In my continuing journey toward finding that first road bike, I stopped in our LBS this evening to see what might be on sale. I explained what kind of riding I do now (1/2 day rides with hubby) and what I want to do next in addition to what I do now - club rides, small triathlon (teeny, really). The man who helped me recommends the Specialized Ruby (the female version of the Roubaix) Comp; the 2007's are currently 10% off. He has both a compact double and a compact triple in my size. He thought that I'd probably prefer the triple. (BTW, he's lean and in great shape, maybe late 30's early 40's. I'm about 128# and in early 50's.)
I currently ride a Trek 7.2 FX and haven't used the granny gear in months. I still struggle up the steep 1/4 mile hill that leads to our house, but that's only when I've been riding for hours and am rather tired. I simply stop and rest for a couple minutes until my heart stops pounding, then carry on. All other hills so far are gentle, although some of them are miles long. I'm not fast up those hills, but I don't struggle like I did in the beginning. In newbie language (the hybrid shifters are numbered), I use 2-1 for the steepest hills, 2-2 to 2-3 for the gentler hills, and usually stay in 2-4 through 2-6 for everything else.
Oh, and I'm starting a spinning class tomorrow and will soon start swimming laps to prepare for the teeny tri scheduled for June. I know that this doesn't "count" but wanted to throw in that I'll be improving my strength in ways in addition to cycling.
So given all that, do you recommend I go for the double or the triple? I really do value the opinion of my LBS, but I also value the collective wisdom of this 50+ forum.