU, the front ring spacing has changed as well, right?