High pass challenge with a compact crank?

If you are riding the HPC, what gear set do you have? I have a 52/36 and was thinking maybe a 34 is needed? 


Thank you in advance,



It's certainly cheaper than changing the rear cassette (and most likely the chain) however I would look at your cluster to see if it's small like a 12-23... where you could look at a 12-26 or depending on your derailluer, a 12-28.  

I have an 11/28 in the rear...was thinking 36 with a 28 might be a stretch with all the climbing.

I'm not a strong climber so I tend to match the rides I take on with what my body and my bike can handle.    There is only so small of a ring you can put on a double crank and depending on the derailluer, only so large on the back.  If what you have doesn't get you there, then you can either get a derailluer and cassette and chain that allows you to go from an 11/28 to something either 30/32 or...  ask yourself if this ride is within your skill set this year?

I was on a ride today and the discussion of frame weight came up and one of the guys said, "there are a lot cheaper ways to get up the hill faster than buying a $4,000 carbon bike.

I did HPC with a silver finish two years ago, and I have only a dim notion what these numbers mean.

What I attribute success to? A bike commute that had some gnarly hills (up Inglewood Hill at 12%, and the return home had a section that tops out at somewhere between 18-21%). I worked at getting up these hills each day with a little more gusto each time. That, along with events like STP, RSVP and RAPSody, was the bulk of my training. 

I tried HPC (with the same commute) a few years before that, and was a DNF. The bike was the same each time - and it's a steel frame touring bike, not a carbon fiber rocket. I think the difference in the two attempts mainly was a difference in my core strength. Climbing hills isn't just in the legs and the lungs. You use back muscles, too. Between the two tries at the ride, I had done a few years of yoga. I took on the yoga for inner peace, but a stronger core - especially back - was a side benefit. The stronger back has also helped to prevent handlebar palsy and generally increased endurance on long rides.

While JCJob often says things I don't agree with (no offence, Mr. Job), the quote, "there are a lot cheaper ways to get up the hill faster than buying a $4,000 carbon bike." is right on. Don't worry about your numbers on your cassette - build the strength in your body, and you'll make it to the top in time just fine.