Wednesday, 22 June 2011

For all you bike techies out there (of which I am not one) - would I notice the difference between a 12-27 and an 11-28 rear cassette?

Today's post is rather technical.  I have been absolutely fine during training with my 12-27 rear cassette but I remember the last time I did La Marmotte I really wished I had an extra gear on the Gallibier climb, as I felt like I was grinding out every pedal stroke, and so I am considering changing to an 11-28 rear cassette.  Apparently this can easily be fitted on my bike without any major modifications.  The question though is will I notice the difference on the tough climbs going from 27 to 28?  Or would I be better going a little higher again?  Can anyone answer that?  Pete perhaps?

That is the first modification I would like to make.  Another is that I will buy carbon fibre racing shoes to replace my MTB shoes, which are rather heavy and flex a lot.  Besides the weight and the flex I think the shoes are slightly too big for my feet as I feel like I have to grip the bottom of the shoe by squeezing my toes in order to stop them sliding, and this gave rise to some nasty foot cramps during the last Marmotte.

In my training rides I have always carried a rucksack, but I am going to see if I can fit everything I need into the pockets of my cycling top and save some weight and backache from carrying a pack.  I may also invest in a bag that will fit under my saddle to put a multi purpose tool, spare tube, tyre levers and energy gels inside.

I am also going to get my bike quickly serviced again, as during the ride on the weekend it seems some water got into some of the parts and it doesn't sound so smooth running at the moment.  I could ask my friend Pete to help me, but I think it is probably easier if I get the bike shop next to my house to do it.

Hopefully with these small modifications I will have a much nicer pain free ride than last time.  Pain free ride is a relative term though, as 5,000 plus vertical metres of ascending is never going to be a complete walk in the park when you are racing against the clock to beat your previous PB.

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