I am currently running a bike that has 52/42 chainrings, 6 speed. I live in Oregon and love climbing, but I do find I run out of spinnable gears on some of the wicked uphills. Freewheel on the rear hub.
My gut reaction was to just throw a 39t chainring on but I have been told that my crank (Sugino Super Mighty) will take 41t at the smallest, and those aren't easy to track down (or worthwhile).
I'm running friction with a Cyclone FD and a Sprint 9000 (index-capable) RD.
So I'm looking for the cheapest way to go. I've got access to all the tools I would need and some capable help at the bike co-op down the street.
Would the 42t -> 39t change be worth it? I'm looking at some really cheap 144BCD cranks online as we speak. I felt like I had all the gears I'd ever need on my dad's 7sp 52/39, but then again, that was Indiana where there is no climbing.