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Scott in Maryland
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Hi from Maryland. I am upgrading the cranks (and drivetrain) on a Specialized Tarmac to Ultegra. I am a novice rider, but strong enough to run sub-2 hour hallf-marathons and finish in the 50's (percentile) in my ole' man age group on triathlons. The bike is my weakness in my tri racing. 18-19 MPH over 24 miles would be great. I would describe myself as a recreational but enthusiastic cyclist.


What cranks and cassette should I get for hilly Maryland? Benchmark seems like 53/39 with 12/25. But I see a lot more compact 50/34's. Does it matter? Is it easy and cheap to change front crank rings? Anybody have opinions or coaching on this? I would describe myself as a recreational cyclist.

Thanks - Scott
 

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Crank style

Scott,
From just my PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, I would go with a 50/34. Here's why;
I live in New Mexico, with lots of hills and mountains. I find it much easier to spin, then to try to power through this stuff. I find a 12-27 casette in the back is more than enough to keep me up with the lead packs. The only thing holding me back is the last 20 lbs i need to lose and a stronger engine.
For me personally, a 53/39 is more for time trailing, and you should pair that up with a 12-23 or something that will give you some close numbers in say (12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 23) combination so you can gradually step up your speed......:thumbsup:
 

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I live in Va. and ride a bit in western Md. IMO the less common 50x36 with a 11x25 or if you can't push the 11 use a 12x25 gives the advantage of not having to shift the front derailuar so often. A 34x25 gear is pretty slow if your trying to make time in a race and I find that if you can climb it in the 34 you can do it in the 36
 
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