I will be doing IM Wisconsin in Sept. Was curious if anyone has done that one, or any other hilly course and thought it would be a good idea to run a bigger gear ratio (i.e. 11-25, 11-28). I'd rather not go with 12-..., just because I like having the 11 tooth cog in there.
I say ditch the 11 becuase in reality, if you use it, it will not be for that long of a duration that it will give you any real benefit. Go with a 12-27/28. Give yourself as many gears as you can. You rather have a gear you can bail out on or spin on if needed than not have it at all.
WI is hilly but not impossible.
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I vote to ditch the 11 as well. Seriously, if you can spin out a 53-12 (or whatever your big chain ring is) you are going rocket fast anyway into the next uphill. Better to recover a bit on the downhill and have a better bottom gear for the uphills.