Crank upgrade for climb

I have 52 crank and Cassette: 11-28 , i’m using this in Kuwait which is totally flat, this summer i will travel with my bike and climbs in alps! what best crank/cassette to put?


A general answer would be a lowest gear close to 1:1. that would be a 40 or 42 chainring with a 40 sprocket etc. Alternatively what kind of w/kg do you plan to climb at? That will refine the selection a bit.


Agree with @Kicikacsa’s answer. Always better to play safe.

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Always have a “get out of jail” gear - I hate going into the easiest gear as I have none left :rofl:

around 1.7 w/kg , and i’m around 105 kgs

Get a 50/34 compact chainring set for the front and a 11-34 cassette at the back. That is what I saw the rentals over in Europe do mostly. And practice before hand.

For my taste, a 34 34 combo will spin out too much. Does not suite my style. So something to figure out.

Cheapest way to figure out is to get a cassette, put it onto your trainer, use ROUVY, pick a climb and see what it does. Of course non-ERG and realizm all the way up.

Ah, you need to check which rear derailleur you have. DuraAce only allows 11-30 officially (11-32 if you must). Ultegra has 2 different ones. One called “SS” for a 52/36 11-28. The other one is called “GS”, which will do 11-34.

Most of my heavier friends around here in Colorado do ride a 52/36 11-34. But then again our climbs are usually not steep, just long, and lacking oxygen :wink:

Also get some tools to change the cassette. Easiest way to keep clean anyway, but also it takes not much more than 2 minutes to change a cassette. So if you travel, why not put the 11-28 on for a flat day and a 11-34 for a steep climb.

For reference, around home in Colorado, I mostly use a 52/36 11-28 (spring / autum) or 52/36 11-30 (summer, climbing in Europe).

if you are planning on climbing big European mountains at 1.7w/kg, then you definitely need a 1:1 lowest gear. That will get you up most things as long as you don’t chase stupid climbs with long sections of double digit gradients.

Some awesome advice here guys, thanks.