dgeesaman said:Where I live there are some decent hills that I simply can't climb yet (still losing weight and gaining strength). I'm also planning to buy another wheelset, and for that I'll need another cassette. My Trek 2.1 has a 12-27 105 10-speed cassette (50/34 front) so it's geared pretty low already. I do at times use both the highest and lowest gears.
But the steeper hills are beckoning and I'm looking at 11-28 options. Shimano 105 does not have one, but Ultegra and up have 11-28s. Would I need a longer chain for just one more tooth in back? Is there anything about the 11-28 that I should be concerned about?
That 12/27 you have is a good all around cassette - I changed to that a while back.
How long have you been riding? The reason I ask is that eventually you'll be doing the hills just fine. If you are just starting into cycling, put yourself on a training schedule. There's a good one on the Ride The Rockies (www.ridetherockies.com) web site.
I started riding in December 2004 (new to cycling) and was ready for the 2005 Ride The Rockies in June. The ride that year wasn't pretty, but I got it done. The real noticeable improvement was in the next year. Also, snow ski season 2005/2006 was incredible - it's amazing what a improvement in your aerobic capabilities can do (not to mention the leg strength).
Find some gradual hills and do them over and over but don't overtrain. Something like a freeway overpass to start. Once comfortable there, then start in on some long gradual hills and move yourself to longer and steeper climbs. In my opinion you're going to get more training bang for your buck by starting out on the flats and getting longer and longer distances there - then add in rollling/hilly flat. then hills.
Colorado Springs, Colorado