As I am rapidly approaching my 70th birthday I have noticed a remarkable geographical fact; hills are becoming much steeper and are lengthening in duration! I may well send this remarkable insight to National Geographic for their education.
To counteract this evolutionary change I have needed to make some dramatic engineering changes to my bike fleet.
Witchcraft, my Giant Advanced TCR SL3 with an Ultegra Di2 Groupset has had a cassette change to give a 32t large cog from the traditional 28t. This was thought to be impossible but my LBS at Bespoke have weaved some magic and it all works fine.
My beloved Mercian Vincitore Special was equipped with a Campagnolo Chorus Triple which only allows a maximum rear tooth count of 29. So I have had this upgraded (?) to a Shimano Tiagra Triple with a 34t cassette.
This now means that I have a lowest gear on the Giant at 28 inches whilst on the Mercian it is now 23.3 inches.
I should perhaps point out here that my son thinks this is all needless as I had yet to encounter a hill I could not climb with the original kit.....and I am a bit loathe to confess to him that so far I have got nowhere near my new bottom gears...still I am approaching 70 and regard this as future proofing :-)