First a little background. Over the winter and limited by the budget of a student/father I decided to splurge for a bike that actually fit me. I replaced my 7 speed 62 cm Bianchi with a 9 speed 58cm Klein Quantum, a 2001 (The last year prior to Trek). I didn't have any real time to ride until mid June, by early July I had my bike fit worked out and started putting on the miles. Two weeks ago I rode my first group ride (100 miles) at a brisk pace. Next I raced the local cat 5/4 Crit. I learned a lot and finished in the back of the lead group. Last Thursday raced again but this time the loop was run CW. instead of CCW like the previous week. The dynamics of hills and the race were totally changed and my gearing was a real issue. I finished stronger despite being a little sick.
So...My Klein is a triple 52-42-30 with a 12-25t 9 speed cassette. The 30t ring and the 25t cog never get used. I actual locked the small ring out with the derailleur limiting screw.
So I'm effectively racing on a 52-42 with a 12-23 8 speed. 12-13-14-15-17-19-21-23. The missing 16t and 18t are killing me on the crit.
My hopeful solution...Ditch the triple for a 53-39 double and replace the cassette with a 12-21. This new gearing looks good on paper but I'm concerned there may be practical issues that I don't know about. The 12-21 would fill in a lot of gaps. I don't think I would be jumping from large to small chain rings constantly. What do you think?