Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Montréal (Québec)
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Use whatever you are comfortable with -- a few loaded practice runs would help you decide.
However, my preference is always for lower gears. You have three options:
1. The least expensive, if you are fairly comfortable with what you have: Change the small ring for a 26... which probably would work with the 52-42 pair. However, the transition will be a bit much and you'll still have quite a few ultra-high gears you won't use.
2. Change all 3 rings for 48-38-24. The largest 2 exist as a ramped and pinned set (from FSA amongst others), so they would work with STI. I know such a combo works fine with bar-end shifters and I heard quite a few who say it works with STI, though you might prefer to add something like the N-Gear jump stop to prevent the chain from falling inside.
3. New compact cranskset? $$$
BTW, if you stay on the coast, hills are not that steep, but there are quite a few long ones. It's if you veer off that road that you'll see the steepest hills. But then, as a person from Seattle, you should have some experience with real hills.