- Ride factory 3T Strada mech 1x11 SRAM Force with 50T chainring - love the bike despite its idiosyncrasies
- 43 years old
- 3.5 w/kg - FTP 235; weigh 148 lbs
- On Low Volume Climbing Race plan
- 95% of outside rides in Raleigh, NC/Wake Co area
- Once a year may go climb a mountain like Pilot Mountain, NC
- Former triathlete now pure biker with good fitness and endurance for my age - my Garmin says my Vo2Max is top 5%
- Goals: Don’t race, just want to be fit and enjoy my outside rides, and keep up with my other fit bike buddies - most are younger than me.
Earlier this year I tried climbing Pilot Mountain with my Strada and could not do it. I burned my legs out. Cardio I didn’t feel was my problem - but sustaining 300+ watts for the climb destroyed my legs. While riding out in the Raleigh/Wake Co area (it has some decent hills but nothing crazy) I sometimes find that I want more big gears in the back - especially when I am tired at the end of long rides. I never find that I need smaller/faster gears - even when speeding downhill. In fact I can’t ever remember using the smallest rear gear.
I want to go to a smaller front ring - perhaps 46T (8% change) - to make climbing easier.
Should I go smaller front ring?
Is 46T small enough - or should I go smaller? I’m 43 years old and will not get be getting stronger or fitter.
Any advice would greatly appreciated.