Gearing Curiosities - Standard vs Compact vs Cassette
I recently pieced together a bike. My main goal was to build something comfortable for longer rides. The only organized cycling event I participate in (for two years now) is TOSRV, a two day double century ride in Ohio. I've been riding, seriously, for a decade, but just don't get into organized events.
The issue - For the past 6-7 years I've been riding a modified 1987 Bianchi Trofeo, fitted with a 10-speed Campy mix. Compact crankset and I believe a 13-26 rear cluster.
The new bike is a standard, 53/39, with an 11-23 rear cluster. I used to ride a fixed gear and be able to mash, but my knees are getting upset more and more these days, so I find myself spinning more and more. I also am a short dude, so the old bike had 170mm cranks, the new bike has 165mm cranks... to encourage more spin, less mash.
Should I just stick with this set-up and wait for my legs to catch up to the gear ratios? Or am I better replacing something? If I replace something, what is more efficient? Swap the crank for a compact? Or swap the rear for a more forgiving spread?