Whistler Gran Fondo gearing question

Hello, I was hoping the community here could help me with a question. I am thinking about doing the Whistler Gran Fondo for the first time and I am wondering if my current gearing will be OK. I currently have a 52/36 up front and an 11-25 cassette. I have road both Mt Seymour and Cypress and I felt my gearing was OK for Seymour but I think an extra gear would have been nice for Cypress as my cadence was a bit low for part of the climb I think. I am wondering if my current gearing should be OK for the Whistler fondo or if I would benefit significantly if I had an 11-28 cassette for example. Thank you for any input you have as if I need to change anything I should get going on it to make sure I have time before the event assuming a register. Thanks very much.

11-28 on the rear and you’ll be fine. Taylor Way, Furry Crk hill are both a bit punchy, so if you can avoid having to grind in a super low cadence and push big watts early it will make life easier. Brackendale is just a long 20-25min climb (at race pace) but depending on your level of fitness it could be a nice one to be able to have the option to bail out on.

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11-32 or 34 cassette with a 34t inner ring would be good to have and the cheapest option

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Agreed!

Thank you, so looks like I should change my rear cassette.
Is an 11-32 cheaper than an 11-28? If so why would that be?
Any less obvious factors in how I should choose between the two?
Thanks very much,

a 34t inner ring costs like $15 so that is your cheapest single option. An 11-28 and 11-32 cost roughly the same but having the low gearing is nice. Just because you can grind for an hour doesn’t mean you wouldn’t be faster with lower gearing at a higher cadence

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Moving to a 34t front ring might be cheaper but depending on the groupset and setup can lead to shifting problems due to the jump in rings. I’ve had success with ultegra mechanical but not 105, and it limited what you could move around in the back just due to chain slack issues.

As for choice between 11-28 or 11-32, if you have a short cage rear mech it may not accept the 32 tooth cassette, as well on the flats you can be left with some sub-optimal gearing just due to the jumps in cogs. Knowing your FTP/weight would be helpful, because if you’re 150lbs and 300w FTP I would suggest something different than 200lbs and 200w FTP.

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I assumed he was looking for a special case scenario gearing which for whistler gran fondo is pretty much just climbing and descending. Obviously not ideal but I’ve made both work. The only issue with a short cage RD if you size the chain correctly is slack in the small+small combo which shouldn’t be used anyways.

@RONDAL thank you for the info. I am about 145lbs and my “virtual” ftp (I train with virtual power) is 245. I hope to continue to increase it as I have only been riding for a year, however, I also split my time between running and swimming. I am leaning towards an 11-28 as it seems like the more “standard” way to go but I also want to do what is smart. I also am not sure if my rear derailleur is long cage or not?
I called a local shop and the 11-28 and new chain, Ultegra, is $150CAD.
Thanks too all for the info and suggestions.