My top gear now is 48x11 with 29" wheels. And it's not that it's not large enough, it's that it is
bigger than I spin for any length of time. On the other hand, I can power climb like it's nobody's business, so that's why I'm looking for a middle ground of a high gear I can
sustain with a low gear that isn't too
I also try to be really honest with myself when I think about how often I'm spinning out the 48x11 and whether 53t is necessary. Truthfully, pretty much every road here is at least +2% followed by -2% on the other side. It's hilly enough where I can say that I do it several times per ride, but it's not the norm.
Some long 7-8% grades from this morning at a TT pace have me leaning toward compact.
What is your top gear and also wheel size?
Most people that complain that they do not have a large enough gear cannot spin very well. If that is the case for you- you may want to go 52/36 or even 53/39/.
I think the 52/36 with a cassette that has an 11 tooth small cog will get you through almost anything.
I feel like I'm in a tough spot. I've been riding my MTB with slicks on the road more over the last year to the point where I swapped my chainrings out for a 38/48 to help keep up with some of the faster group rides. I'm also a natural climber and can fly up the local walls (Tucson) in 38x21 or 38x24. On the other hand, I can't hammer along at 27 mph + without a nice tailwind.
I'm getting ready to order a road bike and I'm unsure whether to get the standard crankset or compact variety (50x36, 52x36, etc). There's always the wide cassette route but this is WW... c'mon.