So, I am just getting back into cycling after 12 years. Am not young, but not old, and things are coming together nicely. I have the great fortune to be able to cycle around Colorado Springs, CO, and the Garden of the Gods is 5 minutes away for instance. Fantastic area. Stage 5 of the Colorado racing comes through on Saturday. Cool.
Bike is a Trek XO1 purchased in 2000. Love it. Very few miles on it and stayed that way until two months ago when I returned to the world and have been ultra happy with every aspect of it. One thing I noted when I first purchased it, and then recently now that I've restarted cycling is... I always felt like I wanted an extra gear or two for attaining higher speeds on flats and downhills. There are several stretches, like 1-2 miles where I really want an extra gear or two.
Ok, so what really got me today was, I was passed by a girl. Ok ok. I am outta shape but getting there, older, and I know she had some additional gears and was likely a pro (Colorado Springs being home to the Olympic Training Center and a mecca for cycling), but still. I maxed out and could not peddle any faster though I had plenty left in my tank.
I have determined that my cassette is a 13-26. 8 rings making for a 16 speed cyclocross. Shimano. And as mentioned a Trek. Rolf Vector wheels. I've been researching to learn where can I go from here. Would it make sense, is it possible, etc etc... to acquire an 11-28T or 11-30T cassette and have it work in my current setup? From everything I have read it appears it should fit right in. Acquiring a lower gear for hills wouldn't be a bad thing as so far everything I have gone after I've been able to muster. But am really craving that extra gear or two, for longer stretches. And I don't mind at all getting passed by a girl. It just presented to me that there is more to the Trek XO1 and believe it can be attained by a switchout of the cassette.
Or do I need to look at the chain ring too? I am hoping this can be attained via a cassette change.
Advice anyone? Does going from 13 to 11T provide that much? I am thinking yes, a few % which would be cool.
Sure do love the Trek tho. Regret not attacking it from the day I acquired it but, better late then never....
Any thoughts would be much appreciated...