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Hi all, this is my first post and hope ya'll can help. My current chain ring set up is a 53/39. With the mountains here (UT), my fitness ain't up to it yet. Can I go to a 53/36 or 34 or do I need to change both rings? I have Dura Ace dérailleurs. How much of a chain ring spread can Dura Ace dérailleurs handle? If I went to a compact set up, like a 50/34 would I need to change cranks also? Or do I just need to get stronger faster :)
 

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haole from the mainland
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You probably have a standard 130 bold clamp diameter (BCD) crankset. The smallest chainring you can get for those is 38.

You'd have to switch the crankset to a get a compact, which will let you use a 34.

Check out your cassette in the back. That's going to be a less expensive switch and may do the trick. Shimano road rear derailleurs are rated to handle up to 27 teeth on the back, so the Shimano road cassettes stop there. I've head they can be pushed an extra tooth to 28, and SRAM makes a 12-28 cassette.
 
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